Getting rid of paint smell

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 06:48 by ermand Sunday, 12 February 2012 06:41

Today’s question comes from Aaren. Aaren asks:

Hi hope you can help! My daughter’s room will not stop smelling. In fact, I challenged Olympic Paint and Lowe’s – going back and forth until we settled. KILZ and another coat of paint reproduced the original smell! Olympic even paid a professional to do all that work for us. The second coat of Premium One water based latex interior paint still smells. We have 2 air purifiers and had our windows opens for a week while painting and for 12 days afterward. …. As of today however we are dealing with a smell from Friday. It’s awful and I’m afraid to let my daughter sleep in there (although she has for two nights). WHAT can I do to make it go away. The room seems like it’s cursed. No other room in our house ever smelled like this… Please help with ideas of what to do. How long is this supposed to last. The smell is like a sweet, clay smell. It doesn’t really smell like paint at all. We even crawled into the attic to check for smell and it wasn’t present. We tried sprays, onions, vinegar, steam cleaning. Everything. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Aaren

To be honest I personally have never experienced prolonged smelling after painting a room. Usually something like that might happen if there is excessive moisture which makes the paint dry slower and may contribute to the paint smelling. To try to get rid of the smell I would put a container with some coffee in it. If it doesn’t remove the smell at least will enhance the air a bit.



  1. John Mitchell   |  Wednesday, 02 May 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I may be having the same problem that Aaren had. I recently painted two rooms (a master bedroom and an adjacent bathroom) with Olympic Premium paint purchased from Lowe’s. Two coats all around on top of sheet rock. For a day or so there was the typically newly painted odor in the room but that dissipated. After several weeks, the master bedroom developed an odor which is different than fresh paint. It’s not an awful odor but it isn’t what I want to be smelling all the time. When I sniff right up against the wall, I don’t really get the smell. But it is always there in the room and seems to be noticeable in other areas of the house. I had the person who does my pest control stop by for a sniff test to try to determine if a critter might have died inside the wall, but he detected nothing that smelled like that (and, besides, those odors generally go away after a few days.)

    I’d would REALLY appreciate the benefit of any experience you had with either Olympic or Lowe’s. I would be very interested in direct contact with Aaren if he/she would be so inclined.

  2. PJ Ramirez   |  Tuesday, 05 June 2012 at 6:28 pm

    We too have this same problem. Our next step was going to be Kilz per advice from the gentlemen at Lowe’s. But that doesn’t sound like it’s good advice. We too, would love to have some help with this as it’s been three weeks and the smell is as bad now as it was the 1st day.

  3. Laura   |  Sunday, 10 June 2012 at 2:05 am

    I am having the same problem. We painted our 12 month old daughters room on Monday. I went to Lowes and told them I was painting a nursery. The guy there recommend the Olympic One paint + primer. The first two days it did not smell bad. By the third night, I let my daughter sleep in there. When I went to get her up the next morning, I almost threw up the smell was so strong. She was cranky all day and threw up twice that evening. Of course I have not let her back in the room since that morning. The smell has still not gone away. It is the worst smell. I called Lowes today and talked to a lady that was working in paint. She said the guy should have never recommended that paint for a nursery. I am so upset and I do not know what to do. The window has been open since Wednesday and we have fans going. I can smell it just walking by the room (the door is shut). I am thinking about going to Lowes tomorrow and demanding they do something. This is not normal. I have talked with several painters who all say there should not be a smell that strong 6 days later. Help!

  4. julie   |  Tuesday, 12 June 2012 at 3:53 pm

    We have tried battling against PPG which owns Olympic paint. We painted our new home with the zero VOC paint and after a few days it began to smell. The more you open the windows the worse it gets. They sent a rep out to test the paint. They later told us that their paint tested “normal” and they would only repay us for the cost of paint. We tried treating the walls with BIN which seals in strong odors then repainted. a few days later the smell is back. Olympic (Martica is who we talked to) swore that they have never heard of this happening. Our Homeowners Insurance has sent 3 different contractors out to try and figure it out and the can only come up with the paint being the issue. Most Zero or LOw VOC paints lack the ingredient to kill mold/mildew which may be in the paint,tint or on your walls and once they mix and dry on your walls they stink!! So Our big excitement of owning our home has turned into a giant nightmare!! We have no more money left to cover replacing Drywall and insulation in several rooms.Even if we replace the drywall how would we know for sure that the paint we repaint with doesnt do this again? Yes, we have tried 2 other brands and same smell comes back. 2 rooms ended up fine as did the hallway.Oh and the house isn’t that old. One previous owner and it was built in mid 1980’s

  5. Victoria   |  Wednesday, 13 June 2012 at 1:57 am

    I am extremely interested to learn if anyone has had success with mitigating the severe paint odor issue that many of you have blogged about. My parents’ dream of a brand new, built to their specs retirement home, has turned into a smelly nightmare for them because of this very problem. It has been approximately 2 years since the house was built and they swear that their noses will actually burn if they get close to one of the walls and take a deep breath. They have tried everything mentioned previously, except for re-painting. My father is preparing to undertake this monumental endeavor on his own since they cannot afford to pay a contractor…especially with no guarantee that re-painting will eliminate this problem. Even though the contractors who built the house swear that they did not use exterior paint on the interior, sometimes you just cannot trust people to be honest. Would someone please advise what would be recommended remedy if that is what happened? Is one brand of primer better than another (Kilz vs. Zinsser)? Thank you all very much for your advice.

  6. Karen   |  Monday, 18 June 2012 at 1:30 pm

    We had to replace the drywall….It’s the only thing that will help!

  7. John   |  Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This exchange has be useful to me as my problem has not resolved (mine was the second post in this thread.) I wanted to give it a while to see if the situation resolved when the windows were open more of the time, but no joy there. I’ve spoken with both the Olympic rep who handles stores in our area and the tech services folks at PPG Industries (parent company.) As a result, I’m no closer to a final solution although PPG has agreed to test samples of the paint if I send it to them. (In searching their data base, they said the batch number I used in the bedroom turns up no other complaints. The batch number of the paint in the bedroom is illegible because Lowe’s put their sticker on top of it.)

    Tech services recommended using BIN and then repainting, but it sounds from several other experiences here that didn’t help. Since the bedroom has a cathedral ceiling, it’s a tough job and I’m reluctant to spend the time and effort putting on a coat of primer and then repainting, probably 2 coats, if it’s not going to solve the problem. I shudder to think what it might cost to replace the drywall!

    I’m definitely going to send the samples in but I’m not optimistic anything will result from that. I think I’ll also run this situation by a lawyer just to see what he says but I certainly don’t have the resources to get in a protracted standoff with a corporation.

    Bottom line is that I refuse to accept the fact that there isn’t some kind of cause-effect relationship here when we never had the smell before but shortly after painting the rooms the smell developed and has continued.

  8. Dina Merick   |  Tuesday, 31 July 2012 at 5:45 am

    Our house was painted 16 weeks ago, by a painter. One room – a diff. color from the rest, smelled bad from the beginning. Painter must hv. been brain dead to hv applied it. It was done with BENJAMIN MOORE ECO.
    The paint store blew us off- gave us 2 more cans of paint. Repainting just re-activated the smell!!!
    They refused to let us talk to B. Moore cust assistance dept. Would only let us speak w/a sales territory rep, who
    strongarmed us, and told us that our ONLY option was for us to have a PRIMER painted on over the “tainted” paint.
    Yes, the b. moore paint store actually admitted that the paint was tainted, and that they had had a bad shipment the year before, too.
    I guess that they can get away with it, b/c we, the little people, cant take them on in court.
    Our paint smells like extreeemely strong paint, that has fermented, mixed w/ dead fish, puke and sour milk.
    We have had to use an Ozone Generator 5 times, to help curb the odor.
    Unfortunately, the ozone only covers the odor, leaving the same lung irritants and toxins in the air from the paint. Also, the ozone also dangerous – they have been banned in Canada, and CT is trying to ban them.
    We used it out of desperation.
    We have 2 fans in that rooms windows 24-7, and the air that goes out keeps coming in other windows, even on
    the other side of the house! and through the AC’s.
    THIS IS A LIVING NIGHTMARE. We had to throw out $8,000 in clothing, furniture, carpeting, and probably replacing wallboard. Wall replacement will be $7-10k more.
    I live in fear of replacing walls – what if it happens again w/ a different brand? I think that I will just paint on a wallboard remnant, and let it sit in the room for a month. If there is No odor, then paint the rest of the room. Also, I would test EVERY SINGLE CAN!!!

  9. Amanda   |  Sunday, 07 October 2012 at 12:32 am

    Has anyone had any luck getting rid of the smell? Could you share batch numbers? I think we have the same problem only we have adobe walls with plaster over them.

  10. Joey   |  Thursday, 08 November 2012 at 12:23 am

    I’m a professional painter and I have noticed this with the Benjamin moore paints. Bm is all we use and as of lately some batches smell rancid, sort of like vomit or sour milk. So much so, it is difficult to work with the stuff. I’ve heard that paint company’s are trying to cut the voc’s in the paint, and have taken out additives that kill mold and bacteria.

  11. Mike   |  Tuesday, 25 December 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve got the same problem. Just painted two large rooms with some “Town & Country” flat Wall – Antique White paint made by Yenkin-Majestic. Now the rooms reek of rotten shell-fish. Is there a solution?

  12. Bill   |  Wednesday, 26 December 2012 at 4:27 am

    Just had our house remodled and the front bedroom that faces the afternoon sun sometimes reeks and gets worse when we open the windows. The contractor used Benjamin Moore paints. If its a cold day, there is no smell, only on warm days. Been like this for 3 months, so I do not believe it’s a dead animal. I can smell an odor right against the wall. I am just about ready to replace the drywall and start over…

  13. Martha Derv ish   |  Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Four years ago we spent $14,000. to have a little shed in our yard that looks like our house. It meets all the requirements for hurricane strength walls, roof etc. The interior which is plywood walls was paiinted yellow. I don’t know the brand because the people who built it are gone. The awful poison paint smell is still there! I asked the builders when they were still in the area if it the smell would go away and they said it would in time. Four years and it’s still awful. Can’t let the grandchildren play in there. I looked online to see if there is a paint I can use to paint over the stinky stuff and from what I am reading here, it’s hopeless. EPA, please help!

  14. Rob   |  Friday, 25 January 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Here is how you get rid of the smell really fast! I do mold remediation, mold removal, abatement, chemical clean ups, fungi, termites so this is my line of work.

    Smells caused by paint are a lot more common in cheaper paints or oil based paints. It can also be caused by the primer. Regardless, if the walls are already painted, there is no way to stop the smell other than applying a quality primer. One primer I know of is called “Anabec 250”. It is not cheap, but it is mold resistant, absorbs chemicals, moisture, odors, anything you can think of. If you apply this as a primer underneath paints, you will NEVER have a lingering odor. It is perfectly safe, and very effective. However, it is not cheap.

  15. Benjamin c. armitage   |  Sunday, 14 February 2016 at 1:57 pm

    So…if I’ve already painted he walls , the primer will NOT work on getting rid of smell?

    HELP! Having this problem in the baby room

  16. bob   |  Tuesday, 26 March 2013 at 3:06 am

    I used olympic semi gloss latex paint on a family room. From the time I started painting, my nose started running and has not stopped in over two weeks. Started experiencing nose bleeds by the end of the first week. The smell is horribly strong and has only faded mildly. I am completely miserable and don’t even feel like leaving the house even though I need to. A week after finishing the family room, I bought Valspar and painted a bedroom. It is fine. I am going to buy new paint and try to cover the olympic. I will take Rob’s recommendation and use primer.

  17. jill   |  Monday, 29 April 2013 at 1:46 am

    where do u buy the anabec 250 primer mentioned in Rob’s feb 2013 post

  18. Kristen   |  Friday, 03 May 2013 at 7:12 am

    Does anyone know where or how to purchase the Anabec 250? I have tried searching for it but I haven’t found anything. I have had the same problem with the low voc Olympic paint from lowes. We painted my daughters bedroom a month ago and can’t get rid of the smell. Now she is sick. She has had congestion and a fever for a week now. Her dr. didn’t seem to know what the problem was but said she had an allergy to something. The Dr prescribed some medication but it isn’t working. After reading all these posts my nightmares are now confirmed. It is definitely the paint making her sick. There has to be a solution to this. We just moved into this place and decided to paint her room as well as the nursery as I am 8 months pregnant. Thankfully we used a different paint for the nursery and there hasn’t been in issue in that room. I can’t keep my daughter confined to the couch forever.

    Please help!

  19. Cynthia Kecman   |  Monday, 27 May 2013 at 11:48 pm

    We are currently having the same problem with our Game room. We just had it professionally painted with B M matte regal select paint. We noticed the sour milk smell immediately. I called benjamin Moore where my painter bought the paint, the store manager came to my home, said yes it smelled and he would have the batches checked. Then the area sales rep came and said yes, it smells and wrote down batch numbers again and said he would have them tested. A week later he called, said nothing was wrong with the paint but he would reimburse the $ for the pain( not the $2,000) to have it repainted or reprised. My room still STINKS! We waited so long before we could afford to get This Huge room painted, we can’t do it again. We don’t know who to call or what to do. The paint was in one of those 5 gal. Buckets that my painter bought from the BM store. We know its the paint! Someone Please tell me how to prove it. I will be happy to cut out a piece of drywall and send it somewhere to be tested but WHERE and WHO will test? Please help, we are getting sick and I have a surgery scheduled in two weeks! Email me ASAP with ideas and help.

  20. De   |  Monday, 10 June 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Hello, we painted our sons room about 2 years ago. I used a paint from Lowes but cannot remember the brand, but it was the two and one with paint and primer/ We noticed a fish smell that comes and goes and not all the time. It seems if he plays in the room it activates it and then the smell is really bad.. I was going to re-paint the room, but seems like that would not solve the problem. I too wonder if that smell will harm my son who is now 4 but has been in the room for 2 years. Help what do we do?

  21. Linda O'Neill   |  Friday, 21 June 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I am in Australia. I have the same problem there is a chemical type odour after painting. It is now 2 years and the smell has not gone. The company is PPG also. I also know it is the paint and want to prove it also as PPG are not taking responsibility. How do we all get together to lodge a joint complaint to a governing body. I don’t seem to be able to contact any of you directly. Here again is my email please contact me.

  22. ermand   |  Friday, 21 June 2013 at 1:47 pm

    If someone in CT is experiencing something similar please give me a call. I’d like to investigate this and maybe we can come up with a solution.
    I thought I’d come across one of these cases but haven’t been able to as of yet.

  23. Jamie   |  Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 12:15 am

    I bought and painted every single room with Valspar Signature Paint and Primer. We did one room in a maybe color about 6 moths ago and it always smells awful. Not like paint. I thought something small died in the walls. But to find all these posts, I can only imagine that it is the paint. I am horrified to think we have to replace the drywall after all the money and work we’ve already out into the house. I was going to try vinegar and baking soda this weekend. Does anyone think a class action lawsuit would be possible?

  24. Jamie   |  Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Update: called the number on the Valspar can and gave them the batch number and was told there were multiple complaints about an odor from this batch number. A territory manager will be calling to come to the house to look smell and take samples. I am in MA. If anyone has more info or experience, please post.

  25. Carole   |  Wednesday, 03 July 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I have the same odor problem after painting our bedroom a lovely blue shade in November 2012. I used Lowe’s Olympic Low VOC paint over painted plaster (not sheet rock) walls. The smell was not apparent until the spring of 2013 when we started to open up the windows and the weather was humid and warm. Seemed to activate a chemical, somewhat gaseous smell. I smelled the paint up close on the wall and that was where it was coming from! It smells like chemicals. The smell comes and goes and it is very frustrating. We use a hepa air purifier and I have a lot of allergies. When I sleep out of that room, I have a better night’s sleep. HELP!! What should I do? Contact Lowe’s or PPG? I live outside of Philadelphia, PA

  26. Robert   |  Monday, 29 July 2013 at 3:05 pm

    In Ct.

    Interior painted at end of winter. The minute the heat was off and windows opened, the room began to smell like rotten eggs. We hoped it was dead animal, but with AC on there is no smell. We turn off the AC and allow humidity to come in, the smell returns. Clearly it is the Banjamin Moore matte white paint we used. need solution.

  27. Kim   |  Thursday, 01 August 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Carole, Thursday August 1, 2013

    I am having the same issue. I live in New Jersey and used Olympic Paint. My husband painted out master bedroom in November and everything was fine. When spring came we opened the windows and the smell was terrible, a very strong natural gas-like odor. The more humid it became the worse the smell. I can’t even sleep in that room. The smell travels throughout the house if I leave the door open. I have to keep the door closed and block the openings under the doors with towels. I called Lowe’s and they referred me to PPG. I age then the can I used but they told me there was not enough left to test. They said their control batch and same batch # I used was tested and they couldn’t find odor. THey suggested we paint the room with a sealer called BIN and then repaint but I am reading other comments and people are saying it does not work and the smell just comes back a few days later. I am reading the only way to get the smell out is to rip out the sheetrock and start over. PPG wants me to sign a release of damages form and is giving us a $250.00 refund but that is not going to cover the cost to rip the old sheetrock out and put new sheetrock in and repaint. I am calling a lawyer. I suggest you keep you air conditioner on and call Lowe’s, and PPG to register your complaint and then call a lawyer.

  28. Cindi   |  Monday, 05 August 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Currently we are experiencing everything that as been previously stated, only the paint we used was from Home Depot – Behr Premium Plus with added primer. After 3 coats of this garbage, the room smelled like pickles. It would come and go depending on the air flow and temperature in the room. At first I tried using bleach water to maybe kill it but that was useless. When I went back to Home Depot they claimed they’d never heard of this problem. I contacted Behr and the only advice they provided was to use Kilz – they would reimburse up to 2 gallons of Kilz – what does that tell you? So we used one gallon so far. it’s been a week and i thought the problem was solved after a couple days. Wrong. The weather got hot again and one week later after the initial coat, smell is back, slightly diminished. I don’t know whether to try another gallon of Kilz and repaint using another brand, or am i wasting time, money and energy going that route?

  29. ann   |  Friday, 09 August 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Found this thread by searching smells after painting. We used Sherwin Williams paint 4 months ago to paint our daughter’s bedroom. The room has has had a musty smell ever since. No amount of fans, candles, etc. has got rid of it. We used the paint the same day we bought it. Called Sherwin Williams and they said they had never heard of such a problem, etc. This is the most recent room that we have painted. We have painted other rooms in the house different colors, using both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, but this is the first time we have had this problem. Another painter, on a different site, said this was tough to get rid of and suggested washing walls with bleach/water mix, completely priming again with bacteria fighting primer, etc.

  30. Dawn   |  Monday, 12 August 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Cindi– I too am experiencing the same thing with behr premium plus ultra (with primer). And that is exactly how we described it after the paint dried– it smells like pickles! We painted a week ago and the smell is still strong, even after airing out with windows open and fans for four days. We contacted behr and they told us the same thing, to use kilz. We also went to Home Depot to see if they could be of some help and they told us the same thing, that they had never heard of that happening. Obviously there is something wrong with a batch somewhere. Have you tried contacting behr again to see what they say? We are going to try priming over it with kilz max and will give an update.

  31. Maryellen   |  Wednesday, 14 August 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Has anyone been successful in getting rid of the odour. I have had an experience where the smell lingered on for 10 days now.
    Someone suggested it might be because the original drywall never had primer applied (15 years ago) and now I am applying Kiltz (oil based) and paint. Is this possible.

  32. Sally Olinger   |  Saturday, 17 August 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Help we have the same problem. We use Behr paint then Benj.Moore oil base primer to get rid of the smell. NO LUCK! Should I try kilz oil base primer next? The cost of all of this is getting to me too,

  33. sandy   |  Sunday, 18 August 2013 at 7:06 pm

    So glad I’m not crazy and found you folks. I used first Mythic, NO voc paint and that seems fine in 2 of the rooms. The bedrooms, the painter ran out of Mythic and used Yolo (low VOC) on one wall in each room to finish the job, and this paint has an anti-mildew in it that is supposedly zinc, and not toxic. I’ve tried repainting For some reason, the purple room isn’t as smelly as the blue room, which is horrible! Headache, yuck smell and taste. I am washing the walls with white vinegar and water today. It is weird, cuz airing out did NOT help at all in that room. The last few days I decided to close windows and run air thru my heating system that has charcoal filter and it seems a little better. Scared to open windows again cuz very humid outside. I tried onions, baking soda – everything! Color Trend is the coloring used by Mythic and Yolo. I smelled the straight blue coloring and didn’t notice a smell. I already painted over the two walls with Safecoat Sealer (3 coats) and the Mythic paint and it still smells. I heard (for the future) Safecoat is the best paint to use, but expensive and hard to find. I haven’t used it. I live in SF Bay Area, lots of moisture in the air. Frustrated. Any new ideas please let us know.
    Any lawyer out there that wants to investigate for all of us and take on let us know. Best of luck to all.

  34. Mary   |  Wednesday, 21 August 2013 at 12:05 am

    I had my new office painted with Yolo paint the middle of June and it is August 20th and it still smells. I have tried baking soda, charcoal, fans, heat, ozone generator, dehumidifier, wiping the walls down with alcohol, keeping the door open to the hall way (the window does not open) and I am now going to test AFM Safecoat Hard Seal. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and thought I was buying the perfect paint. The company says that the painters probably did not let the coats dry enough before applying additional coats. The building maintenance folks say it is the paint. They checked the batch and said they have not had any problems or complaints but did refund my money. I have paid 2 months rent and have a 3 year lease and can’t move in. The one thing that has helped the most has been the ozone generator but it was tough on my lungs just opening the door to air out the room. I consulted with Carolyn Gorman who wrote Less-Toxic Alternatives. She suggested BIN or Hardseal, worst case scenario to redo the drywall. Not a great option for someone with MCS and in a rental space. Sandy, is the sealer you used Hardseal?

  35. Lauren   |  Wednesday, 28 August 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Ann- We also painted with Sherwin Williams over two months ago and still have a residual smell. Its not quite a paint smell, but somewhat of a chemical smell. I can’t describe it. It almost smells worse when I turn on the ceiling fan, like it is pulling it out of the walls! It’s driving me crazy. Sherwin suggested repainting in a different line of paint, but the smell is STILL there. Same smell as before as soon as we closed the windows after repainting. This is for a nursery, so I am also at my wits end trying to resolve this issue. We originally used the Duration paint, then painted with Harmony the 2nd time.

    Does anyone have any solutions? Thanks!

  36. Pete   |  Friday, 30 August 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Sorry to say we tried Benj. Moore oil based primer, 2 coats of B.M.latex, 1 coat of Kilz Original oil base primer, 1 coat of BIN shellac based primer (preferred for odor masking) and NOTHING WORKED. The next step is to tear out ALL OF THE DRYWALL.

  37. Cindi   |  Wednesday, 11 September 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Update to my log on 8/15. After applying one coat of Kilz water based primer per Behr’s direction, the room took on another odor…from pickles to cigarette ash tray. Kilz did nothing. I contacted Behr again and this time, they were very eager to reimburse me for all of the original paint, the primer and they told me to get a quote for a painter to re-prime and paint the room. They cut a check after I supplied all the documentation (receipts and quote) immediately…no questions asked. Although I am glad they did this, I was/am suspicious that Behr is full aware of issues and want to avoid law suits – but that’s just my opinion. Hired the painter only he advised to use B-I-N shellac based primer. I was assured that this primer will seal off any odors…period. 24 hours have passed — I’ve still got odor problems..from sickly sweet smell to urine. The odor changes with everything we try. Has any one tried to contact their local health department? I am at the point to hire someone to test the walls, in my opinion this is a potential health issue – for all of us.

  38. Ron   |  Saturday, 14 September 2013 at 1:54 pm

    What if I use a kerosine heater The smell of kerosine should over power the other smell and the heat should dry the paint…. Maby what u guys think

  39. Pete   |  Sunday, 15 September 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Had initially painted two rooms using Behr Low VOC paint and the horrific odor started. That was in Mid June.
    Since than I have tried one coat of Ben Moore Prime Lock with two coats of Ben Moore Regal. One coat of Kilz original (oil base) primer. One coat of B.I.N. (shellac base) primer. Nothing has removed the odor which is noticeable when you enter the house and even outdoors when the rooms windows are left open.
    It is gratifying to discover through this thread that so many remedies given to me have been tried and failed by so many other people, saving me considerable time and money. The next step is tearing out ALL OF THE DRYWALL to the studs, leaving some pieces in a store room to see if the odor follows and re-installing drywall trim and anything else affected by this carp.

  40. Cindi   |  Thursday, 19 September 2013 at 12:57 am

    Pete, you might want to contact Behr. I originally thought I purchased Behr Premium Plus but actually it was Behr Ultra – the one with primer. I couldn’t provide them with the batch code because I tossed the cans. I find it interesting that you and I painted in mid June and went through the same process, and still an odor persists. Certainly Behr can trace what product/batch went to what store and when. I’m worried that breathing these fumes is toxic so I keep the door shut…and I too can smell it at times through the window in the room next to it and across the hall in the master bedroom. My hope is Behr makes this right in whatever needs to be done to fix the problem, and I hope it doesn’t involve tearing out the drywall. The house is only 3 years old and we painted over the original paint in two rooms and this one is a disaster. Just moved into this house in June too…and I can’t even use the bedroom.

  41. Samar   |  Friday, 20 September 2013 at 6:42 am

    Yikes! Reading these posts on here has scared me. I just painted my son’s room on Sept 5th with Behr’s primer-paint combo…I came online to find out how I can get rid of the smell and discovered this!

    My son has slept a few nights in the room but for the past 3 nights I keep bringing him back to my room due to the smell in his!

    We just moved into this house and I had to paint just one wall in my son’s room because it was previously pink.

    Now I am worried about all of our health and about whether I should put my son back in that room anytime soon or not!

  42. Cindi   |  Tuesday, 24 September 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Samar…seriously…contact Behr. They will want info from the paint can, but I didn’t have that info and they’ve still been helping me. They’ve been very responsive with me and are aware of the issues. I would highly suggest that you don’t put anything else on the walls because we’ve put 3 coats of primer on after we painted and still the odor persists.

  43. Cindi   |  Tuesday, 24 September 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I’d like hear from anyone who’s previously posted here what is the status of the problems now? Has anyone gone as far as replacing the drywall? How about sanding the walls to remove the paint? Anyone gone to a lawyer to file class action suit? Any complaints filed to the Consumer Products Safety group?

  44. Sally   |  Friday, 27 September 2013 at 11:47 pm

    We are taking down the drywall. After trying everything else this our only choice! You can see your post above as to all we have tried Sally and Pete. Good Luck to all of you!

  45. Pete   |  Friday, 27 September 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I am taking the drywall down now!

  46. Cindi   |  Monday, 30 September 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Did your homeowners insurance cover any of the cost to tear out and replace the drywall? I haven’t contacted my insurance company yet.

  47. Ash   |  Wednesday, 02 October 2013 at 10:42 am

    I am both relieved and terrified to find this thread. I bought a house a month ago and painted nearly every surface in it, as it’d been a rental for years before and everything needed updating. Whenever I enter there is a weird sweet smell. Granted, I am very sensitive to odors–some people don’t smell it at all. But I just woke up in the night and it was so overpowering I decided to search for the cause.
    In the bedroom we used Behr, but every other room has Valspar. The smell permeates the house but seems worst in the Behr room. Looks like I have some phone calls to make.
    Thanks and good luck, everyone.

  48. jane   |  Saturday, 05 October 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I too painted my sons room about 6 months ago with BMoore paint and it has that sweetish, clay, dusty smell described by Ermand exactly. It only seems to abate slightly when I open all the windows fully but comes back full force when closed. I dont even like going into the room as the smell is rather cloying..uggghh
    any suggestions would be helpful but it doesnt seem like anyone has found the magic bullet…

  49. Laura   |  Friday, 21 April 2017 at 6:04 am

    Hello- I have the exact same problem. Did you ever find a solution?

  50. Mary   |  Wednesday, 20 November 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Checking back to see if anyone has had any success. Sally and Pete, How did taking down the drywall go? Cindi, I too wondered about sanding the walls. My space that was painted is a commercial lease space so taking down the drywall may not be an option.
    Like to hear any updates.

  51. Sue   |  Tuesday, 26 November 2013 at 1:56 pm

    It’s with mixed emotions that I read this thread of experiences! We, too, have just had a negative chemical smell that hasn’t left for two weeks. Opened all windows wide with fans, even in the cold of the northland temps, to no avail. The smell is still here….maybe even worse with airing! Tried the onions, baking soda, candles, etc. all only giving temporary masking effects with the chemical smell returning. We had three areas painted all with Pratt and Lambert paints. Only one room has the smell which is a different color and different base was used when the paint store tinted it using a formula to get a Hirschfield’s paint, a local company. Called the paint store and they we’re not helpful, said they’d sold that P &L base for 30 yrs with no complaints. We’re wondering if it was the tint formula that produced the smell or the base….not sure who to approach next on solutions and remuneration. Heaven help us if we have to go to gutting the room…..used all our savings to just put in new windows and get help painting:(. Please keep us up on any positive developments and we will do the same. I think I’ll write Pratt &Lambert next…..and we’re burning incense today. Desperate!

  52. Liz   |  Friday, 06 December 2013 at 6:53 pm

    We painted with Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint and primer in one three weeks ago. We didn’t have any issues with our main floor but then a few days later, we went to get a new colour for our bedroom and the same weird lingering odour thing has occured that everyone has described here. My husband doesn’t smell it and it makes me feel crazy since I know there’s something so I’m so glad others have experienced this, even though it’s really sad. It is definitely not a paint smell but there’s a definite smell, even though it’s faint. Airing it out and using natural remedies isn’t working for me either. At first I thought maybe it was taking longer because it’s cold out so I am limited with how much fresh air I can give the room but from reading this, it seems like it is not related.
    It bothers me because the smell wasn’t there before we painted and it makes me wonder if that means it is unsafe. I don’t feel comfortable following Behr’s advice to use Killz and repaint, especially after reading this. I think I will call back and give them the batch number. I know I’m not really adding anything to this thread that hasn’t already been said but just want to let people know, there’s yet another one of us affected by this elusive issue.
    I’ve tried to get info regarding health risks due to lingering odour but haven’t been given much of a clear answer. If anyone knows whether it is connected to health risks, I’d like to know.

  53. cindi   |  Monday, 09 December 2013 at 2:27 am

    Behr sent an air quality engineer to our house. I’m waiting to hear from Behr on the results of the test. The air was tested in different parts of the house as well as outside. As for now, we have no immediate plans to put more paint on the walls until the weather gets warmer to truly determine if the BINZ we applied actually sealed off whatever was in the Behr paint. I’m hesitant to paint any other rooms in the house – not happy that this experience will always make me hesitate to paint in the future.

  54. Coleen   |  Sunday, 15 December 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I can’t believe I found this we site! My husband and I are literally screaming at each other over paint fumes in a new bedroom addition to our home. I have MCS which he says is all in my head and is furus that we just spent 50k on I room I cant go in. I purchasd the wall paint, but didnt think about e ceiling and so the walls were primed (needlessly) and ceiling painted with cheap, bulk, smelly, voc laiden toxicity. I am miserable with asthma and eye issues and my husband is just fed up. My question is, can I use Safecoat Hard Seal to paint over the walls and ceiling without having to repaint the color? it says it dries to a clear gloss and while I don’t necessarily want shiny walls, if it will allow me to be in the room and my home again, it’s fine by me. I am so glad to know I am not the only one with this issue and really encouraging to hear that there are others who not only acknowledge MCS, but (very unfortunately) suffer from it like I do.
    Thank you so much!

  55. johnny numbchuck   |  Sunday, 22 December 2013 at 5:54 am

    Primed drywall……..smelled fine then painted and had severe rancid smell from Dulux Diamond interior latex (new paint, bought, shaken, used same day). Dried OK, but smelled like wet paint and sour milk for 6 days, all windows open. Smell didnt improve………

    Primed with zinnser BIN2 (thick used for cutting in with brush) and rolled on Shellac BIN (very watery ). Made sure no failed smelly paint was showing through BIN.

    Burnt scented candle during application (helps burn off drying agents in paint fumes, didn’t bother with onions, lemon etc….)

    Smelles great and neutral. Don’t lose hope, don’t rip out drywall, and do not sleep/use any room that uas failed paint. Just stir BIN good! Use ultimate or shellac formula and get it on as thick as you can…..then repaint with new latex paint. Still lots of work, but safe and no need to rip out drywall. Wear organic respirator when using BIN products and good industrial one should cost $20 from safety store, not $50 like big orange and big blue sell.

    Happy Painting and don’t settle for ANY odours after 12 hours!!!

  56. sandy   |  Thursday, 26 December 2013 at 2:21 am

    Hey Mary – Not sure if you’ll c this. Re:Yolo… it still smells!!!!!!!!!
    I used 3 costs of safecoat brand sealer, not sure if “hardseal” or not. I may have to take down sheet rock or sell my house, but other people smell it too so not sure how that will work! Any other people prblems with YOLO????? they tested paint and said “fine”. It does have a NON zinc moldicide, which is supposedly “nontoxic” but people where perfume, use scented laundry soaps and all this stuff is bad for us. What to do?

  57. karen   |  Thursday, 02 January 2014 at 5:23 am

    Has anyone tried sanding the walls? I believe I have the same problem and wondering if I can just sand down the layers. I have plaster walls.

  58. karen   |  Thursday, 02 January 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Has anyone tried skim coating the walls?

  59. Aluna   |  Wednesday, 15 January 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Just painted parts of my house with Dunn Edward NEW paint (dark blue) and have that awful sour smell… We applied two coats of primer (bin advanced) and another coat of new paint. Still got the smell …. and have killer miraganes. Have anyone found an answer. It’s killing me here. Do I need to rip out dry wall? Does the smell migrate to other walls and furniture? Is what we are smelling harmful to health? Help!

  60. AJ   |  Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Have all of the above smells that change with everything we do…. Have done two coats on bin advanced and new top coat on bad walls. It stills smells and have been having killer migraines, bleeding sinuses and dizzy. I sleep in the only safe room in the house with window open and door closed. FYI it winter here. Going a bit nuts and just want my house back… By the way I work at home too.
    Was your offending color dark blue?
    Has anyone ripped out dry wall… And did this work???? As I am read to hire a contractor…
    Please help!!!! Please!!!!

  61. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 21 January 2014 at 11:35 pm

    WE hired a painter who bought Benjamin Moore paint and it smells sour and like cat urine. We have never had a cat. We replaced the carpets a few years ago and had them cleaned before Christmas just before we had the walls painted. I am calling Benjamin Moore to see if there are any other complaints. My painter said he would paint it again for free, I just need to make sure whatever he paints it with will work.

  62. AJY   |  Wednesday, 22 January 2014 at 8:29 pm

    We just painted with brand new, but gone-bad NO VOC paint (Dunn Edwards in a dark teal). It went on smelling like good paint but when it dried it has a chemical sour smell like a cross between formaldehyde and vomit. We live in the desert (Sedona) so humidity is not an issue. Headaches and nausea are not fun. We sealed all offending walls with 2 coats of sealer primer (BIN Advanced) and another top coat of paint, as suggested by paint company, and it did not fix the smelly problem. Then we got desperate. We have burned two boxes of nag champa incense, as well as cinnamon candles for days. We have washed the walls down with backing soda…. vinegar…. and natures miracle. Everything we do alters the smell, but does not clear it up. Other rooms we painted with lighter tan color of same paint are perfect. The windows have been open for days with exhaust fans going, and we are being held prisoner in the only warm room that doesn’t stink. Once the room warms up the smell comes back. After reading dozens of blogs on this issue and hearing over and over that paint company’s do not own up to having a fix to this bad no-VOC paint issue, it looks like we may to have to tear down dry wall! HELP …. Any suggestions out there would be helpful before I rip my home apart.

  63. Liz   |  Saturday, 08 February 2014 at 2:31 am

    We gradually applied 3 coats of AFM Safe Coat Hard Seal and it wasn’t until the third coat, that we noticed a slight improvement. The smell is definitely still there though, unfortunately and my husband can actually smell it too. We called AFM directly and they said that sometimes people have to do 6 to 8 coats of the hard seal before getting the desired results.

    We also did some air testing through the internet company, Home Air Check, and the voc results were “elevated” in the bedroom. The scale goes from normal, moderate, elevated and severe. So that was rather disheartening.

    AFM suggested we try painting with their Safe Coat paint. We were given improper instructions by another company about how to apply the hard seal and there are visible, dried, air bubbles all over the walls. We are told the paint will cover them and act as a sealant as well. It’s hard to feel hopeful after what a hassle it has been.

    We are also looking into getting an air purifier that removes voc’s from the air since our air quality testing revealed an issue. We tested on the floor that we painted with a different batch (no smell) and thankfully the results were just moderate for voc’s.

    Cindi – I too now dread the thought of painting. Definitely never using Behr paint again that’s for sure.

  64. Jill   |  Saturday, 22 February 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I think I have been having the same problem – for over TWO YEARS!!!!! I bought a foreclosure in late 2011 that had mold in the lower part of the walls, due to a flood in the crawlspace. I am in CA – we don’t have basements, we have crawlspaces. Anyway, I had the mold professionally removed and the drywall patched, and then I painted the whole thing with Lowes Olympic low VOC paint. For two years, I have been trying to pinpoint the source of the constant smell in this house. Like someone else said, you don’t necessarily smell it if you put your nose up to the wall. Instead, it pools in the rooms. For me, the smell is a sweet chemical smell. My brother in law said it smelled like a glue or esther. It’s not unpleasant per se, but it drives me crazy, and seems to pervade everything, even my hair. Because I had had mold and also put in new pergo floors, I just never thought the smell could be coming from the paint. At my wits end, I am having all the drywall removed – ALL THE INTERIOR DRYWALL. It’s a small house. As it is coming down, oh my goodness, the smell is clearly coming from the drywall. There is no more mold in there at all. And if you smell the back side of the drywall – nothing. It seems to be coming from the paint on the front side! I feel like there should be a class action suit or something. What is in this paint????? How ironic we were all trying to be extra safe by using low VOC paint.

  65. Jean   |  Friday, 28 February 2014 at 1:09 am

    Has anyone tried nanotech by earth paint? It’s supposed to seal out fumes. I’ve been having the same problem- painted 1 year ago with mythic and still can’t live there. I’m going to try nanotech I’ll let you know if it helps. Also has anyone tried a hydro lug machine?

  66. Jean   |  Friday, 28 February 2014 at 1:10 am

    That’s hydrolux. Sorry auto correct

  67. Jeff   |  Sunday, 02 March 2014 at 1:12 am

    To All,

    The smells most of you are smelling is from latex paint that has gotten to cold or froze. Wether it’s old paint not stored in a heated space, got stuck in a storm during transit to the store, the store lost power for days during a freeze, etc. Latex paint is not freeze thaw stable and gets a sour or rotten egg smell.

    I would suggest a good coat of Kilz or I prefer Z-Prime to seal the walls first. Follow the directions and let it the primer cure for several days before revolting with new paint.

  68. ANDY   |  Tuesday, 11 March 2014 at 12:04 am

    I just wanted to say I’m dealing with this right now. I’m happy I found this forum. Thanks

  69. ANDY   |  Friday, 14 March 2014 at 3:33 pm

    UPDATE: Olympic rep told us to use BIN ultimate primer ($42 per gallon ) to cover the existing paint. They are sending us a $100 check to cover our expenses. They did not admit to anything but after suggesting the frozen latex idea they were happy with that theory. I used 2 gallons of that BIN stuff. (get a mask, that stuff smells bad) . It seems like painting worked. Now I just have to repaint the room to the right color. Im glad it worked out cause I couldn’t stand that smell any longer .

  70. Mary   |  Sunday, 16 March 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I am having the same problem. We took our walls down and replastered. Then put ecos lullaby no voc non toxic paint on them. They smelled very bad. Then we repainted with bher from Home Depot they still smell not the normal paint smell. This is a sharp smell that burns our noses. And we can not sleep in our bedrooms. Have used ozone in the past which ruined the cloths in the room. I have tried washing the walls, charcoal
    , vanilla, backing soda, coffee, onions. Nothing takes this sharp smell away. Daughter is chemically sensitive so no harsh chemicals were used in the rooms. This seems to be a bigger problem than I thought by reading all these posts. Has anyone found a good smell that can penetrate into the walls?

  71. Ki   |  Tuesday, 23 May 2017 at 9:02 pm

    You had issues with the ecos paint?

  72. Marge   |  Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 1:41 am

    I just painted my bedroom with Dunn Edwards Latex paint. Have used same brand and color throughout my condo. This time, I noticed a slightly fishy smell in the room 2 days after painting. When I get up close and smell the walls I notice only 2 walls seem to smell bad. Maybe it is moisture. One wall faces north and one is an interior wall next to the bathroom. I am going to try Kilz latex made for mold/mildew odors on those 2 walls. Hope no more than 3 coats will do the trick!

  73. Ruth   |  Saturday, 22 March 2014 at 5:19 pm

    OMG I am SOOOOOO relieved and terrified at the same time reading these posts.

    Painted my son’s room last Saturday with Benjamin Moore Aura paint – low VOC – Have used this paint before with zero problems.

    I noticed it seemed to be stronger smelling going on than I remembered but thought I was imagining. Well it is a week later now and it still smells. Thank GOD if we ventilate the room the smell is barely there but the moment we close up it builds again as if it was just freshly painted.

    I don’t know if the painters applied coats before the bottom one dried or a humidity issue or a bad batch of paint or what but this is NOT normal.

    The plan is to continue to air for another week as much as weather permits – we have a couple of rain daysin the forecast. Maybe renting/buying a dehumidifier. Also I called the store I got the paint and the paint manager said this is not normal and that he is notifying the Benjamin Moore rep. I hope I get somewhere with him.

    Next step if this doesn’t work is to get transitional primer from AFM safecoat to try and seal this sucker up. And paint with AFM safecoat paint. I pray this works. Otherwise it is rip off the drywall (Shudder) . Thsi would mean dealing with the attic insulations and outter wall insulation. WHAT A FREAKING MESS. I just thank GOD that we did not paint more rooms or the hallway.

    Please do update the thread if anybody finds any solution. I sure will.

  74. WR   |  Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 5:34 pm

    We’re having similar problems with Lowe’s Valspar paint. The room was painted almost 8 weeks ago and still smells of fresh chemically paint, even though we’ve been airing it out as much as we can in the winter. Based on all of these responses I’m almost ready to rip out the drywall and start fresh. The room is for a nursery, so of course it has to be safe for our child.

    Did anyone actually have long-term success using the BIN sealant, AFM safecoat, or AFM hard sealer over the paint to get rid of the paint smell? Based on my research sealing up the old paint with those options those seem to be the only methods that might work besides ripping out the drywall. What I’m worried about is that if those steps don’t work, we’ve just wasted more time and money and still will have to replace the drywall, so I’m almost inclined to just start there. At least with the drywall removed, I could use the rooms near that room again (our bedroom and my office) instead of isolating myself to the other side of the house to protect our baby from the fumes.

    Also curious if anyone actually had these smells dissipate over time? After no noticeable improvement in the smell after 8 weeks, I’m not optimistic that will happen, but curious if anyone did have any luck with that.

    We’ve tried onions, coffee, and ventilation, and none of those things are working. Will never use Valspar again. My husband says that the silver lining in all of this is that we just painted the one room and not our entire downstairs living area, which could have been a disaster if we had done all the painting at once.

  75. Ruth   |  Monday, 31 March 2014 at 4:51 pm

    WR – you can contact me at – I think I am going to try the AFM transitional primer and safecoat next. I am having some success with at least lessening the smell by running a dehumidifier constantly in the room. But I don’t think the smell is gone by any means. I am waiting to hear from Benjamin Moore.

  76. ANDY   |  Wednesday, 02 April 2014 at 12:46 am

    Just checking in. Now 3 weeks after painting with the BIN ultimate primer and topping it off with colored paint. the room still doesn’t smell. I’m satisfied with the result.

  77. Ruth   |  Wednesday, 02 April 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the update Andy!

  78. Ruth   |  Thursday, 03 April 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Update from me : Benjamin Moore finally got back to me and they are sending a local rep to my house. I will update the thread when I hear what he has to say. I am considering asking for A. My costs to be reimbursed B. An air testing C. For them to pay to fix this mess. Almost 3 weeks later I can’t use that room.

  79. Ruth   |  Monday, 07 April 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Rep came today – said at first he didn’t smell anything. Then he said well it smells like paint. Well yes. That’s the problem 3 weeks later. Anyway he said for some reason it is drying slownly. Took samples of the paint to test at a nearby lab from Benjamin Moore. We should know by Thu if there is something wrong with the paint.

    Also we have an air quality testing done on the room and our upstairs on Wed. I just want peace of mind that the kids rooms that are adjacent to this one are ok as well.

    On thu after the BM rep gets back to us I will follow up on the results of both tests and what BM is doing to help us out with this.

    I think our next step will be to prime with transitional primer by AFM and their safecoat paint afterwards. Praying that fixes the issue. I will likely test air afterwards to make sure we are in the clear as it is our son’s room. He has been moved to the guest room since this whole debacle started 🙁

    Will keep this posted.

