Close up image of a surface that developed a yellow cast in aging paint.

Yellowing - INTERIOR

Development of a yellow cast in aging paint; most noticeable in the dried films of white paints or clear varnishes.

Causes

  • Oxidation of alkyd or oil-based paint or varnish.
  • Exposure to heat from stoves, radiators and heating ducts.
  • Lack of light (e.g., behind pictures or appliances, inside closets, etc.).
  • Exposure to ammonia-containing cleaning products (e.g., Windex®).

Solutions

  • Use latex paints and waterborne varnishes that resist yellowing, nor does non-yellowing varnish. Alkyd paints, because of their curing mechanism, do tend to yellow, particularly in areas that are protected from sunlight and/or exposed to ammonia-containing cleaning products.

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