3 Reasons Vinyl Kitchen Cabinets Turn Yellow

Date:  March 23, 2015


Categories:  Painting, Renovating, Tips

Tags: , , , , , ,

Prevent White Vinyl Kitchen Cabinets from Yellowing and Fading

White kitchen cabinets are everywhere these days. Everyone wants them, as they look beautiful and make kitchens feel spacious. Keeping your white cabinets clean and bright is possible, but it will take a bit of work and planning.

Vinyl kitchen cabinets are popular, because they are less expensive than painted cabinets. Unfortunately, if vinyl cabinets aren’t maintained they will yellow and fade. If you have vinyl cabinets, here are the reasons they yellow and fade and ways to prevent it.

1. Sunlight

There’s nothing better than showing off a new kitchen, especially with the curtains open and the sun shining in. That sunshine may be causing your vinyl to yellow or fade in colour.

Vinyl cabinets will change colour within 12 months if exposed to sunlight. This is why manufacturers won’t warranty sun damage. Avoid direct sunlight hitting your cabinets if you want them to keep their original colour.

Prevention: Use curtains, blinds, window film, or other barrier to protect your cabinets from direct sunlight.

2. Cooking

When you cook, the food splatter doesn’t just get on the counter and backsplash. The grease and food particles get into the air and can build up on your vinyl cabinets as well. Overtime, they can stain your cabinets an ugly yellow colour.

Prevention: When cooking, use your exhaust fan or range hood to absorb any particles. To remove these stains, try cleaning your vinyl cabinets with a mixture of 1 tbs. baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, and 2 cups warm water.

3. Faulty Product

Sometimes vinyl cabinets will turn yellow from a chemical reaction. This type of staining is almost impossible to reverse. You may have to replace all your vinyl, if it’s yellowing because of a faulty product.

Prevention: Before buying vinyl cabinets, check out the cabinet maker and manufacturer. Read their customer reviews online. Most important, read the warranty and make sure you understand it.

If your vinyl cabinets are yellowing or fading, try washing off the discolouration. If you can’t, your best option is to replace, reface, or refinish your cabinets. Painting over your existing vinyl to conceal the damage is a bad idea. Chemicals in the paint will cause the vinyl to peel.

It’s best to call a professional, if you’re not sure what is causing the colour change on your vinyl cabinets. You could do more damage by trying to fix them yourself.


Have any tips or stories of your own? Share them in the comments below!


14 responses to “3 Reasons Vinyl Kitchen Cabinets Turn Yellow”

  1. Di says:

    My vinyl wrapped kitchen doors have all gone yellow I believe it’s a mixture of sulight and chemical reaction. Thanks to your page I won’t try painting ! But I may have to come see you guys !

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Di,

      Thanks for your comment – its nice to hear our article was some help before you made any changes to your cabinets as we often heard people say “I wish I had read this before”.

      If you have any questions or concerns feel free to give us a call on 93026913 or email info@dianellapolishing.com.au.


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

  2. Monika Broughton says:

    I just read your article. I’m planning to put in a gloss white kitchen. My bathroom vanity is gloss white and has partially turned yellow over the years and looks terrible. There is no sunlight in my bathroom. There won’t be direct sunlight in my kitchen either but after some research and reading bad reviews about gloss white, I’m all worried now and don’t know what to do. I can’t picture any other color kitchen in my house, I’ve started looking but still prefer the gloss white. My budget isn’t great either and can only spent between 10-15k incl installation (which a builder friend will do cheapish for me). How risky is it really for it to turn yellow? I’ve been looking a Bunnings Kaboodle but the reviews aren’t great.
    Thanks for your time.
    Kind regards

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Monika,

      the reason your doors are changing colour is the oxidising paint. All interior paint you buy in Australia does that. If you want to avoid the colour to slowly change (we are talking 15 years’), the only way to stop it is to use machine called a curtain coder and to include UV inhibitors in your paint mix. However this is only a theoretic option as the costs for this are extraordinary.

      If you do have a kitchen in good nick in your house – do your self a favour and don’t replace it with cheapo Bunnings kitchen doors. Real-estate agents estimate the difference between a flat packed kitchen from Bunnings or Ikea or a custome made solid kitchen is up to $30,000 in sales revenue.

      $ 15,000 is actually a really nice budget – for which we could easily give your kitchen a make-over from top to toe – or high cabinet to kick-board 🙂

      Why not pop over to https://www.dianellapolishing.com.au/contact/ and send us some pictures of your kitchen – I’d be surprised if the cabinetry itself would cost more than $3000 to sparkle like new in gloss-white. And for the remaining budget we can put you in touch with our team of experts to get affordable bench-tops, hinges and door knobs to bring your kitchen to new live.

      All the best with your reno-project,

      Your Dianella Polishing-team!

  3. Steve says:

    We have 60 apartments all with yellowing cabinet doors in the kitchens. Many are not subject to sunlight. The 12mm panels surrounding the doors are not yellowing which makes the yellowing much more pronounced.
    I recently had some doors replaced and the cabinet maker told me there was a bad batch of white melamine flogged off cheap about 5 years ago 2013 (when our apartments were built).
    Can this be verified?

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Steve, sorry to hear about your doors. We specialise in re-finishing and painting doors mainly. Unfortunately it is us not possible to judge or verify the state of your melamine doors. Kind regards, your Dianella Polishing team.

  4. Maria Wallis says:

    My white high gloss coffee table in my living room has went a yellow colour compared to my two white high gloss units and my white high gloss nest of tables it really sticks out a mile now and was wondering if there a time at Of restoring it to its natural condition without having to get it stripped or repainted

  5. Julie Prole says:

    Are you in UK. I have yellowed gloss bathroom cabinets. I now hate my once lovely bathroom 😢. I can’t get anyone to spray them.

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Julie,
      Sorry to hear about your discoloured bathrrom. Unfortunately we dont have a branch in the UK. Maybe search for cabinet painting, spray painting or 2 pac paint. Good luck, your Dianella Polishing Team.

  6. Cecilia Colless says:

    Hi we are just about to order a kitchen in a 2 pac finish in Resene 1/2 sea fog paint , will this finish go yellow , we r facing the beach I would appreciate your reply . Cec

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Cecilia, it shouldn’t go yellow if applied professionally. That is one of the differences (and advantages) of 2pac paint compared to the cheap vinyl wrap. Good luck with your kitchen. Your Dianella-team!

  7. Patty says:

    I have 25year old white thermafoil wrapped cupboards, doors, cabinets and drawer fronts. Ironically, my doors are fine, however the exterior sides of the cabinets and the front frame of the cabinets are all yellowing. I’ve tried scrubbing and bleaching but nothing has worked. Is there a product I could use to paint these areas?

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Patty, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to reverse the yellowing effect. However, we can help by removing the aged vinyl wrap and re-painting it with a durable 2pac-paint finish, that won’t age or yellow. Kind regards, your Dianella Polishing-team.

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