  80. WR   |  Friday, 11 April 2014 at 12:41 pm

    We are going to try to seal the problem with: 2 coats of shellac (real shellac, not synthetic), then AFM primer, followed by AFM color. We’re letting each coat of shellac cure before doing the next coat, so we won’t know if it works for a few weeks. Plan to post results here. We’re hoping this works and we don’t have to re-do the drywall in the room.

  81. Ruth   |  Friday, 11 April 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Do let me know how that works WR! Fingers crossed for you!

  82. EP   |  Monday, 14 April 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Am having the same problem with Valspar paint purchased at Lowe’s in the panhandle area in FL. Thank goodness we only painted one spare bedroom instead of the entire house. The scent of rubbing alcohol mixed with pickles continues to become more pungent and is starting to seep out into the hallway, I assume because of the extreme humidity. A Valspar rep will be coming to investigate sometime this week.

    I hear one of the most common causes of the funky smelling paint (after drying on surfaces) is transport or storage in unfriendly conditions, particularly freezing conditions, while on trucks for delivery to the store (especially concerning the newer “environmentally friendly” paints). Here is a link to a good read from a pro painter who has extensive experience with low and no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint vs. standard paint:

    Wish everyone the best of luck resolving this problem! Will post back when (if) I am able to find a solution.

  83. Ruth   |  Thursday, 17 April 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Benjamin Moore said nothing wrong with the paint – as I expected 🙁 They are willing to refund us for the cost of their paint or replace the paint. We will ask for a refund and perhaps ask them to cover labor as well. Next step will be to prime and paint with AFM Transitional Primer and Safecoat paint. We will start that not this weekend but next. Hoping that will take care of it. WR so interested to hear how your Bin priming went and if you have noticed a reduction in smell already. Also I did have air testing done and came back low for VOCs so at least there is that as a positive. THANK GOD I did not paint the hallway too or the entryway which is cathedral like. I would be loosing my mind otherwise. I will be ever so careful with paint from now on 🙁

  84. Bob   |  Sunday, 04 May 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Problems with Dutch Boy Greenguard as well. Smells moldy and like chemicals. I”m pretty sure that all paints come from the same 50 gallon barrel and are then sold to the paint stores. Can’t prove this and they would deny it to keep their product looking better than the others. Another worthwhile thought would be that probably all of these paints are now outsourced to China and an ingredient list would be useless. Have any of you ever heard of a company admitting fault at anything? Profits are their only interests and they hope you will move to another location. If you want some some environmental safe product you should shop for your paint in Europe. They have controls in place and are light years ahead of us in that arena.

  85. Ruth   |  Monday, 05 May 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Well we painted with AFM transitional primer – the original smell IS gone but now I have the new primer smell. We just painted yesterday so hopefully that will dissipate soon. Will keep you guys posted. We have a fan in the room and windows open. It is not overwhelming and it doesn’t bother my throat etc.. but it does have a smell.

  86. Ruth   |  Tuesday, 06 May 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Back to report that I am starting to smell the old nasty smell again. I do not think that the AFM transitional primer helped. I didn’t smell the initial smell at first because I was smelling the primer but as the primer clears – yeah the smell is back. And it fact it feels like it reactivated a bit. Geez. So we are back to window open, fan blowing in the room, box fan blowing out of the window. I am so sick of this. I might try bin shellac and after that it would be tear down drywall and start over. I am FURIOUS. Please WR do report back if your attempts worked. I am at my witts end.

  87. Ruth   |  Friday, 09 May 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I am going to get bids in ripping replacing the drywall – insulation – carpet. I can’t continue to live with window open 24/7 to keep this smell under control. If there are any other people out there with Benjamin Moore aura smell issues please, please contact me – in fact contact me with other brands. Maybe we can help each other out.

  88. WR   |  Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 9:19 am

    After two coats of shellac (with 7 days cure time for each), it did seem to get rid of the old smell. Hard to tell for sure because the shellac itself has a smell. We’re still finishing up with the AFM, which also has a smell if it goes up. The AFM is also not covering well–increasing our costs as the painter has to come back to do extra coats (and more time for it to dry and wait for smell to go away–grr).

    I don’t think I’ll know for sure if this process worked for a few weeks.

    Based on EP’s post, I’m wondering whether it is the cold weather that made our bad-smelling paint go bad. But, I can’t find any information on why the paint would smell bad if it had been frozen (especially if, like ours, there were no clumps or any indication that the paint had gone bad).

  89. Ruth   |  Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 12:17 pm

    We are replacing the Sheetrock. I’m done with this nightmare. I am getting bids in.

  90. Kyle N   |  Monday, 12 May 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I painted two bedroom walls using a dark red matt emulsion from Wilkinsons. It was Wilkos own, it has made my entire bedroom smell like rotting old furniture, its definetly the paint as some dripped down the side of the tub and when it dried it smelled exactly the same as my room and the walls. Its not getting better, if anything its getting worse.
    I dont have money so i need to find a solution that doesnt cost too much. Wilkinsons did nothing but tell me to repaint and said theyre sending me a gift voucher. It doesnt solve things though does it.

  91. Donevette Evans   |  Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I live in an apartment and there is a water tank in a closet in my bedroom, we had a water leak from the third floor so my landlords nephew completely drywall the whole room and painted this happen two weeks ago and I still can’t breath, I am coughing all day and night, I have ashma and it is hard on me I keep a fan on all day. Pleas help me somebody. I feel like I am going to wind up going to the hospital.

  92. Julia   |  Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at 8:44 pm

    We had the bad paint smell for two years. After 4 coats of the heavy duty bin it stopped but the wooden window sills have started stinking when sun is on them. I don’t think I painted them with as much of a coat as the walls. I will repaint them and see. The walls still don’t stink after a year. I had them tint the bin and didn’t have to recoat with another paint. The bin galloon can is filled to the top so you may have to have them shake the paint and take enough out to add the tint to but it’s worth it not to have to buy other paint. Good luck.

  93. Ruth   |  Thursday, 29 May 2014 at 3:37 pm

    By the way for all those thinking about using AFM safecoat transitional – we were very unhappy. A it stunk going up. Low odor – I don’t think so. And B. It feels slightly tacky after a month. What on earth? I would not bother with that product. Horrible coverage too. I would go straight for the shellac BIN if I could do it over.

  94. WR   |  Saturday, 31 May 2014 at 8:58 am

    We also are not very happy with the AFM. Online it says that latex paint can take a month to cure, so I’m giving it another week or two. However, the AFM has not covered well and is still a bit tacky even after 3 weeks. I’m running a dehumidifier and keeping the temperature of the room elevated at night to try to help with the tackiness, with windows open during the day if it is over 60 degrees and not raining. We think the old smell has gone away, but the AFM paint still has a smell (yes, 3 weeks later). The AFM smell does not bother me as much as the old Valspar problem (I can be in the room for 5 minutes without getting a headache), and it does seem to be slowly improving. But I’m still wondering if we’ll ever have the room back again where I am comfortable with me or my child spending time in there.

    I think the lessons learned here are to use the Shellac BIN (not the synthetic) to cover up the bad smelling paint. If that won’t work the drywall will likely need to be replaced. (See Ruth’s comments above on why AFM is not enough).

    To prevent the persistent paint smell problem my husband and I have decided to plan all future painting for times in late summer or in the fall when it is above 70 degrees outside and low humidity. At that time of year, the winter inventory should be gone from paint stores, so the paint should be good (hopefully). And, conditions should be optimal to air the room out and allow the paint to dry properly and quickly. We will also research brands to try and find one with a low history of problems. (Unfortunately, I’ve seen complaints on the persistent smells from many of the major brands, so while I will never use Valspar again it appears that other companies are also not to be trusted.)

  95. Ruth   |  Sunday, 01 June 2014 at 2:24 pm

    WR ours is tacky too! Email me – crazy!

  96. Lisa   |  Monday, 02 June 2014 at 5:09 am

    I painted my bedroom with a zero voc last fall (over 6 months ago – and I don’t even remember the brand) but it did have color added, which apparently changes the voc somewhat. It seemed to have little smell, and after it dried it was fine all winter – no smell. Then, as spring arrived, SMELL! It’s so strange. The walls were dry, now they seem almost tacky. I leave the windows open and let it get warm in there, with a fan blowing through all day. Then, I turn on the house circulation in the evening, then blast the AC, and I can almost get through the night before the smell returns. But now that it’s getting humid, even this doesn’t help. My next thing to try is shutting the room up with space heaters in there, and the attic hatch in the closet open. If I can get it warm and dry in there, and the attic draws the air up and out through the roof vents, I’m hoping I can finally dry this crap out. I don’t think I can bear going through any further work on the walls themselves. Painting is very difficult for me.

  97. Jane   |  Monday, 09 June 2014 at 11:45 pm

    While it certainly sounds as if there are issues with the various paints people are using, one other factor in some cases might be bad drywall. Google “Chinese drywall,” read up on this on Wikipedia etc., and check the manufacturers of bad drywall listed there. Note that increased humidity (and painting would raise humidity of the drywall) exacerbates the problem. (Those of you replacing drywall might want to make a note of the manufacturer’s information you find on the sheets you remove.)

    Since this seems to be a widespread problem, I believe that, rather than frozen paint, something has gone wrong in the paint manufacturing process itself. Possibly new chemicals, or a combination of chemicals that isn’t working out.

  98. Doug   |  Saturday, 14 June 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I wanted to followup on Andy’s post from April 2, 2014. I have had the same problem. I repainted a bathroom with the same paint left over from the previous painting four years prior. I also ended up with a terrible musty clay smell that lasted for weeks. (of note – that original paint was purchased by our painter during a terrible snow storm and may have been left out to freeze in his van, not sure – it smelled fine when it went up the first time). To fix it I followed Andy’s advice and applied three coats of BIN Ultimate2 Shellac (It states on the can – odor and stain blocking). Its clear and is supposed to not leave a yellow tint, but it did leave yellow streaks where I applied with a brush. The instructions on the can were to apply with a brush but I checked back and saw Andy used a roller. So I rolled on two coats. That worked much better. As crazy as it sounds, my wife went into the bathroom today (24hs after 3rd coat of shellac) and smelled the walls. she has given the all clear. I will be applying a coat of paint with stain blocking primer mixed in today. But the smell is gone so there is a way to cover it up. I just hope its a cure and doesn’t come back.

  99. Ruth   |  Friday, 20 June 2014 at 6:47 pm

    WR – do you have an update? Our transitional seems to be less tacky now. How is your room going? I am trying to decide if to give shellac a go or if we should just rip it off all together. I am so tired of dealing with this. 🙁

  100. Lisa   |  Sunday, 22 June 2014 at 1:25 am

    This paint is an “entity” – like Jerry Seinfeld’s BO smelling car. Unbelievable.

  101. Jody schneyer   |  Tuesday, 24 June 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Has anyone had a permanent cure using bin or must the drywall be replaced to get rid of the odor permanently?

  102. Julie   |  Friday, 27 June 2014 at 3:34 am

    Having same prob as all others. Solver Paint In Australia and not sure if products her are in Aust.

    Can you let us have a further update. I want to do what you did but would like to know if the cure is still going. 3 weeks seemed too early to tell given all the other info on the site.
    Johnny Numbchuck can you give us an update too.
    I will email address above to see if anything has changed there.
    Thanks to everyone for ideas. Mine has been going 3 months with door and window sealed but I need to use the room. I was going to wait it out, but see from here that I cannot do that and need to bite the bullet and get the shellac.
    Zinser products are sold here, I see, so at least that is something.
    Putting shellac on walls is the absolute opposite of low smell and danger paints.
    How did we ever end up in this mess >

  103. Helen   |  Wednesday, 02 July 2014 at 8:08 am

    I bought a house. The previous owners painted my master bedroom with low VOC paint from Lowes a brand I have never seen. It has a Lowes sticker though. I started repainting with a regular Olympic paint/primer in one from Lowes. I had to stop due to running out. When I came about 2 hours later with the new gallon the room smelled so pungent I couldn’t finnish. It has been 3 weeks and still smells with the sliding screen open constantly.
    I painted my son’s room with Behr Ultra Premium paint/primer combo. His room is fine. The regular latex odor disappeared by the end of the day.
    My master bedroom does have a bathroom. Could running a dehumidifier while using BIN get rid of the smell? I live in Southern CA so my humidity isn’t much.

  104. WR   |  Saturday, 12 July 2014 at 10:10 pm

    @Ruth — The AFM seems to have a paint blocking problem since we had to put on so many coats. There is still a smell in the room, but I think it is mostly the AFM, however I can’t really tell if the original Valspar problem is contributing to it. For the one week that we had just the Shellac, the Shellac DID seem to cover the original paint problem. I’m at my wits end on what to do. For now, we are not using the room. I’m not sure if we will try Shellac again or rip out the drywall. In the meantime we have ordered a $1,500 air filter so that hopefully we can use the room again. This is such a nightmare.

  105. WR   |  Saturday, 12 July 2014 at 10:13 pm

    For others dealing with a paint problem, consider making a report to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( if you are experiencing a health issue, like headaches, because of bad paint. If they get enough reports, maybe the manufacturers will have to do something about this.

  106. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 3:43 am

    It has been many months since I painted and the room still smells – not like paint but something – I don’t know what. It’s worst when it’s warm. Has anyone tried stripping the paint before going so far as to remove drywall?

  107. Ruth   |  Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I was told that because drywall is porous chances are that he smell could remain even if paint is stripped. And it’s a big job anyway! We are redoing drywall in 2 weeks. We have been dealing with this mess since March 15.

  108. tara turner   |  Friday, 25 July 2014 at 1:32 am

    I am so glad I found you guys talking about this. I thought I was crazy. I rent a home, when we first moved in I thought there was this smell. When I would first walk through the front door, I live in arizona so it is very hot. The hotter the day the stronger the smell. Not to mention the terrible, thick,, paint the landlord did on the inside of the house. Its a concrete block house so no drywall, the paint peels right off. And not to mention I THINK the landlord may have used exterior paint for the interior, since the color of the outside of the house is the exact same as the inside of the house. I already read somewhere where you can’t use exterior on interior cause of the mildewcide and what kind is used. I wake up in the middle of the night coughing and coughing, in the day I can not breath my nose is running I am coughing, it horrible. Today the smell was the worst yet, probably cause it was 115 outside today. Also this house was built in the 1940’s and I have a toddler and a 9 year old and I am very worried about health affects.??? I noticed (unless I missed it somewhere i am sorry if so) but i noticed that concrete was not mentioned through out this post..what can I do??

  109. Lisa   |  Friday, 25 July 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks Ruth. A professional painter examined the room for the first time today. It’s been several months since we painted. He said that stripping the walls would ruin the drywall.

  110. Lisa   |  Friday, 25 July 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Doug – did the smell return after three coats of BIN Ultimate2 Shellac?

  111. Lisa   |  Sunday, 27 July 2014 at 2:40 am

    comment/question: has anyone noticed that the paint isn’t actually dry after several months? All I have to do is wipe the wall with a damp paper towel and the paint comes off – and not just a little. There is something seriously wrong with this stuff. It stinks and it’s not dry – 10 months after painting.

  112. karen   |  Tuesday, 29 July 2014 at 12:49 pm

    We peeled our smelly paint off of all four walls and ceiling. It came off like wallpaper! Still smells

  113. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 29 July 2014 at 11:47 pm

    oh my gosh Karen.

  114. elsie fulkerson   |  Wednesday, 30 July 2014 at 1:52 pm

    We’ve been having the same problems anybody figure out what to do

  115. Lindsay   |  Monday, 04 August 2014 at 10:08 am

    I have had this for 2 years. Worse in hot weather.
    I’m told its bacteria in the emulsion caused by stagnant water before I mixed the contents.
    TEMPORARY SOLUTION : Try spraying the walls with clear antibacterial surface cleaner and leave on walls to dry. This sorts it for a while. ( weeks or months depending on weather ) Each time it comes back its less obvious. Still drives me mad though.
    HAS ANYONE TRIED WALLPAPERING over it..? I’m about to try. Is it just wishful thinking..?
    Glad its not just me!!!

  116. Maria   |  Tuesday, 19 August 2014 at 1:31 am

    Painted our son’s room after he moved out in February 2013 with Behr Premium Plus Ultra stain-blocking Paint/Primer in One. It STILL smells like paint—yes STILL—1.5 years later. If we close the door, the odor is trapped a bit except for what seeps out the bottom of the door. We know how to paint, so we made sure and left the coats dry. We aren’t sure if it is the Base Ultra White or the color tinting by Home Depot that made it smell, but I have an EM to Behr to see what they can suggest. We can’t use the room and we keep getting headaches from the smell. Hope we can get this taken care of pronto since we have guests coming and we need the room!. So glad I found these comments—thought it was just me and my incredibly sensitive nose or my husband’s much less smeller!..:) Will keep you updated.

  117. Kathryn   |  Monday, 25 August 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Paint does expire…2 years after opening…10 yrs unopened..and that is all dependent upon temperature regulation too. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to eliminate the foul smell without complete renovation…so good luck to you all.

  118. Sandy   |  Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 5:21 am

    Now that all sheetrock down, how is it?
    Over one year ago, when we ran out of Mythic paint for the bedrooms (which I have no problems with coffee ice cream color in living room only problem with blue and purple in bedrooms – maybe it is the blue coloring?), by mistake I bought a quart of Yolo for each bedroom to finish off one wall. As mentioned in email long ago, Yolo changed from using Zinc to some other preservative / anti-fungal. Maybe we need to look at what is the common denominator in all these paint brands.
    I took down what I thought was the “bad smelly” wall in each room, resheetrocked, repainted with Mythic and smell still there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @%*t. Looking at taking down all walls and then when just read someones post made me realize I may need to take down the ceiling too! Oh my, what a drag and costly.
    Well…. the good news is we have places to live and aren’t on the street or living in a car like millions of other people. We will get through this. Take care, Sandy PS I am thinking of doing VOC air test, but not really sure how that is gonna help me. Any thoughts appreciated.

  119. Sandy   |  Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 5:55 am

    I wrote the law firm mentioned in this article and gave them this conversation link we are having.
    Will get back to you all if they have any insight.

  120. Ruth   |  Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Drywall coming down on thursday. Can’t wait to put this nightmare behind me. Scares me that you are telling me the smell is still there. We are replacing all walls and ceiling and re drywalling and replacing carpet as well. To be on the safe side. That is the only room that smells although if it is closed and really hot the smell will travel outside to the hallway upstairs. Hopefully removing all walls and ceiling will do it. The thing with drywall is that it is porous so you might have to redo the whole room in order to get rid of the smell. For the research I have done the people that replaced the drywall got rid of the problem.

  121. Ruth   |  Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 8:20 pm

    By the way my color was a greish blue – maybe a blue dye could be a problem. I don’t know.

  122. Ruth   |  Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Also – truly you do not know if the yolo was the problem. Each color and batch can be their own problem. You might be better off replacing all walls just to be sure. I bet you that might be the problem in your case. Of course you would think it is the yolo if that was in common but the reason could be the other room (without problems) was a different batch without problems.

  123. Ruth   |  Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Sandy – we had to push the start date to next Tue instead of tomorrow due to the holiday weekend/rain. Weill keep you guys posted.

  124. judd   |  Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Thank God for your posts. Same issues.
    I replaced ceilings in 2 rooms.we primed then painted with dulux latest hightec paint.
    Ceiling was white.walls yellow. We painted the hallway same.
    The hallway doesn’t smell. Can’t walk in to the toilet and the laundry is better with the drier on.
    I have had the dulux rep here 2times. He can’t smell it.
    Complete morron. I have kids. I painted bin first on yellow yesterday. Going to second coat bin today
    Don’t look forward to painting the ceilings as well.
    We are all very sick.
    Is it possible a virus or bacteria can come from me into the paint.
    Totally lost. …

  125. Ron   |  Friday, 29 August 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I posted back in september 2013 and i still have the same smell in the room I panted.

  126. Sandy   |  Saturday, 30 August 2014 at 12:59 am

    Ruth, thanks for update. Guess what… I think it was/is the Mythic coloring. Can’t prove it yet, but…
    I asked my friend who took down the one sheetrock wall that had the Yolo on it to paint a door frame for me in another part of the house. It is an enclosed area with a skylight, but gets air from outside. Anyway, I asked him to use the same paint as the front door, dark purple, which I thought I still had can in basement. For whatever reason he ended up using the NEW purple Mythic from the bedroom (that we put on the new sheetrock) and guess what… it smells. I’m in the entryway the last week or so and wondering why the heck I smell the smell from the two bedrooms directly above me! Then I realize – huh – the doorframe is painted with the Mythic!
    So, I am going to do some coloring research over the next few weeks and get back to you all. I’m wondering what they use to color for blue. I know cobalt blue in oil paints use to give me a headache, so switched to watercolors. We shall see….

  127. Ruth   |  Saturday, 30 August 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I swear we are all going to go mad! I can’t wait to put this behind me Sandy. They start Tuesday! Then I will only paint one small area at a time to make sure there are no problems with whatever paint we do choose.
    Prayers for all this to be resolved for all of us soon!

  128. judd   |  Sunday, 31 August 2014 at 8:53 am

    I hope you get an answer Ruth.
    Im so lost. .

  129. Ruth   |  Friday, 05 September 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Paint smell def gone after replacing drywall. We are almost done with it all. They primed and I shook on my boots but the smell is already dissipating so it looks like that is going well. Thankful to not have that nasty smell anymore. HUGE headache and expense but glad that we could get it done. Hopefully the rest continues to go smoothly.

  130. Omam   |  Sunday, 07 September 2014 at 4:58 am

    glad to hear that Ruth . my walls are concrete so the only option is to remove the paint with paint remover
    so it,s little bit missy.

  131. karen   |  Saturday, 13 September 2014 at 2:43 am

    Wow, Ruth, that’s such good news! Congratulations! What a long haul for all of us.

  132. Ruth   |  Sunday, 14 September 2014 at 12:35 am

    Yes! Texture was sprayed and everything is finished now. We are going to be priming soon – probably tomorrow. There is a slight smell in the room that smells like drywall maybe? kind of a dust smell not bad. Kind of like new construction. I assume it is normal. My sister in law who had a room adition done warned me that it would smell “new” for a while. That is with all windows closed etc. But then again it is not overwhelming and there are no floors or paint in the wall yet. Hoping this is normal. I feel it is but I am now on paranoid mode after our debacle. Once everything is primed and painted (say a prayer) and carpet back on I will report back.

  133. Sandy   |  Tuesday, 16 September 2014 at 3:27 am

    hoping all is well with your paint job. just found this article, may be of interest to some….

    I just started corresponding with mythic. after reading above article I may paint with safecoat from now on. we shall see.
    be well,

  134. Sandy   |  Tuesday, 16 September 2014 at 3:49 am

    there are 4 parts to this article. I haven’t read one and two, only three so far.

  135. Ruth   |  Wednesday, 17 September 2014 at 1:00 am

    I hated safecoat’s transitional primer. IT Stunk so bad SO BAD going up (worse than trandiitonal paint) and it remained tacky after months. Another person had the same experience in this thread. I would not touch it again. We primed with harmony sherwin williams primer. I about had a panic attack. But it has been 24 hours and only a faint smell remains when everything is closed. We painted from 2-4 yesterday. Aired out room with fan in window until 8 and closed room for the night and reopened around 12 when the humidity was low. I am about to close the window again. I think it is totally normal paint smell. Right now with window open no smell. I will keep yo guys posted.

  136. Ruth   |  Tuesday, 07 October 2014 at 4:32 pm

    So here is an update. Original Smell def. gone after replacing drywall. Now there is a slight new construction smell I guess? but doesn’t seem to be bothersome. My kids and my husband are not bothered by it. We still have only an empty room and subfloor (carpeting next week) so I would assume that once it is finished and we are putting a few things in the room that should be less noticeable. I am probably over sensitive now to smells after the whole debacle. My sister who had an addition done warned me that we would smell a new smell for a couple months or more. We have a fan running and door open, occasionally open the window to air out. Def. nothing like the original smell.

  137. Sandy   |  Thursday, 09 October 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Ruth:
    Glad to hear things going better! Just had a guy from the paint store at my house and he smelled paint from can and said it had a much stronger odor than usual. So… we shall see. I’ve been in conversation with a guy at Mythic and learning a lot about “no or low” colorants. My gut, tells me some of these problems have to do with colorants, yet, I could be way off. Please everyone, find out what kind of colorant used with your paint & what color of paint caused the problem. Maybe that will help people in the future if we see a pattern. FYI – Chromaflo now owns many of the colorants and is major supplier. Ruth, this may be totally unnecessary to say cuz you likely did your homework… but I hope you are super careful what kind of carpet you buy and what products they have used on the carpet etc. You may need it to sit outside and off gas if regular brand carpet. Best to all,

  138. Jmac   |  Wednesday, 29 October 2014 at 5:42 am

    I had a pro painter come to do some restoration work in a room in my house. I gave him the two old cans I had to color match. One can was from 2009. He said the can was good. I used it to paint a powder room and it smells terrible.

    I cannot tell from this thread what the true solution to this problem is. Lots of expensive sounding options suggested but I need the true way to fix this.

    Is this a health issue or just something smelly that I can with a simple remedy or just another layer of new paint?

    Never seen such a long thread without a single clear solution.

    What do I do?

  139. Ruth   |  Wednesday, 05 November 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Here is another update from me. Our room is mostly finished now – carpet went in. Just need to finish putting back outlets hang mirror in half bath etc. No smell on cold days. Yay! Our original smell was unrenlenless no matter what the weather was. There is a slight smell that is noticeable on warm days of over 75 or so. Not a terrible smell like before but a faint new smell. Doesn’t bother my kids (they say it doesnt smell) or my husband who thinks is normal new stuff. He says it smells faintly of paint. I am not going to lie that this makes me somewhat nervous but considering we ripped the whole room apart and everything in there is new I am hoping this will pass. It is not a bad smell like before it doesnt bother me like the original did where it felt like you couldnt stay in there. So we will see hoping that it will slownly go away. Like I said there is no smell during cold days at all. My friends that had built houses said they had smells for six months or more so here is to hoping this is normal. Makes me nervous but again it is WAY WAY better than the first problem.

  140. Ruth   |  Wednesday, 05 November 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Oh also room is finished but empty. Will be moving furniture in soon to see if that helps too. My friend swears an empty room will smell more. Hopefully she is right.

  141. Courtney   |  Monday, 25 May 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Ruth. Any new updates on the smell in your room since re-drywalling? I have been having the same problem in (what was supposed to be) my daughter’s nursery since my husband painted with Behr zero VOC, low odor paint in July 2013. We ended up tearing out the new solid hardwood bamboo flooring my husband installed (which tested high for formaldehyde when I had a sample tested) and thought our odor problem was solved. However, once the flooring was gone I was able to smell the “fresh paint” smell that will not go away. After running fans and leaving the windows open nonstop; priming over the walls; closing up and running a dehumidifier to pull all the moisture out of the walls; and, virtually, pretending the room does not exist, my husband finally relented and tore down the drywall today. I am cautiously optimistic, but extremely nervous that either the smell still won’t be gone (which might result in divorce court!) or will return once we paint the new walls again. I have not painted anything in my house for almost two years and fear I will never look at choosing paint the same way again! Can anyone recommend paint and/or primer that they have used recently without any problems? I used to look forward to making improvements around our home, but now the idea of them makes me nervous and unsettled. It is shocking and disturbing the amount of toxic products that are sold for use in our homes with the approval of our government. Now I’m nervous about which drywall to select. I’m looking at Dragonboard if anyone has any experience or input.

    I should note that we also had the air tested in the room and it came back normal. That was a relief, but still gave us no answers and did not make me feel anymore comfortable putting my daughter in there to sleep every day and night. Even the air testing technician detected an odor (a mixture of paint and plaster is how he described it) and felt bad that there was no resolution.

    I am so thankful for this thread because no one I know can relate to this problem. Even my husband can’t relate because he is not sensitive to smells at all. He just knows that our house will remain in disarray until we resolve this mess. At this point it has become our normal that my daughter’s dresser is in my dining room and her crib is in my bedroom. I’m hoping that she can have her own safe and odor-free bedroom by the time she turns two in August.

  142. Sue   |  Monday, 25 May 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Dear Jymn
    Thank you for the helpful information regarding the 500g “moso bag of activated coal and the heater. I will try this.

    Dear Courney
    Please, please do not take any risks with your beautiful child. Keep her away from the paint until you are 100% certain that there is no danger. Personally, I believe that if you still smell something, then there is still an active chemical that could potentially cause health issues. Did you read my post about how the paint compromised my immune system ? Epstein-Bar Syndrome, systemic inflammation, pain – These are clear indicators that the paint is harmful and does cause health problems.
    Have you tried the activated charcoal and heat that Jymn suggested?

  143. Sandy   |  Friday, 07 November 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Hi All:
    Did anyone have air samples taken or get paint tested?
    If yes, curious as to what outcome was.

  144. Lisa   |  Monday, 17 November 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I’d like to share an “interim” report for those who find this site while searching for solutions to their stink problem. Again, if you don’t remember, we had painted a bedroom in October of 2012. The paint didn’t smell going on or immediately after. It didn’t start to smell until a day or two afterwards. Then, the smell got worse. We tried many things to counteract it, thinking the paint was just not drying properly. During the winter, while the house heat was circulating (dry air) the smell was tolerable and we thought the problem might be solved. But in the spring it came back with a vengeance and was at its worst when the room was warm, and probably more humid.

    I describe the above in case your situation matches. We had the paint company PPG representative come to see (smell) the room. We were refunded the cost of the paint. I still had the receipt, but didn’t have the paint can. Which is tragically ironic since we’ve kept every other paint can we’ve ever used. SO KEEP YOUR PAINT CANS IF YOU STILL HAVE THEM.

    We had the room examined by a number of professional painters and a company that deals with smells from mold, mildew, smoke from house fires, blood (yes blood) etc. We were given an estimate of $1700 for a treatment. At first they said they’d guarantee the work, but then did not. At that point we chose to try cheaper options first and had 2 coats of the synthetic BIN shellac put on the walls. The room still smelled, although the smell was different, and it did lessen as the days went by. I learned that BIN shellac dries quickly, but I think the moisture in the bad paint was soaking into the BIN and preventing it from drying quickly. The stinky paint continually had a tackiness to it like it had never dried. A few weeks later we had one additional coat of BIN shellac put on. It wasn’t the synthetic and had a duller, less shiny white to it. But that seemed to “cure” pretty quickly and the room doesn’t smell now. HOWEVER – we are waiting until spring to be sure it’s safe to say the problem has been solved. Because last year the smell subsided in the winter (it got very cold here right after that third coat and we can’t be sure the problem won’t re-appear with spring as it did last year.

    But I will write again 6 months or so from now to let anyone know whether or not three coats of BIN shellac actually did the trick. We are very very hopeful. I believe the problem was bacteria in the paint as has been suggested on other sites or even here. I believe this because: only a living organism like mold or bacteria could continually keep the paint from drying by producing metabolic waste. There was no visible problem. The smell never transferred to anything else in the room, And bacteria would explain why the problem lessened in the cold dry air and grew worse in the warm humid air. Also would explain why the problem didn’t appear until after the paint was out of the can and had a chance to breathe and grow on the walls.

    So, I hope I can provide an answer for some that may end up here. Again, I’ll comment again after I know for sure in the late warm spring.

    One painter who looked at our room said he’d run into something like it before and they’d taken samples from the wall. They were never told what those samples revealed, but they were able to recoup some expense after the results were given to the supplier.

    Again, we did two coats of BIN synthetic shellac – one right after the other together.
    Then a few weeks later we did one coat of regular BIN shellac.
    Now the room doesn’t smell but we’re waiting until warm weather to be sure because the last coat went on just before the weather turned very cold suddenly.
    Will let you all know.
    this past year has been a challenge. We use ALL the rooms in our house and not having this room available made things frustrating for day to day life. We did the original paint job ourselves but have had to hire painters to apply the BIN due to sensitivity to fumes and physical disability on my part. The original paint was Olympic Icon paint and primer, flat, zero VOC. It may have been the paint since I don’t think it was a popular brand at Lowe’s and may have been sitting on the shelf. Or it may have been the colorant, since the color was custom mixed and included a small amount of black, which is also not used very often. The color was a butternut squash soup color.

  145. Lisa   |  Monday, 17 November 2014 at 9:53 pm

    SORRY! We painted the room in October of 2013 NOT 2012!

  146. sandy   |  Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Just wanted to make sure I double posted correction from my August posting. I was confusing a paint store that I thought was named Yolo, with various paint that it sells, Mythic, Yolo, Safecoat and other brands. I want to make sure that I’m clear it was not the Yolo paint that caused the smell because I had only bought small cans of Yolo to test the color and bought flat instead of eggshell buy mistake. I never used Yolo to fully paint any walls in the two smelly bedrooms. I am still waiting to hear back from retail place I bought the paint from and Mythic paint company person, the type of paint I used. Been weeks since retail person came to my house after telling me paint smells bad, the rooms smell and now… no return emails or calls from either of them. Was hoping for some help from them, but, not. Haven’t been able to use these rooms for way over a year. Not sure what my next steps will be. Just drained from all of this.

  147. Phil Pirouet   |  Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I am sorry to read of all the people all over the world who are suffering from the paint odours. We live in England and all the walls, exterior cavity walls and interior wall of our house are of blockwork and plastered. A bedroom walls and ceiling were plaster skim coated and painted and a large wall in the downstairs living room repainted, both with vinyl emulsion paint. The downstairs room gave off a sharp smell and tingling on tongue and mouth. The new carpet in the bedroom gave off such a strong smell that I had to throw it out. I have tried all the sealers mentioned including shellac based – all no good.
    We have paid to have all the plaster chipped off the solid block walls – two men, three days work – and had the downstairs wall re-plastered. The plaster stank, the tingling smell came back and is still the same after six weeks.
    We are now having the interior blockwork wall torn down and replaced. The bedroom is still in the bare blockwork and if the downstairs remedy works we will have the walls clad in plasterboard (drywall) on metal framing with a gap between it and the solid wall. At 70 I can do without it. Has anyone had any luck with a legal remedy as the house insurers will not cover it?

  148. Sue   |  Monday, 20 April 2015 at 6:06 am

    What about a class action lawsuit ? This is really bad. We are all being poisoned by these toxic chemicals . It has been 1 1/2 months and I do not feel totally confident about the paint. I have fans and HEPA filters going 24 hrs a day. I am thinking if buying an AirPura filter which gets rid of VOC fumes . The R600 model costs over $600 . My paint was Dunn Edwards ZeroVOC . I thought it was supposed to be the perfect solution for sensitive individuals. That’s what they claim, yet I had to spend over $2000 to stay in a motel for 20 days because I could not sleep in my home without a reaction. This is about health !!! This stuff is toxic . I wish I had never painted my home.

  149. Lilly   |  Sunday, 07 December 2014 at 2:14 am

    Ruth, I appreciate what you went though. I have a smelly room too. Tried to spray with Clorox, then put on BIN. Smell is with us, on warm days. I painted ceiling too with another paint, but can’t tell which one is giving the odor. Scared if we have to tear down the dry wall. How much did this cost you (per linear foot)?
    Thanks. Lilly.

  150. Lynn   |  Thursday, 11 December 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I painted my bedroom a year ago November, left for a Thanksgiving vacation and returned to a nightmare. The room had a musty, sharp herb smell (sometimes smelling like pickles, other times smelling very foul). As someone else pointed out, the smell seemed to pool in the middle of the room, though I spent much time sniffing walls trying to determine its source. I tried air fresheners. A “critter” guy came and determined that there wasn’t a dead animal in the walls. Another company looked for mold in the attic and walls, pulled back the carpet (which had been recently cleaned), and gassed the room with a product designed to kill smells within the walls. It appeared to work, but within two weeks the smell was back. At that point I discovered this website. I had the room tested for toxins, and the tests came back normal except for a slight elevation for paint fumes. I spoke to Sherwin Williams, and they agreed to repaint the room at their expense. They used one coat of Bin. Two weeks later the Bin smell was still strong in the room (it should have lasted two hours); it eventually faded to be a mix of Bin and the awful smell. During the summer the smell seemed to come and go, but once the windows were closed while I was on vacation, the strong, foul smell returned. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so keeping windows open year-round is not an option. I finally resorted to having the drywall torn down and replaced at my expense.The walls were painted with a different brand of paint that wasn’t low VOC. I’m happy to say that I am finally sleeping in my bedroom again. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post on this site. Without this site, I would have been all alone in understanding and searching for solutions to this problem. So many well meaning people told me to just “open a window and air out the room.” I wish it had been that simple.

  151. Sue   |  Monday, 20 April 2015 at 6:09 am

    So are you saying that you did better with the VOC paint rather than the zero VO C ?

  152. Susan   |  Thursday, 18 December 2014 at 5:03 am

    I painted 2 doors in my bathroom with kilz and had no problem. a couple of days later I put a second coat of paint on of Glidden semi-gloss on it. Once it dried I noticed a sour smell and I can’t get rid of it. Somebody please help me it makes me sick to my stomach. The only up side is the smell is only in the bathroom.

  153. Mike Haymaker   |  Friday, 02 January 2015 at 4:21 am

    I need help too! I’ll never use Kilz again. Its been a week since I primed my bedroom and fumes are still kicking. I am sick now in sinuses from being around it. I am staying elsewhere tonight as I have to leave windows open to air out. I’m lucky its warm here somehow still in AK. I made sure paint was dry before I painted over it with latex as off gassing is known when covering wet paint but, a week later is ridiculous!

  154. David B   |  Wednesday, 14 January 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve had similar problem like many here. Painted with Benjamin Moore line of “Ben” paint. Applied beautifully but smelled like natural gas a day after it was applied. 10 days later it still smelled strong as ever so I painted over it with Behr from Home Depot. The Behr applied awfully but at this point I didn’t care and just wanted the odor to go away. A week later and it took on a different odor which also didn’t dissipate. I contacted the store where I bought the original Ben paint. They escalated the issue to a Ben Moore area rep that contacted me within a day. The store and the rep claimed they never heard of the issue but quickly offered a gallon of primer and a gallon of Regal Select (higher quality than my original Ben line). I applied the primer which is INSL-X Seal Lock. It smelled awful for the first few days but the smell quickly dissipated by day 7. All good right? Noooo. I thought it was now safe to apply a fresh coat of latex paint but now the original odor has returned. It’s been 2 weeks since I applied this. At this point I think my walls are completely contaminated and I will have to re-apply primer and settle for primer white color on my walls.

  155. David B   |  Wednesday, 14 January 2015 at 10:35 pm

    One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is I think there’s a good chance all of the cans of paint I used may have been contaminated due to weather. I’m in the New York City area and the days I bought then paint were in the 20 degree range though the temp inside my home was in the 60s and the paint thoroughly mixed when applying.

  156. Madge   |  Tuesday, 27 January 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I am a professional painter who has been painting since 1974. After Sandy my friends bedroom got some water damage to a ceiling. We replaced the drywall in the area and did all the proper applications. We decided to freshen the room up but that ended up being a nightmare. I have tired everything that would normally eradicate the odor problem but to no avail. I used all the top name primer sealers and different paint manufactures over the last 3 years. I now know that the only way to resolve this problem is to remove the drywall which will be done in March. I will tape and mud the drywall but not paint until someone comes up with a solution. My theory is the colorants were off whether that happen from the manufacture or because the paint had extreme temperature change I can’t say for sure. I think if I do paint it will be from a local paint store were my chances are better to purchase fresh paint.

  157. Petey   |  Friday, 30 January 2015 at 2:16 am

    Hi Madge, when you say that you used all the top name primer sealers, did you try BIN shellac? Good luck to all.

  158. Jymn   |  Tuesday, 03 February 2015 at 12:16 am

    Well, reading this has been terrifying. I painted a mural in my daughter’s bedroom with behr ultra several weeks ago and the chemical smell is lingering. Some of the painting was done on cold and/or humid days, so I’m worried there’s a coat underneath somewhere that isn’t dry. The smell doesn’t seem to come from the walls, as a few others have noticed, but pools in the middle of the room. Traditional odor absorbers (onions, lemons, baking soda) aren’t doing anything. I certainly hope I don’t end up resorting to priming over it…ugh. But this thread has been helpful. It seems like there’s a serious problem in the paint industry that should end up in court sometime soon

  159. Cara   |  Wednesday, 04 February 2015 at 1:35 am

    Same problem with Lowes Olympic low voc paint and primer in one. My son’s bedroom was painted one month ago.
    Smells like I painted yesterday and I’ve had windows open during the day and an expensive air purifier running every night. I will never buy low voc or paint and primer in one again. Never had any problems like this with my other paints.

  160. katie   |  Thursday, 12 February 2015 at 6:36 am

    well, Here I am adding to this. We had some mold removed and new drywall put up. They painted our wall with a primer/paint. We have been sleeping in the living room for almost a week waiting for the paint fumes to go away because it affects our sinuses. Now I’m thinking we will be sleeping in there the rest of our lives!

  161. Fran   |  Thursday, 19 February 2015 at 6:45 pm

    My husband painted our foyer back in October 2014 & I have been having problems ever since…headaches, anxiety, pain up the back of head, not sleeping. I was in the hospital in Nov 2014 when my right side gradually went numb (was diagnosed with a TIA) mini stroke & I’m still having problems…..I began figuring out it’s from the paint odor…..our home has a very overpowering musty odor since we painted & it’s affected me really bad…..after reading the posts on this website I feel we will probably have to tear out the drywall & start over, although another brand of paint might create the same problem. We used the Olympic Paint from Lowes. I don’t know what they are adding to paint but it is really bad if you have any allergies. I am very sensitive to odors.

  162. karen   |  Saturday, 28 February 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Now the question is: Which paint is good to use? I have always done things very “green”, zero VOC, etc. After this nightmare with Mythic, I am open to using regular paint. Just not sure which brand to use now. Any suggestions? We applied two coats of BIN. It seems to have helped. However, the true test will be the hot weather.

  163. Paul   |  Wednesday, 04 March 2015 at 3:20 am

    I am having the same problem with Olympic Icon paint purchased from Lowes. Painted on Sat. And it is nkw just about Wed. An my kitchen smells awful. I am in the process of talking with the manufacturer of the paint but after reading this thread I am fearing the worse– having to rip out my walls.

  164. Jeff   |  Monday, 16 March 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I have a similar problem. I live in New Zealand and tried using PPG Architectural Easy coat walls with microban. I was painting over a 10 year old surface that had been sanded and sugar soap washed. The paint claimed to be low odor, low VOC and had microban (a good feature for a bathroom and suggested by the local Bunnings store). On initial drying it started to have a sweet choking smell. The room was fully vented the entire time duiring and after painting. I’ve tried onions, fans, vinegar wash, ozone and dehumidifiers. It’s almost 2 months and the bathroom still smells/ It’s a sickly gagging smell (more chemical/synthetic like than organic/vomit like). I’m tempted to repaint but I’d like PPG to explain the problem.They were initially understanding but now, neither the Australian or New Zealand reps have returned my contact requests. Guess what brand I’ll never use again. Here down under, paint is quite expensive (about NZ$65/4l which is about US$40/gal for the medium range stuff stuff like PPG and doiuble that for good paint like Resene).

  165. Thomas Subjak   |  Monday, 30 March 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Has anyone tried Micro-Ban? Seems like it may be a bacterial growth issue and Micro-Ban, especially in high concentrations can kill quite a bit of microbes and bacteria. I’m probably going to be trying it for an issue that we are having, but I figured I’d throw it out there to see if anyone else has tried it first.

  166. Sue   |  Wednesday, 01 April 2015 at 4:06 am

    I had my home painted with zerovoc Dunn Edwards paint. If has been over 2.5 weeks that I have lived in a motel . Daily I air out housebeirhbfans and Hepa filters. I moved back yesterday and could not sleep because I had allergic reaction . What can I do ?

  167. Paul   |  Thursday, 02 April 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Follow up to earlier posts: Olympic paints sent a rep out to my house. He had worked all day and smelled of sweat and cologne so there was no way he’d smell what I smelled and he didn’t. The company gave me a check for $50 for my troubles. Woo hoo. Half for the paint and half if I wanted to buy sealer to lock the smell in.

    At the time I will admit, the smell faded a bit but not totally. Now today it hit 66 degrees here in NJ and the smell is back with a vengeance. I think these companies are full of shit and their products contain VOCs even though they advertise otherwise. And they know people aren’t going file suit because of the cost of counsel as well as testing their products. Based on my experience, I do not recommend Olympic Icon paint to anyone. I am going to try living with the smell for now. Who,would have thought a $25 can of paint advertised as low odor and no VOCS would cause this much trouble.

  168. MB   |  Wednesday, 08 April 2015 at 3:28 am

    Buy a large container of activated charcoal online and solo cups. Fill the solo cups half way and place them around the room/house. It will absorb any chemical smell. I cleared the air after having my floors refinished with poly in a couple hours with the windows open. The chemicals that burn with a new oven, were gone in 30 minutes. It works with paint too and costs very little. You can “renew” the charcoal by placing it in the sun but mine lasts for long periods.

  169. Anita   |  Wednesday, 08 April 2015 at 9:03 pm

    MB trying to get rid of chemical paint odor. Where did you purchase the activated charcoal? What brand do you think is best? Thank you for the advice.

