I have read that pine can begin to yellow very quickly. I am wanting to use pine as an office desk top and want to prevent this yellowing from occurring.

  • Would a oil- or water-based sealant be the answer here?

  • Would a stain help in "masking" the yellowing effect?

  • What kind of protection is best? I don't know much except that there are different types: polyurethane, shellac and varnish.

1 Answer 1


The wood will change color eventually no matter what you do. However, you can do two things to slow down that process.

  1. Use a water-based polyurethane finish. All other finishes are either slightly yellow going on, or themselves yellow with age.
  2. Keep the sun off the wood. Sunlight hastens the darkening process.
  3. A dark stain will mask the effect. The darker the better.

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