How to Prevent Yellowing with Clear Coats

Hey everyone! It’s Brandy from Brushed By Brandy! Yellowing is a common complaint among topcoats. You spend all the time and effort painting your furniture a beautiful clean white or light color, only for your paint finish to take on a yellow tint. There are a few different things that can cause clear coats to yellow, but they aren’t always predictable. Here are some general tips and rules when considering which topcoat to use and how to prevent yellowing.


Materials List:

Things to remember when painting furniture with light colors to prevent yellowing:

  • Urethane and oil-based topcoats are known for yellowing over time.
  • Consider what color you are painting, yellowing is more easily noticeable over white and light colors, but can still happen with dark colors.
  • If you are experiencing yellowing with water-based topcoats, it is most likely an issue with preparation rather than with the topcoat itself.
  • All woods have tannins and topcoat can leech these out of your wood, whether immediately or overtime.
  • Protect yourself! With whites, always use a stain and odor-blocking primer such as Dixie Belle BOSS before painting.
  • Certain woods are more likely to bleed, contain heavier oils, and may require extra coats of stain-blocking primer to prevent yellowing. A few of these are mahogany, pine knots, oak, cedar, and Douglas fir. Think of woods that tend to have heavy sap, odors, usually perform better outdoors, all of these are because of their heavier oil content.
  • Painting plastic or other non-porous materials are easier to guarantee no bleed-through from the surface underneath.

For more insightful tips, head on over to Brushed By Brandy here!

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