  170. Nick   |  Sunday, 12 April 2015 at 11:31 pm

    I have been painting for years but have just had/having my first experience with weird , sickening smell. I used a Ben Moore Muresco ceiling flat white paint on Ben Moore primed sheet rock. No problem with primer and it was there for weeks with out final coat . Muresco Paint had stronger than usual odor but didn’t think too much of it. However after a week it is smelling of a strong, sickly sweet perfume like odor and giving us all head aches etc.
    We are in Hudson area of New York and got this paint through Herringtons, a local building merchant.
    I am calling them tomorrow to find out what their thoughts might be. Looks dismal from this post and the thought of re sheet rocking is depressing. But that smell has to go, we are sickening from it.
    Any one else had a Ben Moore problem with Muresco ceiling white?

  171. Nick   |  Tuesday, 14 April 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Ok update for Nick’s situation posted 12 April 2015.
    Ben Moore rep came out with rep from Herringtons. Both pleasant and could smell issue. However doubts about whether it could be the Ben Moore paint as, even though walls had unpleasant odor , the dried paint on used can did not. Offered a can of synthetic Bin as primer to go over walls again and will be getting a different flat Ben Moore paint later in the week.
    I am wondering if this could not be the primer which i think was Ben Moore but has been tossed.
    has anyone had success with synthetic Bin? I have put two coats on in a test area and sickly smell has gone for now, but its only been a few hours.
    Synthetic Bin is a water based version of their shellac product.

  172. Lawrence   |  Wednesday, 15 April 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Nick, I used Muresco recently and it did have a strong smell for well over a month. I’m never using Benjamin Moore Muresco again! Good luck with your odor issues.

  173. Vlad   |  Monday, 20 April 2015 at 1:27 am

    If it helps anybody, here’s another datapoint: we repainted walls and replaced floors with cork laminate several months ago. Started having this strong chemical smell soon after. We were dead set on the floors being the problem, since leftover boards did emit some smell. I finally took away the floors, the smell remained. I covered walls with plastic today and the smell went away almost immediately. So the problem is in the paint, either HD or Lowes, low/no VOC with primer. I want to let those of you who have health effects from the paint know that as a temporary remedy plastic film is working very well. I attached it with masking tape.

  174. Sue   |  Monday, 20 April 2015 at 5:52 am

    Achemist friend suggested evacyating home for 2 days but first putting pans of amonia 1/2″ deep in house to neutralize paint. Makes sense but I am very sensitive and fear a reaction to the amonia. Has anyone tried doing this with white vinegar ?

  175. For the love of paint   |  Tuesday, 21 April 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Same rotten fish smell with Behr paint from Home Depot. Nauseous and vomitting.

    Face it people. The paint manufacturers know what the problem is, what they’re putting in paint that’s making people sick (does it also include putting fish and crustacean material into paint?) but they are not addressing the issue. The retail stores know what the problem is and ditto their response. Both play innocent and unaware of the problem, they minimize it, they obfuscate, perhaps deliberately lie and cheat their way out of this mess.

    There are things we can do.

    Start a class action lawsuit in the United States. (Here in Canada the dollar figures only amount to peanuts.)

    Everybody unite and selectively boycott a whole line of paint products. Rotate that list. Let’s start with Benjamin Moore. They seem to have the most complaints on this site. (Yes there is a raving review here about how they fixed a particular problem, about how many companies would do that in this day and age, but they certainly don’t go to that length for every problem they’re creating. Lucky the chosen family that Benjamin Moore finally helped.)


    Class action lawsuit against paint stores and manufacturers!

    Boycott Benjamin Moore first!

    Watch the industry start sweating.

    WE can fix this problem. All the best to us.

  176. Sue   |  Friday, 24 April 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Has anyone tried AFM’s Safecoat paint? . It is specifically made with fewer toxic ingredients. It looks promising. In fact, I am going to order some samples for $6 each to try it.


  177. Jymn   |  Friday, 01 May 2015 at 10:10 pm

    success story

    I posted in february that the chemical paint smell was lingering in my daughters room and now it FINALLY seems to be gone. She had been sleeping in the play room in the interim, and we had been having the windows open all the time but the progress was very slow.

    Then last weekend we tried two new things and it seemed to make a big difference.

    One is simple: activated charcoal. It worked better than any other odor absorber we tried. We used a 500g “moso bag” which is nice and tidy, but any brand would probably work.

    The other thing we tried is more interesting: heating up the room. Now, many people have noted that the smell gets worse in hot weather, and that got me thinking. If the problem is paint still being wet underneath other layers of paint because it was too cold or humid to dry properly before it was painted over, then the heat makes the smell worse because more of the underneath paint is drying, but that’s actually a good thing, we want to get that over with and be done with it.

    So we closed the door and windows and used a radiant space heater to heat up the room for hours and hours. It was a dry heat, which is good, and the activated charcoal helps with that too. You want the odor absorber in the room when you heat it, obviously. It smelled a bit worse for a while, then it smelled better.

    We’re happy with the results, so maybe others could try it and see if it works for them

  178. Bob Ucman   |  Tuesday, 05 May 2015 at 11:23 am

    We have a Valspar issue with a bad smell. I tried Kilz(sp) premium primer and that did not work. I am going to try AFM Safecoat Hard Seal per an earlier post and see what happens. Worst case I have to take down the dry wall and start over.

    I will participate in a class action law suit.


  179. WR   |  Wednesday, 06 May 2015 at 6:48 pm

    For those thinking of trying the AFM, it did not work to solve our problem. We used the paint, rather than the hard seal, although I did have it painted over a Shellac seal. I was also disappointed in the quality of the AFM paint. The AFM took forever to dry and had a blocking problem, even though we were running a dehumidifier. For our problem room, we have closed off the room and are using a very expensive air filter to keep the smell/fumes in check and from contaminating the rest of the house. (I had our air tested by an indoor air quality lab before and after the air filter was set up, so I know it works because the “danger” levels of VOCs went into the green. The air filter uses pounds and pounds of activated charcoal.) I now have a room in my house that we cannot use except to store items that won’t pick up smell. Our plan is to eventually replace the drywall when we have the money and time. I have no idea what I will use to paint the walls when we do get new drywall put in. It seems like every manufacturer has had this problem at one point or another. Perhaps I will be making my own paint in the kitchen sink.

  180. Sue   |  Wednesday, 06 May 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Was the air quality checked before and after using the Safecoat paint?

    Which HEPA filter did you buy ?

    Fabric that has been pre washed might be an alternative tompsinting walls.

  181. Sara   |  Friday, 15 May 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Painting nightmare & feeling sick. We put Behr basement masonry paint on our concrete walls in basement a yr ago & immediately felt sick. They told us to put Kilz max primer over & that would seal in the odor. That did not help one bit. This is one yr later & now that the temp has changed the gases are horrible. The air down there is heavy, smells like a vinegar type gas that makes our whole house smell. I can’t stand to be here I feel sick all the time, eyes & throat burn, Ive lost my sense of taste & smell. I don’t know how to fix the problem since it’s on concrete walls. Would it help if I put mortar over it or even drywall over the concrete to keep in the gas odors?

  182. Sue   |  Sunday, 17 May 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Hello Sara:

    I completely understand your frustration and despair as I too am living a “Paint nightmare.” More on that later. As for you, I think you should consider hiring contractors to sandblast the paint from the cement walls that you had painted. Rent HEPA filters that are specifically intended to eliminate VOC fumes. That is my advice.
    As for me, I made the mistake of painting my interior drywalls. Those symptoms you are having will ruin your health over the long run. I know this is radical, but you should seriously consider moving. That is exactly where I am at on all of this. It has been 2 months, the HEPA filters and fans are going 24 hours a day. I can only sleep with the HEPA filter close to the bed. But since moving in, I have had MORE health problems than I had before. I already had a marginal immune system, but since returning this is what happened:
    1. I had a relapse of Epstein -Bar Virus after 30 years.
    Yes, the painted appears to have compromised my immunity to that extent. I have been through two deaths and employment upheaval in the last 30 years and those events did not trigger the EBV. But the paint did. What does that tell you about the toxicity of the paint??? If you have symptoms you are lucky, because you know it is bad. If you have no symptoms, you are unlucky, because health problems will manifest themselves eventually. That is my take on the topic.
    2. I am still recovering form the EBV, but recently, I came down with carpal tunnel syndrome. Never had a serious problem with this in the past. But I felt PAIN which sent me to the doctor.
    3. Then I started feeling joint pain, even being awakened in the middle of the night with hip pain !!!
    Right now I am trying to make my environment as healthy as I can while I make my escape plans, clean out my home, prepare it for sale. The handwriting is on the wall. I must move from this toxic environment before something more serious happens with my health.
    Clearly, this paint does a number on ones immunity and causes systemic inflammation which is linked to a variety of serious diseases. I don’t think I need to list them here. We all know what they are.

  183. Sue   |  Sunday, 17 May 2015 at 8:15 pm


    Some people shared some helpful information and possible solutions to paint problems, but when I tried to obtain further details so that I could go out and purchase the equipment that they used, they did not respond. We cannot help each other and continue our discussions if people are not answering our questions.
    So please check the boxes below when you post a response. That way we can have communication on this topic and we can be helped when you share a successful strategy. We need all the help that we can get. Thank you, SM

  184. karen   |  Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 3:31 am

    Dear Courtney,

    I agree with Sue, do not feel bad about keeping your daughter out of that room. I have had the same problem for 2 years now. I am scared to paint again. I may go back to using regular paint. I am an alternative health care practitioner and have always done everything very “green.” However, it seems that regular paint is more stable. I am waiting until the summer months to paint, hoping to ensure that any cans damaged due to cold will have been sold. Ironically, cold seems to be more harmful to paint that heat. Are your walls plaster? Ours are plaster. The house was built in 1964. I would have taken the walls down a long time ago, but my husband does not want to. Bin Zinser did help. We have an epoxy on the floor now and are going to put new flooring in to rule out the lingering smell being epoxy. I too would love to hear of a paint line that works. I haven’t heard anything negative mentioned about Farrow and Ball. I’m going to prime and wait a week before I paint. And, even then, I may paint a small area; being sure to cover up the can as I go. By the way, Gold Bond is a non-toxic drywall and they actually sell it at Lowe’s.

  185. gd   |  Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I have the same problem with Behr paint and primer paint, terrible smell that has effected my upper respiratory system. Drywall has been taken down and still have the smell that is now through out my house. Trying to find company that will test for chemical smells. Behr knows there’s a problem but won’t admit there is . Knot sure if I want to drywall until the smell is gone Has anyone solved the problem of getting rid of the smell and how?

  186. Courtney   |  Wednesday, 27 May 2015 at 12:37 am

    Hi Karen –

    Thank you for your response. I agree with you about using “regular” paint from now on. The air quality technician told me that the VOCs they remove to make low VOC paint are mainly drying agents, making for a longer drying time between coats. I have also learned that low VOC paint is better for the ozone layer, but not necessarily indoor air quality.

    My walls are not plaster. My husband probably would not have taken them down either if they were, As much as I wanted the walls down and the problem (hopefully) gone, I did not want the headache of having to pick out new drywall and turning my daughter’s room into a construction zone (more off-gassing in her room that I was trying to avoid). After researching drywall, flooring, paint, etc. and all of the harmful effects they can have on our indoor air quality and health, the saying “ignorance is bliss” has never rang more true! Thank you for the suggestion of Gold Bond drywall. I am going to look into it now.

    I’m glad to hear that the Bin Zinser helped your situation a little. I would love to hear how you make out after installing the new flooring. I will keep my fingers crossed!

  187. omar   |  Thursday, 28 May 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I have the same problem but the bad news is that i had removed the paint with chemical remover because my walls are concrete and it still smells
    than i installed MDF panel over my walls and used wall paper to cover them instead of paint and the room stills smells
    very frustrating

  188. Courtney   |  Friday, 29 May 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Sue –

    Thank you for your post. I agree that an off smell is indicative of a greater problem, that is why I refused to use the room – even after the air quality test came back seemingly normal. I finally went into the room a couple of days after the drywall was removed and have to say that I don’t smell the lingering paint odor that had been there. I have been in there a couple of times, though, and each time I end up with a headache and sinus pressure. I’m thinking it could be lingering drywall dust that is irritating my sinuses (I have had sinus issues since my early 20s) and, hopefully, will not be an issue once the walls are up and the room is properly cleaned. Until then, I will continue to keep the windows open and the room taped off from the rest of the house so no dust makes its way into the rest my home.

    I am very sorry to hear of your health issues. It is very hard for people who do not have such sensitivities to understand that someone can become physically ill from such things. I hope you are able to resolve your issue (or move) quickly.


  189. Judith   |  Monday, 01 June 2015 at 6:17 am

    We bought a new house built in 1950 with plaster walls. Our dream home. Painted the kitchen with Ralph Laurent Paint from Miller Paint company. No problem. Painted the bathrooms with Behr Premium no VOC, no problem. Painted the bedrooms, hallway and living dining room with Ralph Lauren paint from Home Depot, horrible problem. Smelled sour and bad and nauseating. The painters went right over the first coat with the second within 4 hours as per the instructions. Got mad at the painters for not stopping as soon as they smelled how bad it was but they said they cannot smell.
    Contacted Home Depot and they contacted the paint rep who said he has never heard of this problem. Sent the batch numbers to Ralph Lauren and they said nothing wrong with the paint, never heard of this problem but they gave us 5 gallons of Kilz to overcoat it. The smell was gone at first with the Kilz so we painted again with Aura from Miller. Unfortunately 3 months and the smell is still present. It is not as strong but still there and my ears plug up and I get dizzy and an asthma attack so I can’t be in the house without the windows open and fresh air.
    It has been three months of airing and fans and exhaust fans and ozone machine and the smell still lingers. The walls are plaster and it would cost a small fortune to tear them out.
    Please note all posters: these are not VOC fumes but something else that has been put in the paint to replace them.
    The description of the smell as pickles and/or vinegar is what we experience. Even if I can’t smell it I start coughing and my ears plug up.
    Class action law suit seems in order.
    Has anyone contacted their insurance company?

  190. Judith   |  Monday, 01 June 2015 at 6:21 am

    The Miller paint we used was Acro Pure not Aura

  191. Judith   |  Monday, 01 June 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I have a suggestion for future painting to avoid smells. Do not buy paint at big box stores or any big chains like Ben Moore. Their paint comes across country and is not climate controlled in shipping.
    Buy paint locally that is made locally. We have Miller Paint in Seattle and another store called the Paint Laboratory that ships nationally.
    The other thing is to smell the paint in the can before you paint! We realized the paint in the can stunk to high heaven and if we had smelled it would never have used it! Paint in the can should have no smell.
    Still no solution to our problem but may use the heat and charcoal to get the smell gone.
    The local air quality specialist suggested we install a whole house fan to keep air constantly flowing through and out of the house. Instead they suggested keeping a basement window open and running the bathroom and kitchen fans which has helped but if the house is closed and the fans off it smells.

  192. karen   |  Tuesday, 02 June 2015 at 5:42 am

    Dear Courtney,

    The reaction you had could easily be a reaction to the dust from demolition. Curious to hear which drywall you used and how the smell is. Keep us posted!
    Judith, great suggestion about locally-made paint! Thank you! Let us know how the heat and charcoal go!

  193. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 03 June 2015 at 3:09 am

    Hi all, you will see my earlier comments above in this thread. (although I’m not the only Lisa in the thread)

    I’m writing to report that we believe that the problem of the smelly paint has been solved for us, approximately 19 months after it began. In the end, after all our troubles, the problem seemed to be solved with 3 coats of BIN. We used two coats of BIN synthetic shellac – one right after the other together. Then a few weeks later we did one coat of regular BIN shellac. There was no special reason we did it this way. It was just that the first 2 coats didn’t quite do the trick so we applied a third after a few weeks when we realized we needed to. I would have liked to apply a fourth and even fifth to put as much of a barrier as possible between me and that cursed paint. But after a while it was apparent that the third coat must have done the trick.

    If you read my earlier posts, you will see that we used Olympic Icon paint and primer, flat, zero VOC, with a custom color, purchased at Lowe’s. The paint never seemed to dry, and after a year it was still possible to discolor a paper towel by wiping the wall with it. We had spot tried: bleach, alcohol, other recommended cleaners. The smell was something akin to body odor or some other organic smell. Unlike one writer above, closing the room and putting a space heater in there didn’t help. The warmer the room, the worse the smell, dry or not. It never lessened at all.

    We were hesitant to go with the BIN for fear we would be throwing good money after bad, but all estimates for remediation were so costly that we decided to at least try it.

    It’s impossible to know if we’re all experiencing a problem that is caused by the same thing in each case, but it’s obvious that there is something bad going on in paint production. I just wanted to let everyone know that for me the BIN worked, but it took more than the ordinary amount to make a difference.

  194. Sue   |  Wednesday, 03 June 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Lisa:

    I am happy that this seems to have worked for you. As for me, I would be afraid that I would have an allergic sensitivity to the BIN shellac. Yes , the common denominator in all of the paints reported above, is that the paint industry is more interested in making money than our health. It does not matter what the offending chemicals are, the bottom line is that they are toxic to humans. A canary in the mine like me, knows immediately, but others may not notice. That does not mean that the chemicals are not harming them. Today I am leaving my home for a few days to see if a change in environment will improve my health issues triggered by the new paint, which is now several months old. Sue

  195. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 03 June 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Sue, The BIN has a very strong smell, but dries quickly. It shouldn’t be used if you can’t ventilate well. I haven’t noticed any smell from the dried BIN. If you decide to use it, you’d have to have someone other than yourself do the application, because it is very strong. You could leave the house for a few hours. As I explained in one of my comments, the first 2 coats over the stinky paint didn’t seem to handle the problem. The BIN was supposed to be completely dry within a few hours, but even though it seemed to be, it still smelled. That lessened over the next few weeks, but didn’t completely go away til the third coat was applied. Once that dried, we were good – although we waited until the warm weather had given it the test (heat and humidity) before we were prepared to say we’re out of the woods. I hope you can overcome the problem you have. I understand that it’s very frustrating and even sickening to have to try to live with it.

  196. Beth Haney   |  Thursday, 04 June 2015 at 12:12 am

    Well, here’s one more person adding to the mix. My bedroom was painted 9 months ago with Behr paint, and Kilz latex was used underneath in some spots. The room has a plastic like smell that is quite evident when the room is shut up. I thought it was blinds that were made of composite material, so I got rid of $2,000 worth of blinds. The blinds were a factor, and it has improved, but there is still the paint smell.
    A class action suit has been mentioned several times. I do not know how this is initiated but sign me up because I would really like to see something done about this problem. I have not used this room and probably never will.
    What a waste.

  197. larry   |  Thursday, 04 June 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I used to paint houses for a living and then the last twenty years I’ve done other types of painting. Recently I began painting interiors again. First interior job I did was with Behr low voc paint from Home Depot. Stinkiest paint I can ever remember. The strong smell of formaldehyde (? that’s what it smells like to me) and other chemicals lasted for weeks. Gave me bad headaches, couldn’t sleep normally, my nasal passages swelled up and my throat closed up. I even felt depression associated with the other symptoms. Bad stuff. I talked to a painter friend with over 40 years experience and he said he was aware of the strong smell assoc. with the Behr low voc. He said he would never use it. I am on a second interior job now and I am using Royal brand from Ace Hardware – mainly because it is the only paint store close to where I am working. The Royal paint has very little smell. I will probably use it again. I also used Zinnzer latex mold killing primer, and some Kilz latex primer and the smells from those paints were not too bad and dissipated in about a day or two. I also used some Glidden ceiling paint from Wallmart and it seemed OK too.
    Back in the day I always used Glidden low odor latex paint and Benjeman Moore latex for interior work as I found them to have the least odor and cause me and others the least headaches.. But that was twenty years ago, and obviously thing have changed. I remember years ago I had a good friend who suffered from all kinds of allergies and she had her custom chemical free house painted with a special hypoallergenic paint that ended up being worse than regular paint. It was a milk based paint and it had an odor that didn’t go away even after a couple of years. Made her really sick and she wasn’t able to occupy the house. Maybe wallpaper is the way to go. Although after my experience with Royal Paint I am convinced that there are still ok paints out there. It is no fun experimenting and being made sick by so called low odor paints. Porter makes high quality paint. I will probably try some Porter in the future

  198. Ruth   |  Sunday, 21 June 2015 at 5:55 pm

    We have a very very faint smell that doesn’t bother anybody other than me – only apparent when there is no ac or heat on and the room is closed. Considering we tore the whole room up last October and that there is a walk in attic adjacent to it – I can’t rule out that the faint smell might be from air penetration from the attic. Might try to seal that well and see what we have. We might attempt bin in the fall if it continues but truly it is nothing like the smell we had from the Benjamin Moore paint so I am not as concerned and bothered by it. If the door is open there is no smell especially if the ac/head are cycling on and off. My cousin will be spending a month in the room so I am looking forward to seeing what she thinks/says and having that room lived in – which might help also. I will keep you guys posted.

    Lisa I am thrilled your smell is gone!!! I might eventually bin it – but right now it is so faint it seems like overkill and before I do that I will want to seal the attic better anyway to make sure it is not that or that that factor is contributing.

  199. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 01 July 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Ruth, I may have spoken too soon. I am feeling overwhelmed right now because I was sure the 3 coats of BIN had done the trick. But apparently I didn’t wait long enough. We have just now had a few hot humid days, and when the room is shut, the smell is creeping back. This is still the only room that smells, and it’s definitely the walls. I’ve sniffed everything in that room. I’ve crawled around on the floor, I’ve put a ladder up and smelled the ceiling. Nothing in the room smells except the walls – which cause the whole room to stink when the door and window are shut. To the touch, the BIN is fine – it no longer feels like it’s still “sticky” – and you can’t rub it off with a dry paper towel (like was still doable over a year after we painted). And the smell is VERY greatly reduced. HOWEVER – it is still there, after 3 coats of BIN. At this point I think the only thing to try is another couple of coats – but this seems insane. Will anything short of ripping out the walls fix this? We can’t afford to do that, and the paint company (PPG) is not being helpful at all.

    I wish I’d known when this started how it would progress. I would have forced the issue with the rep that came to the house (at my insistence). He pretty much just shrugged his shoulders. I should have forced him to take a sample and find out what was wrong. The company has no interest in finding out what went wrong here. Their only interest seems to be avoiding liability. I’ve done plenty of painting in my years – I never in a million years would have dreamed that a problem like this would develop. This is wearing me out – and I think that the paint company is counting on that. But what are the options? Shut the door and pretend that room doesn’t exist? It’s not a mansion. We can’t lose that living space. There are 3 bedrooms and that’s the biggest one. Many possessions are crowded into one of the other bedrooms for well over a year now. I feel confused right now because I’m really not sure what to do next and the money’s not there for any of it. I feel so much anger at the people at the paint company for not wanting to help. This product shouldn’t be on the market.

    Ruth, thank you for your note. My sincere hope is that things will come around – to a point where you will be able to forget that this affected your life as it has. Maybe dealing with the attic will do the trick. I hope so.

    If anybody reading this wants to consider a class-action suit against PPG (if they used one of their brands) – let me know!
    The last person I spoke with told me they’ve only had one similar report before. Well, I know that’s not true because there’s more than one right on this page! And, even if only one person reported it, now that they’ve got two – shouldn’t they be trying to get a sample to find out what’s going on?

  200. Charlie Orestano   |  Thursday, 16 July 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Hello to all with the paint smell problem, I am a 36 year painting contractor in the San Diego area. Having
    had paint sitting in my storage sometimes for well over a year, I found they paint will go rottenand smell
    like vomit or really bad smelling old cheese or milk. I know a particular paint company that was all happy
    that they are recycling paint, and one day opened 5 gal bucket of “New Paint” and it smelled like vomit.
    My theory is the paint companies are recycling old paint in with new, possibly to not wast or loose the inventory.
    Your choices are to either encapsulate it by painting with a super primer (doesn’t always fix it the smell). Or replace the drywall. I think possibly spraying on a converted varnish, lacquer, or shellac, will possibly do the trick. Always smell the can when you first open it, if it smells take it back to the store.

  201. KDP   |  Friday, 17 July 2015 at 1:10 am

    Well, add me to the list of the nightmare and I do mean NIGHTMARE of horrible paint experiences! I am so frustrated and just finished painting this week with a coat of Sherwin Williams shellac primer. That last coat was the 8th time I have painted my powder room and hallway trying to get rid of the horrible nasty odor. It all began when I painted the first time with PrimeFast2 from Menards and then used two coats of Sherwin Williams Duration paint. When I first noticed the odor, I asked my husband to please install our new vanity/sink and the new toilet thinking it must be a sewer problem. After my husband installed the new vanity/sink and toilet, we continued to smell this strange odor. Still not thinking it was the paint, we called a professional plumber to reinstall the toilet. The two days, we still could smell the strange odor. I called the plumber and he was shocked that the seal on the toilet did not take so he was kind enough to come out to our home and reseal the toilet. Well, wouldn’t you know the smell continued. My husband crawled in the crawl space and checked everything under the house and found nothing. He finally said, “Do think it could be the paint?” We both put our noses close to the walls and lo and behold, it was definitely the paint on the walls! I immediately went to Lowes and purchased Kilz water based primer and another gallon of Sherwin Williams paint. I applied one coat of the Kilz and two coats of Sherwin Williams paint. Unfortunately, the smell came back! After that, I started to research online and discovered this forum and purchased the 500g moso bag of charcoal. It did not work. I tried lemons and onions (not together) to try and absorb this disgusting odor. Nothing worked! I then went to Lowes and they advised an oil-based primer. I put this on the walls and waited…….the smell came back again! I waited a few days and went to a Sherwin Williams store and purchased their shellac. I put this on the walls and hoped for the best outcome…..but unfortunately the smell is still there! I am having a gentleman come to the house tomorrow to estimate how much it will cost to replace the drywall. After reading all the posts on this forum, I believe that is the only thing a person can do. How heart wrenching. I do understand that these walls are not “arms and legs” but it certainly is discouraging to say the least. The amount of money that we have wasted on such a small project is appalling. I will follow up after we rip these horrid walls out and replace with new drywall. To think all that the door jams, crown moulding, window trim, baseboards and everything else will need to come out along with that stinky drywall. I will be “shaking in my boots”, too when the first coat of primer is applied. I will never trust any manufacturer of primer or paint again! From now on, I plan on saving some scrap drywall and testing primers and paints before I ever bring another paint can in our home again and put anything on our walls! What an expensive lesson!

  202. Me   |  Friday, 17 July 2015 at 7:47 am

    Good grief, after reading all of these, I’m afraid to paint my walls now!

  203. Sue   |  Sunday, 19 July 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Don’t paint !
    I am flat on my back As I write this. The paint weakened my already weak immune system. Since moving back into my painted home I had a relapse of Epsten bar Virus. Then I was exposed to a hospital virus. Now I can’t get a diagnosis of what it is.But I am weak and have a fever .

    Don’t be in denial.
    It’s not about the smell. It IC about health. The smell is indicative of a serious health hazard.

  204. Lisa   |  Sunday, 19 July 2015 at 2:25 am

    We are having yet another painter apply yet another coat of primer. This will be an oil-based primer over the 2 coats of synthetic BIN and one coat of original. After the oil based dries and cures, we’ll have two coats of latex applied. And that will have to do. The smell has been reduced, and I am trusting that more stuff to cover the bad paint will reduce it more.

    If it doesn’t completely fix the problem, it will have to do. We’ll turn the room to a use that won’t require spending a lot of time in there when the weather’s not just right so that the window can be open. The smell has never transferred to anything in the room. But it’s the master bedroom, and is infuriating that this has been and continues to be the problem that it is. I’m continuing to negotiate with the manufacturer, and although to a point they were actually very agreeable, they have ceased to be so – perhaps fearing great liability. I don’t know. The cost will end at approximately 6-700$ just to be back to having a painted room. But what is the solution to loss of use? And decreased value of the home for a potential sale? I can’t think about that until I know whether or not this next action puts us in the pink.

  205. David   |  Sunday, 19 July 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Please stop trying to cover up these paint smells. These paints cannot be covered and the cold hard truth is it is a chemical reaction . I am faced with the same problem and paint experts suggested several things which I have tried from repaint to bin and nothing works. I am going to bite the bullet and take down the drywall. All paint products are porous and this can not be stopped. Sorry for the post but I think these are the facts. Good luck.

  206. Tanya   |  Sunday, 19 July 2015 at 3:58 pm


    We moved to a new rental apartment (1960s building) 2 weeks ago.
    It was freshly painted and has a parquet floors newly refinished. No rugs.
    When we just moved, there was no smell of paint, but a faint smell of the floors finish.

    In couple of days the smell was gone but a new smell appeared ONLY in the dining area near the kitchen.

    The smell seems like be hanging in the air, we were not sure of the source at first. I smelled the ceiling, floors, the walls and only the walls in that particular area have a weird a little musty-dirty smell. All other walls (living room adjacent to the kitchen, 2 bedrooms, the hall) have no smell at all and it seems it is the same paint.

    There are small windows in the dining area but they are sealed. So, I am assuming there is bad ventilation there.

    Anyhow, I tried cleaning the walls with vinegar, and the smell disappeared for 2 days and now it is back with the same strength.

    Is it a mold issue? Is it a moisture under the paint due to bad ventilation?
    Most importantly, is it poisonous?

    Should I call mold inspection or professional painter to determine this?
    Does anyone found a solution?

    I afraid that just applying a new coat of paint will not solve the problem.

  207. Lisa   |  Monday, 20 July 2015 at 4:59 pm

    If ANYONE has experienced this problem and found a solution – don’t forget to come back and tell us!!!!!!

    Has anyone tried multiple coats of primer? Like four or more? different kinds? LET US KNOW!

    To those who ripped out drywall – what did you try before you gave up?

    Anyone have a lab analysis? Anyone got reimbursement?

    Don’t wait! Get someone from the company and/or an independent expert and find out what’s in the paint – even if you have to get it off the wall. Notify the manufacturer immediately. They will continue to say they haven’t heard of any problem. But we know from this site that they’ve been notified – more than once.

    Benjamin Moore had a class-action suit against it for zero-VOC paint that never stopped smelling and remained tacky. That’s exactly what’s happened to me with Olympic Icon paint (a brand that others here have named as well.)

    With this many of us experiencing the same problem – I think we can say it’s the paint’s fault, not our own.

    Please – if anyone reading this has used Olympic ICON zero voc and is having this smell problem, please contact me. Use this e-mail: the word “mlema” followed immediately by the number “45” no spaces or caps. And that is @ gmail dot com.

    I can’t afford to rip out dry wall. And at this point it looks like the paint company isn’t going to reimburse me for all the expenses I’ve incurred. I’m convinced, based on this site, that the paint I used was defective and led to this ongoing smell problem (almost 2 years).

  208. Linda O'Neill   |  Tuesday, 21 July 2015 at 1:04 am

    Here I am back again on this site and amazed at all the new reports. Seems like some people getting relief using charcoal but there are paints out there that nothing will get rid of the smell. We used Taubmans yes I am in Australia so it is indeed a world wide problem that the paint manufacturer are not addressing, I hassled Taubmans that much I hassled the dry wall manufacture and the insulation manufacturer. Finally Taubmans paid the cost of having the dry wall removed so I also went ahead and replaced the insulation pink batts with a more natural product. The Taubman paint had nano particles which are supposed to make it easy to remove marks on the walls but they don’t really know how it works. We are not amateurs and had painted our own house inside and out no problem with Dulux paint. It was only when we painted our small apartment we had the problem so lucky it was only a small area.
    How do we all get together and get this out there. Maybe pit the paint companies against each other I am thinking of sending the link to this page to Dulux.
    But honestly is was such a stressful and frustration time for us I don’t know if I can go through it again.

  209. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 21 July 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Update: after talking with people on another site, I’ve decided not to apply the Kilz oil-based, but instead to go with a second coat of the BIN shellac (not synthetic, which the first two coats were) I’ll let you know if 2 coats of synthetic and 2 coats of shellac finally kill this smell. I’m very hopeful because even though the smell returned after having put the first 3 coats on last fall – after the room was allowed to get pretty warm, even more of the smell is gone (heat made it worse when it was just the paint, but perhaps the BIN, which was dry to the touch [unlike the paint] has finally found a way to dry out what’s underneath it, by allowing it to get to 83-85 degrees in that room – hot day 🙂

    Honestly I don’t know how it works, i think I’m just trying to psych myself up here. I don’t see that anyone else was insane enough to live with this so long and just keep putting more BIN on the wall. (unless I missed that). It has greatly reduced the smell, and hopefully the fourth coat will suffice. Again, I’ll let you know.

  210. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 21 July 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I have just taken the time to re-read these many posts. I do see that some people said BIN worked for them. Unfortunately there is no follow-up post to reassure us that it worked permanently.

    I’m going to let you all know if my latest attempt at fixing this works. It will be at least 3-4 weeks before I can have another coat of BIN shellac applied, and give it the warm/humid test after it dries and cures.

    Stay tuned!

  211. Anita   |  Thursday, 23 July 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Lisa what other site is talking about this problem? If we all call 310-520-8477 and leave a message describing our problems with paint, I think it will help. If we all file a formal complaint with the consumer products safety commission, we might get some answers. Everyone agency says they have never heard of the paint problem. If we all submit complaints together, we may get a better response.

  212. Anita   |  Thursday, 23 July 2015 at 4:24 pm

    It might also help us if we let each other know what area of the world we are having the problem. I am in NJ just outside of Philadelphia, PA.

  213. ron   |  Thursday, 23 July 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Hello im back.. I have been posting on this web page for 3 years now. About my paint smell problem in my room.. 3 years with this nightmare I have repainted the room numerous times and even tried different kinds of air products and treatments even ozone generators. Now the room is used for storage, I would love to have the room back but it looks like the only solution is to rips the walls down witch is alot of money the paint company should pay for that. they are sell bad paint. We end up spending more money for there incompetents.

    P.S remember 3 long years

  214. Linda O'Neill   |  Thursday, 23 July 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I am in Sydney Australia had the same problem with PPG paint Taubmans. They paid for the walls to be replaced but would not admit liability they said it was a good will gesture. Removing the dry wall was the only way to get rid of the smell.
    I think Lisa has a great idea
    Lisa what other site is talking about this problem? If we all call 310-520-8477 and leave a message describing our problems with paint, I think it will help. If we all file a formal complaint with the consumer products safety commission, we might get some answers. Everyone agency says they have never heard of the paint problem. If we all submit complaints together, we may get a better response.

  215. Lisa   |  Thursday, 23 July 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Anita – who is at the phone number you want us to call?

    Ron – did you try primers? What kinds? How many coats?

    I am still in mid-stream here. The BIN primer has reduced the smell, so I’m hoping that more of it will reduce it even more. I am afraid to apply paint though. But should I have to live with primer on the walls?

    I am still communicating with the company (PPG) in hopes of reimbursement for my expenses, but since I don’t know what they will total at this time, I don’t know what resolution I’ll be content with. Like others, it seemed like a good idea to try the primer first. What’s puzzling is: if the company knows about this problem (which they do) – you’d think they’d want to get it sorted out – – like develop advice as to how affected customers should deal with it. But not all cans of this paint are having this problem. So perhaps it’s a game of odds. I can only speculate.

    Different people on this site have used different products from different companies. They seem to have in common that they are low or zero VOC.

  216. Linda O'Neill   |  Friday, 24 July 2015 at 12:06 am

    Yes you would think they would want to get it sorted but I believe there could be Health problems associated to these products and then it will be huge for their industry. So they are just denying there is a problem they tell each complainant they have had no complaints which is an utter lie.
    Complaints need to be going to Government bodies not just to the company. Any one with health problems should be getting their doctors to report it. Maybe even go to the media.

  217. Barb   |  Saturday, 25 July 2015 at 3:12 am

    The elephant in the room – WHAT can one paint with, once either a shellac based product works to seal in the smell, or the walls are ripped out and replaced? Please folks – if you have a success story with a follow up paint, share it! I’ve lived through nearly 2 years of misery which finally seems to have been at least partially solved by BIN, but what paint can I now safely put on my walls?

  218. Lisa   |  Saturday, 08 August 2015 at 7:58 pm

    John in Ontario, Canada:

    I would suggest you go ahead and get an expert in there to rule out something like moldy drywall. There was some bad product from China on the market for a while. I had an expert come to my home – a guy who is a “fixer” after fire, flood, blood, etc. He was able to rule out mold. His assessment didn’t cost us anything.

    I also read the advise from the gentleman who suggested that the walls be sprayed with Lysol. Although it makes sense, I would NEVER do that. Lysol itself is very bad to breath, and you’d have to spray so many many cans to actually produce any saturation of the surface of the paint that it seems like an unrealistic undertaking. it’s also a liquid, so if whatever is causing the smell ISN’T susceptible to Lysol, then it could make the problem worse.

    I tried wiping areas of the stinky walls with bleach, alcohol, and a commercial wall cleaner. Although the bleach and alcohol subdued the smell in the wiped area a bit, it would have been impossible to apply enough to affect the whole wall, and once the bleach or alcohol dried, the remaining stinky paint underneath “took over” again. The area never stopped smelling.

    I do believe that one reason the BIN is effective is that it’s alcohol-based. So you’ve got the alcohol killing the surface “bugs” and simultaneously the shellac is suffocating it.

    If you’ve still got the can your primer or paint came in, you have a chance to check that out too.

    I’m sorry if this comment isn’t addressing your own comment exactly, I just have a few minutes here right now.

  219. WR   |  Sunday, 26 July 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Hi, I check back here every few months but not super often. We had the problem start for us in early 2014, and here is where we are at:

    *The BIN Shellac (the real stuff, not synthetic), reduced the odor but did not make it go completely away. The longer we go on, the more it seems to come out from behind the BIN. I wish we had replaced the drywall from the very beginning.

    *We are using a very expensive GC MultiGas air filter from IQ Air. Don’t waste your money on HEPA filters, etc., you need something that will remove chemicals (like the MultiGas) This makes the room usable for storage and completely eliminates the smell, but it is not a long term solution. We will be ripping out the drywall when we have money and time.

    *When we paint again, I will not use low-VOC paint, I will not use dark/saturated colors, I will not buy paint in the winter time, and I will consider getting local paint (as someone here suggested), although I’m not really sure that their supply chain would be all that different from big box stores. We will also paint ourselves (no professionals) so that I can immediately stop the project if the paint smells. We will wait 72 hours between coats and run a dehumidifier to help the paint dry properly.

    For all of you trying the BIN Shellac (the real stuff, not synthetic), please make sure to use a gas mask. Shellac is very toxic while it goes up. It should dry quickly and be fine once dry, but you should not be painting Shellac without proper safety equipment. My other comment would be, learn from everyone else’s mistakes here and skip the Shellac. It is not a permanent solution. Best solution is to bite the bullet and rip out the walls.

  220. Sue   |  Sunday, 26 July 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Excellent advice ! Thank you for sharing.

  221. Anita   |  Tuesday, 28 July 2015 at 5:21 pm

    David is right. This is a chemical reaction. Most likely very dangerous and toxic. We need to work together to get help immediately. 310-520-8477 is a news station with investigative reporters. Call and leave a message there and at the consumer products safety commission. They need to get more than one complaint to investigate.

  222. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 28 July 2015 at 6:38 pm

    WR, Sandy, and others:

    I’ve read all the comments on this site at least once or twice. But for some reason I missed a number of things each time.

    I feel like I should have left the three coats of BIN as is. (two synthetic and one shellac) The smell at first blush of hot humid weather had seemed to return – and I scheduled one more coat of BIN shellac in hopes of knocking it down once and for all. Then, leaving the room very warm – it seemed that the smell from the 3 coats was fading. But I had the fourth coat put on anyway. In fact, I asked the painter to keep going until the entire can was on the walls. I’d had it tinted so he could see where he’d painted (instead of white on white)

    The smell from the BIN seemed to go quickly. But now, four days later – a sickening musty clay odor has developed. I am hoping very much that this is the BIN “curing” – but I know that’s probably another stupid hope.
    But no more. If 4-5 coats of BIN doesn’t get it, nothing will and I’ll have to rip out the walls.

    I wish I’d read more carefully – but – I’m not sure I would have believed it if I hadn’t done this myself anyway. How could I have justified not trying the primers and spending all that money to rip the walls out from the start?
    As it is however, I’ve spent 600$ on putting BIN on the walls, over and over and over….

    Of course – if it turns out that this last go ’round just needs to “cure” – certainly I will be happy to report that to you all. It’s early enough in the summer to find out whether it’s going to work. It’s too hot and humid to have the windows open (90 today) – but I can put a space heater in there to help the process With the paint, that made things worse – but if this is going to work once and for all, the heat will make things better and not worse.

    Anita: there isn’t another site talking about this – but I had joined a do it yourself site in order to ask others if they were familiar and what was there advice? No one had heard of this before, but it seemed that BIN shellac was recommended over KILZ oil based (if you were going to try to cover it)

    I have reported this issue of bad smelling paint that doesn’t dry to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Anita, if you would tell me what the name of the news station is that you want me to call at the 310 #, I’ll do it. What happened when you told them about this?

    I’d love for a lawyer to take an interest in this. Perhaps I’ll start sharing this link with some various law firms.

  223. Linda O'Neill   |  Tuesday, 28 July 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Yes it is about high time this was out there and investigated. But it will be a hard slog. As the paint companies so big.
    The bin never worked for me as from previous post you will see I am one of those who ripped out the dry wall.
    By the way my wall were never previously painted.
    I am in Australia but I will ring the number published here.
    I would love to know what feedback others got from the number.
    Besides the expense it is the trauma and stress it put you through.

  224. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 28 July 2015 at 6:44 pm

    …and please… if you’re willing, write to me at mlema, followed by the number 45, @

    (don’t want the robots to pick up my e-mail, so you have to interpret that address as it should be)

    I will keep names together – in case a lawyer is interested we’ll have a way to give him or her our names and a way to contact us. As it is, people come and go and there’s no way to get back to them unless they happen to come back here.

    Thanks to all of you very much! I’ll keep you posted (it will be a while until I know what’s going to happen with this last attempt) Did anyone else still reading here try 4-5 coats of BIN before quitting? (man, I must be crazy?)

  225. John   |  Saturday, 08 August 2015 at 7:43 am

    I am realizing that I too have the paint-smell problem, and it’s been throughout my house since 2011. I thought it was something else, until by a process of elimination I started to consider the paint. And here, this page, proves that it is all too possible. My culprit is Home Depot Behr primer under two coats of Behr paint. I have determined that the odor started shortly after the house (new) was primered (lousy primer) for the first time. It’s never gone away after more than four years. I have been suffering memory loss and less muscular coordination. Things pop out of my fingers when doing detail work. In winter, I wake up afraid of what the night’s toxins may have done to me. Last winter, I opened the doors four times per 24-hour period. I’m in Ontario, Canada, with precious few window-open months.

    I’d like to address the two scenarios, bacteria versus chemical. Before finding this page, I read from one person (Ric) who seems 100 percent certain that bacteria is eating the paint, and that re-painting only feeds it. It makes sense. However, there is a chance that he’s an agent of the paint people trying to shift the blame from the paint chemicals to bacteria. It should be expected that the paint people have gotten wind of this page, and that they will introduce their own comments suitable for their own concerns. But bacteria is a good theory, and Ric may instead be our angel. I’ll tell you why bacteria is a good theory, so long as it can still breath air under a few coats of paint. If bacteria can eat its way through a millimeter of paint to fresh air, new colonies will re-appear with vigor on the outside of your expensive, additional paint. Ric says not to use latex or oil paint to correct this problem, like throwing gas to a fire. His solution is to spray — not to roll or brush — Lysol on all the walls, two times. Let the first Lysol coat dry. After that, he says, “Once dry, prime the surface with BIN Primer or Synthetic BIN – Do not use latex or oil primers as they will also feed the bacteria. Do not use Zinssers Mold Killing Primer (won’t work, and not recommended by Zinsser). Best means of application again is to spray (low pressure) and not roll or brush. Allow to dry thoroughly – then apply a second app (same manner). Do not use odor-absorbing products – nor paint perfume additives…After the second coat of BIN has dried, apply 1 or 2 coats of a high quality, acrylic paint (again, best if sprayed – but now should be able to be rolled safely).”

    He claims that none of the products suggested is food for the bacteria. But how does he know?

    If the culprit were chemicals in atomic form worming their way through the pores in the paint / shellac, then three coats of paint / shellac over top of the chemicals should severly curb the latter’s migration to the outer surface, meaning that the smell should be greatly dimished permanently. But if your smell comes back with increasing levels, even to the point that was before the paint / shellac was applied, that’s why I think bacteria is the better theory. So, before you tear out the dryway, give Lysol or some other bacteria killer a chance, and maybe have some trust in Ric, but I’d like to know whether wallpaper can cut off either the oxygen to the bacteria, or prevent it from eating through it. I’m assuming that bacteria doesn’t eat everything. I assume it’s eating a certain chemical in the paint but may not eat paper or plastic. Isn’t there a water-proof, plasticized wallpaper for kitchen and bathroom pruposes?

    Sign me up for a class-action suit. I have an entire house that’s polluted. I’d like to add one more thing. Ric claims that the bacteria is harmless even though it has a foul odor. How does he know that? He doesn’t say how he knows. It’s not anything a man on the street would know, not even a typical painter. That’s the one thing that makes me suspect that Ric could be an agent of the paint people. Still, he could be telling the truth concerning the bacteria at the root of the problem, in which case the paint people need to assure that they stop adding to the paint whatever it is that certain bacteria like to ingest. Apparently, the sweet-smelling odor is of a different bacteria than the the kind causing a foul or musty odor. I have the latter.

