Yellowing is the development of a yellow cast in aging solvent-based enamels. It’s most noticeable in the dried films of white paints or clear varnishes.


Possible Cause

Yellowing can be caused by the oxidation of alkyd or oil-based paint or varnish, heat from household items like stoves and heaters, or a lack of light to the area. It is also caused by exposure to ammonia from adjacent acrylic paint application in the same room; ammonia can oxidize the alkyd component in the oil based enamel and cause premature yellowing.



Where possible, choose a top quality water-based paint and/or a non-yellowing varnish, we recommend Dulux Aquanamel®. Acrylic paints do not tend to yellow as much as solvent-based paints, and are the only sure way to protect against premature yellowing.

More problem solving advice

When droplets appear on acrylic paint

Have you noticed small droplets appearing on your fresh coat of acrylic paint? This is known as 'surfactant leaching'. Don't panic - it's a normal part of the curing process.  For each problem you’ll find a guide to identifying it, its causes and solutions.


Wrinkling in paintwork can be identified by a rough, crinkled paint surface, which occurs when uncured paint forms a 'skin'.  For each problem you’ll find a guide to identifying it, its causes and solutions.