In Renovations

White Oil Paint Yellows.

For my family members that have heard me griping about this for the past few months, here is a picture to prove that I’m not going nuts.

spare room yellowing of trim

You know what they don’t tell you when you buy white oil paint? White Oil paint yellows. REALLY. Look at this picture above. The white in the forefront is a new coat of primer on the trim. In the background you will see that the trim is yellow. That, my dear readers, USED to be a high gloss beautiful white. And now, it is that wonderfully weird shade of yellow.

Ughhh. I’m avoiding white oil paint for the rest of my life. I was so irritated when I started noticing that our beautiful trim yellowed slightly. So sad!

Apparently oil paint (white) starts to yellow after about a year. And I think I’ve noticed it in my house because my walls are also white – so the difference between the two shades is sad. 🙁 I’m now boycotting white oil paint. Why spend the time doing a great job on trim to only have it turn yucky. I’m just sayin’…They should probably tell you this when you’re buying lots + lots of super white oil paint.

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  • Reply
    August 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I completely agree. We painted one bedroom in our house with oil bases paint. We did the base trim, the windows and four 6' long shelves. It took forever! was such a pain to control the drips and smelled up the whole house. then when it dried next to the latex white of the walls it looked a bit yellow. Now ( 3 months later) they look like completely different colors. I LOVE how glossy it looks, but I would never paint in white oil again.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I'm glad you posted this – I would have never known!!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Jean – I completely agree. I LOVE how glossy oil paint looks! I remember making the decision to put aside the smell & paint of cleaning oil when we bought the house because knowing how durable oil is, and also, how beautifully glossy. But I would rather now go around and touch up dings that the trim gets because it's painted in latex, than have to repaint the trim. (Which I did, in our main hallway)because it went yellow. As you can see, it's an obvious change by the picture above.

    [email protected] – I know! I didn't know it either until I started looking at my trim thinking…"WHAT on earth happened?" It looked dirty. So when I went into Benjamin Moore and said…"Hey – my white trim looks yellow…" they nodded and said quite matter-of-factly…"Yes. Oil paint goes yellow." UGHHH. Why don't they tell you that!! 😉

  • Reply
    December 16, 2009 at 3:05 am

    Wow – you are my new best friend because of this post. My husband has been replacing ALL of our upstairs trim, and I was just thinking that I might want to go with oil-based paint because of the lovely, smooth, glossy look – like in old houses. I'm doing our walls up there and trim in BM "White Dove". You have saved me some serious coin with this post, not to mention time and frustration. I'm so sorry that you had to deal with it, though! I totally agree that the Benjamin Moore guys should have mentioned it when you bought it.


  • Reply
    December 16, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Jacci – I'm glad I could save someone the misery I went through!!

    I haven't posted about it yet, but I just tried, like in the past 36 hours, Benjamin Moores Natura Line, as I wanted semi-gloss for the trim in the nursery. It is fantastic! I would recommend that over the oil. I'd give you some of mine if you were in the area!

    The funny thing is, the oil paint yellowed much more in some rooms than in others, and it was all done at the same time. So I'm not sure if there is something one room had that the other didn't…no rhyme or reason, which makes it even more confusing!!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Ammonia from emulsion paint can also induce yellowing in the oil paint, so if you do use white oil paint put it on last and after the smell of ammonia has gone from the room.

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