    My name is John, and I am sorry for you all.

  226. Sue   |  Saturday, 08 August 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Hello All:

    I know it is disruptive to your households and lives to be living with a foul odor. But what about having a heart attack or autoimmune disease that is triggered by the paint. Isn’t that important ? I read about a woman who had a heart attack 2 years after she painted the interior of her home. I don’t recall if it was on this website or another.

    The bottom line is that the foul odors are indicative that there is a chemical reaction of some kind. Whatever the mechanism is, the paint companies are responsible. It does not matter if it is Zero-VOC (as was my case) or regular paint. The odors are SYMPTOMATIC of the larger problem which is the tremendous threat that this paint issue presents to OUR HEALTH.

    Let me give you a brief update on my health.
    * When I moved back into my home, post painting, I had difficulty breathing. So I moved back out into a motel for 2 more weeks.
    When I moved back in, I still had difficulty breathing, but with nowhere else to go, I had to survive. So I slept (and continue to sleep with) a HEPA filter by my bed.
    * I believe that despite the fact that several months have passed, the paint has weakened my immune system. Proof?
    I had a relapse of Epstein-Bar Syndrome after 30 years of inactivity !
    I overcame it. Then after catching a different virus, the EBV has been once again activated. This will take between 4 and 6 months to recover. I have been extremely weak, hardly able to feed myself and certainly not strong enough to buy my own groceries.

    Many people appear to handle Dunn Edwards Zero VOC paint with no problem. Or is it silently chipping away at their health without their knowledge ? Time will tell. I just know that it has cause me many problems- health, financial, emotional duress.

    When I read John’s post about his health, I wanted to cry. We must do something !!!

    John wrote: ” I have been suffering memory loss and less muscular coordination. Things pop out of my fingers when doing detail work. ”
    This sounds like a problem with the central nervous system to me.
    Remember that paint is an environmental toxin that can push the human body over the edge.

    Please, get out of your home before your health worsens !!!

    You have reason for not being able to sleep because of this problem.


    I am the one who initially suggested a class action lawsuit sometime ago, however, I have since learned that a specific company needs to be named. In our case, it is the entire “field” of paint companies. Any attorneys out there who can tell me if my understanding of CALs is correct or not ?

    After giving this some thought, I agree that the best way to bring about change is to approach the media. Let’s talk strategy here. Someone left a phone number in LA. Has anyone phoned and spoken to them? Who should we speak to ? Please provide the contact information including the e-mail address, phone number and name. I think it is an excellent idea, but it will not work unless we bombard them with phone calls and e-mails.

    Let’s organize and fight this !!


  227. John   |  Saturday, 08 August 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Was up till 4 am reading, and writing that post. After some sleep, it’s now 8 am, and I have my story with some details to offer. The house was started in Dec 2008, one third of it only, up to the roof and shingles by February. I spent the rest of the winter elsewhere. Probably late in 2009, the one-third was drywalled and primered to act as living space while building the rest. Spent the 2010 winter away as well. Did not smell anything when returning in April-May, which is why I was dumb-founded when the odor first appeared the following year, after having drywalled and primered the rest of the place in 2010. If it was the formaldehyde in the particle-board floor, as was at-first suspect, it should have been of a harsher odor the year before. I do not recall bringing the 5-gallon bucket of Behr Premium Plus Drywall and Sealer with me (I still have the bucket), meaning that I must have left it to freeze all winter (over 2010). Interesting, but I’m not yet sold on the culprit being frozen paint. Even though the one-third area was primered in 2009, the winter would not have allowed the bacteria to thrive, explaining, I think, why there was no odor in the spring. After that, all doors would have been left open until October, but even with the doors and windows closed through to the end of Decemeber (spent that winter away again), the fact is, even now I do not smell anything while living in the house. The nose gets used to smells and no longer registers them to the senses, unless we leave the place and return. It worked every time I went to town for four or more hours; I’d return and find the same odor exactly. To this day. I feel that my house has been ruined. Try to imagine how that feels. I will not sell the house to give someone this problem, would rather die or get sick here. I can’t smell a thing right now as I write. My walls up-close never smell either, but that may be from the used-to-it factor. It takes about five minutes of being home before I no longer smell it. It was probably the winter 0f 2014 when I staying here the winter (was at home day and night)j, and when starting to cough, I knew I had allowed the doors to remain closed to long. I was refreshening the air twice per 24 hours. Some low-odor paint was purchased in the next summer to cover the particle board floors, but it did nothing to remove the odor. It was not a rotting animal, and I could not put my finger on anything in the house that could be the potential source. Finally, this year, I wondered whether it could be the paint, something that seemed unthinkable before that.

    My paint has been fully dry, and chemical seepage from the paint chemicals is not expected to be so rampant that it smells the place up withing four to six hours. I’ve tested this by freshening the house before going to town, and four hours later in a sealed house (no windows open), the odor is foul. That’s why I refreshened four times daily this past winter. Bacteria create their own gases as exhaust, but they might also cause spores in the air, where they themselves migrate, and then into our lungs. I don’t know, I’m not qualified to know. But my next move is to get professional help, now knowing the likely source as the paint. Note that no matter what type of paint is applied, frozen or not, the bacteria eat it…if it’s bacteria at all, that is. If frozen paint causes a bacteria bonanza, thern the altered chemical nature of the paint (due to freeze) must be making “ice cream” for them to feast on. If the culprit is paint-related gas / fumes (not bacteria), I should have smelled it in the spring after all the house was primered, but I did not smell anything after returning that spring. However, the “funny” thing is, that was the year, I think, that I found the patio door practically wide open upon returning, but no water stains on the floor from snow or rain getting in. Particle board becomes stained with water. I figure that a person had been in the house very recently, but there was sign of such a one. Anyway, even now, if the patio door alone is left open while I’m in town, it’s never enough to get rid of the smell.

  228. KDP   |  Saturday, 08 August 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Update: My last comment was that we were going to tear out the drywall and start over. Before we tore it out, we decided to purchase a Idylis dehumidifier ($250 on sale) to give the drywall one last chance of survival. After one week of continual use and several times of emptying the container full of water, I noticed there was a slight improvement. The odor was not gone but better. I continued to run the dehumidifier every day and I watched the number of dryness get lower and become relatively steady. During that time the foul musty odor subsided quite a bit but was still slightly noticeable. My hope of success was up and down over the one week period of time. One night I set the dehumidifier inside the powder room and closed the door. When I opened the door the next morning, the number read “30”, the lowest number. The walls were actually warm to touch! I continued to run the dehumidifier with the door open and after several days of running and low humidity outside, the smell was diminished to the point I was tempted to paint again but I still waited another few days. I decided to paint the hallway two days ago with paint that I had from a couple years ago because I knew it was good. It is holding its own for right now and I am hopeful it is gone. I guess my only deduction is that when I started this painting was during the time one of the most wet springs Indiana has ever had. We live in the country and the fields looked like lakes for weeks on end. I am going to assume for today it was weather related. BUT…….I am going to buy ‘new’ paint today from Lowes that carries Sherwin Williams and paint my powder room. I am going to pray that the smell will not come back. If it does, I will post. I can tell you I will paint with great reservation and will be shaking in my boots with the new paint.

  229. Lisa   |  Monday, 10 August 2015 at 5:04 am

    Sue – you absolutely must do whatever you have to do to protect your health. We’re doing what we can for others and ourselves by posting our stories here.

    Anyone can make a complaint to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well. I did so and received and e-mail asking me to make a report, which I will do tomorrow.

    I’m also willing to talk to the media, but in a limited way only. I did a reverse look-up on that phone# but got no info. I asked the poster for more info but I don’t think the poster has made a return visit yet.

    I’ve also given this site to a law firm I thought might be interested but I’ve heard nothing back. I’m afraid our cases are too varied – and we don’t know what the specific cause is (bacteria? industrial product?)
    Someone who can prosecute needs to be involved. Here’s the Class Action that happened a little while ago:

    Please protect your health and try to recover. People can e-mail me at the address I’ve given above. If anything changes I’ll let them know. But for now I have no encouraging news and, frankly, this is difficult for me to do much about at this point. I’m still trying to actually solve the problem. I’m still dealing with this in my house and trying to “live around it” – as I am fortunate that this is just one affected room.

    Please be well and let me know if you think I can do anything else to help.

  230. John   |  Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 2:45 am

    Hey KDP, your case sounds like bacteria. The lower the water level in your air, the lower the odors. That makes sense if the bacteria need humidity. What doesn’t make easy sense is where these various odor problems aren’t happening for 99.9 % of the people. Maybe it is frozen paint that becomes food for bacteria.

    My first reaction with a bacterial problem such as this would be the use a varathane. But no one has called for that. Intsead, they’;ve suggested shellac. I wonder why. If BIN won’t work without first killing the bacteria, why not spray on bleach instead? It’s cheap. With either bleach or Lysol, a gas mask should be used, with fans running, as well as goggles of course, and I don’t think full strengh is needed. Don’t spray from a finger-depressing spray bottle, but get a paint sprayer with small, electric air compressor (not expensive). I’m pretty sure that bleach will ruin the paint; I don’t know what Lysol does to it when soaked in. But for all I know, these paint-eating bacteria, if that’s what the problem for some of us is, can survive bleach. Let’s assume not. Will the bleach smell after it’s dried and covered?

    Theoretically, covering bacteria with latex paint should kill it due to lack of oxygen, but, in reality, rolling a wall with paint leaves tiny holes, or tiny spots with very thin paint. The reason that RIC said NOT to roll or brush is that the bacteria will be spread around, some of it ending up on or near the top layer rather than buried. Spraying doesn’t require a devise to contact the wall.

    I don`t like wallpaper, but there are one-color wallpapers. I could live with that. But it needs to be air-proof. One-color vinyl wallpaper could solve some of the problems on this page. And the wallpaper glue may even help to bury the bacteria. It’ll be some time from now, but I may try wallpaper for my case in one room, on top of a mildly-bleached wall.

  231. Barb   |  Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 2:49 am

    An update:
    A couple of weeks ago I wrote to ask if anyone had any ideas about which paint to safely use once the problem had been rectified. At the time, we had just primed with BIN, painted with a new product, and had a lovely two week respite from the ghastly smell of our contaminated low VOC paint. Until today, that is. To my horror – the smell is back, with a vengeance. The original problematic paint (which by the way, was B.M. Aura), has clearly once again contaminated the walls. It’s amazing that it can seep through a shellac based product like BIN, but it can. The reason I know it’s the original paint causing the problem is because we had a new partition wall built within the last month in the same room. This small new wall was primed and painted in exactly the same way as the older offending walls and this small wall is the only one in the entire room that does NOT smell. The only thing different about it is that it never had a coat of Aura. As hard as may be to accept (both intellectually and financially), ripping out the drywall seems to be the only solution.

  232. Linda   |  Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 3:21 am

    Seems no one has managed to get rid of the smell. I know we could not. After washing with vinegar, having 1/2 onions in the room, doing the Bin thing. God it was stressful. Bite the bullet just get rid of the gyprock, Also advising people to open up a power point of light switch and see if there is a god awful smell in there. Our did so the insulation had to go as well. Don’t let the paint company off the hook take them to Fair Trading ” that is what we call the court here in Australia.

  233. Barb   |  Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 2:58 am

    I forgot to mention, in light of many people talking about washing down the walls – we had our walls washed with TSP twice before embarking on painting (twice). Doesn’t work, so don’t bother , though the paint company may suggest it.

  234. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 12 August 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I have 4-5 coats of BIN – synthetic and shellac – on the affected walls and the smell seems to be gone. There is a very slight and different odor if you sniff the walls within an inch. It’s not the horrendous smell that filled the whole room a year ago in the summer (it’s summer here now again – after all that BIN – 3 coats last fall and 2 coats this summer)

    Again, I’m not a chemist or biologist but I think this is bacteria. The expert who came to my home said it was NOT mold or mildew. And I forgot to mention this, but one thing he wanted to try doing was an ozone treatment. You seal off the room and blast it with ozone. This would kill bacteria, but might cause even higher toxicity, and would need to be followed by professional-level air exchange.

    Basically, the way I see it the bottom line is: these products are defective and we shouldn’t be shouldering the burden and expense of remediation. We shouldn’t be spending all this money and suffering this vexation just to return our homes to normal. All we wanted to do was paint.

    I agree with Linda of course. Ripping out the drywall is the sure and permanent solution. When I get brave enough to put some paint on my walls to see what happens after 4-5 coats of BIN, I’ll let you know whether or not it’s worth risking the BIN route. Something to consider is that there’s great inconvenience either way. If you rip out the drywall, it’s a big messy job and you still have to prime and paint. But repeated separate applications of BIN is also problematic – and I still can’t be sure that when I paint it will be ok.

    I’ll definitely let everyone know. I’m so happy the smell is gone that it’s tempting to leave the BIN on the walls. But one wall still shows the last white layer through the thinner chocolate-milk color layer of tinted BIN. And the overall effect of the tinted BIN is pretty ugly. I will probably have the room painted in a couple of weeks or so.

  235. Sue   |  Wednesday, 12 August 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Ozone is great idea. What type of business can do this to your walls?

  236. James   |  Friday, 14 August 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Hi everyone. I found this site after running a search on paint odor because I painted a newly remodeled room and after a month it still smells, and it even smells as described here, like pickles, almost an organic clay smell! I couldn’t figure it out because the first room I painted, using the exact same brand and even same line of paint, within 2 days all the paint smell was permanently gone. The only conclusion I have come to is the fact on the new room I used paint that was on sale at Sherwin Williams at 30% off and it must have been getting old, and then I stored it for a year and a half before using it. If it was still good to begin with, just slightly old, it would have been nice if on the can there was a warning that too old of paint will ruin your house. argh I wouldn’t have waited to use it. What is so hard about a little warning label? That’s all i would ask on any product. As for the ozone generator, I actually own one. the problem is the gas doesnt penetrate into the paint all the way. And incidentally, I already own a carbon filter too. Now that works, but they are a little loud. BTW, the filters I use are at greners website, phresh brand. They use a high powered fan to push air through the filter. Keep in mind though, that carbon itself actually has somewhat of a smell itself, especially when new. So anyway, last night I decided to sleep in the new room for the first time. And let me say it gave me a sore throat and asma symptoms. I don’t even have asma at all. I always wondered what it was like. Its like there not enough oxygen. Not a good feeling. I started off without the carbon running, because its a bit loud. Man, I couldn’t even sleep at all! Its like my body wouldn’t work right. i even thought it was in my head until my wife, the next morning, said she had the same symptoms. So I brought in the 50lb carbon filter and fan system and had immediate improvement in the ability to sleep, however it still isn’t a silver bullet. You have to remember as its blowing air around, some of the air is bouncing straight off the walls and you breath it before it gets filtered. i think at the end of the day, the best practice is just for there to be a frickin warning on the label of paint mentioning how toxic it can be if its gone bad and how to tell if its gone bad!

  237. Echota   |  Monday, 17 August 2015 at 10:44 pm

    We are in the exact same boat as so many of you, only instead of in a house, it’s in our RV.

    I also have MCS, and am extremely sensitive to chemicals. My husband used Killz primer, which oddly was’t the problem, and some sort of low or zero VOC paint from Sherwin-Williams. We are intending to live in our Rv for awhile, so we were making it more like a home. We painted all the cabinets, which span most of the RV, with the aforementioned paints, while the walls have been painted with Annie sloan chalk paint and Yolo Colorhouse.

    We are NO having any issue with the latter two, but the white we used for the cabinets, which again are about 70% of the Rv, is killing me. It is ESPECIALLY bad in the heat, but is offgassing constantly. One thing we’ve done is we have a little $99 ozone machine we bought on Amazon. It has a 120 minute timer. If we do two cycles a day of the ozone machine, then air it out, the smell dissipates for that day, but only for that day. If we stop running the ozone machine daily, the smell comes back with a vengence. I like to have the windows open when possible, but when we have to close the windows and run the A/C, it means I get a migraine from the chemicals.

    I was both relieved and appalled to find this thread – relieved because I am not alone, but appalled at just how many people’s health this is damaging – I, too, have EBV, MCS, Mast Cell Activation Disorder and so many other issues, and this has been causing flares of many of my symptoms, including migraines, and affecting my health. Since the Rv is parked in our driveway currently we were able to move back out and into our house again for now, but the whole point of the RV is to try and find a better climate for my health, since I have SO many sensitivities, including mold (and we are in the Pacific Northwest).

    I am glad to read that people were able to get some of these companies to pay for repainting – I am hoping that we will be able to get Sherwin-Williams or whichever company made the paint we used to reimburse us for the paint, have a rep come out and test paint and air quality, and also pay for stripping and repainting these cabinets. Because this is ridiculous. I plan on using this thread as proof that we are not the only ones, should they balk at repayment…

    To answer someone’s question about ozone, you can either purchase a machine yourself on Amazon – just be sure that you follow all the directions when using it, and never use it with people or pets in the home. Or plants, probably. And air out any room it’s used in completely before entering again. It can dry out your sinuses and lungs, so be super careful.

    There are companies who do this, but the only one I know the name of is one I worked for when I lived in St. Louis – Steamatic of St. Louis. They have the REALLY big ozone fans that are serious business. If you maybe look for companies that say “Environmental Services”, that might lead you there. They also do flood and fire restoration, if that helps the search.

    I really appreciate this information everyone has shared – I read the ENTIRE thread – and while I am really disheartened that there hasn’t ever been a fix that has worked other than “replace it”, I AM glad that everyone has been sharing here. This has been really helpful for me to get ideas on what we can do and what won’t work, before we sink even MORE money into it.

    Oh, and for safe paints that are actually safe for real? Not at all cheap, but Annie Sloan chalk paints are the bomb. I really really wish I had just gone with my gut and used those everywhere like I originally wanted to. Like I said, I am extremely chemically sensitive and I was able to paint with Annie Sloan without a mask even, which for me is amazing. I also liked the Yolo Colorhouse, but I see that many people had issues with it above, so I won’t recommend it then. But AS, YES. IT’s $40 a quart, though, and you generally have to use a wax afterward to seal it (we didn’t use the wax on our walls). But eco-friendly paint just isn’t cheap.

    We’ve also had really good luck using milk paint with a beeswax sealer but you can’t really touch that up if anything happens to it.

    If we are able to repaint these cabinets somehow, I will spring for the Annie Sloan – in the long run it would have actually saved us money, since this whole debacle is just costing us more and more to try and fix. A really expensive lesson to learn.

  238. Linda   |  Monday, 17 August 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Good idea to show the paint company the posts. I wonder what they will do probably try to close down the site.
    I wanted to bring it to the attention of a rival paint company to the one used. Too stressful. I am one of those who just got rid of the gyprock and insulation. Sorry to hear it is in your R.V.
    When I am finally over all the stress I will try and bring this problem to a regulatory body here in Australia
    Only problem is we have the worst Government in the history of Australia at the moment with a mad man at the helm.

  239. Sue   |  Wednesday, 19 August 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Dear Echota:

    Thank you for sharing the name of a paint that you were less sensitive to, namely, the Annie Sloan line. I wrote the manufacturer and this is what they wrote:

    ” Chalk Paint® is a non-toxic, water-based paint that is lead-free, EG-free, odour-free and has very low VOCs. Further to this, representative samples of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan have been independently certified as ‘toy safe’ according to strict European standards. The paint was evaluated by one of Europe’s leading testing houses who have confirmed full compliance with BS EN 71-3:2013.

    We have 2 members of staff with asthma who work in our shop and warehouse, both of whom regularly use the paint in workshops etc. with no ill effects. ”

    I am definitely going to give this a try in the future.


  240. Echota   |  Thursday, 20 August 2015 at 7:57 pm

    You’re very welcome. I am chemically sensitive and have had no issues painting inside, without a mask, with Annie Sloan. Other than the expense, I love it. 🙂

    I’ve also had good success with the Yolo Colorhouse paint, but reading above I see not everyone else has. But I was able to use it, again with no mask and no issues, painting inside.

    To give our own update, my husband contacted Sherwin-Williams about the situation, and is going to take the cans into the manager tomorrow. They said if we’re close enough, and I think we are, he will even come out then and check out the RV, and they will test the paint. I’ll keep updating with our progress as well. I am so hoping to be repaid for this and for them to make this right.

  241. John   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 1:37 am

    I was at Home Depot speaking with the paint employee about my house odor. I’ll just tell you what she said. She said my latex primer couldn’t have become frozen or it would become a large ball in the bucket. I’ve never encountered anything like that with any paint, and I’m sure I’ve had some frozen latex over the past 40-odd years. She said latex that has frozen in the shipping process to Home Depot would never make it into the customers’ hands. If she is correct on both counts, then freezing may not be the cause for anyone’s odor on this page.

    She also said that the all paint smelling bad is thrown out, and that one time she even saw growth on the top of a bucket / can. We can’t assume that it was mold, but there we have it, something(s) do grow in paint. But there is a big difference between something growing in wet versus dry paint. There can’t be too many organisms capable of growing with only the water in the air. I’ve got a couple of phone numbers to chemical / odor people that I intend on getting to soon.

    Just want to say that 4 or 5 coats of BIN, to the present time, is not yet a sure fix because this “beast” takes time to come back to the surface, or at least to come back in a big way. It’s perplexing that the one who rubbed bleach on the wall had the smell returning. It could be due to the rubbing process. Rubbing means that a few survive, if in fact bacteria is the problem at all, and then they multiple and return. Plus, if they are deep in the paint, it needs to be soaked with bleach or something else. If Bin is rolled on, that too can allow some to survive, because they cover the roller and get to the upper surface as you roll. It’s like turning over dirt with weeds; you get most of them buried deep and killed, but others near the surface come back and spread more seeds.

    I can’t say that my odor is like pickles. I love pickle juice so I know what it smells like. Mine is a thick on-the-foul side, but I have nothing else to compare it to. It seems to make breathing harder, but I get no headaches, just a lousy feeling. That feeling has been gone all summer, and I feel much better than in winter. I’ll keep posting if there’s anythying to add. John


  242. Linda   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 1:47 am

    Great that you keep posting. Why not bring this to the media. How about contacting someone on THE DOCTORS
    programme. We get that show here in Australia to and sometime they voice this type of concern. I was thinking of contacting Dulux paint they are very reputable. I was going to head the letter up something like want to wipe out your competitors and go from there.

  243. Sue   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 2:02 am

    I think you are absolutely right. The media is the place to bring this to the attention of others. Thank you to letting us know THE DOCTORS program is aired in Australia. What about DR.OZ ?


  244. James   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 7:11 am

    Speaking again of ozone generators, I just shock treated my problem painted room and the 1st night, no smell. But then the next day the smell returned with a vengence and changed smells, from a light smell of pickles to a musky smell. The strength decreased a bit over the next few days though. Why is it when I shock treat (a very high dose of ozone, not the small machines that you can keep on all the time with people near by) when I shock treat the other rooms of the house there’s no such after odor. Its because the problem is the paint won’t cure. Its dry to the touch but not cured, even though I painted 6 weeks ago. I also noticed the paint scratches off easily. And once, I tried to wipe down the walls with a mild bleach-water mixture and the painted started to become wet paint and disolved a bit, turning the bucket of bleach-water a milky white. Argh, this is so agrevating. I worked so hard on that room, even replaced the wall studs and window when I remodelled it. And had it profesionally taped and mudded, though I hung the sheetrock myself. The whole reason I even did all this was to make the room smell like less of an old house and now it smells worse than ever.

  245. Linda   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I have been through all the anguish best just to bite the bullet and get rid of the dry wall that smell has permanently it and will never go.

  246. Matt   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 4:41 pm

    My wife has MCS. We recently bought a house and we need to paint. I want to get in and get all the walls painted before we move so it has at least a month to ventilate before we move in. I have been researching this issue quite a bit. Has anybody used a product called ECOS? They claim to be zero-VOC. I have read in numerous other sources that this paint is recommended for people who have multiple chemical sensitivities. My only concern is that it sounds a little too good to be true. Be interested to know if anyone has experience with this brand of paint.

    So sorry to hear all these stories of suffering. I have seen it first hand and know how debilitating it can be.

  247. Sue   |  Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Don’t do it !!!! I believed the Zero-VOC rhetoric and got into trouble. Don’t believe a thing. Instead, I suggest you paint some Annie Sloan paint on a sample of drywall. Then prop this up in a room of the house for a few months. See how she reacts first before you consider painting rooms.

  248. Echota   |  Monday, 31 August 2015 at 1:59 am

    Matt, I can’t speak about ECOS, because I haven’t used it, but I also have MCS and I have found Annie Sloan and Yolo Colorhouse to be safe. If the paint can be bought at a regular paint store, it’s greenwashed, don’t use it. If you have to go to a special green building supply store or a specialty botique to get it, it’s much more likely to be safe.

  249. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 02 September 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Well, I promised I would be back to report. And this is my judgement at this point in time:

    If you’ve just discovered that the paint you put on the walls developed a smell that doesn’t go away – involve the company immediately and DON’T BACK DOWN until your problem is truly solved. I highly suspect that many of you, if not most or even all, will be required to rip out the drywall before completely solving the problem – as Linda has said more than once.

    Unfortunately for many here, like myself, we didn’t discover that this problem was not unheard of, was actually due to some problem with the low or zero VOC paint, and that it can’t be easily or cheaply solved. Instead, we found ourselves in the thick of it before we got online to try to find out if there was some way to fix the stink.

    If you read through all these comments, you’ll see that there’s more than one brand involved. For me it was Olympic ICON zero VOC – custom tinted at Lowe’s. Applied in October of 2013. Developed a smell within a few days. We continued to ventilate the room. The winter quelled the smell enough that we thought we were out of the woods, but in late spring of 2014, when the weather got warm, the smell returned in full force and got worse. We tried dry heat in the room, which made it smell more. We ventilated as much as possible, and we notified PPG, the manufacturer, at Lowe’s direction. PPG said that without batch numbers (the cans were gone) they couldn’t help us, and said they’d had no reports of any such problem (obviously not true – since the very same problem has been reported here as having been reported to that manufacturer). They refunded my money, but didn’t want to do anything more. I insisted that a rep visit my house. He pretty much just shrugged his shoulders and said we could try primer.

    THAT was the moment I should have dug my heels in, insisted that they take a sample to an independent lab and figure out what was wrong. I shouldn’t have taken another step or spent another dollar without their involvement, since it was their product that caused this smell. I have ignorance to blame. I’ve done plenty of interior, and exterior painting in my life. I’ve never, never, never had a problem like this. In my mind there was no reason to suspect that it was possible to buy paint from Lowe’s and get a bad product.

    We tried wiping the walls in spot areas – with bleach, alcohol, recommended wall cleaners – to no avail. We had several painters come in to assess the situation. Each recommendation boiled down to primer and topcoat. We had a gentleman from SERVPRO, a company that does remediation after fire, flood, smokers, accidents, etc. give us an estimate. His included ozone treatment (a dangerous procedure which presents its own risks) along with cleaning, and finally primer and paint. That was a $1700 estimate.

    We finally decided to proceed with primer and paint, and we had two coats of synthetic BIN applied in the earlly fall of last year (2014, one year after paintng). Three weeks later, we had one coat of BIN shellac applied, because the first two coats of BIN didn’t seem to do the trick. The walls did improve with these applications of BIN. They were now smooth and dry to the touch, as opposed to a not-wet but not-dry sort of rubbery surface of the bad paint – a surface that you could rub or even peel the paint off. We left the three coats of white BIN primer on the walls through the winter, when, again, the cold temperatures seemed to subdue the smell.

    In the spring, happiness reigned, temporarily. I sent a request for reimbursement for the three coats of BIN along with labor to apply the final topcoat. The company said it wouldn’t pay for labor for the topcoat, and while we were going back and forth on that – the smell returned (the warmth came late this year). I tried to get a rep from PPG to come back to see what was going on, but the company isn’t interested in doing that.

    Because the BIN had helped so much last fall, we decided to apply more. Around July 20, my painter applied tinted BIN to cover all the white BIN. He was able to apply 2 coats to three of the walls and 1 to the forth with one gallon of BIN. This seemed to resolve things, but there remained a smell from the BIN itself – sort of a clay or musty smell, slightly resembling the original smell. However, the smell never got as bad as the original paint, and I mistakenly assumed it was simply the BIN itself, and that perhaps BIN had its own smell that needed to be covered, since it’s a primer. This is another place that I think I made a mistake. If 3 coats of BIN didn’t solve the problem, then no amount of primer is going to solve it. BIN is amazing stuff, but it’s apparently no match for the evil spirit that finds a home in some zero VOC paint. Why didn’t the paint company tell me: “hey, don’t put any more BIN on the wall…it’s not going to help any more than it already has”?

    Fully one month later, the topcoat was applied. We used Benjamin Moore Aura. It covered very well and looks beautiful. It’s dry to the touch, HOWEVER – the walls smell like a combination of paint and BIN. It’s been almost 2 weeks since the paint was applied, and I’ve been ventilating the room EVERY DAY. The weather has been perfect as far as temperature. The walls are smooth and dry – but the walls still smell. This isn’t the overpowering smell as from the bad paint – a smell like BO, or even just paint that hadn’t dried (after a year) – this is the smell of BIN and paint mixed together. When the fan is exhausting air from the room, you can’t smell it. That is, the strong smell of the drying paint itself is completely gone. But, if you put your nose near the wall, you can smell it. It’s a sickly sort of sweet clay smell. And when we shut the window and door at night (so the smell doesn’t get in the rest of the house) when we open the room in the morning, the smell is in the air in the room.

    So – take Linda’s advice. Rip out the drywall and be done with it.

    It’s been almost two years and the problem’s not gone. And we’ve spent over $700 so far. And it looks like we’re going to have to rip out the drywall anyway. I can’t recommend ozone because it’s expensive and risky and there’s no guarantee it will work (unless you can find someone who will guarantee it). I don’t think bleaching will be a bad thing, but again, dangerous to do and it might not work. The only thing you know will work is getting rid of the drywall that the paint is on.

    And yes, we checked the carpet, ceiling, attic, etc. It was evident to everyone who examined the room that the smell was coming off the wall paint. If I could do this all over – I would have gotten onto the manufacturer immediately and never let up until I knew what had caused the problem – chemically – and that they were going to fix it. I shouldn’t be forced to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix a problem caused by their product. I guess it’s time to get some estimates for drywall, and to perhaps contact a lawyer.

    At this point, I think it’s important for me to thank the creator / owner / maintainer of this web site. THANK YOU!

    If people are experiencing medical issues as a result of using a product, they should definitely contact a personal injury lawyer (after their doctor of course). Also, report the product at:

    REgarding class actions suits: currently they exist only over the issue of paints that claim to be zero VOC actually NOT being zero VOC. Concurrent health issues would also be a part of that I believe. I’m not going to recommend anybody, but I think you could probably find a national law group online that might want to talk to you if that’s your issue. For myself, I just need to restore my home to a live-able condition at this time. It’s been almost two years, and I have no idea how much longer.

    Thank you all for your comments. Again, my vote is for ripping out the drywall, and also for involving the manufacturer ASAP and throughout the process of remediation.

  250. Lisa   |  Friday, 04 September 2015 at 1:52 am

    PS – although I’ve said that I just need to restore my home to a live-able condition, when doing some self-reflection, I realize I’ve been having frequent headaches. Sometimes they’re bad enough that I become sick to my stomach. I’ve tried to stay out of the room but I’m starting to think that this latest manifestation is having a negative impact on my health. Because none of us know what’s causing these odors, I think it’s important to try to limit your exposure as much as possible. I’m thinking I should probably talk to a doctor at this point? Certainly I have enough to contend with without being sick on top of that. I’m very sorry for those who are having even more serious issues from this bad paint. Let us know how you’re doing.

  251. Lisa   |  Friday, 04 September 2015 at 2:55 am

    Since I wrote the long saga just a day ago, the smell has continued to worsen and it’s every bit as bad now as it was before the multiple coats of BIN primer and the two coats of fresh latex. Perhaps worse. I was able to be in the room before even though it smelled bad. Now I can’t stay in there for even a minute.

  252. Clarke   |  Saturday, 05 September 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I’ve been following this thread for months as I have suffered an odor nightmare as well. A similar thread and possibly helpful thread here:

    Good luck to all

  253. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 September 2015 at 9:36 pm

    It’s been a month since the room was painted with the good paint. The smell in the room has stabilized into something that’s most closely characterized as a chemical / paint smell. We’ve scheduled the removal of the drywall. It took one-two weeks for the smell from the latest attempt, which was the topcoat, to become what it is now – which hasn’t changed regardless of the fact that the weather has been perfect for ventilating the room, which we’ve done every single day. The smell remains the same. It’s as strong now as ever and I have some fear that when we remove the drywall we’ll find that it’s affected the insulation or more. I wish we could have gotten someone in here sooner to rip it out. It’s going to be another few weeks.

  254. Sue   |  Wednesday, 23 September 2015 at 10:27 pm

    H Lisa:

    Thank you for the update. I am so sorry about this. I know how disappointing this is that you will have to knock out the drywall. Please let us know the results. I am certain that this will significantly reduce any fumes and I expect that with time and ventilation any residual odors will leave.

  255. keith nyc   |  Saturday, 26 September 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve been following this thread for sometime as I have had issues for a year. I’ve done research and read tons of blogs, articles, threads on painting/DIY websites. I believe I have a solution but I am waiting a couple of weeks before I can say it’s been a success but first I will share what I have gathered.

    Most of the odor problems are from recent industry changes in paint formulations from regulators demanding lower VOC. Also paint is not what it used to be. Paint used to be just paint. Now its primer and paint in one, scrubable paint that may never completely “dry”. Also paints that may have no odor if applied to a clean surface, may react with whatever is on our walls now and have a bad chemical reaction.That is something we can’t change.

    These are things in our control: Application!!! Use new rollers and brushes!!!! Many users applying second coats too soon. Most water based paint requires a minimum of 4 hours in ideal conditions for recoat. Give it a minimum of a day to recoat. I was able to recreate the gas odor by applying known good paint on a small piece of cutout drywall and applying a 2nd coat 2 hours later when it was dry to the touch but not ready for a recoat. Many inexperienced DIYers and rushed painters will recoat after 2 hours because it’s dry to the touch. I’ll admit I was guilty of this. Most latex paints (after reading TDS of several different paint brands) in IDEAL CONDITIONS are dry to touch in 2 hours, can be recoated after 4 hours, and fully cured in 2 weeks.
    warm temperature and low humidity is considered ideal conditions.

    WHAT WON’T WORK: Applying another layer of paint of different brand over your stinky paint. All latex paints are breathable and gas emitting from the contaminated paint on your walls will permeate right through it. Are paints are breathable with higher sheen paints being slightly less. Gloss finish will be less permeable than flats but all are breathable. The higher the volume of solids in a paint, the less breathable. Info of volume solid of any type of paint is listed in the products TDS (technical data sheet) which is available on paint manufacturer’s websites.

    Zinsser BIN-like others on this site, this didn’t work for me. Not only is it expensive, smelly, messy and extremely hard to apply. I did 2 layers over a 2 day period. It smelled very powerful on application and less so as it cured but after a week or so, I was left with a combo primer and gas odor which never faded.

    WHAT MIGHT WORK: A UK based DIY website has a thread where many users reported the odor issue with some success of applying Alkali resistant primer. The odors were caused by mostly Crown brand paint and some by Delux brand. I am from the USA and never heard of these brands until reading the thread. In trying to treat my issue, I researched “Alkali resistant primer” only to find it was not something widely available here but similar products that are suppose to have a high ph resistance of up to 13. I only found 2 products with that claim and it was Masonry sealers (which I didn’t want to use inside my home) and Zinsser brand 123 primer. I tried this on a small area in my home and have had big improvement. On its TDS, it lists ph resistance of up to 12.5. None of the other primer products on Zinsser’s website lists ph resistance. I applied 2 layers. Recoat time is 1 hour but I gave each layer a day then applied 2 layers of latex paint on the following days. Before applying these on wall, I applied these on a piece of cutout drywall to confirm the primer and paint were not contaminated and did not smell. I let it sit for 2 weeks before applying to walls.I will report back here in a couple of weeks if it doesn’t smell on my walls as the paint takes 2 weeks to “cure” but so far so good.

    Good luck to all!

  256. Lisa   |  Monday, 28 September 2015 at 6:32 pm

    keith in nyc

    Thanks very much for posting. I very much hope that you’ve found a solution for your problem. It’s hard to tell if we’re all having the exact same problem, but if you’ve had a smell for a year after painting, it sure sounds the same!

    Did you report your problem to the paint manufacturer? What did they say? Are you experimenting on your own dime? I have done plenty of painting in my lifetime. If there are paints being manufactured that require special preparation of the wall to be painted, then that should be noted on the label very plainly. Also, I’ve always used new rollers, etc. when painting, and have always left plenty of time to dry between coats. I suspect that there was something wrong with my paint before it went on the wall, but somehow spreading it on the wall allowed whatever was wrong with it to manifest.

    Here’s the problem with trying to solve the problem: we’re all guessing and experimenting and spending lots of money, time, and trouble to fix it – when we shouldn’t have to. We should be able to buy paint, apply it according to the directions using recommended materials, and have the room done and live-able. If you’ve found a solution to this problem that doesn’t involve removing the drywall, then the manufacturer will be in your debt.

    Please do let everyone know what you find out from your reading and experiment – again, I sincerely hope that you’ve found the answer, for the sake of everyone concerned. Thanks!

  257. keith nyc   |  Wednesday, 30 September 2015 at 6:22 pm

    @Lisa, I did report my problem to the store where the paint was purchased and they contacted a rep from the manufacturer. They called me within a day and quickly offered a gallon of BIN and a gallon of the same paint I had originally purchased. As mentioned, BIN didn’t work out for me and I have been spending my own money ever since. I couldn’t pursue anything really because I threw out the original can of bad paint and only had a receipt to show my purchase.

    What upsets me about the paint industry’s response is that they either claim there are absolutely no health risks. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE IF THEY CAN’T FIGURE OUT DEFECTS IN THEIR OWN PRODUCTS THAT THEY CAN SUDDENLY BECOME DOCTORS AND KNOW THAT???? It has affected my health and many of those that have posted on here. If not long term, then at least short term. I’ve suffered from headaches, shortness of breath, and many other issues that I never had before prior to this. Only thing that helps is leaving the house for long periods of time.

    I will post back shortly to give an update.

  258. Sue   |  Wednesday, 30 September 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Hi ! I just want to make certain that I have this straight. Is it Lisa that continues to have health issues ? Or is it Keith?

    Because of my health issues post Zero VOC paint (Edward Dunn, but it makes no difference what the brand is. Poison, is poison). I am seriously considering moving out of my home of 30 years. I am distraught over this whole thing, as I do not want to move.

  259. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 30 September 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Keith, thanks for that further explanation. I will be eager to hear what you find.

    Sue, Keith has ongoing problems from the paint. I am having my drywall replaced in a couple of weeks, after trying multiple coats of BIN (didn’t work) I would suggest you do what you have to do to protect your health. If that means moving out, then do it. If it means replacing the drywall, then do that. Maybe you’ll have to figure out which is more economically feasible for you. If you believe that you bought a ZERO VOC paint that turned out to NOT be zero VOC – then I’d say you need to contact one of the law firms that is bringing class-action suits against paint companies that have advertised their paints as being zero VOC when in fact they’re not – especially if it’s causing you health problems. Try searching under “zero VOC paint class action suits” – this one comes up. for example:

    At this point for me I simply need to get the drywall replaced (I hope) – as I was fortunate that only one room was affected. I’ve been staying out of there except to go in every day (while holding my breath) and open the window and put a fan blowing out, to pull fresh air from the front of the house through that room. I feel sorry for nature out there that has to deal with whatever gases are making this stink. God bless nature as the big detoxifier. I hope we don’t wear it out.

  260. Lisa   |  Thursday, 08 October 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Please – if anybody visits or revisits: give us as much info as you can. What brand and kind of paint? Did you contact the company?

    Don’t do anything to try to fix it without involving the company, because they’ll deny that their paint was the problem. Have a third party examine the room to witness and give their assessment – because you’ll probably have to sue the company if you end up spending a lot of money (like to replace drywall). Don’t be naive. It’s obvious from this page that these companies have had plenty of complaints about this smell problem – and yet they deny it.

    If the company sends a rep and the rep tells you to try a primer – don’t do it! Once you cover up the paint they’ll say they can’t test it! Tell them you want a test from an independent lab. Cut out some drywall (you’ll have to do that anyway) and check it out for yourself! But either way – don’t let the company off the hook. They will use every trick in the book to avoid taking responsibility for this problem.

    Especially: if you painted room(s) in your house that you can’t avoid being in and you’re suffering nausea, migraines, or worse – go to a doctor and then call a personal injury lawyer. It’s too late for me…protect yourself!

  261. Steven Roe   |  Friday, 09 October 2015 at 1:15 am

    Just painted with Olympic Paint from Lowes 5 days ago and it smell horrible.
    Its my sons new bedroom and he can use it. After building a room in the garage and spent alot of money that my son made and it smells like it was just painted and its dry. I don’t knkw what to do.

  262. Sue   |  Sunday, 25 October 2015 at 12:16 am

    Is it regular paint or Zero VOC?

  263. Keith NYC   |  Sunday, 11 October 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Lisa, have you had your drywall removed yet? My previous attempt of 2 layers of 123 primer and 2 layers of latex eggshell improved the odor a lot but wasn’t a fix. Whenever the temperature rose above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the gassy odor returned. There is virtually no odor on cooler days even if I put my nose directly on the wall.

    So now I have tried a couple of different things. I had some semi gloss paint which I applied in a small area and that seems to not have an odor. I don’t want semi gloss in my bedroom but at this point I’ll settle for it if it covers the odor. I can’t find an explanation as to why semi gloss wouldn’t smell other than it is a more durable paint and is thicker in viscosity than the eggshells and flats I previously used. For those that have painted in all different sheens know that when you have say big drips of semi gloss on the floor that you can peel it off in one piece when it dries as opposed to flat paints that need to be cleaned with water and it breaks up.
    Semi glass has a lower perm rating and some even use semi gloss as a vapor barrier. Before covering my entire bedroom in semi gloss, I’ll let this small patch cure for a full 30 days and then go from there. Lisa, it may be worth trying some semi gloss if you haven’t torn down the walls yet.

  264. Lisa   |  Monday, 12 October 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Keith in NYC, — the smell problem is definitely related to temperature. In the winter, here in the midwest, the room had little smell – even the first winter when the bad paint was still on the wall and not covered with primer. Likewise, the next winter when there was 2-3 coats of BIN on the walls, we really thought we’d conquered it. But in summer the smell was horrible when just the paint was on the walls, and when the BIN was over it, there was still a smell. After 4 coats of primer, I decided to try the paint.

    I talked to a lot of paint people (again) at that time. I was considering an oil-based paint. I was thinking that maybe an oil-based might be less permeable. The paint company I was talking to said that the only oil-based they still sell is high-gloss that’s used on door casings and the like. i didn’t like the idea of high-gloss in my bedroom, although if I’d were still at the point where I was physically and financially able to keep experimenting – perhaps I would do it. The drywall is gone as of an hour ago 🙂

    One thing to remember for those that haven’t already tried covering their bad paint before contacting the manufacturer is: there’s a 2 year statute of limitations on trying to collect from the company in small claims court. Of course, if a person has used the stinky paint in more than one room, they will likely go over the $ recoverable in small claims.

    So Keith – I did think about the different paints – and also primers. I considered an oil-based primer. But everything I read online said that BIN shellac was the best at dealing with odors. After the final two latex coats over the layers of primer – the room smelled as bad as it did with just the paint – and was still that way now – almost 2 months later and always as bad as the first. So we took out the drywall. And the drywall is fine – as we suspected it would be, since there was never anything wrong with it to begin with. The layers of primer and paint on there are just like the thinnest skin compared to the thickness of the drywall, and yet that’s where this mysterious problem hides. We kept some of the drywall with the paint on it as evidence, since we’ll be trying to collect in small claims. We felt we couldn’t wait any longer to get this fixed – winter will be here before you know it. We’re so tired of moving things in and out of the room everytime we have work done. And I’m tired of sleeping in the basement. After two years, we need our house back, and we can’t afford the time or money to experiment any more.

    Again, I hope very deeply that you find a solution. It’s possible that some people have, If you read all these comments carefully, you’ll see that some people may have primed and actually fixed it. Not everyone comes back, so you have to think they fixed it (or maybe got tired of talking about it 🙂

  265. Anita   |  Monday, 12 October 2015 at 6:29 pm

    We are sick at my house from the toxic BEHR paint fumes we have not been able to get rid of for 11 months. I called Poison Control. They said they had never heard of the problem or gotten any other complaints. Might help to call Poison Control if you have been feeling sick from these fumes that none of us seems to be able to get rid of.

  266. Linda   |  Monday, 12 October 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I didn’t think to call them here in Australia as I thought they only dealt with emergency incidents. What did they do for you did they register your complaint did they try to help in any way.

  267. Lisa   |  Monday, 12 October 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Anita – try calling the State Health Department in your state. I was on the verge of doing this. Don’t know why I didn’t think about it before.

