Asked on Apr 17, 2016

What polyurethane can be used that won't turn white paint yellow?

I painted an old parlor table white and used Minwax fast drying clear over it (the paint was a satin latex). Within a few months it has yellowed.
  26 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 17, 2016
    I would suggest resanding and trying minx polyacrylic finishes as they are not suppose to turn yellow. Min Wax has there own web site for you to research there products.
  • William William on Apr 17, 2016
    Oil based poly will turn yellow over time, Use any water based poly. I love Minwax polycrylic, like Janet says. But I love everything Minwax.
    • See 5 previous
    • Pau26507077 Pau26507077 on Aug 01, 2022

      Mam, I hate to disagree with you but I put water based polyurethane on my freshly painted bathroom vanity. The yellow is disgusting

  • As long as it is water based it will not yellow, but you can not use water base over oil based paint
  • Janice James Janice James on Apr 17, 2016
    I like Krylon clear coat that is a spray, I use it on everything from paper to wood and metals, it comes in matte , semigloss, and glossy. You can also use minwax paste on wood that is painted or stained , even chalk paint, it gives a soft shine and is very protective for wood, it goes on with a soft cloth.
    • Barb Bonar Goins Barb Bonar Goins on Apr 26, 2016
      @Janice James I have used Krylon spray paint for plastics before but not their clear coat. I hesitate because I am terrible at spray painting!! I think I'll try it on a smaller project until I get a little more proficient at it! :)
  • Iris Lewis Leary Iris Lewis Leary on Apr 18, 2016
  • Barb Bonar Goins Barb Bonar Goins on Apr 26, 2016
    Great suggestion from readers and I'm going to follow their advice.
  • Sherry smith Sherry smith on May 04, 2018

    What white paint doesn’t turn yellow

  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on May 04, 2018

    Use polycrylic instead of polyurethane.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on Aug 14, 2018

      If it’s used directly on paint you should be fine. If you used another type of poly already I would lightly sand or if it’s a high gloss paint then I would too.

  • William William on Sep 20, 2018

    Do not sand with any clear coat finish. It's made to protect the paint/stain.

    Hey Jim, chalk paint does not need a clear coat finish. Chalk paint is supposed to be waxed. The "chalk" additive is causing the yellowing.

    • See 1 previous
    • PK PK on May 01, 2019

      I used Minwax Polycrylic over pale grey Valspar Chalk paint and the Minwax Polycrylic left yellow streaks. It looks bad. Now I have to start over. I am scared to try water based polyurethane. I don’t want to wax. Not sure what to do now. I might test the Krylon clear spray paint on a hidden part of the chair.

  • Good Morning Barb,

    It is not the poly's that is causing yellowing. What happens is chalk paints tend to be porous. When the poly is applied it wicks up the tannins, stains etc thru the paint and causes the discoloration. We have created a product to prevent this from happening. If you are unsure of a piece of furniture and you think it might have nicotine, tannins, stains etc., you can use BOSS. Stands for Blocks Odors, Stains and Stops Bleed Thru.

    Hope that helps! Teri -

    If you ever need any more help or have questions about any of our products, feel free to give us a ring, we are just a phone call away! 813-909-1962!

  • Patrick Irvan Patrick Irvan on Oct 23, 2018

    Never had an issue with this over white.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kristin Kelly Kristin Kelly on Jan 26, 2019

      I also have golden oak cabinets I painted them white this past weekend using the rust oleum cabinet transformation kit.. I used their de glosser instead of Sanding then used zinser 1-2-3 primer... I am very happy with results but still trying to find the right top coat to use that will not yellow

  • Lisa Lisa on Nov 30, 2018

    I read that yellowing is not so much a paint or sealant issue as it is the material you're working with. Wood releases "wood byproducts" through the paint/sealer, which in turn causes yellowing. Different wood types cause more yellowing than others. But if you're painting formica or plastic, or something similar, I don't believe the yellowing will occur. We're in the middle of painting our formica cabinets white and I was very concerned about this issue, so I did lots of research. Hope this helps! Blessings!

