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How to Stop Gloss Paint Going Yellow

In years gone by stopping gloss from going yellow was a bit of a lost cause.

We’ve all been there. We’ve just painted something a lovely, pure white. But after a few years that crisp white has started to go…yellow?!

White oil based glosses have gained a notorious reputation for yellowing after only a few years with the process hastening if the area of your paint doesn’t receive any sunlight. Moreover, since 2010, many people have noticed that the process of yellowing is even speeding up.

With that in mind, we’re going to briefly discuss what causes yellowing and how you can avoid it by choosing the right paint.

Why Does White Gloss Go Yellow?

Oil based white gloss goes yellow because of the drying oil found within the paint. This drying oil speeds up the process of yellowing considerably and has been used more and more since EU regulations regarding high VOCs came into effect in 2010.

Gloss paint that's gone yellow

White gloss turning yellow previously would’ve been slowed down by having a higher VOC content but manufacturers were forced into changing their formulas and thus the problem of yellowing has been more pronounced.

Other environmental factors such as how much sunlight the paint is subject to will also influence the rate of yellowing. Too little light often means a quicker yellowing process.

Why Does Gloss Go Yellow Behind Furniture?

Gloss goes yellow behind furniture primarily because phenolic resin-based (or oil-based) paints are blocked from getting any sunlight. Unfortunately, once this area has gone yellow, it will require redecoration.

How to Stop Gloss Paint Going Yellow

There’s only really one sure-fire way of ensuring your gloss paint doesn’t go yellow and that’s by choosing a water based gloss.

With next to no volatile organic compounds, water-based gloss paint isn’t prone to yellowing and what’s more, many people in the trade believe it’s even surpassed the quality of oil-based gloss.

Some of the benefits of water-based gloss include:

  • Quicker drying time
  • Low VOC content
  • Low odour
  • Doesn’t yellow over time

If you’re unsure about water-based gloss and are going ahead with oil-based paint, make sure the surfaces you’ll be painting are exposed to lots of sunlight – this will at least slow down the process of yellowing.

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