  268. Lisa   |  Monday, 12 October 2015 at 10:07 pm

    In fact, I probably should do this anyway. If there’s any chance of getting this on the radar for the media and the public, it will probably be due to health concerns. We kept some of the drywall, so they can check it out. Good luck!

  269. Lisa   |  Friday, 23 October 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Keith in NYC – I just ran across the tips on alkali resistant primer on a Crown site:

    But it sounds like you tried their “Solution” and it didn’t completely work (maybe you really do need the 13? How could .5 make that much difference?). Our new drywall is up and primed. The room smells like dead fish. I discovered a 5 gallon bin of dirty water from mudding that they’d left to sit for a week. Almost knocked me over. So now we’re postponing the topcoat until everything that’s on the drywall now has a chance to cure and off-gas.

    This problem that a growing number of people are dealing with is serious and expensive. It’s not right that the nature of it is allowing the manufacturers to claim they’re not responsible. It’s their products that are causing the problem, but all they have to say is: “We can’t help you if you dont’ have the batch numbers!” But in reality this has nothing to do with batches (as talked about on that page), and product liability has nothing to do with batches or warranty. If you make a bad product, you should make it right if it hurts someone or costs them money.

    Keith – you shouldn’t be expected to keep your paint cans. What brand and kind of paint did you use? Keep your receipt. Don’t let them off the hook. They encouraged you to use BIN – and now the bad paint is covered so they can say they can’t sample it. I was told I’d need a “wet sample” – well, first of all, I didn’t know the paint was going to start smelling a few days after I painted, and second, people don’t keep paint cans if they’re empty, and third – the rep was IN THE ROOM and could have gouged some off the wall, since it remained rubbery. This is baloney. It’s apparent that this problem cropped up a while ago and that the manufacturers are aware of it. If it’s truly only one in 100,000 that are experiencing it, then it shouldn’t be a big deal to help those of us who are the unlucky one in 100,000. If it were my product, I would want to be responsible – even if it meant that I lost money. I wouldn’t want to carry the guilt for the headaches and disruption of making someone’s home stink for months or even years.

  270. Benjamin   |  Friday, 23 October 2015 at 8:49 pm

    My advice where you get that paint go to that shop you have buy tell the tiller you have bad smelling in your house he must come or make a plan to remove it

  271. Tim   |  Saturday, 24 October 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I have this same problem. We painted 4 bedrooms at the same time with exactly the same paint except for the color. The room painted red has this odor while the other three do not. We went so far as to repriming the walls with a high quality oil based primer and repainted the walls, again red. The odor is still there!! It’s not a fresh paint smell but something I cantvreally identify. The house is pony 10 years old and the smell was not there before the red paint. Very frustrated. Any suggestions?

  272. Keith NYC   |  Monday, 26 October 2015 at 1:27 am

    @Tim, what brand and sheen did you use? My original problem started with Benjamin moore flat with a customized dark grey color.

  273. John   |  Tuesday, 27 October 2015 at 2:45 am

    I was just reading the posts at the UK website left by someone above. It’s hard to make sense of it when one person claims the problem occurs / worsens in sunlight, and another reports the problem occurs only when the windows are open regardless of sun on a wall.

    I shared on an odor problem in virtually all my house but the bedroom, and after some five years, the odor persists. I had planned on flooring the place (for the first time) in hopes that the odor was coming up from the solid-rock crawl space, which is often humid as rain water seeps through rock crevices, but even when the rock is dry, the strong odor on the first floor is there. I purchased some floating wood flooring for the entire story, but after starting in the bedroom, I found that it made noise when walking on it. After a month or two of contemplation, back the flooring went to Home Depot for a refund. The last batch went back about a week ago, meaning that I haven’t been able to test whether the odors are from inside the floor, which is packed with pink insulation. However, the furnace was just installed in the crawl space, which required the removal of some insulation in the floors, and, aside from where mice had made bedding, it didn’t smell. Nor had humidity gotten into it from condensation. It was all fine. I had painted the particle board sub-floors thinking that to be the problem, but the odor persisted. When I finally tried to accept what I had rejected previously, that the walls were the problem, I arrived to this page, which had me pretty sure that the Home Depot Behr primer was the problem, even with two coats of Behr paint overtop. The bedroom was painted several months ago with a new bucket of primer and paint, and doesn’t have the problem. I know that because, every morning when I awake, I open the bedroom door, and, sure enough, the rest of the place stinks. If I spend all day there, I can’t smell it, but if I go to town for a few hours, it’s strong in my nose when I return. I can’t describe it because I don’t know what else it smells like. It’s nothing that I own. Anyway, until the floors are done, I can’t deal with the walls. So long as I can sleep in fresh air, I’ll be alright. The rest of the place needs to be freshened up with open doors as cold weather sets in.

    I still have no solid idea on the causes or odor sources in regards to the posts on this page because the problems are not identical across the board. There are several situations where foul odor occurs on a long-term basis, some with defective paint finish, and others not. The one who had the problem with the same paint only with the red color suggests a dye problem. Might there be a dye problem for all cases? Might the culprit in a lot of cases be a certain dye brand / color and not the paint itself? Can that explain problems with white primer? Or are primers the problem? Perhaps that red room got a different can of primer.

    Before tearing out the drywall, see if a layer of paper peels off easily under the paint. Sometimes, only part of the paper peels, leaving enough that one can lay on a thin coat of drywall mud to smooth out a finish appropriate for painting. It may be a better option because the wood trim doesn’t need to come off. But whether this is even an option depends on what difficulty there is in pealing a layer off. With the paint on, peeling the paper may be impossible. Sorry (or should we be glad) to hear that the drywall came off, Lisa. You have a 99,999 out of 100,000 chance of getting good paint this time. Don’t even think the word, Murphy.

  274. Big John   |  Wednesday, 04 November 2015 at 10:03 am

    Has anyone tried BaKing the rooms a little? Paint cures best above a certain temperature. I just ran into a similar problem with some primer. it’s cold outside this time of year and leaving windows open with fans running drops the rooms temperature below the optimal temperature of the paint. Try blasting some heat in the room with fans running to try and dry the paint out. It seemed to make a difference for myself.

  275. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 04 November 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Big John – I baked the room, and after the room got very warm and the walls were warm to the touch, I ventilated. Then I did it all over again. If that helped your situation, then your situation wasn’t the same as mine. In my situation, heat made the room even worse.

  276. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 04 November 2015 at 4:54 pm

    John, I did note that the UK site said something about sunlight causing the problem. I tried to find out how old that site was, but could not. My problem was not caused by sun on the wall. There was absolutely no doubt it was the paint itself. Every square inch of the surface of the walls smelled and nothing else – not the ceiling, the rug, the walls on the other side, the attic, the basement, etc etc etc.

    I’m sorry it’s affecting so much of your house, but glad it’s left you one “clean” room. I was fortunate that the situation was reversed. But it was my bedroom, so I had to sleep in the basement, and cram all my clothes and stuff into an extra tiny room (thank goodness we had that) The dressers got moved in and out of the livingroom every time we primed. I can’t believe we tried so hard for so long. I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed. Good luck to you my friend.

  277. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 04 November 2015 at 5:00 pm

    John, I hope I didn’t imply anything insulting in my comment. You are facing a lot, and I admire you very much for dealing with it as you are. Best wishes. I’ll be back of course.

    Have other commenters who posted here so long ago solved their problem without replacing drywall? Or did they do that and then move on? It would be great to know.

  278. Keith NYC   |  Wednesday, 04 November 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Lisa, did everything work out for you with new drywall?

  279. Lisa   |  Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 1:10 am

    Yes Keith – THE SMELL IS GONE!!! 🙂

    We’re afraid to paint though. The walls are a lovely primer white….

  280. Keith NYC   |  Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Lisa, so happy for you. As for my situation, I painted my walls in semi gloss. As mentioned in my previous post, eggshells and flats I used over primer never covered the odor. Semi gloss probably due to it’s higher durability and thickness did a better job, it’s been about 3 weeks and although not completely gone, it’s the best it’s been since this fiasco started. Semi gloss looks horrible in my bedroom but I’ll settle if it holds up, Benjamin Moore makes their contractor grade (Super hide and Super Spec) line in a variety of whites. I chose a ready mix color rather than custom in case the dyes are old or contaminated. Seems like many here may have had bad dye mixed in when one color produced smells while another didn’t.

  281. Lisa   |  Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks Keith! My fingers are crossed for you. I too suspect the colorants. If you want to e-mail me at mlema 45 @

    gmail. com (no spaces) we can discuss more. I don’t want to keep writing lengthy stuff here.


  282. Sue   |  Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 5:54 pm

    HI Lisa:

    Wow ! You did it ! You made the leap and replaced the dry wall and have results. If I were you, I would take a large piece of drywall (that is not on your wall) and paint it with Annie Sloan, then leave it in your garage to see if that works. Only after I am convinced that it has no fumes would I put that paint or any other paint on my walls. Or you could cover your walls with cloth. Keep us posted.

  283. Lisa   |  Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks Sue! I might just do that. I don’t want to leave the walls with just the primer, but it is very scary to paint now.

    I truly hope you’re doing ok. What did you decide? (if you don’t mind me asking)

  284. Sue   |  Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Hi LIsa:

    The “stars” are coming together and it looks like I am going to move.
    But I plan to be very careful of paint int he future.

  285. Bob   |  Monday, 14 December 2015 at 10:52 am

    Hi Sue, You’re moving and handing the problem down to somebody eles, putting another family health at risk that you created. How can you live with yourself sue? We’re all here to help each other out to find a solution.

  286. Sue   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Dear LISA:

    Yes, you are right. It is a good idea to let the manufacturer know about these things and I do intend to do that, even at this late date. But I will expect nothing from them. This thread has convinced me of that.

    I am sorry you think I am a horrible person. However, I am not handing down this problem to others because at this time, there is no problem. I stand corrected. It has been 10 months since I painted (not 8) and currently, there is no odor or stench nor has their been for several months. I believe that this is now a safe environment. I just wish I did not have to pay the price while the paint was curing. I went through the worst of this. Now others will be able to enjoy a safe odorless environment.

    So I want to be clear. I am not moving because there is a stench, because there is none. I have bad memories from this experience and am tired of this whole thing emotionally and want to move on. But I must say that all of this experience made me realize that I am getting older and need to be geographically closer to my daughter who lives in another city. Plus, just a few weeks ago I learned that my daughter is pregnant and I want to be with her. In order to do that, I must move. I’m going to be a grandmother ! I am so excited.

    So you see, I am not passing on a home which has foul odors. I think that it has “cured” by now. But unfortunately, while it was in the process of curing, I had health issues. I paid the price and the next people will not have to go through this process as I did. Now I can be with my daughter.

  287. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Sue, for God’s sake, I don’t think you’re a horrible person! Why on earth would you think that? Please, I only want the best for you. I’m glad you’re making a change, and it sounds like a good one – I guess that’s what I should have said. I did not mean to imply that you were moving away from the smell and giving it to someone else. I’m sorry if it seemed that way. I can tell you are a very good and kind person. Again I wish you all the best. Let us know how things go. I’ve posted my e-mail somewhere in these comments, if you wish to contact me please do so 🙂 Thanks again for everything you’re said.

  288. Sue   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Hi LIsa:

    Thank you for your response. My apologies. The following message did not come to me from you, but from Bob. He appears to think I am a horrible person.

    Bob Said: “Hi Sue, You’re moving and handing the problem down to somebody eles, putting another family health at risk that you created. How can you live with yourself sue? We’re all here to help each other out to find a solution.”

  289. Bob   |  Monday, 14 December 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Sorry Lisa I didnt read your other post that you took out your dry wall, I apologize. Sincerely Bob

  290. Holly   |  Tuesday, 10 November 2015 at 5:32 pm

    A week after priming and painting my son’s bedroom, the smell was still overwhelming, even after using fans and opening windows everyday. After reading lots of ideas from others with the same problem, I used this solution: I closed off the room for 2 days and ran a small space heater for about 10 hours a day in an effort to “bake” the paint to be sure it was completely dry. I also put 2 large Moso Bamboo Charcoal bags (from The Container Store) in the room to absorb the odors.
    The heater caused temperatures to reach as high as 95. I turned the heater off at night and with normal furnace use the room stayed at about 75 degrees. The smell traveled just a little to other parts of the house, but the room was already smelling so much better. On the third day I removed the heater and opened all the windows and turned on all the fans in the whole house (I got lucky with a 50+ degree day in early November.) I left the house for about 8 hours and let the whole house air out.
    This process made a HUGE difference in the room and there is very little odor left at all. I have been accused of having a Super Sniffer nose, and this really worked for me. No resealing or repainting, thank goodness!

  291. Linda   |  Tuesday, 10 November 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Can you publish on here when you did this and is the smell still gone. Also would you be so kind as to keep us up dated if the smell should return. I had to remove the gyprock as we call it here in Australia.

  292. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 11 November 2015 at 2:53 am

    Heating didn’t work for me. I don’t know how charcoal would have worked because the supply of smell was endless. Here’s the thing: if heating “cured” it, it would also have cured at just warm temp over time – barring unusual level of moisture. There was something chemically and structurally wrong with the paint I got. We gave it a year to stop smelling, and tried to assist it in many ways. Nothing worked. But I hope that your problem is gone Holly. And maybe others who have whatever problem you have will be helped. Is it possible that the temperature you painted at was preventing the paint from drying and that’s why the heat helped? Also, you have to be careful no to get the paint too warm, as that can damage the surface.

  293. kim johnson   |  Saturday, 21 November 2015 at 12:42 am

    I got results from heating a rental property I own. The paint I used was a Ben Moore SuperSpec paint, with urethane in it, designed for metal. However, I was told by the store it works great on wood floors because it is durable. I painted floors in 3 rooms with it.

    It smelled faintly for a few months, but to me just smelled like fresh paint-no problem. Then I tried to rent the place, and the new tenant could not take the smell and moved out.

    I heated the house to 90-100 degrees with it closed up, just turning the thermostat up all the way. Let it “bake” 3 days. I went in the house during the “bake” and almost passed out from the outgassing of the thinners (BM told me it was thinners). Then after 3 days of baking, aired it out a couple of days. Then I repeated the bake and air-out 2 more times. The 3rd time the bake did not make me dizzy, so I guess fumes were all out.

    It seems fine to me now-no smell of fresh paint.

  294. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 6:41 pm

    LYNN – Did you use the paint fresh from the can? Did you use it according to instructions? Was there any problem with the walls beforehand? If yes, yes, no – and the people at the store admitted that the paint smelled off, then I would think they’d be willing to help you fix the problem.

    I just discovered that there’s a mold-killing primer from Rustoleum. (wish I’d known that 4 months ago) It’s also supposed to kill bacteria and mildew. However, I wouldn’t assume that it would fix your problem, and I wouldn’t do anything without having a rep from the manufacturer come to your home and see what’s going on. It’s not up to us to do chemical analysis on these bad products so that we can prove what’s wrong. It’s up to the store or the manufacturer to take responsibility for selling you a bad product.

    This is what I wished I’d known when I realized we had a bad problem with the paint we’d bought and put on our walls. Instead, never having heard of this issue, I felt that there must be something I can do to fix it, since I had plenty of experience painting. Get the manufacturer and the retailer involved. It might be something they did at the store if there’s nothing wrong with the new cans. If you still have the cans you can check the batch # against the ones they sniffed at the store.

    If you can afford it, get a lawyer if you get no help.

    Also, after I’d already ripped out the drywall (having tried multiple coats of primer and a topcoat to no avail) I found out that it’s possible that an alkali-resistant primer might have done the trick.

    Call an expert like someone who does remediation after fires, floods, mold, etc. I had one come to my house and he said he could tell that the smell wasn’t mold because he was intimately familiar with molded or mildewed walls. He didn’t know what it was. The paint just stunk and kept stinking. I believe it was bacteria. There was nothing wrong with the drywall when it was removed.

    It is very stressful and I’m sorry it’s happened to you. I’m sure not all these problems are the same, but they do seem to have the zero VOC in common. They are perhaps more susceptible to contaminants I believe. Good luck.

  295. iona   |  Thursday, 03 December 2015 at 4:32 am

    Some thoughts. I had a small office painted with Dunn Edwards Everest zero voc paint with ‘low odor’…on their website states ‘virtually no odor’ or something similar…with windows open fully and fan going full blast for a full month, there was still a relatively strong sour odor which is acrid and irritating so cannot be in that room…contractor sent rep from paint store who denies there is anything but a ‘new paint odor’ that just requires time to dissipate…actually said to me, ‘it’s like a new car odor, can take ten years, one year, six months’…am quoting his exact words…then told me his higher ups said there was nothing they could do, and I would simply have to wait until the odor went away…how long I asked…no idea he said…depends on the temp, humidity…I live in the southwest…then he was gone…I called corporate…they and their local store were seemingly helpful and stated it ‘should have no odor’ after a week, if that…for example, one said, he painted his son’s room and odor was gone within several days…additionally, they painted the store’s interior with the above paint while open with customers there…little or no odor and discomfort…take the paint to a local store they said, and let them send a sample to the lab…I did so and both the manager and salesperson, after we opened up a brand new can and compared the odor side by side with my eggshell and ceiling paint, two cans one of each, said, ‘yes, there is an unpleasant difference in your paint…does not smell like a new can’…I got it in writing on my receipt…I then found out the person who brought it to the lab to be tested locally was the very same rep who denies he smells anything different in my paint from other ‘new paint’…do I trust this…sadly no…could be he has the integrity to not tamper with it or remove my contents and put in his…just don’t know sadly…talked to him after he did so, and even tho two co-workers in store said there is a marked unpleasant difference in my paint, he again stated, it’s just a new paint smell, nothing more, which lacks any credulity as to his sincerity…he seemed to just want to blow me off…on reading all of the posts, it would seem that we are the tip of the iceberg…I just happened to find this site, thankfully…I was told by the local contractor’s association that, yes, they have heard of zero voc paint smelling badly and being problematic, so it’s out there…to simply have the walls in your home given a coat of paint, it seems ludicrous and outrageous that we should have our lives turned upside down when we find ourselves left with health problems and discomforts, financial costs to replace the drywall, drywall?, why in God’s name should we have to throw out structural components such as walls when it’s not gingerbread?…and be left with a problem that is emotionally draining, does not allow us to have a normal life since this is after all our home which should be a safe and restful and happy environment…all because of some small cans of paint purchased from manufacturers, corporations and wealthy ones which would be fine if their product was a safe one that caused no damage to our homes and to our families…therefore, we should band together and research what exactly can be done…friends and others in the know have suggested I bring the paint to a local lab with a good reputation, and I will see if the voc is zero, thanks for that…I will do that if their lab sample states nothing is wrong with the paint…that’s impossible as something is causing the odor, whether chemical or bacterial as you all pointed out…there is also the attorney general’s office where I believe a complaint can be filed…don’t know all the details…additionally there are local tv and radio stations that take complaints of this kind where we get nowhere with either the contractor or supplier, as with dunn Edwards…i’m very private and that would be daunting, but hey…we are all advocates of consumers not being ripped off especially since it has happened to us…if we do nothing, it will go on…also, re the receipt only without the can of paint…my receipt shows the numbers, at least some, and I was told when paint is released a sample is kept somewhere of the batch or a number…perhaps you can go to the store or where bought and ask to see their records…no need to give reason just say for your own files perhaps…I also agree that maybe it is best to do nothing to the walls until it is resolved with the store and manufacturer to protect the evidence, altho the cans of paint should be or might be enough…you’ve all been very helpful and supportive…but I have felt so badly for everyone and can’t understand how a major well known corporation like dunn Edwards, and others, can get away with selling tainted and unsafe paint causing the purchaser to have to pay huge amounts of money to tear down part of his or her house, or spend hours applying all kinds of so called ‘fixes’ for a problem they never caused, one that doesn’t work and leaves them emotionally drained…and still with the same problem that cannot be fixed until you tear your walls apart. Something isn’t right here seems to me. I’m in the middle of my chaos and worry now unable to get into my room, also, with my living room piled with files, computers, etc. Not ok. Will keep you posted.

  296. Sue   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Interesting. I used Zero VOC Dunn Edwards as well and it has taken around 8 months. Meanwhile I had health issues because the paint weakened my immunity. I have two bouts of Epstein-bar Virus, each of which lasted 4 months and left me extremely weak. Lisa, I did not contact Dunn Edwards because I was too ill and did not want to expend my precious energy getting frustrated with getting the run-around like LYNN. No time, no strength, no energy. Basta ! I have had enough. I’m moving on and when I have greater strength I am going to join a class action lawsuit instead. These manufacturers don’t care. That is the bottom line. Jump up and down, shout, do whatever, but it won’t make a difference. Only a lawsuit will. That is what I think at this point. Yeah, I’m disgusted. Sue

  297. Bob   |  Monday, 14 December 2015 at 10:45 am

    Ive been reading up on a machine call Hydroxyls it says its a odour control process, it’s safe and 100% green. Dont know the priceing for one of the machines, but do a search on” air testing (area u live) Hydroxyls” maybe you”ll find a company that has one for service.

  298. karen   |  Friday, 18 December 2015 at 7:58 am

    After following this blog for 2-3 years, I decided to use a “regular” paint at my office. I used Sherwin Williams Emerald paint. Now I wake up with a headache and have constant inflammation in my muscles. I can’t work in my office so I am going to people’s homes. I am a craniosacral/massage therapist and a looking for a new space. Has anyone tried Air Pure paint? They did a study where it removes vocs by 96% from the air and formaldehyde by 98%. I get the sense that they are connected to ECOS..?? I have seen ECOS mentioned here but no one seems to say much about them.

  299. Lisa   |  Friday, 18 December 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Karen, my sense would be that if the paint on the wall is removing volatile chemicals from the air – it’s doing so by absorbing them. A paint can’t really “filter” anything. To filter out volatile chemicals, you can use specific kinds of air filters made to do so, or you can fill the room with various kinds of plants that will do so.
    So my question would be: how much can the paint on the wall absorb? and how likely is it to “keep” the chemicals in the paint?

    A paint that’s simply off-gassing will most likely eventually stop smelling when the volatile chemicals have dissipated and been ventilated from the room. If a paint continues to smell, there’s something else going on: mold, mildew, bacteria, etc. – or some mysterious problem that the manufacturers aren’t telling us about and which we, Joe Public, don’t have the education or means to analyze.

    How long ago did you paint? Is the room well-ventilated?

  300. Sue   |  Friday, 18 December 2015 at 6:12 pm

    So sorry to hear of your symptoms. I have had many signs and symptoms which indicate that the paint weakened my immune system. Health was better before I painted. As you may have read on the thread, I had health-related symptoms from Zero VOC paint (not regular paint) so I do not trust any non-VOC type paint either. I have heard good things about Annie Sloan, so if I ever dare to paint again, I will try AS paint on a board and see if I have a reaction before painting walls indoors. My solution, since I painted 3/4 of my rooms and it is not cost effective to tear down walls, is to move. I have been in this home for 30 years so this is a major decision and disruption of my life. I have not been well since I moved back into my home after painting. Keep us posted.

  301. Lisa   |  Friday, 18 December 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Sue, did you contact the manufacturer? If so, what happened? I am so sorry for what happened to you. I would like to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry if you already explained, but which paint was used?

  302. Lisa   |  Friday, 18 December 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Oh, I don’t know if I posted this before, but the drywall that was removed was in perfect condition. Everything was clean, white and bone dry. We endured three weeks of mess, gypsum dust, etc. The edge of the ceiling had to be removed and re-done (textured) This is criminal.

  303. karen   |  Tuesday, 22 December 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Lisa and Sue, thanks for your comments. The room is not well ventilated. I had a Sherwin Williams rep tell me that their Emerald paint is no voc. I used Emerald. Their Harmony paint, advertised as no voc, has extra agents to get rid of the smell! How misleading! I have someone coming by today for an estimate to bake the room. They heat it up to off gas it. The guy at Air Pure said it happened to him that he was sensitive and didn’t know it. Air Pure paint made it possible for him to go in the room. He said he has had people call that have used AFM and it didn’t work. Sherwin Williams says they can use Smart Strip and peel the paint off the walls. They are testing the paint and hopefully testing the air. I am posting because I went back go “regular” paint after the nightmare with Mythic at my home This is now my office that I painted 2 months ago. Going back to regular paint is not the solution.

  304. LYNN   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Hi My Dunn Edwards Everest zero VOC paint after application has continued to have a sour slightly chemical smell for over two months. Can’t get back into room. Told to bring the two cans to store, compare to a new can of the exact same and two employees and myself agreed there was ‘a sour unpleasant smell to mine different from the new can,’ which they wrote on the receipt. They supposedly sent sample of mine to their lab and was told it had no problem and ‘no smell’. I have tried finding a lab in Phoenix, Scottsdale area that would do a complete chemical profile and have not found one. Called another paint store two days ago and man there said, do not use a sour smelling paint as it means it’s spoiled and mold does that sometimes.. Also said the smell ‘never goes away’ if appied to walls, and when asked, said he would not use the room or allow his six year old son to do so. Are there agencies, government, whomever, who hold paint mfgs. to account for what they sell the public where we can prove, even by comparison, there is a serious problem and it is their responsibility. Reason being I was told when tested chemicals in paint can kill the mold so may be hard to prove. A chemist should be able to verify that spoilage causes the odor and it is typical of what the industry knows as ‘spoiled paint’. Since it is a health issue, as well as a customer complaint issue given you are sold contaminated paint, it would seem they should be held accountable and we should be able to be dealt with fairly on an individual basis without going to court for years and paying exorbitant legal fees reimbursed years later. Would deeply appreciate your input as stressed out. tremendously.

  305. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 6:48 pm

    karen – Thanks for your comment. I suspect there is no “regular paint” anymore. EPA regulations have called for lower VOCs, and people prefer low-odor. (although some zero VOC paint does smell when you apply it apparently)

    These issues are hit and miss I believe. We used the ICON zero VOC prior to our use in the room that ended up stinking and had no problem whatsoever. Also, when we were applying the paint that ended up being bad, there was very little smell. The smell began a few days after the paint was applied.

    I wish you well in correcting the smell. Sounds like they’re at least being helpful. A good sign in my opinion.

  306. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Sue, I understand that you were too sick to deal with calling the manufacturer. I would just encourage everyone to make that their first step when they realize that the paint they used stinks and doesn’t stop stinking. Otherwise, the manufacturers won’t know there’s a problem and they’ll think you’re just another happy customer.

    So glad you’re moving forward and away from the stench!

  307. Linda   |  Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 8:03 pm

    The manufactures know about this problem they say they don’t. They are trying to avoid class action court cases.
    I am here in Australia I have gone through the drama and stress that having the smell that won’t go away. It stresses you out so much you just want some relieve from it. That is why these manufactures have got a way with it for so long. I am wondering how long it will take for all this to come to ahead and be dealt with in the courts.

  308. LYNN   |  Wednesday, 30 December 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Still have difficulty finding a lab here to test chemical analysis of paint…re mold testing was told it is difficult to verify as chemicals in paint kill the mold…need further clarification as might be inaccurate…paint store employee over phone when asked said, ‘do not use paint that smells sour as it is usually mold, and if applied to wall, the smell never goes away’…it has been applied and still smells after two months, although less…question is this…these large multi million paint mfgs. are researching to find a safer, less toxic paint so i give them kudos for that…however, less preservatives mean there will be times that the paint might spoil…instead of accepting responsibility and being helpful (after all these are two small cans of paint, and my one painted room is small altho important in usage, the individuals i’ve dealt with and one person in corporate are denying there is any problem even tho two employees in store verified my two cans smelled unpleasant, sour acctually, and differently than a new opened can…i was told to bring it there expressly by the corporate office…i am left with a sour chemical smelling room after two months which i did not have previously as well as two sour smelling cans of used paint with the mfg. of said paint who sold it to me with the guarantee it was zero voc and had ‘virtually no odor or low odor’ simply walking away and leaving me with the problem and getting away with it…why?…because there is nothing out there to protect me…no govt. agencies, watchdogs for the consumer that i know of for this kind of a thing, and labs, contractors, environmental contractors telling me the mold may have been killed off…really?…what about the smell and residual off kill matter, gases…it is obviously not the same as other cans…may be why the mfgs. with lawyers, scientists, experts paid by a multi-million dollar budget know this…something is wrong here…a law suit takes years which discourages most thinking is it worth it…our limited money is stacked against their millions or billions…there has to be a solution…this is in our home and it has stressed me to the point, and i meditate, do all the right things to remain objective, keep perspective like all of you, etc….where my health has been compromised finally…i can’t escape from it as its right here where i live and usually get away from it all, in my home, can’t use an important room i need for work, relaxation…things piled in my living room…get on with my life…and using huge amounts of limited time to research, hunt, interrogate nicely experts…all because of the lack of ingegrity and decency, i may say humanity, on the part of this major mfg. who has glitzy ads which have proven false, and the poor customer relations i’ve experienced on the part of those i’ve gone to for help in resolving what for me is an energy draining situation which gives me little peace in my life try as i will. ..i can’t walk away from it as this could be contaminated and it might mean the smell will never go away…when i asked the employee in the paint store if he would use the room or stay in it for any length of time he said, ‘i wouldn’t, and wouldn’t let my six year old son use it either’…what to do? Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated, and all of you have been a God-send. Happier New Year!

  309. Bob   |  Monday, 18 January 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Professional painters often use a tool called a heat gun. A heat gun is a small portable device that produces a large amount of heat. Painters will aim the gun at the walls and hold it a few inches from the wet paint or primer. They will then move the gun back and forth until the paint fully dries.

  310. LYNN   |  Monday, 18 January 2016 at 9:18 pm

    ermand dima…i was interested in knowing how you resolved the continuing paint odor with the manufacturer and others…my room continues to have a paint odor after two and one half months as i’ve written…the contractor refuses to take any responsibility, as does the mfg. after their lab tested and supposedly found no problem…just had someone over for their professional opinion and they agree that the odor is relatively strong…unable to use room…was a zero voc paint…importantly also, what type of lab does interior paint testing for voc and mold…having a very hard time surprisingly to find one…and how did you get them to accept responsibility and what did you do to get rid of the odor and did they pay for it…please let me know as need to move forward as soon as possible…thanks

  311. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 20 January 2016 at 7:03 am

    LYNN – My advice, for what it’s worth, is: call the health department in your state. They may be able to give you info on labs that could test the paint and air. The paint companies aren’t testing for the things that are causing the problem. Here is something interesting:

  312. LYNN   |  Wednesday, 20 January 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Lisa…thanks so much…I’ll contact them this morning…extremely helpful info but concerning as it appears the consumer has little protection given there are millions of homes utilizing a staple product like paint and statistically speaking i would think there are many dealing with similar problems…i stumbled on this website luckily but so many have nowhere to turn…i’ll also call the Health Department…called on governmental agency for type of lab and was directed to auto labs, etc. so seems there’s a tangle of information well meaning tho it may be…if there is anyone who has had success in resolving the problem with the store and manufacturer, i’d appreciate knowing how they did that…the mfg. of my paint, Dunn Edwards, admitted a difference in odor, same as the room, between my two cans and new cans of their paint, one of which was eggshell and the other latex for the ceiling…did a lab test for mold only…and altho i was told i would be given the lab report, instead received copy of only a letter from the technician describing what he did and a negative result, not the actual testing… i thought they would test for voc’s, etc. as they have their own lab here…my concern is that paint odor can be toxic and hazardous…and a consumer left with a paint odor after three months using a zero voc, advertised as ‘virtually no odor’ paint, should have more protection, legal rights, and access to basic information to help identify the problem so it can be remedied by whomever is responsible to do that…i’ve slept little as i keep hitting stone walls, no pun intended…all i wanted to do was bring the paint to a lab for testing initially and i have none like the one you referred me to…also, several environmental contractors said they usually do much larger jobs, and paint odor is not something they normally deal with…they charge a minimum of 500 dollars for three samples, but would not test the paint itself but send it out of state for an extra charge… a complete analysis of the paint is close to one thousand dollars and usually done with industrial jobs…i think the paint mfgs. know this and realize they can get away with this…there is also an outside chance with all paint that the instruments used to apply the paint can be contaminated, but that usually brings about mold…and the odor can have many other causes as you pointed out…very stressful as we can’t walk away from it…it’s right in our home…thanks, Lisa, and all of you for being there…makes all the difference…Lynn

  313. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 20 January 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Lynn – at this point all I can offer is my sympathy and my assurance that I have been through the very same thing, along with so many others here and elsewhere. I dealt with this issue in my bedroom for two years. We tried multiple coats of primer to cover the smell. The link I provided explains why that doesn’t fix the problem. The nature of this problem is subjective, and unless someone has tried to deal with it themselves (living with a constant or even intermittent unpleasant odor and not knowing if breathing it is harming them, so always trying to avoid it for both reasons and basically being denied use of the painted space) they can’t appreciate the experience of frustration, helplessness and anger.

    I suggested the health dept because it looks like that was the impetus for the investigation done by the lab in CT. Lab tests are expensive. We can’t afford them. But as that lab revealed, there were indeed volatile chemicals that triggered asthma in the child who’d never had asthma, and which are harmful to breathe over time. I don’t know how it will happen, but I believe that eventually this problem will reach critical mass and there will be some public awareness. Perhaps news media will start investigating. If everyone who’s buying paint is aware of this problem, they’ll report it to the manufacturer immediately and these companies will be required to deal with it. This is hard. These are big corporations and this is a problem that only affects a small number of cans of paint. It’s too easy for them to say they’re not responsible. But it will be more and more difficult for them to say they never heard of it, or, as in my case “we have no evidence of an odor issue” (I heard those exact words from more than one person at the paint company)

    One point – you already have the manufacturer’s acknowledgement that the paint you bought smells. Is that it? Dunn Edwards just said “yeah, those cans of our paint smell, but so what?” Did they just expect to leave it at that? Again, as I think I’ve said earlier – I would expect them to fix the problem created by their product. They can’t just do a lab test and then say “we didn’t find a problem so there is no problem”. There is a problem! It was caused by their paint! If the lab didn’t test for the chemicals that are causing the smell, they won’t find the problem. But the evidence is in the stinky room and the stinky paint in the can. What reason are they saying they won’t fix it? They should have to give you a reason beyond “our lab says there’s no problem”

  314. LYNN   |  Wednesday, 20 January 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Lisa…to reiterate how it played out…the paint rep after six weeks said oh that’s only regular paint smell…it’ll go away eventually…and it’s like a new car smell (and i’m quoting exactly), it can take ten years, one year or six months’…so asked how long would it take to go away and he said, depends on the temp and the humidity…made no sense…called corp, was told to take to paint store and compare with new cans of same paint…two employees said yes it was different and upleasant…wrote it on receipt i have…sent to lab and was told by corp i could have lab report…didn’t get it and told paint benign..insisted on some info as promised and .just got copy of letter only from tech saying mold test given and passed…but did not test for anything else knowing it was a paint odor and voc, etc could be involved…a sub contractor was hired by co. doing work…low substandard work overall to be addressed but contractor says paint my responsibility…believe wrong as he chose dunn edwards, ordered it, paid for it, picked it up and applied it to walls…dunn edwards refused yesterday to do any more testing…i can make a bbb complaint as they are listed, consumer complaint for false advertising as it is not ‘virtually no odor’ as claimed on website, it’s everest paint top of the line…thing is, i cannot use the room safely, odor medium strength and caustic, and i’ve been saddled with a problem and odor i did not have until their producct was applied to my walls and the smell in the cans is now on my walls and not going away…as with you…i am filing a complaint with the contractors association to be addressed within one month…they will smell it…consumer complaint is for false advertising, etc…bbb to demonstrate their poor business practice of doing only one test on the paint for mold when a paint odor has other causes and, as you say, anyone and everyone smells the ‘paint odor’ when in the room…also, there is valid proof on line that inhaling unknown fumes, especially like those of paint, can be injurious and using such a room opens possibility of ingesting hazardous fumes and outgassing…i want to also have an air test, wall test and paint in can test…but need to call other labs, especially yours, and agencies…just as writing got call from lab here wanting name of mfg etc to view components of paint…will then suggest which tests to have…and discuss further…will keep you posted in more minimal fashion…gotta be a way when the odor itself proves their claim of virtually no odor is misleading in my case…proof is in the noses all of which agree…any thoughts appreciated…Lynn

  315. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 20 January 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Lynn, thank you for repeating your story. I’m all too familiar with the “yeah it smells, so what” . You don’t have the expertise to communicate with the lab and get the whole story unless you are a materials chemist. You are falling down the same hole that I did. In the end, it’s not YOUR job to solve the problem or prove that there’s something wrong with the paint. The proof is the smell. The only thing you can do is try to make the manufacturer take responsibility for the bad product. You probably need a lawyer. But again, don’t paint the room until the company agrees to something. I know this is the hardest thing to do, but there’s a chance it won’t do any good. Call the health dept and tell them you used a paint that is continuing to emit a bad smell weeks after it was applied. You are in a good position to prosecute some kind of claim because you hired a professional, who chose the paint, and you’ve still got the bad paint, and it’s still on the walls. You’re the one who’s put out the money, but it’s the people you’ve paid who are responsible for the result/product. I’m only advising you based on my own experience, which is worse as far as trying to get help or justice. (I believe) I wish I had a definite direction for you. I would say, seek legal advice. You have all your ducks in a row, but you don’t know how to make things happen. Maybe a lawyer would. Sometimes just a letter will cause them to pay attention to what’s happened. Yes, the contractor should be on your side. He did the job and the result is bad. He should be interested in having a satisfied customer and in preventing the same thing from happening again – since he;ll eventually have no customers if he keeps stinking up people’s rooms. Anyway, my thoughts aren’t well organized, but my thoughts are all I have to offer.

  316. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 20 January 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Another suggestion. These odors can cause health problems: asthma, headaches or worse (things you wouldn’t know about without extensive medical investigation, or which might not show up for years). Perhaps you should go to a doctor and let them know what you’re being exposed to. Then contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will be interested if you are having some kind of medical issue because of the product. Also, as I’ve advised above, report this to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    They might be eager to have an opportunity to investigate because this is an occurrence they can document. You will be doing all of us a great service if you pursue this. It’s obvious that the vast majority of us have received no help from all our complaints. We can’t be sure that we’re all experiencing the same thing, but the end result is the same. That is, my paint didn’t stink at all when I put it on the walls. We threw away the cans because they were empty. The paint was awful and we used every drop of 2 gallons to paint a room that only should have taken about 1 and 1/3 gallons if that. The paint formed rubbery strings and looked awful on the wall. We had to fight to minimize the roller marks and decided afterwards we’d have to simply strategically hang some large pictures. The smell began a few days later and we didn’t even know what it was – thinking perhaps it was some touch up we’d done on the window casing after we were done with the walls. But it became all too apparent that it was the paint on the walls – every square inch STINKING. I wish you very good luck with everything. Let us know.

  317. LYNN   |  Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 12:31 am

    Again, thanks, Lisa…your input and the others extremely helpful as is the support in pursuing this. had appts. today and will call your referral tomorrow and call agencies etc…did speak with local university chemical lab dept. and they gave me a referral who called today and was the one who is zeroing, again no pun intended, aint funny, in on the listed ingredients on their website required by law…that way am assuming he can focus on possible sources of an odor…i’m hopeful if dunn edwards gets a reliable report connecting odor specifically to an ingredient in the paint, they’ll behave responsibly as they are a multi=million dollar company and this is a small room with only two buckets of paint involved…still haven’t heard back from corporate re an exact copy of the testing lab report itself which will be helpful to myself and the lab i hire in tracing it to the truth of the matter…very sorry to hear what you’ve been through and always a good idea to keep the buckets i guess tho most of us don’t realize the need or that this can happen…mine smelled immediately but thought it would dissipate…it lessened a little with fan and open window kept up for months only turned off when slept but it’s still heady and it’s obvious it’s a paint odor…there are several paint institutes, etc. on line…the person today seemed knowledgeable and i’ll be more specific as to how a reputable lab approaches this…i’ll call your lab tomorrow and the others…promise to pass along in hopes it is helpful to other to get a fair resolvement of a problem we cannot walk away from…its the painted elephant in the room and extremely stressful and eventually causes health issues as with me when those involved stonewall you and behave unprofessionally and without integrity as with the several involved in my situation…point being i’ve done everything i could to resolve this fairly, cooperated throughout with everyone, was flexible waiting months…so am moving forward as needed with lots of support from family, friends and professional familiar with the situation, which i think is important when you are up against businesses that go for the jugular and refuse to accept resonsibility or be helpful leaving you in the lurch…i’m going full speed ahead with this…enuff is enuff…waited long as i could as prefer negotiating in an amicable way…i’m wigged out now with all of this and all i have to do ahead and will focus briefly on specifics tomorrow as bizzy day and just got home…more later…appreciate your suggestions…very helpful…tthe more informed we are the better so thanks…thumbs up to all…Lynn

  318. Lisa   |  Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Lynn – here is my e-mail if you want to talk off-line: m l e m a 4 5 and that’s at g m a i l . c o m

    You’ll have to add the @. I’m trying not to attract “bots”.

    Please don’t try to make time to write me until things are a little calmer. but please do write me at some point. I’d like to talk to you/ explain more that would be too lengthy to try to relate here.

  319. LYNN   |  Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks, Lisa. Will do. I’m very busy researching and trying to find an honest, ethical lab with high marks for reliability in the type of testing this requires and may have found one. I’m also calling the lab you mentioned, and governmental agencies again to find if there is something out there to help consumers left with problems because of the products purchased from ‘reputable’ companies. I still think Dunn Edwards is, and it is just the several i’ve been dealing with who are problematic, or perhaps their legal team is setting up access by consumers in a way that makes it impossible…their interest being primarily to avoid any financial responsibility if proven they are culpable. It was painted the latter part of October. That’s almost three months of being stonewalled. As i said the testing is needed to confirm all of this and i am keeping an open mind until results are in. Still, their single testing for mold, no lab report, the reps questionable comments…shows poor response on their part. Wonder if top corporate knows, or am i being naiive. Seems government should require some kind of ombudsman type department to handle these since there are enuff to warrant it as is, but not enuff to put a dent into their profits. Integrity is the bottom line, and as i told you, this particular paint is advertised prominently on t heir website as ‘virtually no odor’ paint, yet all who’ve been in room, and their have been many, including professionals, who state it smells exactly like paint with an unpleasant odor as well. As do the cans of paint. Will be in touch soon and thanks so much for being there. They say choose your battles, but with a problem like this, i and many of you have no choice. Full speed ahead…your support helps a lot…Lynn

  320. Lisa   |  Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Lynn – I changed my mind. Please write to me before you spend more time and money. I just want to share a few points that I don’t think I communicated well and which may be important to you.

  321. axel   |  Tuesday, 26 January 2016 at 1:31 pm

    it’s been over 2 weeks since we painted almost all of our walls and ceilings and we have the same type of suffocating gassy smell that is being described here, made worse by heat and ventilation. if all your posts are anything to go by, it looks like we are in for a rough time. 🙁

    in our case we suspect it might be the ceiling paint that is the culprit, but not 100% yet. it might be a stupid question, but has anyone tried sanding the offending layer (or layers) of paint to get rid of the smell? obviously a much less drastic step than ripping the entire drywall out, especially given the huge area we are faced with. thanks!

  322. Lisa   |  Monday, 15 February 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Benjamin – it might work. It might not. Call the company and tell them you want them to help you with this. Have them send a rep. Tell them you’re aware that this problem does occur from time to time and that there are dozens of reports online. Let them tell you what you should do, and get it in writing. If it doesn’t work, they can then try to help you with whatever the next step is. They are aware of these problems. Let them take responsibility. Like all the rest of us, your first instinct is to try to fix it. But answer this: if you bought a toaster that had bad wiring and it caused a fire in your kitchen – who would you expect to repair the damage?

  323. Karen   |  Tuesday, 02 February 2016 at 5:50 pm

    HAS ANYONE TRIED BIN ZINSSERS ZERO PRIMER? It’s supposed to be less toxic than the regular Bin Zinsser’s and without compromise of sealing in fumes. I had my room “baked”, pasteurized up to 130 degrees for 2 days. Did not work.

  324. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 02 February 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Karen, I used BIN synthetic and non-synthetic primer – supposed to be the ultimate in odor control. It didn’t work. We had 4-5 coats put on over the course of a year. It seemed to help, then it didn’t. If the stinky paint is still on the wall in your home, I will recommend to you the same thing I’ve recommended to others: DON’T PAINT or PRIME OVER IT until you’ve had someone from the company that makes the paint in to advise you, and until you’ve had professionals in to check it out – and – called your local health department and notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Get an impartial professional in there to check it out. Testing the paint may not reveal anything, since the ingredients causing the smell may be at too low a concentration to be listed as ingredients, so they won’t be tested for. Without knowing what’s causing your paint to smell, there’s no way to know whether or not you can fix the problem by simply priming over it. And once you prime over the paint, it will be too easy to dismiss the smell (if it comes back) as being caused by the primer, or the company may say that they can’t access the paint to check it out.

    This is hard advice because you will of course be very eager to do something to try to get rid of the smell. Don’t let the company off the hook. You can see that, based on the posts here, this is a known problem. Don’t let them tell you they’ve never heard of it. Make them take responsibility for their products. They’re not causing us these problems on purpose, but they are avoiding responsibility on purpose.

