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Yellowing of Alkyd Based Paints

The yellowing of alkyd / oil based paints is a problem that has continued to grow over the years. This is due to several reasons.

  1. The decorating trends towards the use of white and off-white color schemes
  2. Conditions in the atmosphere can also cause premature yellowing. Ammonium Hydroxide (ammonia) which is found in latex based paints, cleaners, floor waxes, and other household products.
  3. With the new VOC regulations, raw material manufacturers have developed new resins to meet these regulations. These resins tend to yellow more quickly than some of the older non-VOC type resins.

Yellowing is part of the natural process by which alkyd/oil based coatings dry. The yellowing process is inherently accelerated by the absence of light and is especially noticeable behind doors, pictures and is closet areas.

How can we minimize the Yellowing Process?

  1. Use alkyd/oil based coatings only in areas where there is sufficient natural or artificial light. In the areas that do not have sufficient light available, use a latex-based coating.
  2. Since the presence of ammonia accelerates the yellowing process, try to minimize these conditions. When applying latex based coatings, paint all these surfaces first and allow the coating to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying an alkyd/oil based coating. Never apply an alkyd/oil based coating first or in the same day.
  3. Apply acrylic based coatings whenever possible. With the new advancements in acrylic technology, the chemists at Coronado have developed the Ceramagard Plus product line that will flow and level like alkyd/oil based coatings without the odor and inherent yellowing problems associated with these coatings.

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* Pro Tips *
TIP 4 To distinguish oil base from acrylic paint, wipe with denatured alcohol, or Goof Off®. If you see a little color come off on your rag, this could be from chalk being removed from old oil base paint. If the alcohol actually softens the coating, and it gets sticky, it is likely acrylic paint.'