Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Clear coat over paint turning yellow
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Clear coat over paint turning yellow

I have just refinished my banister and newel post a high gloss white. I put a thin coat of a polyurethane over it to prevent it from chipping and other wear and tear. However, it has turned the white paint a yellow tone since it has dried. Is there a special clear coat I should use that won't yellow? How can I prevent this from happening?

Re: Clear coat over paint turning yellow

I'm guessing you used an oil-based poly. Not only does it have a slight amber tone right out of the can, but it will also amber more with the passage of time. Sometimes this is an advantage (if you desire a warmer color on wood flooring or similar, for example) and other times it creates problems.

(OB poly is not the only "clear" finish that will do this, by the way)

A better choice for your situation would have been a waterborne product because the vast majority of those will not amber. If you use a WB in the future, do be aware that its application requirements/recommendations are less forgiving than an OB product. Too hot or too cold = trouble. Too high or low of a relative humdity level = trouble. "Over-brushing" the product = trouble. (You'll most likely have less time to "rebrush" with your WB than you did with your OB, but it kinda depends upon temps and humidity levels.)

If you avoid extremes, you should be fine. Don't overbrush or come back to rebrush the same area after 5 minutes has elapsed, for example. Same basic principles as using latex paint.

By the way, using a WB product over your white paint will not guarantee that the end result will remain the same color for ever and ever. White paints can and do amber themselves over time. Some are worse than others.

Re: Clear coat over paint turning yellow

This thread is basically along the lines of what I was looking for- I recently painted my living room and used an off-white for the trim. The wall dividing the living room from the foyer has a cutout with a small shelf about 6" wide by 2' long. I installed a new piece of poplar for the shelf and after priming, painted 3 coats of the semi-gloss trim color. Now I'm noticing it's extremely vulnerable to scratches and things; I put a pair of leather gloves down on it the other day and the next day noticed that they had left a couple of black spots on the paint. I was hoping to determine if there was any way I could paint a water-based clear coat over the off-white to protect it. I'll take a look for the product noted above.

Re: Clear coat over paint turning yellow

A clear coat should not be neccessary over a quality alkyd oil trim paint. You did not state whether you were using oil or latex paint. However, oil paint has a tendency to yellow itself with age. Household trim paints in general are susceptable to staining. Leather contains analine dyes which can penetrate its surface and make a deep stain.
If the shelf gets considerable traffic, you might consider having a glass shop make a custom protective cover.

Re: Clear coat over paint turning yellow

hi, I'm from a guitar forum and we're discussing what clear coat to put over a guitar with a signature on it... people recommended polyurethane.. do you think that's a good idea, or are there any better recommendations?


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