    PS – I also tried heating the painted room. It only made the problem worse. And too high a temp will ruin the paint (not that that’s an issue when the paint stinks anyway).

  325. Kane   |  Tuesday, 09 February 2016 at 10:05 pm

    There are hundreds of replies here spanning years so I will keep my reply short and to the point. The fix for this is Masonry and Cement Sealer or Primer. I personally used Sherwin Williams Loxon which is pricey but worth it. All brands make some form of this type of product with varying degree of quality.

    I went through what most of users here have and learned of the resolution when I stumbled across this problem overseas. Feel free to google “wall odour phenomenon” and their fix was Alkali Resistant Sealer which stateside is sold as Masonry/Cement Primer. Good luck to those still affected.

    Any questions, please ask !!!!!

  326. Anita   |  Thursday, 11 February 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Does anyone know how to post our on-going problems with this chemical contamination from these dangerous paints on social media sites like Twitter. We need more attention! The entire paint industry has known about what they refer to as “ghost odours” for years. Yet they still have sickened, contaminated and lied to unsuspecting consumers like us all over the world. “Odour” is the correct spelling, not odor. Please keep posting here and everywhere you can. Even if you have posted here before, please post an update with your location. We all should be able to live in the homes God has blessed us with without being terrorized by corporate greed.

  327. Sue   |  Thursday, 11 February 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I had a terrible experience nearly a year ago after using Dunn Edwards Zero VOC paint. But after several months, the smell left and all is well now.
    Just yesterday I went to DE and the sales rep told me that the problem was not with the Zero VOC paint, but with a chemical reaction that was occurring between the previous oil-based paint on the walls and the water-based Zero-VOC paint. She said that if I had sanded the walls first, then applied a primer before applying the Zero-VOC paint, that this would not have happened. Has anyone tried doing this ?

  328. LYNN   |  Sunday, 14 February 2016 at 2:48 am

    Re zero voc paint over oil based paint.. My original paint is not oil based and zero voc. Yet Dunn Edwards paint applied over it does have an odor both on the wall and in the can. Only testing can determine the origin, and it is important that it be done first before applying anything over the wall to ‘remedy’ it. Protect yourself for any eventuality. The source must be determined in order to know what the correct and best remedy is. Stay positive hard as it can be after months of being stonewalled, have the testing done by a lab familiar with indoor paint (a university lab or scientist can be helpful in referring you to a local lab with integrity and experience), test for mold, bacteria, voc’s, and other ingredients as paint is very complex and it could be caused by a myriad of combinations and gas offs from various undeclared ingredients which are minute and allowed legally. If you can validate the problem on paper, etc. the paint company may cooperate…there is also the legality of there being a smell, period…and air testing can help…but don’t know enough about that. Local health departments, governmental nationally as well might help too, as an odor can be unpleasant, hazardous, new to your home via a contractor and there has to be some protection here as well if you didn’t have it before and it’s a paint smell…importantly, save your cans or get from contractor so you have back up. Good luck to all, and thanks for all the information.

  329. linda   |  Friday, 12 February 2016 at 8:23 am

    Excellent idea. Hope someone starts up chat on twitter about this. I am Linda from Australia who ripped out her gyprock and insulation. What Americans call dry wall. I don’t use twitter but I will try and set up an account. The saga of our problem really caused us a lot of problems for us. Now I am over that when I get back to Australia I am overseas at the moment. I will stike an enquiry up again with or Fair Trading dept. I will send them this website. I don’t hold much hope but I will do it. Our Government in Australia has been bought out by big companies and is no way a democracy anymore.

  330. Anita   |  Monday, 15 February 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Paint companies like Dunn Edwards are quick to try to find fault with how consumers applied the paints instead of taking responsibility for sickening people and contaminating their homes with dangerous, defective products. Many consumers with the problems we are having can smell the foul fumes in the can even before applying the paint to any surface. Employees in the stores where these poisonous paints are being sold admit some of the paints smell chemically foul when they open the cans to add color. Professional painters, with many years of experience, are refusing to use some of these dangerous paints. Don’t fall for the paint companies excuses. Keep posting and spreading the word to Posion Control, lawyers, health departments, the media, consumer affairs, whoever will listen – this stuff is toxic!

  331. Al   |  Tuesday, 16 February 2016 at 1:31 am

    it’s been about 3 and a half months since my room was primer and top coated, I get nauseated evertime I go in there, I dont have the bad smell problem, just fumes , normal paint smell, I dont think its fully cure . I’m gonna bake the room using a lamp heater stand instead of a fan heater and just reposition the lamp facing a different side wall after a few days, plus I just order some activated charcoal odor absorbers, waiting for that to come in before I start the baking of the room. I will update when done.

  332. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 17 February 2016 at 2:24 pm

    People are trying the same things over and over again. Not saying that’s wrong – because we don’t know for sure in each case what’s causing the problem.

    Sometimes heat helps, but it seems like most times it makes it worse. Sometimes primer works, sometimes it doesn’t. And it looks like the primer we’re supposed to try first is Masonry and Cement Sealer or Primer?

    I would ask people again to report:

    Which paint did you use? Please be specific. Include whether or not it was a custom color and what the color was.

    When did you paint and how long has it been stinking?

    Did you notify the manufacturer and what was their response?

    Have you tried anything to fix it? What worked? What didn’t work?

    This list of comments is getting really long. Let’s try to keep it from getting longer by sharing helpful information.

    So far, some have solved their problem with dehumidifiers, charcoal filters, masonry primer. Anything else? Some have had to remove drywall – like myself – because we didn’t know about the alkalki-resistant primer, and we tried multiple coats of top-shelf shellac and it didn’t work.

    My personal advice, again for what it’s worth, don’t do anything until you’ve involved the company that makes the paint. This is obviously a product problem, even though probably in some cases there MIGHT be other issues. It’s telling that many here used the same paint in other areas but different colors and didn’t have a problem. Also, the fact that they were painting other areas without problem speaks to the fact that this is not “operator error”. Let’s continue to share facts and get this in other social media. hopefully some people will be saved from this problem before going broke and crazy.

    Thanks and good luck to all.

  333. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 17 February 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Al – you should NOT have a smell after 3 1/2 months after painting. Be sure to report this to the paint company. Let us know what happens from “baking” the room.


  334. Anita   |  Sunday, 21 February 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Since painting, does anyone have a metal taste in their mouths? I know many people have mentioned burning in mouths and noses, headaches, nausea etc.. I can’t get rid of the fumes in my house or the burning, metal-like, sour, foul, horrible taste in my mouth.

  335. Lisa   |  Sunday, 21 February 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Anita – are you the same Anita that posted in April, July and October of 2015 about BEHR paint? And then again in Jan and Feb of 2016?

    If so – what’s going on in your home now? Have you been communicating with the manufacturer? Have you tried primers or anything else to fix the problem?

    Sounds like the problem is still going on – when did you originally apply the paint?

    Any help from your health department?

    Wishing you well.

  336. Sue   |  Sunday, 21 February 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Dear Anita:
    Goodness ! I am so sorry to hear this. I do not have an exact answer to your question as to whether it is related to the paint or not, but let me share a few experiences I have had which might point you in the right direction.
    Experience #1-
    Many years ago, I was taking mega-doses of kelp pills. I knew I was taking more than the recommended dosage, but I did it because that amount gave me the desired results and less of it did not. But I did notice that I had a metallic taste in my mouth. I panicked and went off of the kelp pills. The metallic taste went away. I always believed that I had somehow poisoned myself with the kelp pills. In your case it is more difficult to live elsewhere because this is your home. However, you are already suspicious that the cause is the paint, which is could be, because you noticed it after you painted your home. I suspect there is some chemical in the paint which may be toxic to your body. All bodies are different.
    Experience #2
    Around a year or two ago, I was smelling burnt wood all the time. I really thought one of my neighbors was burning logs. I asked people if they smelled burning wood and they told me that they did not. Then I knew I was in trouble, so I sent to see my ENT doctor and I was shocked when he told me that that was a common symptom of a nasal infection. Because I do not tolerate medications, three times a day I used the Netty Pot instead to get rid of the infection.

    So I suggest that you go to see your ENT doctor and see what he says and that you use the Netty Pot several times a day to see if that helps.
    Perhaps the doctor can identify a possible ingredient int he paint that might cause the metal taste. Please keep us posted.
    I wish you the best.

  337. Kris   |  Monday, 22 February 2016 at 8:01 am

    I’ve read many but not all of the complaints here due to lingering paint odors. I have been in the paint industry for over 35 years and have witnessed numerous product developments. Many of which the manufacturers have scrambled to meet EPA standards and left me/us feeling like Guinea pigs when there is product failure.
    There are few definite solutions to completely removing unwanted odors from interior surfaces short of removing the contaminated surface, but there is one tried and true method that the restoration/remediation industry has been using and continues to use for over 80 years.
    This is Shellac encapsulation , a pigmented shellac can be applied over most any surface and provides a crystalline barrier that can then be painted. Shellac is alcohol based and dries fast. and should only be applied in a well ventilated area. Its odor will dissipate in under 48 hours if you don’t paint it right away, otherwise you can paint it in an hour and problem solved.
    You must however make sure your problem is due to a completely cured surface and not hidden in the wall cavity.
    I hope this helps, I would not have bothered writing this if I did not feel confident that it would. :o)

  338. Lisa   |  Monday, 22 February 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Kris – if by pigmented shellac you mean something like BIN original shellac tinted with a paint pigment – I tried it. and that was after two coats of synthetic and one of original 10 months prior and three weeks apart.

    The walls still smelled funky. And we finally tried a new topcoat after the pigmented shellac had been on the walls one month. The smell was as bad as ever after that point. The only thing that ever lessened the smell was cooler temps in the room, and lower humidity. but any time heat and humidity returned – smell returned.

    Although we consumers don’t know the biological or chemical basis of this problem and don’t know whether all our problems are the same – we do know that this problem isn’t always fixed by primer ALTHOUGH there are only now some reports that we should try the cement and masonry primer

    SHOULDN’T the PAINT COMPANY TELL US THAT? Instead of denying the issue -still? After class-action suits (Benjamin Moore Natura) and dozens of complaints? YES, they should. But if they did that, they’d be acknowledging the problem. And heaven forbid they admit there’s any problem with their paints. Heaven forbid they try to help their customer save time and $.

    We tried multiple coats of BIN shellac over a period of about 10 months. The smell still existed, and when we finally decided to try a topcoat anyway – the room smelled as bad as ever. So we removed the drywall. We would have been willing to try whatever the paint manufacturer advised, but they led us to believe that they couldn’t give us advice – because they had no evidence of an odor issue.

  339. Lisa   |  Monday, 22 February 2016 at 7:56 pm

    And yes – the drywall was fine. As it is throughout the house and has been during the 10 years we’ve lived here. We have no mold, mildew, smokers, flood, fire, murders. It was just the paint folks!

  340. Kane   |  Monday, 22 February 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Anita, it sounds like you should really see a Dr about your health issues which may or may not be related to your paint problem.

    For your paint problem as I posted, you should try Sherwin Williams Loxon Cement & Masonry Primer which worked for me. As of this writing, it retails for $52 with a promotion of 30% off which brings it down to about $38 plus tax. I would advise to try it on a small portion of your offending wall to see if it works for you.

    Although paint companies in the USA will not admit to any problems, in Europe it has been admitted by paint companies as posted on

    In case the mods here edit out the link, the text is below. What they call Alkali Resistent Sealer is sold as Cement & Masonry Primer here in USA.


    Wall Odour From Decorative Paints

    Wall odour has been around for quite some time, involving paints, wallpaper and plasterboard in several different countries. It relates to the occasional instances when an unpleasant smell is noticed after painting. Whilst this does not occur very often (less than 0.001% of walls are affected), it is perhaps becoming more noticeable as paints are being developed that contain less solvents, which hitherto would have masked other smells. Indeed, repainting a room is often carried out not just for cosmetic reasons but also to reduce background odour and refresh the room.

    Users of paints should not be alarmed about ‘wall odour’ as there have not been any health and safety side effects reported arising from it.

    What causes ‘wall odour’?

    The cause of ‘wall odour’ is not completely understood, but it is thought to be related to an interaction between the walls, the paint and ozone present in the air, which in sunlight, then releases very low levels of detectable odours. Independent tests following recent incidents show that this is not related to the quality of the paint products.

    How do I know if I’m experiencing ‘wall odour phenomenon’?

    ‘Wall odour’ typically presents itself as an unpleasant smell, which is particularly noticeable after walls have been painted, and especially when there is direct sunlight on the wall in question and a draught in the room.

    How do I deal with ‘wall odour’?

    There are two ways of addressing the issue of ‘wall odour’:

    If you are happy to rectify the problem yourself, you should seal the wall in question with an suitable primer / alkali resistant sealer, before repainting.
    If you need further assistance then we recommend that you contact the Customer Service department of the paint brand you have purchased. You should be able to identify the manufacturer of your paint from the pack and, as a guide, we have included here links to the Customer Service departments of some of the major UK paint brands.
    Crown Paints
    Dulux Customer Care Centre
    Leyland Paints
    Current research

    Research continues into understanding the specific causes of wall odour and some manufacturers, notably in continental Europe and the USA, have recently launched new products aimed at being odour suppressing.

    In the UK, paint manufacturers have been working on the matter and, as developments become available, we will share them with you here.

  341. Anita   |  Monday, 22 February 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Below is a post from someone on the DIY This Paint Stinks blog with the same complaint. People on this blog that have experienced vomiting, headaches, burning in your mouth, do you taste anything?

    Postby danieldd » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:42 am

    I’ve repainted my bedroom with Dulux White Daffodil mat paint. Since then I experience very strong gassy smell when the windows are opened or the weather gets worm. The smell makes me sick, my hands swallow, the skin gets irritated and i have heartburns.
    Sometimes is so strong that I have experience metal alike acid taste in the mouth.
    I read somewhere that there is no health implications as a consequence of this smell but I strongly doubt it considering what it does to me.
    Today I rang Dulux customer service and they said that never had such a complain. Strange.
    From what I’ve read in this forum this problem exists with all brands.
    Does anyone can suggest how to fix the problem as the walls are covered with lining paper which has been painted with the smelly paint?

  342. Lisa   |  Monday, 22 February 2016 at 7:11 pm

    If the bad paint has been applied over a paper – why not remove the paper?

    And yes, depending on the cause of the problem (again, we don’t have thousands of dollars to do analysis – so – we can’t know what’s causing the problem) it DOES cause health issues.

    I’ve posted this before, but I think it’s worth studying if you can. It talks about low-VOC paint offgassing over lengthy periods of time, even after being covered with other materials like primer. The chemicals in these paints can exist in such small concentrations that they’re not regulated or even listed as components, and yet – THOSE can be the components that can cause problems like headaches and asthma.

    This is why people who still have the offending paint on their walls should do their very best to get their local health department involved. The health dept may not have the capacity to test the air, but they may have access to specialty labs that would be able to. Which was the case here:

    And of course, if you are having symptoms like that, you should see a doctor. If the paint offgassing is harming you physically, you can consult with a personal injury lawyer. He will know what to do to prove that the paint is harming you. And if he thinks you’ve got a case, he will probably find out what labs will test for the guilty chemicals.

    It would all depend on whether or not the lawyer thought he could make enough money to justify the cost and time of prosecuting (unfortunately) but personal injury is a better reason for a claim than just the fact that your home was totally or partially destroyed by a stink – and that you spent tons of money and time to fix it. This I know because so far I am still unable to collect anything in compensation for the damages done here.

    I will continue to encourage people to contact their health departments and the Consumer Safety Product Commission as long as their room(s) still stink. Best if the bad paint is still on the wall uncovered.

    If I’d known then what I know now – that’s what I would have done. I’ll never know what we were exposed to or how our health has been damaged. At this point I only know that we got screwed.

  343. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 23 February 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Here’s the link to report your paint to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

    You can try to do the online form, or you can e-mail or phone (as noted on that page)

    Maybe some of these stinks we’ve got aren’t harmful to health. But if this is lingering VOCs or some toxic molecules you’re breathing in, or if you’re suffering symptoms, it’s important to report it.

  344. Anita   |  Thursday, 25 February 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I am 100% certain that the burning and taste in my mouth came from the paint. As others have stated, it is the paint folks. It is a chemical reaction, and poison is poison. I agree with others, don’t try to cover it up with other chemicals. The paint companies are doing enough covering up already.

  345. Matt   |  Saturday, 27 February 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I have not visited this thread in awhile, so I apologize that I was only able to briefly skim the hundred or so posts since I last checked in.

    My wife and I purchased a home in July and we knew we would need to repaint the interior. My wife is extremely sensitive to chemicals, so we knew paint smells would be an issue. We actually had to break a lease and move out of an apartment as it was across the street from an auto body shop, and the paint fumes were destroying my wife’s health.

    She is extremely sensitive to paint smells as evidenced by other episodes I won’t get into here. Keeping in mind that, in my experience, people who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities are an extremely diverse group, and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another, here is what we did.

    At the time I had asked if anyone had heard of ECOS paint. I got no reply. After doing a considerable amount of research, we ended up going primarily with ECOS paint as it seemed like the best, if an unknown option.

    The ECOS paint seriously has no smell. I repainted the entire interior of the house. I (note: I am not chemically sensitive) could not even tell the walls had been painted. I was assisted by my father. He has considerable home improvement experience. He (also not chemically sensitive) was impressed not only with the quality of the product, but with the lack of odor. He said he would use it if he is ever painting indoors in the winter or in an unventilated area. While I was remodeling the existing house, I had a contractor building an addition. His laborers also commented that they were amazed at the smell, or in this case the lack thereof, of ECOS paint.

    It is important to note that my wife was NOT in the house at the time, but that she did “inspect” the work, sometimes less than 24 hours after painting. She has been living in the house for 2 months with no ill effects (at least not from paint).

    In addition to being truly no-VOC, I found the ECOS paint to be a superior product to almost all paints I have worked with. It is a little pricey, but it has excellent coverage and dries to a nice vivid color. It also goes on very smooth.

    ECOS offers a wide range of colors and offers a color matching service wherein they claim they can match any color by any major paint company. This boast falls a little short of the mark. My wife, in addition to being chemically sensitive, has a very discerning eye. She wanted a very specific shade for one room offered by Benjamin Moore. We purchased a sample of the Benjamin Moore and also had ECOS send us a quart to try to color match. It was close but no cigar. We ended up using Benjamin Moore Natura paint for this area. This paint also claims to be no-VOC. It had a very slight odor, not as good as ECOS, but much, much less than conventional paint. It was very thin and did not cover well and was a little streaky in my opinion. My wife could also tolerate the product, but I don’t think it is as good as ECOS.

    The Benjamin Moore Natura can be bought at any BM store. ECOS has no brick and mortar stores and has to be ordered on-line. They have a pretty convenient shipping policy and you can pick your order up at any UPS store for a $10 flat rate. If you do, make sure the UPS Store does not charge you a pick up fee. I had a little issue with that.

    ECOS is not without fault. Their website ( ) is cumbersome and clumsy. I received one can of “exploded” paint, but given the volume I ordered, that’s not terrible. Their packaging is generally pretty good. Some orders ship right away. Others for whatever reason are delayed. I did have a couple of incidents where an order was shipped incomplete and one where a completely different color than what I was ordered shipped, delaying the project. Sometimes their customer service department was helpful. Other times it was completely unhelpful or even non-responsive. In short, I recommend the product, but the company leaves a little to be desired.

    With regards to some of the other posts on here about correcting a situation whereas a room has already been painted and is giving off a noxious odor, I can only offer the following advice (I am a structural engineer with considerable construction experience…I am not a chemist, an industrial hygienist, or a paint expert…I am not sure if this information makes my opinion more or less credible.):

    Do NOT paint or prime over walls that are painted with toxic smelling paint. It seems to me that this is completely counter-productive. You want the wall to off-gas. Sealing the wall with another coat which is going to form a continuous film and encapsulate the chemical will trap the offending chemical in the wall.

    What I would do is ventilate the room with negative pressure, placing fans in open windows to draw the bad air out. I would also look into an air purifier. Alen sells one that works well for us.

    If this does not work, I am afraid that the only thing you can do is get the bad chemical out of the house (I have had this experience numerous times with my wife). Unfortunately, this means removing the drywall. This is a very onerous task and not without it’s own risks. Drywall compound also has a pretty noxious smell. It affected my wife for several days after we used some. It eventually dissipates though. Ventilate!!!

    I would not recommend using a heat gun with a chemically sensitive person in the house. One of my projects before moving in was stripping the carpet and about 100 years of paint and stain from the main staircase, and refinishing. I used a variety of techniques, including a heat gun. That took years off my life, I’m sure. The paint will vaporize and those chemicals that are causing you a problem will only have a more direct pathway into your lungs. I also recently used a heat gun to unfreeze some frozen pipes in the bathroom. Despite my best efforts to protect the wall with a scrap piece of ceramic tile while doing so, I heated up some of the paint/ drywall. That rendered the bathroom unusable for my wife for a day or two.

    On a somewhat related topic, though not paint, if anyone with chemical sensitivities is thinking of refinishing a hardwood floor, I recommend Rubio Monocoat. Absolutely no smell. We were able to move in shortly after refinishing all floors. It gives a matte finish which may or may not be appealing to you, but it is a great product. One word of caution: Make sure your contractor sands any test patches with the same equipment he will use on the main floor. This greatly affects the color the stain dries too. Mechanically sanded floors will dry much darker than hand sanded floors. A great product, but we would have selected a different shade had we known that tidbit.

    I hope this information is useful and I hope and pray that everyone suffering on this thread finds some relief!

  346. Lisa   |  Saturday, 27 February 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks so much Matt! Before I sat down to check my e-mail, a thought ran through my mind. That is: I wonder what’s become of those who commented early on and hadn’t solved their problems?

    Everyone will appreciate the paint tip. But I will give a word of caution: even a low or zero VOC paint can cause an odor AFTER it’s applied. Don’t know if you read my link above, but, in that case a zero VOC paint was used and there is no note that it smelled to begin with, but appeared to be off gassing long-term.

    There is apparently a certain combination of the drying paint with the environment (there’s a continual amount of ozone in normal air) and can create the “Wall odor phenomenon”. Who knows how long it would take to finish off-gassing?

    Again, thanks for the tip. Perhaps it would make sense for those of us searching for new paint to do some “googling” to see if ECOS turns up any problems with developing a smell.

    So glad it worked out for you!

    Thanks again.

  347. Rachel   |  Wednesday, 02 March 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I have MCS and severe persistent asthma and the simple solution that I have found for interior paint is simply a cheap, non-toxic acrylic art paint that I got from Blick art supply store. It’s just a really cheap paint but I mixed a little yellow in with the white and painted a wall with it and it’s not shiny, but it looks great. I also used pure white to paint over a table I bought online that stank like petroleum and it covered the smell right up. The bottles come in half gallons and it says “Bestemp Certified artist”. Yellow has to mixed with white to look good but the red comes out bright and nice. Just buy extra white to mix with the other colors. Takes more coats than regular wall paint but I can’t even breath outdoor air or go into any buildings without a gas mask, so this simple art paint is a miracle to me. Plus it’s cheap. These companies selling non-toxic paint are ripping off disabled people with their $70 a gallon crap. Why should we have to pay ten times as much for less poison? Exterior is another matter, I’ll likely have to pay the non-toxic high price for that.

  348. anastasia   |  Friday, 04 March 2016 at 6:47 am

    @Matt, I’m having the odor issues with Natura, painted in October 2015. Odor is less when the weather is cold, but it is unseasonably warm this winter and it’s causing sinus problems plus nausea when it’s really warm. So, I think the problem is hit or miss with different brand names — some people have no problem with one, and others do. I really hope you’re one of the lucky ones! In my previous place I painted with low-VOC Valspar, which was terrible going on but turned out OK after a couple months, and also a cheap Walmart brand which surprisingly had no odor going on and no odor afterward. Go figure.

  349. Brenda   |  Thursday, 17 March 2016 at 3:38 pm

    My husband painted our bedroom over two weeks ago with Kilz primer and Olympic Icon One Step and since that day we’ve entered the nightmare. I have asthma but haven’t had a bad occurrence since childhood. I had such a bad attack I should have gone to the hospital. I did go to my doctor 2 days later and she put me on steroids to try to clear it up. We’ve been sleeping in the quest room which is next to our master bedroom and I still have problems with breathing and now have a metal taste in my mouth.
    I’ve read all the MANY comments here and am horrified to realize we will have to gut the bedroom and start over. Although my husband is against doing that, he can’t wrap his mind around that thought. He did call the paint manufacturers and told him to take photos of the cans. I’m sure they will send their reps out and we will get the same song and dance as everyone here!
    I am going to call the U.S. Consumer Product Protection and a few other places to file a complaint. Also I hope to reach someone in the media and hope they would look into this as it’s pretty crazy. I feel like Erin Brokovich!

  350. Anita   |  Friday, 18 March 2016 at 9:59 pm

    The sickening, gassy, suffocating fumes from Behr Premium Plus are still in our house more than a year after painting. We can’t live in our own home! Doesn’t smell like paint. Changes from smelling like ammonia mixed with Ben Gay to burning sulfur or cigarettes, to burning, dead skunk mixed with plastic, to ether mixed with powdery clay and vinegar. We are suffering from headaches, nausea, burning in our mouths, noses, eyes and sometimes on our skin. The nauseating fumes have gotten into everything all over the house! Furniture, clothes, paper towels, our cars, my hair. It can even be smelled inside of the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator! When we called over a year ago, Behr told us to use KILZ. We had the piece of trim outside of our house that had been painted removed days after painting, but our house had already been filled with fumes from the paint. We cannot get rid of the strong fumes no matter how much we ventilate. Behr tech from Home Depot told us to call corporate. Behr now says they will send us an odor-blocking paint, at no-charge. There isn’t anything left to paint! What was painted outside was removed right after painting, and the sickening fumes are still in our house! Behr also said they are responsible for the paint not the labor! Behr asked questions about application and told us to keep ventilating. We have spent more than a year ventilating! Behr seems to want to blame consumers for their defective paint, but I spoke to a person who worked at the paint counter in Home Depot. He said some of the cans of paint smelled horrible when he would open them at Home Depot to add color. He said the fumes were so bad, it would make him wonder what could possibly be in the paint cans!

  351. Brenda   |  Friday, 18 March 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Anita you mention trim, was it the exterior of your house that was painted? My husband painted our master bed room two weeks ago with Lowes Olympic and we have awful fumes that seem to get worse as time goes on. I have asthma but has been in control for over 20 years and I had an asthma attack from the fumes I should have gone to the hospital. So we’ve been sleeping in the guest room but my lungs feel like they are on fire I moved into our little travel trailer.
    My husband was told to wash walls with bleach then 2 coats of the premium killz for odors. Then for the paint use Harmony from as herein Williams for sensitive people. God I wish I knew about hat paint before we used Liwes crap!
    I’ve been to my dr she put me on steroids but it’s not helping. I’m terrified it has damaged my lungs. Am trying to see a pulmonary dr but can’t get an appt til end of April so I sit in my trailer and suffer. Thinking about going to ER. This has been such a nightmare it has stressed my husband and myself beyond belief.
    It’s time for a class action lawsuit! I did call NBC to tell them about this issue and hoping thy take it on.

  352. Anita   |  Saturday, 19 March 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Yes Brenda. The small area of trim was painted outside of the house, but the chemical fumes are all over us, the house, clothes, cars and everywhere we go! Lungs are also burning. Call Poison Control today. Call 911 and tell them you are being overwhelmed by strange, chemical fumes. I think law enforcement, fire officials and even Homeland Security should be involved. Post on social media sites. The poisoning we have all suffered is criminal. We all need help now! We all know that our homes were fine until these defective paints were applied. We are all dealing with a dangerous, chemical contamination. Even people who don’t think they smell it any more have still been exposed. Can you have all of the drywall in the painted room removed before the fumes get into the rest of the house? After reading this entire post several times, it seems like it is the only thing that some people have been able to do to get relief. We live outside of Philadelphia. Where are you?

  353. Brenda   |  Saturday, 19 March 2016 at 11:15 pm

    I’m from Massachusetts and yes I highly agree everyone needs to know about this it’s an outrage. I spent my day today in the ER, my lungs have been so bad since we painted and we haven’t even slept in there but I did spend 3 or 4 days putting furniture back and cleaning the walk in closet thinking the slight odor would go away, thinking maybe it hadn’t dried fully because of the rainy weather. Then my lung issue started and I had a full blown asthma attack. I should have gone to the ER that night but was so weak I didn’t want to move. My husband has been sleeping in the basement and I should have too I guess but I like the soft bed in there and he doesn’t as he has a bad back. Anyway I didn’t go and got thru the night but my lungs and esophagus haven’t been back to normal yet. I knew it had to be the fumes from the paint but hadn’t found this website yet. I decided to search how to get rid of paint smell and this popped up first. I was horrified to read all the comments it’s terrifying and yet when you tell someone they look at you like your crazy
    We had 4 friends over the day after we painted they couldn’t smell anything but I did right away, I’ve always been hyper sensitive. But about 4 or 5 days later the odor was getting stronger and stronger, I do wonder how does happen?
    I called a remediation company and a guy came out yesterday, he checked for mold, found none, and tested to see if the paint had dried to the drywall, it had. He commented on the smell and thought we had just refinished the hardwood floor with polyurethane, told him that was done 8 years ago. He agreed it was the wall paint and recommend putting 2 coats of Kilz Ultimate Primer which my husband put the first coat on today
    In the meantime I’m living in our small 21 foot trailer and husband still prefers basement. We had set up our bedroom down there but my lungs prefer more fresh air and dr said was good to stay in trailer. I still have to go in to use the bathroom but we have one in the basement so that’s good.
    Sorry this is long but no one else understands, my fried just painted her kitchen last week and no smell, she used Valspar.
    It’s driving me nuts trying to figure out what the core cause is. I agree we need to all start taking action and getting he word out. I’ve been telling everyone I talk to and posted it on FB warning everyone. I called the media number hat someone on one of these comments asked everyone to call and leave a message, I did! And they called me back 3 days ago. It was for NBC, a reporter will look into seeing if it’s “worthy” of a story. So please spread the word for everyone on this site to call. If they get enough calls they will have to think it’s worthy!
    I wanted very badly to hire someone to gut the room and start over but my husband is very stubborn so I’m doing it his way for now. If I get another attack after the room is done again it’s being gutted! I just think the paint company should pay for it! We are both retired and on a budget so this is killing us and unfortunately it’s probably true! I am scared, frustrated, mad, disgusted
    We need to get a lawsuit going, I think nothing will happen until someone dies from it and I do think that will happen, I almost did!
    I am sitting down this week to fill out the form for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission but I will also look into sending a complaint with the places you also mentioned.
    I’ve decided not to put colored paint over the Kilz I think I will use the ceiling paint.
    Thanks for listening!

  354. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Anita did you move out of your house? What are you going to do? I’ve been living in our small trailer. It’s tough because I can’t fill the tank with water as its freezing out suppose to get snow tonight. This is all so insane I feel like I’m living in Twighlight Zone

  355. Lynne   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 7:10 am

    Brenda…you might keep a part of the wall originally painted which caused your problems unpainted so that down the line you will have the evidence…painting over it destroys it…also save the paint cans for possible testing as well…so sorry for all you’re dealing with now…many of us understand…it would be helpful as well if any out there have tested the paint in an accredited laboratory and can share some information without compromising themselves if they are in litigation or contemplating it, check with a lawyer if so…also there are some websites and books dealing with toxicity and dealing with it natural solutions by detoxing safely and with approval of your doctor…difficult but keep positive relying on whatever religious system or philosophical which works for you as it is very healing…body is primal and mind pretty much influences greatly…you’re not alone in this…many of us are dealing with the same or similar things…if anyone has any info on paint testing and labs to use, kind of tests, please let us know…very difficult to find, expensive, like needle in haystack and, importantly, it is common knowledge in the industry and elsewhere that there is no such thing as zero voc paint yet they are getting away with advertising it and hoodwinking the public in believing it…they also put you the consumer in the position of proving what the odor, etc. is, even though it is evidently a problem with a continuing odor or other problems which affect a reasonably large percentage of the millions who use paint on the interior of dwellings or houses…billions use it…so any percentage is huge…and so laws should be changed, there should be somewhere we can go to deal directly with it as now we can only go to an agency, etc. which is general and few know about the complexity and dangers of the substance we call paint in many instances…there’s a glitch in the system and we have to either organize or get a connective thing going where we can share information, again, safely so we do not compromise any legal eventuality if it comes to that. It can be done, and there are some wonderful posts with good advice and all the experiences resonate with all of us…have to stay strong, keep the faith, and know that the body can heal…important, hard as it is, to keep a handle on our emotions as it’s the kind of thing we cannot walk away from…it’s right in our home…the elephant in the room…it’s there…keep up the courage, we’ll all get through it, and hopefully we can, if not all of us, some of us, win and get justice…we all win that way, and perhaps it will make a difference for the others yet to come and ourselves now if the right people out there know about it and help, and think you’ve some great suggestions…thanks..

  356. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you Lynn for the encouraging words! I am so glad I found this site as I felt so alone and confused.
    My husband did paint 2 coats of Kilz yesterday and today but I di have documentation from a Remeidiation Company that came out to check the odor and he noted it was very strong and concluded it was the paint and we saved the paint cans of the first Kilz and the Olympic paint, we had bought a five gallon tub so lots left over. My husband wants to put one coat of Sherwin Williams Harmony paint in 3 days from today. I don’t know what to think I said just leave it white but he’s hard to argue with. He’s going with what the Remeidiation guy said to do.
    I have made an apt with an allergy MD who specializes in Houlistic treatments when possible but can’t get in til May.
    And to answer Mark’s question, NO I don’t feel safe about painting and never will again unless this situation gets fixed by changing whatever it is they are doing to the new paints in the last two years.

  357. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Was anyone here at all successful with covering the paint fumes? We are putting on the Kilz Ultimate Primer, 2 coats then trying Sherwin Williams Harmony. But I’m so afraid we are wasting time and money. In the meantime I live in our small trailer as I’ve had bad asthma from this. It’s no fun in a trailer when it snows out! But at least I can breath. This is such a nightmare!

  358. Mark   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I just painted a bedroom with Benjamin Moore Regal Select in my upstate New York house. The first day I prepped, painting corners and edges. The slight smell of vomit was familiar as I had recently painted the interior of a closet in my NYC apartment where I first noticed this new paint smell – also Benjamin Moore. I figured the smell would go away in time. Yesterday I completed the bedroom and although only 24 hours have passed, the smell is noxious – door is closed, windows open, fan blowing and it’s 37 degrees outside. Based on what I’ve read I’m alarmed by what I may have done to the bedroom and closet. Frighteningly, it seems to be a widespread problem with most brands of paint, not just BM. BIG question now – does anyone feel safe on confident painting their home now?

  359. Kane   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:10 pm

    @Brenda, see my previous posts on resolving odor issue. In short: 1 coat of Sherwin Williams Loxon Concrete primer and 1 coat of Sherwin Williams Harmony line. Each retail for over $50 per gallon but there is a current promotion for 30% off. Even at regular price it’s well worth it and if I had known earlier I would pay $1000 a gallon after a year of awful fumes.

    Prior to this fix, I tried Kilz, Zinsser BIN shellac, Zinsser 123 and all failed. I strongly suggest testing a small area before going all out. Allow full 24 hours for primer to dry before painting over it. Many of these odor issues are caused by users not reading paint can labels and allowing paint to reach “recoat” time rather than just “dry to touch” time. Good luck!!

  360. Lynne   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Why not a registry of consumers, including those on this page, who have had problems with the paint brought into their home, whether by themselves or by contractors, etc., listed state by state yet accessible to all, and that will still maintain the privacy of the individuals if they so wish it. They could also provide a separate e-mail address they would feel safe providing for just this type of interchange for contact.
    It would show our numbers to officials and the media, and could be used in a class action case if the situation ever warrants it in the future, and list who to contact and where.
    Testing of the paint itself is rarely mentioned. More info would help a lot on that, as paint is complex and testing difficult, cost prohibitive to the poor consumer which paint mfgs. know…and this is very relevant as there is no such thing as zero voc paint…mfg’s are getting away with not listing many many small amounts of substances which can be the culprit. It also shows bad faith on their part and inordinate greed…where are our lawmakers, watchdog environmental agencies, the media…paint is in every structure internally, where we spend most of our lives…children, the elderly, animals, and the rest of us.
    By organizing, showing our many, gives us more power, strength, let alone the support, help and courage we all need from each other.
    Although this site is an excellent one providing important information as to how to get rid of paint smells and the like, it doesn’t work all of the time, and down the line the consumer may wish to pursue not only legal means but contact local agencies who may wish to have samples and validate their complaint…proof is sometimes needed.
    Therefore, as several have alluded to, why not have a central place to share information easily, such as the type of problem, solutions and if they work, health issues, and, importantly, agencies available in the area.
    Just some thoughts based on your thoughts…also, everyone professionally I’ve spoken with, including governmental sites, say they hear about the paint problem all the time…lots of us…but lost in the crowd.

  361. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Lynn I highly agree we need to organize and not let the paint companies get away with this horrible ordeal we are all going thru. I swear it is taking years off our lives with the stress alone!
    I’m not all that computer savvy but I participate in whatever way I can.

  362. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you Kane! When did you repaint your bad paint? Has it totally worked?

  363. Kane   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:15 pm

    @Mark, I have a few posts in this long thread and my odor issue started also with Ben Moore paint. I have found that many of the stores at least in the NYC area that carry Ben Moore paint lack quality control as in paint is stored improperly and dyes can be old. Painting when the temp is under 50 degrees isn’t recommended and I have seen cans stored in freezing cold Janovic stores probably contaminating the paint. Home Depot probably is a little better with quality control since they sell so much paint but Behr just plain sucks according to every pro that posts on professional paint message boards and from the two times I helped friends paint with that brand.

    My issue was resolved as described in above post with Sherwin Williams brand products and their paints are carried in own and operated stores unlike Ben Moore, Behr, Valspar, etc. It seems like their employees care more and at least the location I went to the paint was stored in a cage with temperature control.

  364. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Kane my husband is being stubborn and is afraid to use concrete paint on drywall. He wants to just put the Harmony on the walls do you that that is futile without the concrete primer? ?
    He has sinus issues where he can’t smell much and doesn’t have lung issues like me so just doesn’t understand how awful I feel.

  365. Kane   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 9:06 pm

    @Brenda, I wouldn’t have spent the money on the concrete primer, gone thru the labor if I didn’t think I needed it. I came upon the idea ONLY because of many people in Europe with this odor issue and a an organization there reporting it as the only remedy. Again here is the link:

    Keep in mind that domestically there is little to no paint products sold as “alkali resistant primer” but what the only products that are made for resisting alkali is “Concrete & Masonry Primer”. On their website, SW describes it as “Loxon Concrete & Masonry Primer is perfect for sealing and conditioning porous above-grade masonry surfaces. It tolerates the high pH common in new masonry and ensures a uniform look and long-lasting finish.”

    Based on the hundreds of post here, I believe the odors are caused by a chemical reaction. Strong products such as Kilz or BIN may cover up odors such as pet urine, smoke,or mold, it doesn’t neutralize the bad chemicals caused by the products we have painted on. It seems the Masonry primer does. Before I put it on the walls, I sniffed it from the can and it was better than the odor in my contaminated room. I primed a piece of cardboard and wood that I let dry overnight then applied Harmony. Within a day the wood and cardboard had virtually no odor, I tried the same on a portion of my contaminated walls with the same good results. Then I painted the remainder of the room and have been happy ever since.

    Good luck and any questions please ask!

  366. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you wish I could convince my husband. He can be so stubborn and thinks he should flow what the Remeidiaton company said to do but I agree with you this is a chemical issue it needs to be sealed.
    Let me ask you this once the walls hopefully get sealed one way or another I’m assuming you can’t put nails or screws in the walls to hang pictures, etc as wouldn’t that let some fumes out?
    I’m giving in and letting husband do it his way but said I’d smell comes back use the concrete primer.
    I appreciate your help at least it gives me hope!

  367. linda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 11:25 pm

    The link to the uk site. what a crock of shit.
    No ill effects rubbish every time I went into the rooms I got mouth ulcers god knows what it has done to my lungs.
    Contact the paint manufacturers who deny everything and give you the run around.
    They don’t fully understand the problem. Well they are multi billion dollars companies. Get going and do research. I paid a lot of money to get the air tested etc another crock of shit.
    This is stressing people lives no end. Class action is what is needed.

  368. Brenda   |  Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Linda YES I highly agree! I’m so sick of this, I can’t live in my home I’m living in a small trailer and we are due to have a big snow storm by morning. And there sits my comfy home that I can’t go inside all because of a can of paint! I am so outraged! How do we start a class action lawsuit and wake up these greedy paint manufactures?

  369. Lisa   |  Monday, 21 March 2016 at 1:01 am


    Call the manufacturer and insist that they send a rep.

    Tell them you’re aware that low and zero VOC paints are prone to “Wall odor phenomenon” – even though it doesn’t happen with every application.

    Tell them you expect them to give you advice on how to fix it and that until it’s fixed and doesn’t smell through one whole summer – THEY ARE ON THE HOOK. Don’t give them all your left over paint.

    People – these are defective products. There are no warnings on the cans, but the manufacturers are aware that these products are causing property damage.

    Call your local health department. In the US, notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Go to a doctor if you’re having symptoms.

    If you can afford it, get a lawyer. Get the air tested. If you can, find a lab that specializes in this kind of problem.

    I dealt with this problem while being ignorant of the fact that the manufacturer KNEW about the problem. The manufacturer denied any evidence of an odor issue – so – I was led to believe that we were on our own to solve the problem. DO NOT accept that from the manufacturer. Learn from my mistakes. Let the manufacturer take responsibility for solving the problem that its product created.

    These multi-billion dollar corporations will get away with this as long as they can. Spread the word: if your room and your walls don’t smell before you paint them, and if you follow directions, and if the walls and your room smell afterwards – IT’S THE PAINT. Don’t let the company get away with telling you anything different.

    If you want to try BIN or some other primer – or even masonry primer – go for it BUT: not without some kind of guarantee from the company that if it doesn’t work they’ll take the next step with you.

    Because what’s happening is: the company’s aren’t admitting it’s their fault. But they’re reimbursing people who complain enough for BIN or the like – which will probably at least work long enough for you to sign a release. (you sign the release and they send you a check for the BIN) Then the smell comes back and you’re SOL. So – if you use a primer, you need to wait long enough to be sure it worked. And I would recommend you wait until hot and humid weather is in full force, since that is often associated with the smell flaring up.

  370. Brenda   |  Monday, 21 March 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Kane we have decided to try the SW Loxon primer but there are a few of them which one did you use?
    And does the Harmony paint go over it ok? We have a new gallon of Harmony eggshell finish
    Also it’s still cole here should we turn the heat up while having the windows open??
    Thanks for your help I sure hope it works for us, otherwise it’s getting ripped out

  371. Brenda   |  Monday, 21 March 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Kane also our room with the toxic paint is our bedroom is concrete primer ok to sleep in?

  372. Brenda   |  Monday, 21 March 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Kane also our room with the toxic paint is in our bedroom is concrete primer ok to sleep in? And do you think the toxic fumes will just filter in the other direction and go into the rest of the house? Very scared here!!!

  373. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 12:03 am

    Thought there were a few different Alison’s but only 2 so purchased the Cement and Masonqry tonight and will try it tomorrow. I was reading another blog and someone mentioned sealing with Safecoat but then said mold might grow, any suggestions on that? Can mold grow under the Loxon? OMG I’m so confused and brought to tears!

  374. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 12:05 am

    Oh dear my typing was way off on last comment…Alison was suppose to be Loxon

  375. Lynne   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 12:29 am

    Have you tested the paint and other substances put on your walls to see what is causing the toxic odor?
    You can have VOC testing, and perhaps a professional can zero in on what the small may be or the type of fumes it’s emitting. Your symptoms are strong ones, therefore there is a strong amount of toxicity which should be more easily found. Then with this info, you can confront the manufacturer or any others involved as it will prove your case.
    All the major paint companies are spending millions looking for,ironically, actual zero voc paint which they have not as yet discovered as we all know and the courts are allowing them to advertise it as (does anyone know why they are being allowed to get away with this as it influences the outcome of people like us with the resultant problems.)…my point being that they have very expensive labs with equipment that can find the problem with their paint very quickly…why are they getting away with not testing contaminated, bad smelling paint they manufacture and sell to us, which then makes many of us ill and literally can ruin our lives for long periods of time. Instead, we have to prove we have a bad odor in our home originating with the paint, and spend thousands on lab testing. All of which we all know makes no sense. If it were chocolate it would be a no brainer as it’s easily tested.
    Paint is extremely complicated which everyone, the courts, governmental agencies, manufacturers, environmental contractors and scientists all know and is very, very difficult to test.
    I was told the industrial corps. can afford to do it in the thousands, some spending in the hundred thous…as they get reimbursed at the other end with sales.
    Paint companies, contractors and everyone else know this and so they just walk away saying ‘prove it”…our homes stink and we are ill and left with a horrific situation if we can’t find a solution…and why should we have to find the solution when we did not create the problem…and, importantly…there is often NO SOLUTION WITHOUT KNOWING THE CAUSE. It becomes a bunch of good neighbors trying to help each other out.
    Paint can be a poison. Hello world. Is anyone listening?
    There needs to be a central place where all of those affected can be counted, our specific areas of problems listed in categories, etc….as for scams on consumers parts, these can be weeded out easily. We’ve all enough proof when it comes to a potentially hazardous,dangerous substance.
    Food is monitored…we ingest it…spoilage can cause humans and other species health problems,. Paint is not monitored…we ingest it through our pores and breathing apparatus andt can cause health problems and worse, .
    Someone mentioned Erin Brockavich…why not? Is Joan of Arc still around?


