Asked on Mar 25, 2020

How come my cabinet turned yellow when I painted over the chalk paint?

Becky at Flipping the FlipJohnavallance82Lauren of Mom Home Guide


I repainted my jewelry armoire with white Rustoleum Chalk Paint. When I painted the matte sealer (also from Rustoleum) it left yellow streaks all over it.

16 answers
  • Chloe Crabtree
    Chloe Crabtree
    on Mar 25, 2020

    I don't know why this happened, but here is a great article to read how to seal chalk paint. Sadly, it sound like you will have to sand off the sealer and start again.

  • It may have pulled the tannins out of the wood. Try sealing it and then repaint.

  • William
    on Mar 25, 2020

    Since the cabinet wasn't primed before painting the stain/tannins were pulled out by the sealer. I know you don't need to prime with chalk paint. That's why they suggest using wax to seal chalk painted furniture. You may have to sand the finish off. Prime with Kilz primer then paint. Seal with a water based poly or wax if repainting with chalk paint

  • Morgan McBride
    Morgan McBride
    on Mar 26, 2020

    you can't use a sealer with chalk paint only a wax.

  • Mogie
    on Mar 26, 2020

    This explains in more detail. Why you should prime before using chalk paint.

  • Cynthia H
    Cynthia H
    on Mar 26, 2020

    Hi! The only time I've gotten yellow streaks, was when I didn't put a sealer on wood first, and the stain or wood resins came through. As long as you used a water based sealer over it, it was that.

  • Vimarhonor
    on Mar 26, 2020

    Rustoleum has a chalked wax. I would suggest to call Rustoleum support direct and ask for advice.

    When their spray paint products has failed for me they have provided replacement compensation.

  • Nan W.
    Nan W.
    on Mar 26, 2020

    Phylis: sounds as if you'll have to start over. Use a good primer like Kils and then the paint.

  • Kmdreamer
    on Mar 26, 2020

    The sealer probably dries yellow when dry you could lightly sand that off then give cabinet another coat of white and use polly

  • Em
    on Mar 26, 2020

    The sealer has a yellowish base. You put it on too heavy and it ran. You have to use VERY light coat, moving the can at all times. Let dry and do over. You either sprayed way too close and OR way to heavy of a coat. Sand off the streaks. You may have to sand the whole thing and repaint as sanding will probably remove some of the chalk paint. Use a spray in a matte or satin finish to protect the chalk or just use chalk paint wax as a final coat.

  • TheHoneycombHome
    on Mar 26, 2020

    I'm sorry that happened. For future reference, this one is great and doesn't yellow:

  • Likely chemicals or oils in the wood seeping through. Prime first before the chalk paint

  • Lindsay Aratari
    Lindsay Aratari
    on Mar 29, 2020

    It could be from something under the chalk paint

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide
    Lauren of Mom Home Guide
    on Mar 31, 2020

    I would try priming the cabinet and repaint it again.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Apr 1, 2020

    Hello Phyis,

    Should have used a non yellowing Crystal Clear Varnish instead.

  • Either something is leeching through or the sealer you used is oil based. Oil based sealers have a yellow tint to them and yellow further over time. You can try using a very good primer over all of it or best practice is to sand it all off and start over.

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