Does water base polyurethane yellow.

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Forum topic by typing posted 06-30-2020 10:39 PM 276 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 363 days

06-30-2020 10:39 PM

I got spoiled with General Finishes High Performance water based polyurethane.
I applied it with 4 stages Fuji without thinning and it always was perfect. U usually could finish a large project in half a day and not bothering to come back to it for the whole week as I usually do with oil based.
So I finished a lot of big and expensive time-wise items I did in the past. Someone asked me to finish plywood platforms in a gym maybe 3 years ago so I again went to my trusty ( although expensive ) GF, Now in the same gym I had to cover another set of the same kind of platforms and after finishing again and stacking them next to the old ones I did not like what I saw. Despite being all the time inside a building with no windows the previous pieces yellowed very visibly. I am not sure at this point whether it is wood ( pine ) or the finish itself.
I hope it is the wood otherwise I am in trouble.

4 replies so far

View SMP's profile (online now)


2131 posts in 683 days

#1 posted 06-30-2020 11:27 PM

Polyurethane yellows, and pine does darken/yellow over time. Maybe got a combo of the 2.

View Aj2's profile


3091 posts in 2575 days

#2 posted 06-30-2020 11:47 PM

They look good for only 3 years. What another 25 and complete strangers will ask how to get such a nice patina on them.
Everything finish I’ve seen will change over time maybe it’s oxidation?
Your boxes look well built time will tell if they hold up

Good Luck

-- Aj

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6249 posts in 3270 days

#3 posted 07-01-2020 01:38 PM

As a rule, waterborne finishes are stable, I would bet that the wood itself has aged causing that look…..but it is a guess.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View splintergroup's profile


3798 posts in 1999 days

#4 posted 07-02-2020 06:34 PM

I agree w/the above. Oil based poly will tint towards amber immediately whereas a WB poly will spray, dry, and mostly stay water clear. The yellowing is most probably the wood itself oxidizing, nothing you can really do to prevent that, only slow it down.

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