  376. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 1:01 am

    I mentioned Erin Brokovich as it feels like there is a huge coverup. I’ve been asking lots of questions to contractors, paint store managers and they claim they’ve never heard of this! Come on really!?! I’ve found this forum and other blogs with hundreds of people all dealing with the same issue.
    It’s like at this stage we are so burnt out we just want it fixed. I want to sue but I can’t wait for how long that would take. We called PPG and they said a rep would get back to us that was a week ago. In the meantime we are living in a very small trailer and its 0 degrees out tonight! Grrrrr

  377. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 12:37 am

    I made this same comment above, but it seems to be stuck in moderation, so I’m posting it again and taking out the links for the CPSC and the Mayfly lab report. I’ve posted those links earlier, so perhaps that’s the problem. At any rate:


    Call the manufacturer and insist that they send a rep.

    Tell them you’re aware that low and zero VOC paints are prone to “Wall odor phenomenon” – even though it doesn’t happen with every application.

    Tell them you expect them to give you advice on how to fix it and that until it’s fixed and doesn’t smell through one whole summer – THEY ARE ON THE HOOK. Don’t give them all your left over paint.

    People – these are defective products. There are no warnings on the cans, but the manufacturers are aware that these products are causing property damage.

    Call your local health department. In the US, notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    (link deleted -see above comments)

    Go to a doctor if you’re having symptoms.

    If you can afford it, get a lawyer. Get the air tested. If you can, find a lab that specializes in this kind of problem.

    (link deleted, see above comments)

    I dealt with this problem while being ignorant of the fact that the manufacturer KNEW about the problem. The manufacturer denied any evidence of an odor issue – so – I was led to believe that we were on our own to solve the problem. DO NOT accept that from the manufacturer. Learn from my mistakes. Let the manufacturer take responsibility for solving the problem that its product created.

    These multi-billion dollar corporations will get away with this as long as they can. Spread the word: if your room and your walls don’t smell before you paint them, and if you follow directions, and if the walls and your room smell afterwards – IT’S THE PAINT. Don’t let the company get away with telling you anything different.

    If you want to try BIN or some other primer – or even masonry primer – go for it BUT: not without some kind of guarantee from the company that if it doesn’t work they’ll take the next step with you.

    Because what’s happening is: the company’s aren’t admitting it’s their fault. But they’re reimbursing people who complain enough for BIN or the like – which will probably at least work long enough for you to sign a release. (you sign the release and they send you a check for the BIN) Then the smell comes back and you’re SOL. So – if you use a primer, you need to wait long enough to be sure it worked. And I would recommend you wait until hot and humid weather is in full force, since that is often associated with the smell flaring up.

  378. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 1:05 am

    Kane how long ago did you prime with Loxon? And did you go thru any hot and humid conditions since?

  379. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 1:20 am

    Lynn no we haven’t had it tested, I know we should be doing all you and Lisa say to do but we are so beaten down by stress and illness that all we want is to fix this’s do get our life back. We are trying the Loxon tomorrow since Kane said it worked for him but now I’m wondering how long will that last? Will it eventually come thru again?? But we bought it so will try it. If it comes back the walls come down. But does the ceiling have to come down if it wasn’t painted with the toxic paint? Will the fumes be imbedded there? Does the insulation have to go too? Ugh
    I had a remediation guy come in but all he did was test for mold and check to see if the paint cured and it had. He agreed it was a bad chemical smell coming from the paint. I asked for a letter stating that with his signature and he never got back o me. Called today and no word back yet. How frustrating! I saved my ER paperwork stating I had inhaled chemical fumes. I will try calling rep back but since we’ve covered the paint will Kilz and now Loxon probably blew that. We do have paint left and will save that. We put some in a plastic container also.
    I can’t believe no one is investigating this yet! I called NBC, I think everyone should be bombarding them with phone calls and get them off their ass. It’s the only way companies will listen and take action when the media exposes them for the greedy bastards they are!

  380. Sue   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 1:56 am

    Please send out the name and phone number of the individual at NBC that was contacted so that we can all call and bombard them with calls. Just one or two calls to different people is going to do nothing.

    Also, perhaps we should contact Erin Brokovich. The timing is right in that there has been national attention regarding the problems in Flint and Porter Ranch, California.

  381. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I have to scroll up to find the phone number and wil do that night to post it again. We are in the process of ripping out the Sheetrock today so it’s crazy.

  382. Kane   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 1:36 am

    @Brenda. The Loxon I used was Concrete & Masonry Primer which was applied 3 weeks ago. The Sherwin Williams website has a printable 30% off coupon good til end of March 2016 or you can have the cashier at the store scan the one they have taped by the register which is what they did for me.

    Although some people here may be afraid to try this due to the product primarily used for concrete, the odor is minimal and much less than the products such as BIN Shellac and Kilz that I tried before. I strongly suggest you try it on another surface such as a cardboard box, piece of wood before attempting applying to your contaminated walls. If you must apply to walls before testing on a different surface, do a small area to see if you notice any difference before going thru the trouble of an entire wall or room.

    The product has a 1 hour dry to touch and 24 hour recoat time so allow a full day before attempting to topcoat it with paint. By itself, it covered the previous odor and I would have left it as is but my spouse didn’t like the “flat” appearance of the primer. The previous bad odor and Loxon odor was gone within 2 days. I made sure to apply during a day with low humidity and temps above 50. I topcoated with a coat of Harmony and within a day slept in the room again.

    Good luck and let us know how things go

  383. Kane   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 1:48 am

    @Brenda, to answer your other questions in earlier posts I missed.

    My spouse and I sleep in our room now after the Loxon and Harmony being applied. I believe it is safe cause neither one of us can smell or react to the previous odor. We had tried everything before so trying Loxon and risking it not working was hardly a concern at that point. Yes it was another $50 spent but that is nothing compared to the hundreds already spent and trouble we had already gone thru.

    As far as your ceiling, I didn’t paint mine with the bad paint and it seems to be fine. Insulation (and furniture, clothes, etc) probably absorbs odor but once the source (stinky walls) is gone, anything in the insulation should dissipate.

    I never had a tester come to my home but I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to put their signature to something. Latex paint usually is fully cured in 30 days according to PDF of paints on Benjamin Moore and other paint manufacturer’s website. They usually say it can be wiped within 2 weeks which probably means it’s almost fully cured within that time frame. But we all know by now that cured does not mean odor gone.

  384. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks for all your help Kane. We did decide to gut the walls as we just want peace of mind that it’s gone. We are tearing out walls now so gotta run but I am keeping posted with every one here for updat s and law suit

  385. Lynne   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Is there anyone who has information about the testing of paint. It is relatively easy to test for mold or bacteria, but paint is very complex and odors can be caused by many things, i.e. VOC’S, as the ingredients are many and there are other factors such as temperature, handling, etc.

    For example, the specific kind of labs that

  386. Lynne   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 7:54 pm

    For some reason, my computer suddenly submitted my last incomplete e-mail while writing it….sorry.
    Secondly, has anyone gotten a lab report or proof of any kind with regard to what might be causing the paint odor or problem, submitted it to the manufacturer or store, and what then happened. Several have said they had success in someone else taking responsibility and offering various solution, did they work and could they tell us how it played out, as many of us are trying to do the same thing with nothing to go by. It would be extremely helpful and don’t believe it will compromise them in any way.


  387. Lynne   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Switched me again when I wrote a third longer concise three question e-mail concerning the testing of the paint which disappeared. This was after the second one you see posted was submitted mid-writing without my hitting submit.
    My point is this site is excellent and focuses on remedying the problem ourselves and coming up with solutions for each other when no-one else will.
    However, it would be helpful also to get to the cause of the paint odors so we can hold the manufacturers and stores responsible and have them solve the problem quickly…those who are made ill should also know what in the paint is causing them to have health problems so they know how to treat the symptoms properly and heal.
    Brenda and other’s suggestion that we contact the media, consumer advocates like Erin Brokavich, and organize a law suit of some kind are excellent, as it is the only way to help many of us who cannot gut the walls for various reasons, and are left with not only unusable rooms but law suits as well.
    Would also appreciate the contact at NBC and a law suit makes sense not only because I believe we would win and help others avoid what we’re going through, but I believe there are lawyers out there in the main who would want to help out with this kind of thing…perhaps through centers, universities very involved with environmental issues.
    A law suit and all of us contacting the media would also make the manufacturers and others take notice and not just blow us off. They care a lot about PR…how the public sees them…

  388. Anita   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Brenda we’ve been to ER 3 times for vomiting, smelling like the chemicals in our house from the paint, and chest burning. Still can’t stay in house. The health department said paint should be tested for formaldehyde. Test the room for formaldehyde. Galson Labs has a 24 hour badge test for formaldehyde. They have been working with a lot of consumers because of the Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring nightmare. Media outlets don’t want to jeopardize the big money they get from retailers like Home Depot for ads. I agree with Kane and others, Behr is the worse!!! This is not just an odor like the paint industry wants us to believe. It doesn’t have anything to do with application. The paint is going bad in the cans, and the paint industry knows it. We are all being exposed to dangerous fumes from chemical reactions. What is going on at my house is the equivalent of a chemical attack!

  389. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Anita, if you haven’t already, i would suggest you contact a personal injury lawyer. They typically only take a % of whatever they can collect for you. You will need to have your health issues documented and linked to the paint fumes. I called one, but there was no help for me because I was never treated for any health issues, and I never had an air analysis done. I wish I had.

    So far the only class-action in the case of the smelly paints was against Benjamin Moore for its “Natura” paint – and that was because the paint was advertised as zero VOC when it wasn’t (when colorants are added especially) Also, Sherwin-Williams and PPG settled with the Federal Trade Commission for making the same claims.

    But as far as actually getting together and forming a class-action for these smells – it would be strategically very difficult. There are likely different problems happening here. Some formaldehyde, ammonia, or, as detailed in the Mayfly labs report: some strange combination of slower-drying components affected by ozone in the air. Also, bacterial contamination. Also – there’s more than one company involved here. Collecting and co-ordinating evidence is difficult and expensive.

    My own opinion is that finding an interested investigative journalist with a background in science would be most effective in publicizing this. This may sound a little conspiratorial: but all network news is corporate news. I think it would be difficult to generate interest based on our reports. This has affected our whole world, but out of 350 million people, we’re still a small bunch.

    As I’ve said before, I’m willing to participate. But all I have at this point is my testimony and some pieces of drywall that still stink. My e-mail is somewhere on this page. I had agreed to keep people’s contact info against the chance that we’d all want to be able to get in touch with each other somehow.

  390. Lynne   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 12:20 am

    Lisa, thanks for your input which as always is very helpful.

    However, my experience in contacting local watchdog governmental agencies, contractors, environmentalists, scientists. universities and lawyers while trying to find the appropriate lab for testing paint, has been that they all say, yes, they have heard of the problem, and it’s fairly common. There have been only one or two exceptions, and I was quite surprised as I had not heard of it. Most haven’t.

    It was a fluke that I found this site, most haven’t, and there are not very many of us posting. I believe there are thousands experiencing similar problems within the timeframe of a year.

    Word needs to get out there far and wide. As to how, good investigative reporting as you say or a book, perhaps a university group who will take on a damgerpis glitch in consumer protection.. They’ve done it with wrong imprisonment, medical research, and food safety. Why not paint?

    Also, I believe some schools use individual and groups of law students to work on investigative projects for a semester. We could approach them with the suggestion of taking this on, and there are legal societies, both governmentally and academically, that could help us locate those schools that focus on this. Calling law journals might help, There is no financial cost doing it this way.

    Could be someone in Academia doing this kind of thing who has lots of contacts nationally, could turn us on to someone in their circle of professionals who’d be willing to take it on and help us. The word would start getting around. Right now nothings happening. Gotta be a way. The office of Erin Brockavich might have some referrals or suggestions. That kind of thing..


    None of us are ou

    Bottom line. The paint manufacturers are selling a falsely labeled product (ie. zero voc) knowing it is not and their refusal to acknowledge any responsibility for a chemical substance applied to the interior of family homes i, l

  391. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 1:50 am

    Good suggestions Lynne!

    I think the industry has been ordered to stop claiming “zero VOC”.

    But they are still claiming low odor – which we know is false. Perhaps this is a trade violation as well as a defective product issue?

  392. Lynne   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 2:48 am

    Lisa, just checked the websites of a few major paint companies, Dunn Edwards, Behr, etc. and they are all claiming their paint is Zero VOC. You may be referring to a lawsuit where one paint mfg. sued another several years ago and the one sued ordered not to advertise it’s particular product as Zero VOC anymore. I don’t know the details, but bet there’s a lot of info somewhere about the details and ingredients of a zero VOC or regular paint..
    Reading all the recent posts i’m walking around in disbelief at what I see is criminality in all of this as they are well aware of the dangers of paint which is chemically based. Nothing to fool around with and which should be monitored as other industrial substances are, and this is industrial and manufactured as such. That it is sold differently has to do with smoke and mirrors which we call advertising, what their well paid lawyers tell them they can get away with, and lobby for. How else could they get away with claiming it is something that it is not.

    Think as zero VOC paint was on the rise, the competition got heavy which is why one mfg. tried bringing the other down and sued for false claims and advertising.

    You’ve mentioned somewhere and I was told paint has many chemical ingredients, some miniscule, that can interact with each other…all you need is one speck of poison to contaminate a vat of milk. When the toxic ingredient is very small, the law says they can erase it from the books and make believe it was never there..
    There is now a red line under what I am writing…don’t think it’s my computer and hope this posts..

  393. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 9:28 am

    Lynne, you’re right. Sorry about that. Paint is being sold as zero-VOC. And that is because there are now colorants that don’t add more VOCs. But you’re also right in that there’s really no such thing as zero VOC. As long as there’s less than a tiny amount, the manufacturers can call it zero VOC. This is a problem for any of us who would like to know what’s in our paint. There’s really no way to know without really expensive analysis – and by experts who know what to look for even if the paint company doesn’t tell us.

    The lawsuit against Benjamin Moore, and the FTC ruling against PPG and Sherwin-Williams was for a situation where those companies were advertising paint as zero-VOC, even though the colorants that were added at that time were increasing the VOCs above that trace amount.

    This isn’t really relevant to the problems we’re having here EXCEPT that in some cases these are probably VOCs we’re smelling. Also, it goes to show that the paint companies aren’t being honest in labeling, and that it’s a long-standing problem.

    I will definitely call the phone number someone gave above. No reason why I shouldn’t 🙂

  394. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 2:29 am

    I finally found the NBC investigating reporter phone number, it was Anita that first posted it a while back. 310-520-8477
    It’s a quick call you just leave a message with your name, contact number and a description of issue. Someone called me back the next day from Texas to hear more about my issue and I told him there were hundreds if not thousands of people dealing with this issue and becoming dangerously I’ll from it. He said he would pass it along to the investigating reporter and if the reporter deemed it Worthy of a story” they will investigate.
    So everyone on this site please call!!! We need to bombed them with this so they have to investigate. Put this number on any social media you use. I’ve posted on aFB and friends are sharing it. I think Twitter would be better. I never went on Twitter but if any of you do get it out there. I will get on it once my nightmare is done and I can get organized again
    Day two tomorrow finish taking Sheetrock walls down and another day at the laundramat. This is costing a fortune, no vacations for a while and we sure need one!
    One I can cope again I am checking with the collages in my area we have 5 and a few are very much into the Environment. That’s a good idea Lynne
    I’ve heard that class action lawsuits are only against one company and there are numerous companies at fault here. Although I wonder do all these companies get their paint from the same manufacturer which so far all I’m seeing is PPG mentioned.
    It was also a fluke I found this site and I am so very grateful I did!!! I thank you all for your stories and your trials and errors, it has helped me not totally lose my mind.

  395. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 2:37 am

    Please everyone on this site share the NBC investigating reporter phone number! Again it’s 310-520-8477
    It only takes a minute, if we bombard them they will have to listen. Tell all your friends to call and report your case, the people that know the better.
    the people I’m sick of talking to are contractors, had one come in to give apps a quote on putting up the new Sheetrock, and he’s a friend…he said I was over reacting and he couldn’t believe my husband would gut the room. Said all it is is paint smell, he couldn’t smell it we had the Sheetrock torn out, windows open, fan running. Then he said you had pets it’s urine in the floor. yah right urine sent me to hospital and that’s why husbands eyes and sinuses are burning, oh and the dry cough, losing voice, urine right! I could have slapped him. I just walked away. Contractors must be dealing with this also, where are they???

  396. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 2:45 am

    Another thing you can do to report this is go onto It’s the site for complaints to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    Click on Unsafe Product and a complaint form will come up to fill out

    So a question for everyone, of those of us that ended up resheetrockibg, what paints do we use? We bought Harmony from Sherwin Williams but I’m so nervous to paint. And primer? Can the same thing happen with primer? Husnand opened the can of harmony and said it didn’t smell bad, I need to smell it for myself and will do a test patch on a spare price of Sheetrock and leave it in the garage. Will also do that with primer and the two together. Any suggestions on what primer to use? wasn’t crazy about Kilz.

  397. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 3:14 am

    Lisa and whoever else replaced your Sheetrock did you also replace the insulation?

  398. Kane   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 3:20 am

    Brenda let me add that it would be a good idea to prime and paint a small area first to make sure there is no repeat of odor issues. You mentioned its cold. Read labels and do not paint when temp is below 50 degrees, allow proper time for curing and ventilate.

  399. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks Kane. We are definitely going to test the paint on a new piece of drywall once it’s done which won’t be for another two weeks so that will take us into April. We will wait unti May if we have to until the temps are warm enoghh and make sure it’s a dry sunny day.
    Do you think the Harmony paint which has the primer in it will be enough or do we need to do separate primer on new drywall? That is if Harmony pages our test!

  400. Kane   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 3:17 am

    @Brenda, once new sheetrock is in place, let the plaster dry cure for at least 7 days before priming. You MUST prime and not skip this vital step!! Zinsser 123 is an excellent basic primer that sells for $20 at Home Depot and $30-$35 at hardware stores. You can topcoat with the SW Harmony you already bought.

    I suggest you go on some DIY message boards for the best advice on how to prime and paint new sheetrock

  401. Brenda   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 12:21 am

    So all the painted walls were removed yesterday. But there is still a smell coming from our walk in closet which wasn’t painted. I’m just so sick thinking about it. Husband wants to try to cover with primer as its not a simple closet to gut.
    And now I’m worried that the ceiling must smell too. Just hoping primer works as there is no toxic paint on them maybe it can cover it. I’m at my wits end, both my husband and I were in tears today. I wish a tornado would come by and whisk the house away so we can start over.

  402. linda   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 3:50 am

    Hi Brenda,
    We went through the same as you. You need to consider t he insulation. There might have been some sort of chemical reaction between the paint and the insulation. We removed dry wall and gyprock.
    We were under so much stress also, you have our sympathy.
    Linda from Sydney the paint we used was from Ppg.

  403. Brenda   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Linda we did end up taking out the insulation in the walls but we haven’t taken down the ceiling. We have a ranch style house so the ceiling goes to the attic with lots of wires,minsulation, etc. A complete horror to take down.
    We didn’t paint the ceiling with the bad paint, it does have a coat of Kilz primer and 2 coats of white ceiling paint. Do you think the smell would permeate thru the ceiling to the attic? I guess we better get up there and check. Tha attic is vented, do you think is we painted a fresh coat of primer or even the Loxon cement paint that it could stop the smell if it’s permeated into the ceiling?
    This is the worst stress other than a death!!! And I’m afraid for my husband he’s doing all the work himself other than putting up the new sheet rock which they are doing next week.
    Also our walk in closet smells and we never painted in there. It had been closed up and we took the doors off to air it out but I can’t imagine that that will work.

  404. linda   |  Friday, 25 March 2016 at 4:09 am

    Hi Brenda,
    We did the same as you with the ceiling. It was not painted with the PPG paint but we still went over it with sealer and fresh paint. Sorry I don’t know anything about cement paint people talk about here. We did a lot of the work ourselves to. Fortunately the incident was in a Garden studio and not our main home. Still drove me mental. I got money from PPG. I have retained most of the emails back and forth from PPG should this never manage to get the publicity needed.


  405. linda   |  Friday, 25 March 2016 at 4:12 am

    Hi Brenda,
    our ceiling was not painted with the PPG paint but we still went over it with sealer and fresh paint. Sorry I don’t know anything about cement paint people talk about here. We did a lot of the work ourselves to. Fortunately the incident was in a Garden studio and not our main home. Still drove me mental. I got money from PPG. I have retained most of the emails back and forth from PPG should this never manage to get the publicity needed.


  406. Lynne   |  Friday, 25 March 2016 at 11:25 am

    Linda, for those of us who will be dealing with the paint manufacturer and have had the same issues, can you share the main points of those e-mails or how you were able to get them to accept their responsibility for the paint…I was told to bring the paint cans to the brand store, Dunn Edwards, to have them compared to new cans of paint of the exact same kind…my paint had a much stronger smell and was slightly sour…the other was not…the two employees wrote that on my receipt…the paint mfg. only tested it for mold and bacteria but odor is usually from VOC’s which they did not test and refuse to. they then said it was not their problem…my contractor said it is not his problem either and is between the paint mfg. and myself even though he purchased the paint and brought it into my home and painted my walls…and the law as written now nationally I believe is that we would be responsible to prove that the paint has an odor, what is in the paint causing the odor that should not be there…even with the obvious proof in the cans and in my room…something is terribly wrong as we have no protection…hard to find a lab and it cost thousands for the consumer to test this…and not all of us have the money or help to get rid of the odor in the room…and are left with an almost unsolvable problem and why i’m up at 4:22 in the morning…since my paint is advertised as ‘virtually no odor on the web page’ , there may be other ways…but takes a lawyer and once again money…great site tho with some good advice…blessings to all and good luck

  407. Kathy   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 1:51 am

    We ripped out the drywall in a small 11 x 14guestroom 2 weeks ago that we have not used or slept in for almost 5 months.
    I painted this room in November 2015 with a Glidden paint that was still out-gassing after 11 days. I contacted Glidden with my concerns. They checked their records and claimed the paint was good even though I shared every detail of what was wrong.
    I explained our son was coming for Thanksgiving. He’s in remission with Stage 3 Cancer and I would be canceling his trip. Glidden sent us a check for $250.00 for a $25 can of paint, which makes this awfully suspicious.

    We hired a paint contractor to fix the strong VOC problem. He uses only Sherwin-William products. He believed the odor seemed like it was an exterior paint not a interior. He suggested SW White Synthetic Shellac primer to seal the problem followed by 2 coats of Harmony. I was told by the weekend everything would be fine and not to cancel Thanksgiving.

    Sadly we have canceled every holiday since. I have needed medical care since I was exposed to the vapors when it was applied and the 24/7 out-gassing for the last 5 months.

    We were told by 2 SW representatives that their Synthetic shellac should not be used for residential homes. After too many phone calls, emails and 3 visits to our home, we’re just “dissatisfied customers”. This is serious toxic exposure not a color problem.

    Like many of you, this has been more than stressful. We final decided it was time to hire a drywall company to start over. The bids were crazy, $3200 to $8200 not including the demo fees.
    If you want it done right do it yourself or with the help of friends.

    Here’s an interesting link.

    I wish I kept a daily log. I’m going to give SW one more opportunity to do something to educate the public
    when you buy a can of poison!
    Thank you all for sharing.

  408. Chris   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 4:06 am

    First let me say that my sympathies go out to all on this thread who have suffered from the paint/pigment issues. I have been reading these post for the past 4 days and wanted to throw my story in with yours. I DO plan on calling the number listed for the NBC investigation group.
    July 4th, 2011 on a Monday in Charlotte, NC. Bothof my boys and husband are out of town, boys on a week long scout camp trip and husband out on business. I have decided to paint our 1/2 bath on the main floor of our 2 story home to keep me busy. Earlier that same morning I headed out the ole Home Depot for a gallon of semi-gloss Berh paint tinted to a glorious milk chocolate color. Paint mixed, shaken and ready to “roll”. Chose Berh because I had already painted both of my boys rooms the year before and they turned out great, even though it took a week for the odor to finally go away.
    At 4pm the same day, I am ready to paint. Bathroom is prepped and ready. I have the one small window open with the exhaust fan running. There is a good base of the builders chosen color on the walls, neutral off white, so I decided not to prime the walls before hand. I open the can of paint and remember thinking, “Whoa, this is some strong smelling paint. Sure hope the smell will abate fast.” Ok, first coating going on for trim work. Glad I have the window open despite the mild humidity outside, this paint it the strongest smelling I have ever experienced. Hour later I take a break. Open paint can again to stir, smell is still strong. Remember a friend telling me she used a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract to cover the smell of her painting projects since the vanilla will evaporate. Weird but why not, I can always prime and repaint if anything goes wrong. I desperate at this point. Small room consumed with paint fumes.
    Vanilla added, paint stirred, smell is a little better. It’s now 7pm. I’m rolling the walls with paint. Almost done with 1st coat. I’m on the ladder to finish the higher area on the walls and get a little dizzy. Never having this happen before I quickly finish the last corner and get off the ladder, clean up for the night to let the walls cure.
    I go back in to the bathroom to check on my masterpiece and to look out of the window to watch some of the neighbor fireworks going off up the street. I still recall thinking how strong the smell of the paint was. I have had the door open, the window open AND the exhaust fan going the whole time. What the heck ? So I leave the window open, leave the fan running and close the door.
    8am next day I go check the bathroom. Smell not too bad but I still close the door.
    5pm, same day. Getting ready to apply the 2nd coat. Still mildly humid out but open and run everything as before. Shake the paint can, open to stir it and the smell is a little better with the help of the vanilla extract. Crazy. Finish 2nd coat within the hour, it’s a basic small 1/2 bath if you recall.
    Ok, project complete. All is back where it should be, the smell is manageable, but I keep the window open a couple of inches and the fan still running, door closed.
    Wednesday, 10 am, check the bathroom again. Not bad. Smell tolerable. Close window, turn off the fan. Hour later, turn fan back on. Smell is still just a tad too much, dogs were even sneezing a little bit now that I’m recalling all of this.
    By Friday the weather is fair, hot and low humidity. Paint smell is lower that previous day. Turn fan off. Husband is now back from his trip and comes in that afternoon to checkout my handy work. Compliments me and then comments that the paint smell is sweetish, but hint of something odd. We left it to the paint not being totally cured.
    Next week fumes are gone, smell is gone. Or so we thought. Mid-August and it is a scorchingly hot, high 90’s day. Not a cloud in the sky and humidity is ridiculous. “What is that smell ?” I call out to no one in general. My oldest son, 13 years old, come downstairs smells the air in the middle of this house and hones in on the bathroom. He has a very acute sense of smell. Smells a bit of something sweet, but then smells like natural gas too. He smells the same as I do. I’m not crazy !
    Now this where we go through the same process of what many of you all have listed.
    1. Check for gas leak – 3 different times within 3 months. Hit or miss with each tech with the smell. All clear.
    2. Check for dead critters. Pest guy smells nothing.
    3. Have the toilet seal changed out 2 times within a month. Even in the bathroom above the 1/2 bath. I have boys after all, maybe it’s urine. (Like I’m not cleaning the bathroom properly. We’ve lived here for 11 years for crying out loud.)
    4. Check for leaks in plumbing. Rent a camera on the end of bendable cable cord to search walls and ceiling. All clear. Find only a few spider webs and sheet rock from when the house was built. Plumber thinks I’ve lost it by now. BUT, he finally catches a mild whiff of the odor. Smells like something dead to him. Duh…
    All this goes on until about the end of October 2011. Cooler weather comes around and it all settles down with still the occasional odd moments of smelling the “gas” odor.
    May 2012. It’s baaaaack ! We’ve got nothing. Not a clue. Sweet smell is gone. Now it’s just pure death warmed over. I’m convinced a snake or a mouse has dies in between the final siding and out walls. We run the exhaust fan for 4 months straight, non-stop. I can’t take it anymore and turn the fan off. Next day smell is back. Will this critter just decompose already ! Geesh! Fan back on for another month.
    Another winter. Fan is off. Occasionally smell “it”, but manageable.
    May 2013, it’s still here !
    Same track for the rest of the year as last. November rolls around, things settle down again.
    April 2014 my husband decides to smoke bomb the house to check for leaks in the plumbing. If only I had been video taping the event. Our neighbor was highly entertained. We have no leaks in the plumbing.
    May-June, smell has settled down with only the rare occasion of “it” being detected. Good thing because we are having to move.
    House goes on the market 1st week in July and sells in 3 days. Haven’t even thought about the smell with all the craziness that ensues for the next 5 months.
    Have lived in our new home for over a year. Decided to paint the guest bathroom. Ick ! Paint is a bit strong, but this paint is from Sherwin Williams, should be ok. Takes 2 weeks for the paint smell to abate. Whew.
    Now I want to paint the guest bedroom, BUT I can’t have the smell last for 2 weeks, we have company coming to stay with us.
    I decide to google how to get rid of paint orders and find you all !
    Sorry this has been SO long, but I feel like I’ve gone through therapy by recalling everything ! My husband wasn’t convinced of the paint theory until I reminded him of what happened and then shared all of you stories with him.
    We are good friends of the family that bought the house and I will be checking with them about the “smell” to see if they have had any issues. So far they have not mentioned anything, but I will be by there this weekend for a visit and will check thing out.
    So again, I WILL be calling the number tomorrow to put in my 10cents. Let’s get this started.
    Thanks to all for sharing. I will continue to keep track of the posts here too.
    Well wishes to everyone.

  409. Chris   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 4:19 am

    Sorry I didn’t proof read very well.
    2 tsps of Vanilla extract was put into the paint that I used in 2011. Interior decorator friend recommended this. Said she mixed in sometimes to control/mask paint odors. Said it vanilla would evaporate from the walls after a couple of weeks.

    Later I thought a snake or a mouse died in between the vinal siding and outer walls and that was causing the smell.

    Thanks for your patience. 🙂

  410. Brenda   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I want to try to pin point all the places this is happening, can everyone on this blog pleas tell what state you live in! I’m in western Massachusetts.
    I tried finding a group online that could give us help or tell where we could get help. I didn’t find much I could find. I sent an email to UMass University, hope I hear back from them.
    I looked up Erin Brokovich to see if there was a link for people with environmental toxic issues but didn’t find anything.
    Has anyone else called the NBC phone number I posted?

  411. Kane   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Brenda, sorry to hear about the odor in your closet. Sounds like the odor has spread to your closet. Give it a few days to see if it dissipates now that you have removed the original source. I imagine you have disposed all of your contaminated drywalls but it would have been good for testing the Loxon I recommended if indeed the contamination has spread to your closet and/or attic. I’m certain that the contamination/odor issue was a gas caused by a chemical reaction by the bad paint and whatever was on your walls before. Only gas can spread like that (it travels path of least resistance) to other parts of the home. As far as contacting NBC, I honestly think it’s a waste of time to call an Los Angeles number if your in Western Mass. Your local TV stations’ Consumer Reporter/Problem Solver may be a better path in your case as they are always looking for leads on consumer stories. Good Luck!

  412. Brenda   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Kane thanks we do have the contaminated drywall still in a dumpster so we can try the test. Thanks for the advice.
    I am trying to find some local agencies and media to get involved in this but don’t have the time or energy to stay focused on it yet but I’m not giving up this needs to be figured and and solved. Someone will eventually die from this I almost did from asthma.

    Anita, thanks it feels good to have it out of the house but we can still smell it not nearly as bad but I can taste it and burns my sinuses. It got in our closet and most likely ceiling as my husband refused to take it out saying it wasn’t painted so should be ok. It’s not ok. Ugh. So tired. We have another not as bad but big project on a timeline our backyard retention wall is caving it so we have to demolish our shed as its going to fall over and we have to take down our stockade fence. My husbands doing all the work other than building the wall we hired someone to do that. So we are burnt out to the max.
    I just want my house back. I don’t remember Aniita did you gut your room?
    We did look into paint and bought Harmony from Sherwin Williams and we had it tinted I wanted to just leave it white base but hubby is way too stubborn for his own good. As for primer I think most people used BIN. I need to look into that. PPG sent us a can of Behr and I can’t believe my husband wants to use it. I need to get rid of it! I don’t ever want anything from PPG again!!!!
    Does anyone know what other paint manufacturers are there?

  413. Al   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Someone suggest an eco paint for people who are chemically sensitive, they also have a ” eco primer”,” green home supply”. Also I suggest getting a carbon filter when working with paints like a Hamilton Beach True Air Room Odor Eliminator for a small room, if you have the funds then an iqair multgas air purifier for voc, gas removal and control, give it time tho and keep it running. My situation has gotten better after baking the room with 2 heat lamps oscillating the walls for about two weeks switching positions on walls and adjusting heights, then I’ve left the purifier in the room for about 5 days now and its better as I went in the room today, will updated again later..

  414. Anita   |  Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Brenda, glad you decided to get rid of the drywall! The paint nightmare should be over soon. Go back and take your time to check the posts of people who took their drywall down to see what they painted with before you re-paint. I wouldn’t trust any primer or paint from Home Depot, Lowes, Benjamin Moore or Behr. God Bless.

  415. Anita   |  Friday, 25 March 2016 at 2:50 pm

    If you think we can trust what is in the paint cans that we use in our homes, Google an article that was just posted on-line in the last 24 hours: Petitioners Call On Sherwin Williams, PPG to Stop Making Lead Paint. The paint industry couldn’t care less about the health and safety of consumers, employees, or their families. Don’t think this is not happening in the U.S. We who have posted here are all proof of that! The health of my family, our home, cars and all that we own has been ruined because of Behr and whatever was in the can of paint that was purchased at Home Depot. Brenda I wish I had a RV so I could at least stay in my back yard. We have spent a year in hotels at our own expense! We know we have been poisoned. Our mouths, noses, eyes etc. burn every day even when we have been out of our home for over a year.

  416. Brenda   |  Friday, 25 March 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Al I take it you didn’t gut the room and start over? Thanks for the tips!

  417. Brenda   |  Friday, 25 March 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Anita that’s just so, so very horrible. We are all suffering and no one gives a damn!!
    I thought lead paint was removed years ago, so there evidently isn’t any type of control over the paint industry! How scary when paint is such a toxic chemical.
    Anita, how did it affect your cars? I am very grateful for our little trailer and my husband had been trying to sell it, thank god we didn’t! I can’t imagine living in a hotel for a year, the expense would be astronomical. Yes we have been poisoned, my biggest fear is will this eventually kill us, it has to be very carcinogenic! Cancer runs high in my family and I’ve always tried to live a very healthy lifestyle, that’s all been a waste of time at this point! But I have to get that out of my head and just go forward.

    The smell is much better today so we are going to take our time and let it air out for a week, maybe two. Then prime ceiling and closet but what to use? I think everyone here mostly suggests BIN? We will use the ceiling paint in the closet as that paint was ok. We bought Harmony One Coat from Sherwin Williams which has primer in it but now I’m second questing that, I think others recommended not using paint that is also primer? I’m so freaking confused and scared! I don’t want to paint!!!

    Does anyone know what paint isn’t made by PPG? What other paint manufacturers are there anyway?

  418. Lisa   |  Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 12:10 am

    Brenda, please – write to me at: m l e m a 4 5 @ (no spaces, I just don’t want the internet bots picking up my e-mail address. I am very hopeful that you can answer a question for me. Thank you. Also, I will share with you any advice I can – which is probably already on here, but which may be hard to extract from all the comments.

  419. Kane   |  Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Brenda, I’ve posted answers to your many questions in your most recent post but I will answer them again so please read.

    For your new drywall, I suggest Zinsser 123 Primer. It is a contractor, do-it-yourself favorite and sells for $20 @ Home Depot or $30-35 at most hardware stores. I know you must be afraid to paint at this point but if you have some scrap pieces of drywall from your project then you can test on that first. Keep in mind, many readers on this particular thread are amateurs and are only here after they experienced bad odor. If you don’t trust my opinion on primers, there are many do-it-yourself blogs that you should post to that will probably recommend the same or similar. Whatever brand you choose, it is vital not to skip this vital step after hanging new drywall. Also asking clerks @ Home Depot or Lowe’s to recommend a primer for new drywall is a good idea as they sell tons of drywall and primer but they are probably not a good place to ask or deal with odor issues that many of us here have experienced.

  420. Brenda   |  Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Kane thank you I know I could scroll thru previous comments but there are so many and I start to get side tracked reading them again.
    A friend also recently mentioned Zinsser so will give that a try, thx!
    We had a Sheetrock guy come in today and is going to start sheetrocking next Saturday so that will give us a week more of airing it out and putting up the new insulation. Tomorrow is our big test of shutting up the house for the day as we are going to friends for Easter. I am scared but so hoping the smell won’t be noticeable.
    Then we will do our test priming and painting before we begin.
    I am just so thankful I found this site as it has helped tremendously!
    I wish everyone luck with getting rid of the evil fumes in your homes.

  421. WR   |  Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Lots of recent activity here. I just wanted to chime in and say that I would not use Harmony paint. Several have posted about that paint causing an odor. I’m terrified to paint any room ever again at this point, and I certainly will never use low-VOC paints ever again (like Harmony or others). I think they are hiding dangerous chemicals in those paints. A lot of people with the wall odor problem started with a low-VOC. I’m not sure I’ll ever use pigmented paint, either, as I worry it is a dye problem. What a mess.

  422. Brenda   |  Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 10:19 pm

    WR thanks for the tip on Harmony I didn’t see those comments about it. Only one good post from Kane as he used it and had good luck. I am also terrified to use paint. We have gone thru so much money wasted
    I wonder if I can return the Harmony paint as we haven’t used it yet and won’t until middle of April. I don’t think you can guy any other paint but the low and no VOC. has anyone found regular old fashioned paint?

  423. Sue   |  Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 11:14 pm

    No Zero VOC paint ever again for me ! I’m moving soon and plan to use cloth to line my walls if I want to add color. Don’t laugh. I’m dead serious.

  424. Brenda   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 2:47 am

    What I don’t get is I have a couple of friends who painted recently with the low VOC paint one was Valspar the other Behr and no problem. It’s like the luck of the draw. That’s why I’m leaning towards the theory that it’s the colorant.
    Sue would you glue the fabric on or drape it from the ceiling?
    I’m contemplating the preprinted beadboard paneling.

  425. Kane   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 3:13 am

    For what it’s worth I used Harmony eggshell but chose not to add colorant. My original issue was caused by Benjamin Moore paint.

  426. Brenda   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 3:16 am

    Oh interesting good to know. So do you also think it’s the colorant?

  427. Brenda   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 3:17 am

    Has anyone repainted with tinted paint that was ok?

  428. Kane   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 4:10 am

    I believe colorant contamination was a possibility so I choose to reduce any risk when I went with Sherwin Williams product for the first time. I have full confidence in their product now after using it despite some people here reporting issues.

  429. Brenda   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks Kane. Guess all we can do is smell and test the primer and paints before painting.
    I looked at the weather forecast for next week when we get the new drywall up. Going to get cold again. 23 at night. Guess we’ll be in the trailer a while longer, not goingvto paint until the nights don’t go below 50

  430. Kane   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Brenda, do you have the paints that you purchased in a warm place? Storage of unopened paint is important otherwise it can spoil and create odors. Google “paint freeze dry”. Also read labels on cans regarding application and storage.

  431. Brenda   |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Yes we are keeping it in our house, thanks!

  432. Lisa   |  Monday, 28 March 2016 at 9:21 pm

    This issue is hit or miss. It’s obvious that not all cans of paint are affected – even from the same batch. The paint companies are using that fact to defend against these complaints. KEEP YOUR UNUSED PRODUCT and, if you hope to gain any assistance from the manufacturer, don’t paint over your affected walls with anything until you’ve verified the problem with a remediation expert or otherwise. If you can afford it, find an expert lab that will test the paint for components that are causing the smell. Those components won’t necessarily be listed as ingredients by the paint company.

    Also, again, it would be beneficial to contact your local health department and report the problem. The fumes could be detrimental and that will need to be verified. If health departments continue to get these reports, they will be taken seriously. Eventually the paint companies will have to own up to this problem and, if they can’t fix it, at least warn about it on their labels and with their retailers, so that customers aren’t exposed too long (which can cause long-term health problems apparently).

    The manufacturers should be responsible for repairing our homes – and if its something they can’t do anything to prevent, then the cost of fixing these intermittent problems should be distributed to all consumers rather than bankrupting just a few unlucky people.

    Tell everyone you know that this problem exists. Tell DIYers and contractors to keep their paint until they’re sure there’s no issue. Continue to report the issue to manufacturer, health department, and CPSC.

  433. Brenda   |  Monday, 28 March 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Very good advice Lisa! I have been telling every living soul I come in contact with.

  434. Brenday   |  Friday, 03 June 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Does anyone else have trouble getting onto this blog? Whenever I try to reply or comment it takes a long time to get on.
    Anyway, to update what’s going on with me. I called SW last week and the new manager who I guess just started this week called me back. Of course he said he never heard of this issue so I gave him this sight and told him to check it out. He said he would do a lot of research on it and get back to me. I will keep you all updated as to what they do.
    In the meantime the smell stays the same and still living in basement.

  435. Lisa   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 12:50 am

    I haven’t had any trouble except for some slowness. There are over 600 comments on here now, so that may have something to do with it.

  436. John   |  Thursday, 31 March 2016 at 12:18 am

    Hi. It’s been a while since posting last. My house smell has imporved over this winter, and will hopefully disappear altogether within a year.

    I’ve noticed that the word, stucco, is not on this page. Instead of ripping out drywall, why not stucco? It might be that stucco is thick enough to spoil or guard against whatever causes the odors. Or what about a layer of drywall mud? The walls won’t be perfectly straight, but that may be an acceptable trade off in some cases. One box of drywall mud at roughly $15 can cover roughly 150 square feet at 1/16 inch thick. It’s fast to spread. It’s not hard to do, It doesn’t matter whether mud gets on the door / window trim or floor, but put some tape at the edges where it meets the wall, making eaiser clean up later. I’ve done a lot of drywall, and could probably cover a typical bedroom wall in an hour or less with a fairly-consistent layer. Wait two or three days for it to dry, and sand with the a hand-held sanding tool (cheap). If the first coat is rough / uneven, use a second coat for “feathering” over the indents. It would cost a lot less, and be much faster, than ripping out the walls and trim.

    However, there is no guarantee that the mud / stucco will block the oder, or destroy the cause of the odor. I just don’t know, but it seems like a reasonable assumption that odors cannot penetrate 1/16″ of mud. Use 1/8″ if you don’t mind the extra cost. The new primer then goes on top of the mud, sealing it much better against odors, and if bacteria is in the paint under the mud, how can it eat through 1/16″ of plaster? I doubt very much that bacteria eating a certain constituent in the dried paint eats mud too.

    But what if the bacteria gets on the trowel and then on the outer surface of the mud? Well, if it doesn’t eat mud, and can’t get at any paint, shouldn’t it die? I don’t know, but it seems like a good hope. Don’t primer quickly. Let the mud dry out for a week or two, or more if you have the time. The room will be usable in the unpainted condition. If it doesn’t smell after the mud has dried for a week, chances are it won’t after new paint is applied. But cross your fingers, anyway.

    Before applying mud, sand the walls, and this will have the added benefit of removing much of the bacteria thriving on the surface. Apply mud immediately after sanding, don’t wait days to allow bacteria to re-populate. I personally think bacteria is the problem. I wonder what would happen if a little bleach is mixed into the water used for making the mud. Will it make the mud less stable in any significant way? Experiment on a small patch. Make sure the bleach doesn’t affect the bonding performance of the mud. In other words, after the test patch dries, see if it saticks or flakes off easliy. If it sticks and looks normal, you might try more bleach for the rest. One laundy-bleach company I called said that eight drops per gallon of shallow-well water would purify it sufficient for drinking. That much can’t hurt drywall mud, but I would suggest a lot more than eight drops per gallon for mud. How about a couple of thimbals? You decide. All the best

    Lisa, gotta hand it to you for being so tenacious.


  437. Anita   |  Friday, 01 April 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Here is some interesting reading: Home Depot Pays $8M To Ditch High-VOC Paint Suit

  438. Brenda   |  Friday, 01 April 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Anita can you post the link?

  439. Anita   |  Saturday, 02 April 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Brenda if you paste the title in the Google search box, you should see the article. How do you feel since the drywall has been removed? How is your breathing and the taste in your mouth? What color paint did you use? I used white. Whatever the color, paint brand, surface painted, odor of the fumes, or whether a professional painted or not, etc.. One thing we all have in common is that our homes were perfectly fine until these defective paints!

