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


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.

  17 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 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 25, 2020

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

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 25, 2020

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

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 25, 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 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 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 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 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 28, 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 Johnavallance82 on Apr 01, 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.

  • Terri Terri on Oct 29, 2021

    I am so upset. I sanded down my dresser, used Kilz primer, used Rustoleum white chalk paint, dis some minor distressing, used the Rustoleum aged gray and then sealed with the recommended Rustoleum clear. It left yellow streaks throughout the entire dresser when it dried. It took about 3 days before the yellow came through. I am so frustrated and lost many hours of hard work. What could cause this? Only 2 light coats.