Need A Coating Over White Paint That Won't Amber/ Yellow! - Painting - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 10-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
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Need a coating over white paint that won't amber/ yellow!

I've searched and can't figure out what coating will work best! I recently painted an antique wooden high chair with flat latex paint. I want to put a few coats of *something* over it to make it easy to clean and give it some durability. I finally picked up some polycrylic, but it yellowed the heck out of my test board. I would prefer something easy to work with and with a quick drying time. Thank you


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Old 10-09-2013, 09:50 AM   #2
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Sand it a tad and go over that with an enamel latex in a satin or semi gloss finish. That's designed to be durable and hard wearing. Flat paint isn't the correct choice for furniture pieces that will actually be used---despite the current fascination with chalk paint.


Do it right from the beginning if you only want to do the job once. It'll be cheaper in the long term.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
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Polycrylic is actually the way to go. In fact, I've painted furniture with flat paint with the intention of providing the finish sheen with Polycrylic, and it worked fine. I think we need to get to the bottom of why it produced a yellowing effect for you. If you are covering oak or pine or something with it, the yellowing you are perceiving might simply be increasing the contrast and bringing out the grain of the wood. Wood is already a yellow-ish color, and putting a clear coating with intensify that effect. Was your test board already painted with your paint?

Having said that, polycrylic isn't all that easy to work with specifically because it has such a fast drying time.

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Old 10-09-2013, 04:46 PM   #4
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Sigh. I was really hoping to NOT repaint the chair. The paint on the test board is the exact same paint and it is ambering instantly. It doesn't appear to be tannins or anything seeping through. The polycrylic does say it can do this to latex paint. I guess I can do the tray in an enamel. The trouble would be matching the color as I mixed the flat myself. I don't want a lot of sheen though. I may just wax it, use it and when it is ready for repaint do it with enamel. I can't use a clear acrylic or anything? I don't mind yellowing with time but this changes the color from a bone white to a dark brown. No bueno!
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:01 PM   #5
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Polycrylic is clear acrylic.

If you are going from bone white to dark brown, then something is seriously wrong. It is absolutely clear, and the whole point of water based polys is that they don't amber, like a polyurethane will, over time. But even then, the effect is rather slight. Nothing like what you're seeing. Something else is wrong.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Egg Shell instead of clear coat...

The 'ambering' effect is common and most products will state this in their labeling. Your best bet is to apply the same color but with an Eggshell finish. Eggshell will actually result in less sheen than the poly clear coat products WITHOUT ambering. And some brands offer premium versions that will hold up to light scrubbing and have stain blocker properties.

If you project is high traffic, then go with Satin finish. It has slightly more sheen than eggshell, but not quite like 'Semi-gloss'.

Flat Finish - 0 to 5% gloss
A paint with a flat surface that does not reflect light and generally used on ceilings and walls of formal rooms. Flat finishes are usually non-washable and cleaning is not advised.

Matte / Velvet Finish - 5 to 10% gloss
A durable paint with a flat, non-glossy finish usually used for walls. Matte finishes can endure light cleaning, but heavy cleaning is not recommended.

Eggshell Finish - 10 to 25% gloss
A durable paint with a low sheen and gloss reminiscent of an eggshell. They clean better than flat finishes as they can endure moderate level cleaning.

Pearl or Satin Finish - 25 to 35% gloss
A durable paint with a smooth, velvety gloss texture. Satin can can hold up to heavy cleaning and light scrubbing, and is most often used for doors, windows, and other trim.

Semi-gloss - 35 to 70% gloss
Paint with a semi-gloss finish goes on smoothly and has a nice gleam without being too dramatic. Trim, doors, windows and cabinets are the surfaces most often applied with semi-gloss.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:46 PM   #7
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You used the wrong sheen to begin with.
A primer then a high sheen enamel paint and you would have been done.
Only time I've seen a flat paint used is on a ceiling or a flipper trying to hide flaws.
No way would I be applying a sealer over paint!
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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JoeC hit it right on the head here!!

* Polycrylic is WATER-clear Poly, & can't "yellow". Water-based poly's are completely clear.
* OIL-BASED poly's START-OUT AMBER/"Yellow".

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Old 10-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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+ one on the enamel paint.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:18 AM   #10
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Just remember that wax doesn't hold up to wear that well. It'll have to be waxed frequently. You'll also have to completely remove the wax to get any other paint to stick to it in the future.

I've recently done some chalk painting on my own and finished with Rustoleum Ultimate clear (water based) with no issues. Of course it was a darker color so any ambering may not have been apparent. However, acrylic clears generally do not amber at all. I'm guessing you painted the wood directly with no stain blocking primer (oil or shellac) and the tannins are leaching through the acrylic paint. That's a big drawback to the claim that chalk paint can go right on anything without priming.


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chair , durable , finish , paint , polycrylic

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