Yellowing of Alkyd Paints

The yellowing of alkyd paints, a common problem, is a natural part of a coating’s drying and aging process. The lower VOCs in today’s alkyd paints allow for higher vehicle solids in paint. Because solids contribute to yellowing, higher-vehicle solid paints have an increased tendency to yellow with age.


 Where Yellowing Shows

The durability and water resistance of alkyd paints makes them ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms, for aesthetic reasons.

Yellowing is most visible when white or light-colored surfaces are next to similarly-colored surfaces of a different material- a white wall next to white tile, for example.

Tile, countertops and lacquered cabinets are typically made from colorfast and non-yellowing materials, however. So even slight changes in an alkyd paint appear more pronounced next to these kinds of surfaces.

Avoiding Yellowing

To avoid yellowing, we recommend Benjamin Moore Waterborne Satin Impervo acrylic latex satin enamel 314 or K&B (Kitchen & Bath) 100% latex premium paint, designed especially for areas with high humidity.

Its mildew resistance and wet adhesion make it an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms, and as a non-yellowing alternative to alkyds.

Why Yellowing Occurs

The yellowing process is accelerated in dark rooms or those lacking natural sunlight. Alkyd products used in rooms with no windows or natural sunlight will yellow quickly and to a deep degree. Consider using a latex product instead.

Ammonia- from floor waxes, cleaners, and other household products- can contribute to yellowing and should be avoided, particularly when paint film is drying.

Latex Paints

Because some latex paints contain ammonia, they can cause yellowing if used in combination with alkyd or oil-based paints.
To prevent this, paint with your latex product first and allow 24 hours of drying time before you apply an alkyd product. Remember to never apply alkyd and latex paints at the same time in an enclosed room.

Latex Enamels

Most latex enamels are non-yellowing, which makes them an ideal choice for white or light colors. We offer a wide variety of latex coatings suitable for every project, including our Benjamin Moore Regal, Aura, and Advance lines of interior enamel paints.