Lacquer touch-ups: Possible but tricky

DEAR MI-LING: My home was built about 10 years ago. All the trim is white. All the baseboards and cabinets were sprayed with white lacquer paint.

My problem is that the baseboards and cabinets are chipped in almost every room, and it’s driving me crazy. I have tried to paint over the lacquer with a white oil-based paint, but it’s a little different color and it doesn’t cover it well at all.

I need to put my home on the market to sell, and I’m trying to avoid repainting the entire house because I don’t have the money. I plan to do most of the fix-up work myself. Do you have any suggestions on how to touch up the paint without having to spend a lot of money?

— Paint Challenged


I spoke with a paint expert at Kwal paint, and he suggested that you bring in a drawer so that you can match the paint perfectly.

Lacquer tends to fade and yellow over time, so touching up with a new can of paint will not give you the results you want.

With the proper paintbrush and color you should be able to touch up the paint with ease.

There also is a spray can lacquer product that is good for small touch-up jobs. If all else fails, you might need to hire a professional to come in and do the job.

Spraying lacquer requires a certain amount of expertise and prepping for the job is one of the most important parts, as well as using the proper breathing apparatus.

Keep in mind that the housing market is tough, and if repainting will give you an edge, by all means freshen everything up.