How To Stop Gloss Paint Going Yellow

Get to the bottom of why your gloss paint is yellowing and discover our solutions in this guide.
Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
how to stop gloss paint going yellow
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

If you’ve noticed that your previously white gloss paint has turned yellow, it can be caused by several factors. Whether the gloss has turned yellow on your skirting or door architraves, it can happen on all types of surfaces and certainly ruins the overall appearance.

To help you understand why it has happened, below we discuss everything you need to know about the yellowing of gloss paint and how to stop it from going yellow.

Why Does Gloss Go Yellow?

The reason why gloss paint turns yellow is because the oil-based formulation has oxidised. However, the length of time it takes for gloss paint to turn yellow depends upon several factors.

One of the most common factors is the lack of exposure to natural light (i.e. the sun), and it’s the reason why areas such as behind furniture, inside cupboards, and other painted surfaces with low light begin to turn yellow. However, it’s worth pointing out that too much exposure can accelerate the yellowing process if a poor-quality gloss has been used.

Another reason gloss turns yellow is exposure to heat, humidity, smoke and grease from cooking. Additionally, certain types of wood and other materials can cause a chemical reaction with the paint, which causes it to yellow.

How to Stop Gloss Paint Going Yellow

1. Use High-Quality Gloss

If you are going to the effort to paint your skirting boards or any other surface, it’s always worthwhile to invest in a high-quality gloss paint.

Furthermore, if the area that you are painting is prone to yellowing (i.e. lacks natural light), you can opt for a non-yellowing gloss paint. Over the years, we’ve tried and tested a range of gloss paints, and our roundup includes a range of non-yellowing formulas you could use.

how to make gloss white again

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

2. Increase Exposure To UV Light

Low exposure to UV light is one of the main causes of gloss turning yellow, but you can actually reverse the effects of yellowing by increasing the exposure to UV light.

Although the results won’t be instant, over time, the yellow tinge to the gloss will disappear, leaving you with the original painted colour.

3. Improve Ventilation

Humidity is another common cause of gloss turning yellow, and in bathrooms with poor ventilation, you may notice the door and frame, architraves and skirting have turned yellow.

Therefore, to help combat humidity in your bathroom and slow down the yellowing process, you could install a powerful bathroom extractor fan and use a bathroom-specific paint designed to cope with moisture.

Before & After

During a recent property renovation of an Airbnb, we encountered a door that had turned yellow. Therefore, as it was a gloss-painted door that was prone to yellowing, we opted for a high-quality, non-yellow gloss to repaint it with.

As you can see from the before and after results below, it made a huge difference, and due to the non-yellowing qualities, it shouldn’t turn yellow again for a long time.

why does gloss go yellow

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
why does white gloss go yellow

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Does Water-Based Gloss Go Yellow?

Fully water-based gloss paints are less susceptible to yellowing, but many of the paints that are marketed as “water-based” aren’t always fully water-based.

Therefore, this gloss type is classed as a “hybrid” due to the combination of water- and oil-based ingredients. Therefore, hybrid gloss paints still have the potential to turn yellow over time, but they won’t discolour as quickly as a fully oil-based gloss.


To conclude, gloss paint can turn yellow due to the lack of or too much exposure to UV light, heat, humidity, and chemical reactions with certain materials.

Therefore, to prevent yellowing, it’s important that you use a high-quality gloss that’s specifically formulated to resist oxidization, as well as proper painting techniques and maintenance.

If you require further information regarding the yellowing of gloss, feel free to contact us, and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

Related Reads

Follow #DIYWorksUK

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.