How To Keep Paint From Chipping

Painting projects are very exciting. They allow you to leave your own unique mark on what you're painting. One of the biggest obstacles that people face after painting items is chipped paint. How can you prevent paint from chipping? We did the research to bring you the answer.

One of the easiest ways to prevent chipped paint is to apply a protective topcoat after you finish painting. Two of the most popular topcoats are polyurethane and polycrylic. 

There is still a lot that you should know before selecting a topcoat. For example, what is the difference between polyurethane and polycrylic? What factors determine whether you should use polyurethane or polycrylic? We cover these questions and more in this post! Keep reading to learn all about how to protect your furniture from chipping! 

Cracked layer paint color mint green and a dark gray paint, How To Keep Paint From Chipping

How Do Polyurethane And Polycrylic Differ?

Polyurethane and polycrylic have differences and similarities. A major difference between these two topcoats is that polyurethane comes in an oil and water base, while polycrylic is only water based. 

Another major difference is that oil-based polyurethane has a yellowish tint when it dries, while polycrylic has no tint. In addition, polycrylic contains less toxic chemicals than polyurethane does, but polyurethane is more durable. 

One of the most notable similarities among the products is that they both come in a variety of sheens, including satin, gloss, and high gloss. 

Wet Polyurethane on New Hardwood Floor with Window Reflection

Factors That Determine Whether You Should Use Polyurethane Or Polycrylic

Your needs and preferences are the primary factors that determine whether you should use polyurethane or polycrylic. If you want an oil-based topcoat, you should obviously choose polyurethane, as polycrylic is only water based.

However, if you are fine with an oil- or water-based topcoat, then you will need to consider your other needs and preferences. For example, what are you painting?

If you are painting an object that is used often or is in a high-traffic area, such as cabinets, you may want to use polyurethane. This is because, as mentioned, polyurethane is more durable. 

Although, if durability is not a concern, you may want to consider your workspace and the toxicity of the topcoats. If you are painting outdoors or in a properly ventilated area, then using polyurethane shouldn't pose a problem.

However, if you're painting in an area that lacks adequate ventilation, polycrylic is the better option, as it is less toxic and potent than polyurethane. 

Polycrylic is also the better option if you need a project done quickly, as it dries faster than polyurethane. Generally, polycrylic takes about two hours to dry to the touch and one day to fully cure. On the other hand, it takes polyurethane around one to two days just to dry to the touch and 30 days to fully cure. 

Squeegee Style Brush Applying Clear Polyurethane to Hardwood Floor

What Causes Paint To Peel?

There are several reasons why paint may peel off the wall. Three common reasons include not preparing surfaces adequately, applying paint to dirty surfaces, and cheap brands of paint. 

Not Preparing Surfaces Adequately

Painting can be an exciting task, and some people may jump to picking up the paint brushes before doing anything else. However, it's important to note that you must prepare your surface before you begin painting. One of the most crucial steps in surface preparation is priming.

A primer is a coating that you place on surfaces before painting them to make the paint more durable and adhesive and better protect the surface. So, because priming increases paint durability and adhesion, it is imperative that you do not skip this preparatory step. 

Another important part of surface preparation is ensuring that the surface you're painting is even. A simple way to make sure that your surface is even is to sand it. 

Applying Paint To Dirty Surfaces

One of the things you should never do when painting is apply paint to an unclean surface. Painting over a dirty surface will cause the paint to fail to adhere to the surface and dry properly, which results in chipping.

One of the best ways to clean walls before you paint them is soap and water. Simply fill a bucket with warm water and soap and wash the walls using a sponge. This will result in the walls being more suitable for paint application. 

Cheap Brands Of Paint

If you're on a budget, cheap paints can be very helpful. However, if you have the money to invest in more expensive paints, it may be best that you do.

Expensive paints are of higher quality than cheaper paints, meaning that they are less likely to chip. So, buying expensive paint typically saves you money in the long run, as you don't have to repaint as often as you have to if you buy cheap brands of paint. 

Can You Paint Over Chipped Paint?

It is not a good idea to paint over chipped paint. This is because you want painted surfaces to be smooth, even, and pleasing to the eye; painting over chipped paint results in surfaces being the exact opposite.

To prevent objects from boasting a rough, uneven appearance, you should always remove chipped paint, prime what you're painting, and then repaint. 

Old wall with blue peeling paint

How Do You Fix Chipped Paint? 

We know that applying a topcoat such as polyurethane or polycrylic prevents paint from chipping, but how do you fix paint once it has already chipped? 

The first thing you should do is remove any loose paint. After doing this, you'll need to sand the surface you're painting to ensure that it's even. Next, apply a lightweight spackle to the wall. Spackle is a paste that's used to fill in any cracks or holes in the surface you're painting, resulting in a smoother surface. 

After the spackle dries, sand the area once again to ensure that the surface is smooth. Then, prime the area, which, again, will make the material you're painting more durable and adhesive. And finally, apply the paint. 

It's important to note that are three different types of primers you can choose from: oil-based primers, latex-based primers, and shellac-based primers. All three of these primers offer benefits and drawbacks that play a role in which one you choose.

White weathered wall with flaking paint

Oil-Based Primers

A benefit of oil-based primers is their versatility, as they are compatible with both oil paints and latex paints. However, like oil-based polyurethane, oil-based primers contain toxic compounds that are potentially hazardous to human health. 

Latex-Based Primers 

A great benefit of latex-based primers is that they work well with drywall. Additionally, these types of primers dry quickly and contain a lower amount of toxic compounds, making them a healthier alternative to oil-based primers. 

A major disadvantage of latex-based primers is the fact that they don't work very well with hardwood. Also, you might not get optimal coverage when using this type of primer. 

Shellac-Based Primers

Perhaps the greatest advantage of shellac-based primers is that they are very compatible with surfaces that have suffered from smoke or water damage. However, these primers do emit fumes, so it's important to be cautious of this. 

In Closing

Cracked layer paint color mint green and a dark gray paint

One of the best ways to keep paint from chipping is to apply a topcoat such as polyurethane or polycrylic.

Before purchasing one of these topcoats, you should note the differences between polyurethane and polycrylic and factors that might influence your decision, such as where you're painting and how much time you have. 

Additionally, remember to adequately prepare and clean your surface and invest in a decent brand of paint to prevent your paint from peeling. Keep in mind that if your paint has already started chipping, you should never paint over it. Instead, take the necessary steps to properly fix it. 

Before you go, check out some of our other articles: 

What’s The Best Paint For Plastered Walls?

How To Paint A Bathroom Ceiling

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