  • Margaret M Masker Margaret M Masker on Dec 02, 2018

    I used the Polycrylic and it yellowed, had yellow streaks, on a white chalk painted piece of furniture. I repainted and waited 2 days for paint to dry. I then applied the Polycrylic and this time it didn't yellow. BUT, I found that applying the Polycrylic not too thick and slowly applying the Polycrylic is the key. Also, waiting until the paint is thoroughly dry is very important. I realized I made mistakes the first time when it yellowed; I only waited an hour for paint to dry and I was applying it quick so the application was thicker. When I waited the two days for paint to dry, took my time to apply the Polycrylic and applied thinner even coats, it did not yellow.

  • Yvonne Manuel Brooks Yvonne Manuel Brooks on Jan 22, 2019

    sometimes it yellows over time also, just a heads up, it's not always immediate. I have used multiple products they all yellow on certain woods that release tanins

  • Yvonne Manuel Brooks Yvonne Manuel Brooks on Jan 22, 2019

    also I have used shelac on items pre painting to avoid yellow with success

    • Carol Carol on Apr 28, 2019

      I believe shellac may "ring" when warm objects are placed on it

  • Verbena Verbena on Mar 02, 2019

    From what I have noticed in looking at MANY water based polyurethanes is that the ones that won't yellow actually state that on the can. Not just "crystal clear", but it will actually say non-yellowing.

    • Ed Hunt Ed Hunt on Sep 16, 2020

      I used the Rustoleum Clear "non-yellowing" and it turned my antique radio into a yellow streaked mess. Don't EVER trust the label. Always try it on a sample area first!

  • William William on Mar 02, 2019

    Chalk paint is not supposed to be poly'd. Chalk paint needs to be waxed. The tannins in the chalk paint cause the yellowing not the poly.

    • PK PK on May 01, 2019

      Is there anything that I can use to seal the chalk paint on the chairs other than wax? If not, will the wax rub off on the white upholstered cushions that I am going to use on the chairs? The cushions were expensive to have made and I don’t want them stained by wax or chalk paint. Do you have a wax you recommend for sealing chalk paint? Thanks!

  • Jim Rodemeyer Jim Rodemeyer on Mar 08, 2019

    Will water based poly resist nail polish and acetone. I want to finish a wooden (Oak) table to use as place she can do finger nails on.

  • Maranda Leigh Floyd Maranda Leigh Floyd on Mar 27, 2019

    Can polycrylic be used on oil base painted tile? I know painting tile sounds crazy but it happened lol. Looking for away to seal it extra

    • William William on May 01, 2019

      A lot of Hometalkers have painted tile. Three coats of poly of protect it.

  • Debbie Gartner Debbie Gartner on Apr 17, 2019

    In terms of which poly doesn't turn yellow, you want to use a high grade water borne poly, such as Bona Traffic HD. Not just a water based one, but a high grade one. Mid to low grade water borne poly will turn wood a bit yellowish and more yellowish over time. You can read more about that here. Which polyurethane doesn't yellow?

    That aside, you are not supposed to use a polyurethane over paint and if you call the manufacturers, they will say "you can try it, but we don't guarantee anything." Instead, you should be using a different type of paint - you can use Minwax Polycrylic.

    • PK PK on May 01, 2019

      Debbie, Bona Traffic HD is made for floors, correct? Do you know if anyone has used it to seal wood furniture that has been painted with chalk paint?

  • Clovis Alan Ray Clovis Alan Ray on May 01, 2019

    Fireants infestation

  • Valarie Valarie on Jan 17, 2020

    I have a homemade kitchen table, made out of natural pine. I was wanting to stain it first with water based minwax honey oak and then do a watered down white wash over it (and wipe off) with a Valspar latex eggshell paint. If I use polycrylic over the top (to protect from water rings from glasses).....will this yellow over time too?

  • Sara Sara on Apr 17, 2020

    I have oak cabinets that I sanded and wanted to apply a sealer what should I use so it doesn’t turn yellow

  • Shandra Shandra on Jun 05, 2022

    Make sure when you're asking for clear player they make sure it says crystal clear for flooring that doesn't turn yellow

  • Shandra Shandra on Jun 05, 2022

    Or crystal clear epoxy I put pictures on wood then Shellac it or poly /epoxy crystal clear for flooring top coaat

  • Figgy Figgy on Aug 02, 2022

    Try spray acrylic