Tone Variation Between Cabinet Frame and Doors

Why are the doors more yellow than the face frame? Could be the coating thickness. May 18, 2010

Question
Hereís the situation Iím in. I have some old cabinets that were sanded to bare wood for refinishing with paint, brown glazing, and finished with Satin Poly.

Problem: the cabinet doors have come out a lot more yellow than the cabinet frames, and I'm debating on ways to go about fixing this issue, and would like to know if anyone else has had experience with this.

Here is my finish schedule:
One coat primer
Sand
One coat premium exterior grade 100% acrylic latex paint
Sand
One coat satin poly
Coat of brown glaze rubbed off
One coat of satin poly

The only difference between the doors and the cabinet frame is that I sprayed the doors and let lay flat to avoid runs. My thought on this is that the coats of poly are thicker on the doors and are having an ambering effect and that I just need to add more coats of poly to the cabinet frames. Does anyone else have an idea of might be causing this?


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Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From the original questioner:
Here is another picture. The yellowing isnít as apparent in the picture - it is just between the cabinet doors and cabinet frame.


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Here is the last picture that I have. Itís still hard to believe these were flat panel doors.


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From contributor R:
Did you use alkyd poly? If so, that is going to yellow big time.


From the original questioner:
Iím not so concerned about the yellowing on the doors. I actually like the yellowing. I'm trying to figure out how to make the cabinet frames match the doors. I used the same poly for both. From ten feet away the doors and frames look excellent. Itís exactly what I wanted, but when you walk into the kitchen you can see a big difference in color.


From the original questioner:
I did not use any kind of special poly - I used Minwax satin.


From the original questioner:
I've since been applying additional coats of poly to my cabinet frames, as well as reading additional posts here in the forums. The finish is starting to amber some on the face frames and I have another question. Would the Minwax satin polyurethane have a tendency to yellow more with a lack of light? I didnít mention this before because it just hadnít occurred to me. I sprayed the cabinet doors in my basement and let dry for a couple of days. It is definitely darker down there.


From contributor R:
Yes some of the polys will yellow even if not exposed to much light. White oil based paints are notorious for turning yellow. Iíve seen the backs of doors to a cabinet that wasnít used much and you would swear they had been painted another color than the fronts were. Additional coats of a poly will tend to alter the overall color.