  440. Brenda   |  Sunday, 03 April 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Anita, it is such a huge relief to have the smell gone. Once the walls were removed it took about 4 days of airing out and the smell was all gone! My breathing is much better and the bad metallic taste disappeared as soon as the smell was gone.
    We haven’t repainted yet and I am nervous to do it but we did buy paint and primer from Sherwin Williams, we bought the Harmony line, an off white. We smelled both cans and no Oder from the cans but we will test the paint on a spare piece of drywall before we paint. We had the new drywall put up yesterday and is being taped today. So next will be the second mud coat tomorrow and the sanding. Then I need to clean my whole house. We are living in the basement while all this is going on. I was in the trailer but now that my lungs are better and smell is gone it’s warmer in our finished basement than the trailer. It’s snowing out today ?
    We won’t paint until the night temps are above 50 and a sunny day so that could take a while!
    Yes we all have this bizarre paint issue in common and I am very grateful I found this site! I wish everyone good luck with resolving your issues with it. It is a nightmare!

  441. Lisa   |  Monday, 04 April 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Brenda, Did you ever hear back from PPG? I’m sure we’re all glad you were made knowledgeable by this site, and that you could afford to remove the affected drywall and move on to getting your life back to normal.

    But this situation will never change unless we all continue to try to hold the manufacturers responsible. I hope that once you feel able, you will demand some kind of response from PPG. It’s doubtful you’ll get one that is fair, prompt or helpful (no one has so far that we know of) but it’s very important that these companies not be able to continue to say that they have no knowledge of this issue.

    Write the company a letter telling them what happened. Include your costs and tell them that you expect to be reimbursed. If they don’t reimburse you, I think you ought to file a small claims case. It will be one more mark against them – and one more public airing of their guilt. Gather your receipts and testimony, go to your local court clerk and fill out the papers. Just like calling in these problems to the health department and CSPC, suing for your costs will help bring home the issue.

  442. Brenda   |  Monday, 04 April 2016 at 10:06 pm

    We received a check in the mail for the $55.00 worth of paint we used. Husband wrote on the check that it covered bad paint but didn’t cover the damages due to bad paint. He sent them quote on damages. Probably won’t hear back from them.
    Can’t deal with lawsuit right now.

  443. Lisa   |  Monday, 04 April 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Brenda, thanks for your reply. I’m glad your husband sent them a quote on damages. That is a good first step. Let us know how things go in the future if you feel able. Perhaps your husband will be interested in filing a claim if the company doesn’t reimburse his damages. It’s very easy to file a claim, although of course it takes time to prosecute your claim. But, in this case it can be as simple as submitting your damages (if PPG doesn’t reimburse you). Then, win or lose – the case is heard and PPG has one more tick against them for selling stinky paint. You don’t need to have a lawyer for a small claims case.

    I certainly understand that you’re not able to deal with anything at all at this point, having myself gone through many months of stink and many attempts to fix the stink myself. And of course, anything I write here is non-specific with regard to persons involved. I would advise the same for anyone.

    Again, I thank you for your comments. And I thank you for anything you’re willing and able to do to help fight this in general for all concerned. But you must take care of yourself.
    I wish you well, and good health!

  444. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 05 April 2016 at 2:09 am

    Lisa, thanks to you for all your info and support to everyone on this blog. I plan on keeping in touch on this blog and hopefully some day see PPG finally get what they deserve.

  445. Anita   |  Tuesday, 05 April 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Brenda (or anyone else out there sickened by these paint fumes), did you call Poison Control and tell them you were sickened by paint fumes? If so, what was their response?

  446. John   |  Monday, 11 April 2016 at 1:38 am

    In order to prove that the paint is the problem, keep some of the drywall instead of throwing it out, and put it into a sealed container. Call it Pandora’s Box. You can have people take a whiff at any time, asking them their opinion on what it smells like. It’ll be hard for the paint-company representative to deny an odor if it’s built up strong in the container. Then again, will it build up in the sealed container, that is a question? If it doesn’t, it may be a bacteria problem, in that it needs humidity from the air to increase the odor. If it’s a chemical problem, it should have odor whether in a sealed or unsealed volume of space.

    Get a second container for doing a test, and use bleach to destroy the bacteria on the paint, in case that’s the problem. Wipe the bleach off as best you can with water, then seal the dried piece of drywall in the container. If it still smells after the bacteria is wiped dead, then it’s likely a chemical problem. If the smell disappears, it tends to prove that the problem had been bacterial.

    Next, go back to the company where the paint was purchased, buy a quart of the same paint and color, and re-do the test. If it smells again, it could be a color pigment that’s causing the problem. Buy another quart of the same paint, but with an “opposite” color. If the original was dark red, buy a light blue one with little or no red and darkening pigments. Re-do the test. Once you know or have a better idea on what the cause is, you can deal with the issue better, and announce the results.

    If the test results in no odors using the same paint and color that was originally the problem, try freezing the paint, the doing the test that way. If neither freezing nor the purchase of another volume of paint results in odors, Pandora wins. The mystery only grows.

  447. Brenda   |  Monday, 11 April 2016 at 9:23 pm

    John that’s great advice, thanks for posting step by step. Will be interesting to hear of any outcomes.
    We just primed our new drywall in bedroom. Used Sherwin Williams Harmony, was nervous to do it as it had a smell to it but luckily once dried by the next day it was gone. Phew.
    Now we will paint with a color similar to what the bad paint was, also using Harmony and opened it up it didn’t smell bad. We had done test samples on spare drywall.
    Husband opened the can of left over bad paint just to check it out, it was covered with a slimy light green mold, it was only a month old!

  448. Jean   |  Wednesday, 20 April 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I’m so sad to be on this forum because I too am going through this problem for my infant daughter’s room. We painted it with Pittsburgh Paint Grand Distinction back at the end of January and it still smells like paint when we have the windows and doors closed. Last month I called Pittsburgh Paint and the tech guy told me that sometimes it just takes long for paint to cure and to leave the windows open. I told him that I’ve had the windows open for 2 months and he said that the only thing he can do is give us our money back. Very unapologetic to say the least.
    We’ve tried candles, onions, coffee, lemon, vinegar and tried baking the room with our space heater on its highest setting and right now I have a bag of Moso bamboo charcoal laying in the middle of the room. It totally stinks that we cannot use this room and my daughter’s crib is squeezed into our guest bedroom/office for the time being.
    Can anyone tell me approx how much it cost to replace the drywall? That would be our last resort and am afraid to know the costs. I would say the room is about 120 sq ft.

  449. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 20 April 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Jean welcome to our nightmare! Sorry to say but it seems the only thing that gets rid of it is tearing out the drywall which we did. It cost us 850.00 to redo it, we had a friend who is a drywall contractor do it.
    We’ve since primed and painted with Sherwin Williams Harmony. We tested on a small piece of drywall first and seemed ok. Now that the walls are repainted with the new primer and paint, the original paint was Olympic One Coat from Lowes, it seems the new paint after a week still has that freshly painted smell ?
    My husband says he can’t smell it but I sure do. At least it doesn’t smell bad like the last paint, that was like gas fumes and sent me to the ER as I have asthma.
    I’m thinking of making our master bedroom in the guest room. It’s been such a nightmare, the bad paint started to smell up the whole house. I was living in out camper which my husband just sold so am living in our basement for now as we still need to redo all the molding in the bedroom.
    I’ve had a few friends who have painted and no problems, it’s very strange. Im leaning towards the colorant being bad.
    I’d be curious to take a poll with everyone here as to what color everyone used. Mine was called heavy cream an off white with yellow tone. I picked a similar color when repainted, should have gone with something without yellow.
    I’ll never paint again!

  450. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 20 April 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Anita I didn’t call poison control, didn’t think of it ?

  451. Lisa   |  Thursday, 21 April 2016 at 1:16 am

    It’s with sadness that i see new-comers to this site, which tells us that the problem is ongoing, and that the public at large is still unaware.

    Hang in there.

    The paint manufacturers are aware of this problem. Look up the Paint Research Association (PRA) and you will likely find that your paint company is a member. Look up “wall odor phenomenon” and you will see that the PRA says that it’s been plaguing the paint industry for some years and has increased with newer requirements for low VOC paints.

    Be sure to report to the paint company.

    They will be sure to tell you that they haven’t heard of the problem and there are no problems with your batch, and if it’s not a batch problem, then it’s not THEIR problem.

    They will agree to test your paint, which you may not have. And for sure you can bet there was no warning on your paint can that said: “keep your paint cans, or keep a sample of the paint and write down your batch numbers, because 1 in X number of cans will end up stinking through no fault of your own”

    And why isn’t there a warning on the paint can? Because right now the industry prefers to pretend that it doesn’t know why your paint stinks, that it can’t possibly be anything wrong with the paint or the way it was tinted or retailed. And that they’re simply not responsible because “look how many people use it with no problem!”

    Don’t be duped. These global corporations are fully aware of this problem, but right now no one is enforcing our rights as consumers – because smell is objective, it has many causes, and can possibly be remedied in different ways.

    Please come back some day, regardless of how and when you fix your problem. Eventually this will out.

    PS to above poster: I suspect that in my case the problem was due to colorant. But, no way to know. When you paint your walls, you don’t think: I’d better keep a sample for analysis in case this room still stinks a year from now. And you don’t start a savings account to pay for that analysis years ahead of deciding to paint your walls.

  452. Brenda   |  Thursday, 21 April 2016 at 1:25 am

    Lisa I agree I think my issue is also the colorant and stupidly I choose a similar color with SE to repaint. It didn’t smell bad when opened and tested a small piece of drywall which seemed ok so painted a week and half ago. Room smells like the fresh clay like smell.
    So far it hasn’t changed to the noxious odor but last time it took a little over a week to change. I feel sick!
    Someone mentioned here that they used SW and it took two weeks to stop smelling I pray that will happen. How can it happen again!!?! We did everything right. ?

  453. Lisa   |  Thursday, 21 April 2016 at 1:52 am

    Brenda, I wish I could help. All I can say is that if you decide you want to sue the paint company, you’ll need to force them to witness each step and you’ll need to get independent verification of the problem, along with expert recommendations for how to fix it, which you’ll then need to update the paint company on as you take each step, so that they can’t come back and say “it wasn’t our paint” or “it was something you did” or “you’re not an expert so how can you know there was something wrong with our paint” or “your remediation was overkill, the primer should have fixed it” etc etc etc

  454. Kane   |  Thursday, 21 April 2016 at 2:06 am

    Brenda, when I used SW Harmony I chose to go with the base color of Extra White (no colorant). I didn’t want to take any chances! I had a faint paint mixed with scented candle odor that lasted about a week or so. Is your room empty? In my case, a lot of my furniture absorbed the bad odor and was thrown out. Mostly particleboard stuff from Ikea which I had planned to replace anyway.

  455. Brenda   |  Thursday, 21 April 2016 at 2:50 am

    Kane luckily we moved everything out of the room.
    So you are saying you painted with SW Harmony after the bad paint experience or was the bad paint SW?
    This whole thing is just to bizarre. We’ve spent a fortune and hard work to rip out the walls replace them and repaint to more smells which so far isn’t as bad as the first time but it took a while for it to get bad last time. I’m terrified.
    It just doesn’t make sense, I’ve had friends paint with no issues using brands listed on this blog. What are the odds of having it happen twice? We waited to paint on dry sunny days. Let the coats dry a few days apart. I just don’t get it.

  456. Al   |  Friday, 22 April 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Had problems with SW Harmony 
    , and other sw paints. My cousin use sw a few years ago it was fine, so its a hit or miss. Im not a expert but if I could do over again I would use an eco or non toxic healthy greenenvironment paint, give it at leasts thirty days, what are your symptoms? You could be having an allergic reaction to the poison.

  457. Brenda   |  Saturday, 23 April 2016 at 3:18 am

    Al I used Harmony SW as I was told by a remediation company that they use it for sensitive people and to cover smells from smoke damage, etc. so I thought it would be ok. I haven’t been sleeping in the room, living in our finished basement and have been taking prednisone inhaler so lungs have been ok so far. I ended up in ER when we first painted with Olympic which turned noxious like gas fumes. So far the Harmony smells like fresh wet paint. Am so hoping that will disapate. Someone here mentioned they use that paint and it cleared up in two weeks, I’m praying!

  458. Kane   |  Thursday, 21 April 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Brenda, Benjamin Moore was the offending paint. SW was the fix. During the time my odor was around, it permeated many belongings. Did you let the drywall and mud heal before priming and painting?

  459. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I’m so depressed!!!! Bedroom still smells like fresh claylike paint after ripping out noxious walls and resheet rocking. Painted SW Harmony second time round, it’s been almost two weeks now and it’s not getting better. So tired of living in the basement with clothes everywhere, that’s been since early March. I just want my house back. Can’t start over again ? what to do????

  460. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Brenda, we dealt with this issue in our home for two years, conservatively trying to cover and kill the smell with successive coats of primer before we finally replaced the drywall ( which had been in the house since it was built, and had nothing wrong with it) We never did find the courage to paint the room again, and it exists now, 6 months later, with just a couple of coats of primer.

    At this point, you aren’t able to tell whether the smell is coming from your paint, your new drywall, the mud, etc.

    I would suggest that you get an expert in there to test the air to see what it is you’re smelling, and then try to tie the smell to the cause. If it’s the paint again, i would insistently involve the manufacturer. Let the expert and the manufacturer communicate. Get names and signatures at each step. And, most unfortunately, try to find a way to make peace with where you’re at right now because no matter what, you’re not going to be able to solve this in a day.

    Perhaps the masonry primer might help you. But regardless, I’d get it examined first – because if the masonry primer doesn’t work, you’ll have covered the evidence that it might have been the paint.

    People, make the manufacturers sniff the stink. Don’t let them off the hook until they agree it stinks. Use independent parties to assess / analyze the smell / cause – otherwise the paint company will say you don’t have the expertise to determine there’s something wrong with their paint. THE STINK IS THE DEFECT. The only way to prove the stink is to have people smell it.

    My heart goes out to you – I feel your pain. Protect your health and peace of mind as best you can.

  461. Brenda   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 2:18 am

    Lisa thanks for your advice and emotional support. I’ve been depressed about the whole thing I haven’t done anything yet. Just keeping the room closed to the rest of the house and ignoring it. We’ve been working long and hard building a retaining wall and having to moved all my garden flowers so no energy to deal with our continuing nightmares in the bedroom. I still can’t believe we went thru all the hard work and money to gut the room from the first paint job that went toxic. I didn’t want to paint but husband said what are the odds of happening again. We primed the walls after letting the new Sheetrock/mud dry for over a week. The primer once dry had the same claylike smell the paint has and we let the room sit for a week after priming. I found that odd the primer smelled too. So had nothing to loose at that point and painted. Guess the odds are damn good!
    The smell hasn’t gone toxic as I call it when you can’t even walk in the room it’s so strong but it still stinks like wet paint and goes into the rest of the house if door is left open. I don’t know what we will do. ?

  462. Lisa   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 3:06 am

    Brenda – I so wish I could help. I personally don’t think paint should smell more than a week or so at the most. We’ve painted many rooms in our house, and used low VOC paints with no problem. When there was no problem, there was literally no smell. But there’s no mistaking the stink of “ghost odor” – and it has been described in many different ways, including clay smell. Again, I would report it to the company, make a rep come out and get a report. You applied to new drywall, so unless there’s something wrong with the drywall or the mud, it’s got to be the paint. Have you considered the masonry primer recommended by someone above? If I hadn’t already removed the drywall I probably would have tried that before doing so. I didn’t hear about that possibility until after it was out.

  463. Brenda   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Lisa we will probably try the masonry paint before tearing out the walls again. I’m hoping to get the manufacturer to pay for it but we all know how that goes!
    If it does come to tearing out the walls again I don’t want to Sheetrock again as it would need to be at least primed and our SW primer had a claylike smell that didn’t go away after a week so I think I would put up the beadboard paneling and stain it outside before putting it up. Costly for sure but don’t know any other solutions as I will never paint again!

  464. Kane   |  Saturday, 23 April 2016 at 2:39 am

    Brenda, found this info from another site regarding proper dry times for drywall mud: Drying Times
    Joint compound should generally be allowed to dry for 24 hours between coats and before sanding, painting or priming. High humidity levels and warm temperatures both increase drying times, however. In a room that is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, joint compound can take approximately 12 days to fully dry at 98 percent humidity. Cold weather also increases drying time, and joint compound should not be used at temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideal conditions are temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level between 20 percent and 40 percent.

    I hope you followed those guidelines but you did say it is rather cool where you are.

  465. Brenda   |  Saturday, 23 April 2016 at 3:09 am

    Kane we had good weather when the new drywall was put in as it had warmed and dried up and we waited quite a while before painting. We primed on a sunny dry day in the high 60’s and waited a week to paint the buff color. Also painted on a sunny dry warm day in the 70’s. The first time we painted the old drywall was on a cold humid day, we did turn the heat up while cracking the windows for ventilation.
    At least so far the second time round hasn’t turned noxious, yet. Just the wet paint smell that sometimes seems to be going away then other times seems stronger than ever. It’s really quite bizarre!
    A friend of mine painted her hallway 3 weeks ago and had told me it went well, no smell issues. She went away on vacation for a week, just got back and told me her house smelled like it was just painted.

  466. Jean   |  Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 8:03 pm

    So. I go to the store to buy BIN and I see the regular white shellac based primer and the clear synthetic shellac primer SPECIFICALLY for blocking odors. So one would assume that the odor blocking one is better. BUT i’m seeing on this forum that regular shellac works better than the synthetic kind? I’m confused. Which one should I get?

  467. Lisa   |  Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Jean, there’s no guarantee that either one will work. In fact, I used both the synthetic and the shellac successively and it didn’t work. Some have said that masonry primer will work. I don’t know. Good luck.

  468. Jean   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 12:33 am

    What is the difference? What exactly is synthetic shellac?

  469. Lisa   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 3:14 am

    Here’s the details on synthetic BIN:

    Real shellac is made with resin secreted from bugs.

    For the purposes of trying to get rid of the smell, I don’t think it makes much difference. However, as I said – neither one and both together still didn’t work for me. If you haven’t covered the stinky paint yet, I’d make sure to get some third party in there first to advise you. And make sure you get a rep from the company in to tell you what they think. If I had to go through this all over again, I wouldn’t bother with the BIN – I’d try the masonry primer that’s been recommended here. I was unaware of it – the paint company told me nothing except “we’ve never heard of this problem”. The thing is, there’s some anecdotal evidence that the masonry primer doesn’t work all the time either.

  470. Brenda   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 1:31 pm

    So in essence nothing really works to cover the smell!?! And I am looking at tearing out the Sheetrock again ? which my husband refuses to do understandably as we spent a small fortune already on that room so I am looking at becoming a full time basement dweller ?
    Lisa do you know who manufactures SW? Is it PPG?? I’m off to my pulmonary doctor and stopping at SW on my way home to put in my complaint and will call manufacturer when I find out who they are and insist someone come to my house to smell it! And then I’m threatening them with a lawsuit.

  471. Lisa   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Brenda, I didn’t say you’ll have to rip out the sheetrock again. I just said that BIN didn’t work for me, and there are others for whom it hasn’t worked either. I think I’ve also said that the masonry primer has been suggested by some – and I don’t know if that works or not because I didn’t know it was a potential fix until after I’d removed the drywall. BIN and masonry primer aren’t the same thing.

    In some cases I do think it’s possible that a paint might just take longer to dry, but not forever. And if the smell started AFTER the paint was on the walls, then I’m guessing it’s probably not just regular paint smell but something more. I’m not an expert in this – just a person like you who ended up with stinky paint on her walls. All I can tell you is my own experience. We proceeded cautiously. Even though I’d seen that others had ended up ripping out their drywall, there was no way I was going to do that. We ended up there because after two years and many attempts to cover the smell, we felt we had no further options. Again, we weren’t told anything by the paint company, and we didn’t know about this phenomenon or the masonry primer.

    I think one of the reasons the paint companies are trying so hard to deny this problem is because they really don’t know how to fix it. They should be standing by their customers but instead they’re just blaming them.

    For me, I wouldn’t rip out the drywall without trying to just fix the smell. We tried BIN – it didn’t work. We even tried going ahead and painting even though the BIN still smelled – on one painter’s advice. The point is, there’s no GUARANTEE. So, I would definitely try a new primer, but I would make sure that the paint company was behind you – otherwise if it doesn’t work they’re going to simply deny responsibility. Personally, if I had to go through it again I’d try the masonry primer. But if you want to try the BIN, go ahead. I’m just telling you it didn’t work for us. And regardless of what you do, I’d get the paint company and some remediation experts in there – because if it ends up costing you a lot of money, I think they’ll be more likely to help you if you insist that they get involved, smell the problem, acknowledge it, and give you their own advice. Hopefully you will have more success with that then I have had to date. The paint companies are working very hard to maintain their “hear no evil, see no evil, smell no evil” stance.

    Sherwin Williams is just Sherwin Williams. They have their own retail outlets.

  472. Lynne   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Brenda and All…it’s extremely important that you do not try and cover up the odor or whatever other problem with the paint when it behaves out of the ordinary as you will then not have any evidence should you need to pursue it in court…or perhaps mediation. There is some excellent advice on this on this website as without this evidence, it is very difficult to prove that the problem originated with the paint. Also, you can find a lab familiar with paint and perhaps test for mold, etc…or, as Lisa suggested, do an air test in the room, particularly when you have experienced physical symptoms. That is evidence as well.
    My paint company tested the paint only for mold and bacteria, stating it was unnecessary to test for voc’s in zero voc paint. We all know, and evidence is on line and elsewhere, that there is no such thing, and there are variances with the manufacture of paint with each batch to deal with hazardous components or unforeseen bacteria, mold, and reactions of the complex ingredients to each other. Which is why so many of us are experiencing this problem. Paint companies,. and the industry, lawyers, etc., know all about it but it’s like Flint meaning they are all busy elsewhere and only glance this way occasionally which is why we have to somehow get their, all of their, attention. Millions of homes worldwide use paint, and even with a 5 % quotient of paint going bad which sounds right, when you add also the family count when applied in homes and the toxicity and danger to children, elderly and everyone, this is a serious, major problem. Most don’t know of these websites. I accidentally found it, so many are out there. Important, as you are doing, Brenda, to document everything and sounds to me like you may have a strong case down the line although I hope you don’t have to go there.
    My company, Dunn Edwards, had the rep come and he said he smelled the paint odor but it would go away six months ago…then walked away and said ‘there was nothing more they could do.’ Recently a main person at corporate said he would be willing to paint the room again at no charge, but we all know that would have removed evidence and there was very little chance it would solve the problem…no need to check for voc’s with a zero voc he said. Not true. He sent a local person here and she said she did not smell anything…there was no odor. In other words, lied. Still, get your reps to come and document it…may work…if not, you have the evidence but the odor needs to be proven through tests to back you up in court, and hopefully you can be reimbursed and perhaps, if appropriate, get damages for the hell you, and I, are going through. Keep the faith and let’s all remember there are a lot of us and the word needs to get out. In the meanwhile, each of our cases can help another of us if we share what’s comfortable and safe…especially if we win.

  473. Brandie   |  Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 11:40 am

    The above is some very good advice. I messed up when I painted over the original odor; however, I did save my own sample.

    I would like to share that I found a great paint company called Ecos Paint. They are non toxic and no VOC. the problem with other commercial paints I believe is they NEVER cure.

    Ecos will cure and they also sell a line called Air pure paint that will supposedly remove VOC in the air.

    I hope this helps somebody.

    I have been reading this thread off and on for months. I’m glad that I’m not crazy and people really do have these problems. I think my bad painting experience is akin to PTSD and truly believe is the reason I now suffer MCS.

  474. Brenda   |  Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Brandie how did you resolve your bad paint problem?

  475. Michelle   |  Friday, 29 April 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Wow! We painted our bathroom some time ago (6 mths, a year or something like that – it has been a long time). The first paint I used was Behr zero VOC. It stunk so bad that I painted over it with Lowes Olympic Icon. Since then the bathroom has had a constant chemical paint smell. I did not keep the can of Behr, it smelled so strong I didn’t want to accidentally use it again. I just went and sniffed the can of icon and did not smell anything on the paint that has cured on the outside so I think it was the Behr zero VOC.

    I read on another site that bombing the room with chlorine dioxide. Has anyone tried this and did it have a good or bad effect?

  476. Brenda   |  Sunday, 01 May 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Michelle what are some of the other sites you found? Are you still living with the smell after a year?

  477. Michelle   |  Sunday, 01 May 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Yes. I’ve had it for a long time. I looked on my can of paint and I painted 6/20/2015. We used it in our guest bath so the relative square footage for the house is fairly small. But every time I went in there I could smell it. So I recently closed it up to see how strong it got and it got very strong which means it has been out gassing into the rest of the house all this time. I then did a search on the internet and found this site along with some other random posts (blogs etc.) where people had the same problem.

    As near as I can tell this is a problem that has occurred across brands and across years. The common denominator appears to be low or zero VOC paint. I always use zero VOC paint and have never had this problem. The difference this time was that the can of Behr zero VOC had a very strong paint odor right from the start. I had never used Behr before so just assumed this was normal but I don’t recall ever having such a strong odor on the other brands of zero VOC I have used (BM, SW, Olympic, FreshAire). I had wanted to repaint some other parts of my house but now I am very hesitant as if this happened in larger or more commonly used room it would be a huge problem.

    One blog post I read used chlorine dioxide. I looked it up and it appears to be an antimicrobial agent and when released in it’s gas form penetrates and kills. I ordered a product from Amazon called Room Shocker. This site was very helpful because I was leaning toward just trying to seal it in but people have tried that without much success. Also the ongoing nature of the problem, after reading all these posts, leads me to believe that maybe there is some bacteria growing in the paint that is releasing this odor. Otherwise I would think it would be dissipated by now.

    I will report back if it works.

    Were going to seal up the bathroom with plastic and tape but we still may leave the house when we do this over night. Luckily we have an RV we can sleep in.

  478. Brandie   |  Sunday, 01 May 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Brenda, I think to a certain extent I will always have in mind the room has an odor. We lived with it so long.

    After 6+ months, the odor is not there. I have drove family crazy asking them to sniff the room every time they come over.

    The air purifier I purchased really helps my peace of mind.

    We sanded the walls, tore off the baseboards and repainted with Kilz Oil Primer. I would not recommend this route if you are air sensitive, MCS, have elderly living with you &/or kids and you are not able to get out of the house for several days &/or cannot get proper respirators to paint &/or cannot keep your windows open for several days to a week or more. I think I’m some states you can’t even buy this.

    What worked for us may not work for you. I would suggest a professional come assess your situation to see if this is appropriate for you.

    This whole experience has been a disaster. I have spent at least $1000 or more in hotel bills and replaced flooring etc.

    I am convinced it was SW Ovation that caused this initial issue. I will never buy any paint other than Ecos again.

  479. Brenda   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 4:40 am

    Michelle you said you sanded the walls, what were your walls made of? Can you sand drywall?
    We’ve spent 1,000.00 redoing the first paint disaster with the gas like fumes Olympic paint and now we are on our second disaster after putting up new Sheetrock now we have the sour claylike smell we used SW Harmony. I have asthma and the gas fumes sent me to the hospital. A total nightmare! Still living in the basement.

  480. Kane   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Brenda, you may be experiencing cross contamination. Odor from your original smelly walls got onto your possessions (furniture, clothes, etc). The contaminated clothes and furniture may be permeating into your new walls. Clothes and Ikea type furniture made of particleboard hold odors. Ikea furniture itself on a good day in any home offgasses. I disposed of all my old Ikea furniture which help my indoor air quality a lot. Give it more time. Latex paint takes up to 30 days to cure.

  481. Brenda   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Kane the room is totally empty and all the Sheetrock is new so the smell is from the new Harmony paint

  482. Anita   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Michelle, Brandie, Al where do you all live? Most of these paints are made by the same supplier. That would explain why so many brands have the problem. It might sound extreme, but all of us who have posted here have been victims of what amounts to a CHEMICAL ATTACK whether you think you have solved the toxic paint fume problem or not. Most of us stumbled onto this site, but there are many other complaints out there. I have met consumers, contractors and home improvement employees who have also noticed these suspicious, potent, sickening, chemical fumes from “paint”. Some have noticed while the paint was in the can. Paint fume complaints are showing up in hotel and apartment rental reviews. Paint is not some new, mysterious invention that we have not all been exposed to. We have all been around painted surfaces, wet or dry, every day of our lives! No matter what the paint industry wants us to believe, we all know what paint is supposed to smell like. “Paint” is not suppose to contaminate furniture, clothes, hair, or cause burning in mouths, eyes, lungs. “Paint” is not supposed to cause vomiting, nosebleeds, asthma attacks or neurological problems. “Paint” is not supposed to cause people to move out of their homes or cause them not to be able to walk into rooms in their homes without feeling nauseous or like they are suffocating. Fumes from “paint” are not supposed to linger for years and travel all over an entire house and in some cases outside. “Paint” is not supposed to smell like natural gas, burning cigarettes, vinegar, sulfur, ammonia, cat urine or a dead animal. If these potent fumes are on your furniture, clothes and all over your house, they are on and in your body too. We are most likely dealing with an acid the way these paints burns through coats of shellac, KILZ, etc. that are supposed to encapsulate it. In the UK, the paint companies suggest an alkali paint. An Alkali neutralizes an acid! Call the Health Department and Poison Control. The Health Department told me to call 911 for the Fire Department if I felt my health was in danger. Tell the Fire Department you are being overwhelmed by suspicious, chemical fumes. Contact the CDC and the Attorney General’s Office. Contact the Attorney General of the U.S.. Contact the Justice Department, the FBI and Homeland Security. We have been told to be vigilant! We all need to start treating this chemical contamination like the crime it is.

  483. Brandie   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Anita, most folks I talk to about this think I’m a little nutty and I have had a hard time being taken seriously.

    Brenda, yes you can sand drywall with a sander but it will not remove all your paint. I would suggest you re drywall considering your asthma and wait several weeks to let all the mud throughly dry. Next, I would paint with Ecos primer and then Air Pure paints specifically for asthma/MCS folks.

  484. Brandie   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Also, like to add Brenda I would not attempt re drywalling yourself.

  485. Brenda   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Brandie we tore out our old Sheetrock that we painted in early March as it had gone toxic. We had a professional put up new Sheetrock and let the mud dry for over a week before painting with SW Harmony which again has turned smelly but it’s different than the first time when we painted with Olympic. The first time was awful gas like fumes. This time it’s a sour claylike smell that goes up and down with intensity the only good thing is it’s staying in the room and not spreading through the house like the first time so at least we can use the kitchen, bath and living room.
    We really don’t want to tear out the walls again, the cost is already ridiculous. And Brandie I also feel like everyone thinks I’m nuts. My husband says he can’t smell it this time but he couldn’t smell it last time until the noxious fumes started. The first time it also smelled claylike but after two weeks it turned so strong it brought tears to your eyes. So far it’s been 3 weeks and it has gotten any stronger.
    A friend of mine painted her hallway and one wall in her living room and one wall in her kitchen. All with the same can of paint, her hallway smells like sour pickles a month after she painted. The living room and kitchen don’t smell. So how crazy is that!

  486. Brandie   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Brenda, I can’t imagine how you feel to have thought problem solved and now have another issue.
    I am so sorry.
    The bad thing about these latex paints is they will continue to off gas through your next layer of whatever paint you use.
    Kilz would be too much for you to bear.
    What about a thin drywall over the current drywall? That may not be as expensive as a complete tear out and restart?
    Has any body in the above posts tried to wallpaper over the problem? I admit I have not read the entire thread just off and on.
    As for your friend, I wonder if she doesn’t smell it in the living room and kitchen because the rooms are bigger?
    Did you happen to use a color that added a lot of colorants? I think that was part of my problem.
    Have you considered a lawsuit?

  487. Brenda   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Brandie the first color I used was called Heavy Cream by Olympic and the second was very similar called Eaglet Beige from SW. I wish I picked a totally different color second time but I had bought a new bedspread and curtains and it went so well with the off white color and I wanted to brighten the room. So much for that!
    I did read on the UK blog where someone said they wallpapered over it and it seemed to work but I wonder if it eventually came thru, there was no follow up which is what I’m finding frustrating. So far the only one that seemed to solved his problem is Kane using the masonry paint but he used the SW Harmony and had no issue with it and I do. So I do wonder if it’s regional. I’m in western MA where are you?
    I’m thinking the same thing you just mentioned about my friends paint.
    My main concern now is my husband plans on moving back to the painted bedroom as he doesn’t notice the smell like I do and I worry about his health, he’s very stubborn. I’ve had a few friends in to smell it and hey all notice it but say well it’s not that bad or it’s not as bad as the first time. Not that bad! I know I’d end up with another asthma attack if I slept one night in there.

  488. Lynne   |  Thursday, 05 May 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Has anyone negotiated a settlement, filed a law suit or had the paint or room tested by a lab?

  489. Brenda   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Has anyone here used the Alkali paint that the folks in the UK recommend? Has it worked?
    Also no one ever answered if heating the room to a very high temp works. There seems to be just a hand full of us that stay updated here. Makes me wonder if others found a solution and never came back here to let us know what they did.
    I was searching other websites late into the night last night and found the blog from the UK which had many complaints about Crown paint, they even had a BBC news segment done on the issue. The dates go back to 2007 so this has been going on for a long time I thought it was only within the last 2 or 3 years, since the EPA made them change their formula unless Europe did the change years ago which is a good possibility.
    I also wonder why we haven’t heard about any business’s, hospitals, etc that have had this issue occur. You would think it would happen. I just still can’t believe we’ve had it happen twice, that really blows my mind. We did everything exactly the way it should be done weather wise, air circulation, etc. I just don’t get it ?

  490. Lisa   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:22 pm

    I agree with Anita. This issue needs to be brought out into the open – into the public eye. i doubt that the FBI or homeland security will be interested. But health departments, hospitals, the CDC, and certainly the Consumer Public Safety Commission SHOULD be interested, since this impacts our health. The more reports the better. The more documentation the better.

    Yes, it’s all brands, no, it’s not all cans. We have no way to know where along the line this problem is caused. It could even be caused by the situation in our own home. THE POINT IS: We should be able to apply these paints according to directions and customary means (clean new rollers, brushes, pans, within temperature and humidity specs, etc) and NOT end up with a smell that doesn’t go away.

    There are no warnings on these cans that this might happen, there are no warnings to keep a sample of the paint as proof that there’s something wrong with it. All we have is the stink, and our determination to make someone acknowledge it and tell us how to fix it. WE’RE GETTIN’ NUTHIN’ – and that is criminal, because it’s deceptive and negligent. These cans should have warnings on them, and when the manufacturers are notified that a customer has been struck with this phenomenon, they should step in to prevent further damages and injury. They should fix it and provide alternative housing if necessary.

    But, you can see why they are working so hard to be able to deny the problem – think of the money they would have to pay for physical injury once it’s revealed what we’re breathing.

    Our problem is: people aren’t aware of this phenomenon BEFORE it happens to them. They don’t know until it’s too late and they find themselves here, and they find out that the paint company knew all along, even though they told the customer they have no “batch reports” or no customer complaints about the problem, or that priming over it doesn’t fix it, etc.

    Tell everyone you know about this problem. But most importantly, report it to the company and note who and when you reported it, and report it to the authorities, as Anita has suggested. Get the air in the room tested if you can afford it. Ask for a broad spectrum analysis – since the paint company doesn’t have to list all the ingredients and if you test only for those that are listed you might miss the offending components.

    And I agree, going through this is the face of the paint company’s denials and “dirty tricks” is disheartening. It’s very stressful to have to try to live with fumes, especially when they’re making you physically ill. Don’t risk your health. Try calling a personal injury lawyer. If you’re having medical problems a personal injury lawyer might be willing to take your case and simply charge you a % of whatever they’re able to recoup from the corporation. Plus the lawyer will know what kind of testing you need to do, and might cover that if they feel you’ve got a good case. I hate to advise people to sue, but it’s become far too evident that these companies don’t respect anything else. They have no desire to help you or to provide basic good customer service.

  491. Lisa   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Brenda – if you take a few hours (too long, I know) and read through these comments, you will find that heat worked for some and not others. Also, dehumidifier worked for some and not others.

    I tried high heat alternated with ventilation. The warmer the room got, the more it stunk. however, again – that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you. You can try whatever you want to try. You might get lucky, just like you got unlucky. Before removing the drywall again, I would definitely try some other things, including the masonry primer. BUT keep in mind, if you prime before getting the company in there to document, and getting some unbiased evaluation from a third party, you will be very unlikely to collect any damages.

    And, because the specifications on these paints say that it can take up to thirty days to cure the paint, I wouldn’t do anything until 30 days had passed (unless it’s something that would help it to cure) You don’t want to get the room too hot either because that itself can damage the paint.

  492. Lisa   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Also, Brenda – since you have new drywall, you have eliminated one factor. you said you had the drywall professionally installed. Call the drywaller to come back and smell the room. Ask him for a piece of the drywall he used and ask him to verify that there was nothing wrong with the drywall.

  493. Brenda   |  Monday, 02 May 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Lisa, thx I will give it the thirty days and then if not gone which I don’t have high hopes, I will have a rep come to the house. See if I can get them to at least cover the cost of trying to cover the paint, I’m thinking of trying the masonry paint. Maybe see if I can get them to paint it. If that worked I think I would just leave it and not put a tinted paint.
    The professional contractor is a friend so when the 30 days is up I will have him come back to smell the room. Thanks for mentioning that!
    One thing we did before we repainted was doing a test on a spare piece of drywall like others mentioned on this blog, doesn’t work, we did it and there was no smell so thought we were safe!

  494. Kane   |  Tuesday, 03 May 2016 at 12:51 am

    Brenda, have you considered that the odor can be coming from the ceiling rather than the new walls? Did you paint the ceiling? If not, it’s also possible that they absorbed any odors from the original bad wall.

  495. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 03 May 2016 at 1:18 am

    Kane once the room was gutted we let it air out for a few weeks the smell had disappeared immediately when the walls were gone. When the new Sheetrock went up we let it sit almost two weeks there was no bad odors.

  496. Kane   |  Tuesday, 03 May 2016 at 1:49 am

    And you said you primed with SW Harmony? Did it smell with primer only before paint went on?

  497. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 04 May 2016 at 1:18 am

    Kane yes we used harmony primer and let it dry for a week before painting. The primer did have a clay like smell that did not go away after a week of drying.

  498. Kane   |  Wednesday, 04 May 2016 at 2:44 am

    Brenda, how about the test piece of drywall? You tried priming and painting it before doing your walls correct?

    I’ve used many different primers for different projects including BIN shellac, 1-2-3, Harmony, Insl-x and they all have an odor that take weeks to dissipate.

  499. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 04 May 2016 at 4:00 am

    Kane the test we did didn’t smell. When I went over to a friends house who had painted her hallway and then one wall in kitchen and one wall in living room with the same paint, we only noticed the smell in the hallway. Seems like it’s stronger in smaller areas, we have a small bedroom.

    Weve painted a lot over the years, even worked for contractors painting and never ever had this kind of issue before, it’s just so mind boggling.

  500. Liz   |  Thursday, 05 May 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Hello everyone. I have been reading this blog until my eyes feel like they will bleed. I have read about all sorts of odors, but I am not certain I am having the same problem. We took my house down to concrete floors and walls in December 2014. EVERYTHING is brand new (except the drywall). I live in SW Florida, so my windows are open in the winter. When the windows are open, there is a distinct “cat pee” or ammonia smell. The longer the windows are open, the worse the smell. After a great deal of investigation, it is definitely the walls or paint. It seems most of the posts here talk about a different smell than what we are experiencing. Who has the cat pee/ammonia smell and has anything worked for this???? We painted the ENTIRE house with the same paint! After a complete renovation, we simply cannot afford to tear out the drywall and I do not want to live forever with my windows closed and a/c on! Help!

  501. Michelle   |  Thursday, 05 May 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I’m currently shocking my bathroom with chlorine dioxide. If it is bacteria then it shouldn’t live through this. I set it up last night, put a towel under the door where there was a gap (to block light getting in) and then put the window film plastic over the door and sealed it with painters tape. I haven’t smelled any chlorine in the house. Technically I could undo it today but I think I will leave it until tomorrow morning. They say a max of 24 hrs on the instructions and I want to go for at least the max time. However they also say UV light will destroy the reaction so I wanted to start it at night. It may take a while for the chlorine to clear when I undo it tomorrow so will probably have the result in a week or so.

    I poured the water on it and jumped out of the room so fast that I can only hope the reaction went off as prescribed.

  502. Kane   |  Thursday, 05 May 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Brenda, the issue at your friend’s house sounds like the hallway may not have the ventilation needed for paint to cure or for the bad air to circulate out. It may be all the areas are equally off-gassing but the kitchen and living room probably has windows where as the hallway does not.

  503. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 2:52 am

    I think it’s more noticeable in smaller areas as it’s more concentrated but my bedroom has two windows we keep open during the day with 3 fans, one blowing in fresh airin, one blowing out the air and the ceiling fan going. That’s a lot of air circulating, I really don’t think the problem has to do with the paint curing, the first time we painted and it went bad we had a remediator in who tested if the paint had cured or not, he said it had dried thoroughly. He didn’t understand why it would still gass off.
    I don’t think any of us really know or understand what is really happening with these paints. Nothing makes sense.

  504. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 2:56 am

    Michelle please keep us posted on how this turns out! My fingers are crossed for you, if it works I’ll try it. Where did you find out about doing this? I haven’t heard much about it. What does it all entail?

  505. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 3:55 am

    Hi Brenda,
    When I was googling this problem it was mentioned as having worked by a person with a blog. I didn’t save the link since I was generally surfing for ideas. After reading this thread and seeing how encapsulating didn’t work I thought it was worth a try. I bought the Room Shocker off Amazon. It is for 400 sqr ft and my bathroom is alot less than that. It comes as a packet of dried chemicals in a small yogurt sized container. It also has a small plastic cup (similar in size to the ones you take cough medicine). You fill the small plastic cup with warm water and pour it over the pouch of dried chemicals in the yogurt sized container then seal up the room. I used plastic window sheets and painters tape to seal the room. Tomorrow I will open it up. Then I have to give it time for the chlorine smell to clear. If the paint still smells then I’m thinking it isn’t a bacteria but a chemical reaction in the paint. For $23 I thought it was worth a shot.

    There is no way my paint isn’t ‘cured’ because it has been a year and I live in a very dry climate. From what I read chlorine dioxide was used after Katrina to clean up the mold/mildew residue smell. My guess is it killed the spores. It is supposed to decay into a salt water residue so should be safe after it has done it’s job, hopefully killing anything living in the paint causing the odor.

    I took the towels out of the bathroom and washed them on sanitary setting with Lysol. Then I dried them on sanitary setting in my dryer. After your tale of taking down the drywall but not solving the problem I was worried that what ever it is could get into the towels because maybe it got into your ceiling drywall. I also propped open the cabinet doors. But I forgot to open the cabinet drawers. Hopefully that won’t matter.

  506. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Michelle, thanks so much for the details and PLEASE let me know how this test works for you as I too very much want to know if we are dealing with bacteria or chemical.
    When we first painted our bedroom in early March it only took about 10 days to turn from a claylike smell to gas fumes that started going into the whole house, we have a one story ranch, even with the door closed! So we had no choice but to tear out the walls, we did not tear out the ceiling or closet as they were painted earlier and did not smell at all. So we hoped once it was gutted that the smell would disappear as it did. If it wasn’t gone at that point we would have ripped the rest out. I did find the anything that was in the room and obsorbed the smell it went away after a few days of being outside in fresh air.
    We left the room gutted for about 2 weeks with no smell. We also had replaced all the insulation. Then we hired to have new drywall put in. We let that sit for a week before priming. Once the walls were primed with a harmony it had a similar claylike smell to the first paint. I was VERY nervous about that. We went ahead and painted the beige color, SW Harmony and it turned to the sour like smell. At least with the door closed and towel along the bottom no smell comes thru. But I am so disturbed after all that work and expense we still don’t have our house and lives back to normal.
    We’ve just been airing it out everyday to the outside with 3 fans going. My husband refuses to gut it again, said he’d sell the house before he does that again. So we live in the basement with our clothes in plastic tubs. I’m heard out now to buy some clothe racks to set up a closet in the basement. ?

  507. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Michelle, thanks just read it. Wrote down the info to get it if yours works (praying it does) my fingers are crossed!!!!

  508. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I live in Colorado and used a grey color paint.

    I just opened the room up and didn’t really smell chlorine. I’m not sure if the chemical reaction went off. I’ll air it out and smell it later. I bought a second one so may try again if it seems to have not gone off. In the reviews they occasionally do have one that doesn’t go off. So far it smells exactly the same so I’m thinking it didn’t go.

  509. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Michelle what part of the country do you live in and what color paint did you use? I had asked others earlier on this blog trying to see if it’s happening more in a certain region or if the colorant is similar. I am in Western amA and used a beige color, my friend who painted her hall with the sour smell also used a similar color to mine.

  510. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 4:09 am

    Here is the post where I got the idea from. The original poster has the same problem that we do. The last answer in the thread was the person who used Chlorine Dioxide. The company they got the product from doesn’t appear to be in business anymore so I just searched for Chlorine Dioxide and found the Room Shocker on Amazon.

  511. Kane   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Items like this are all scams praying on desperate individuals like us. They can not fix the source of the odor which is offgassing paint. No product unless applied directly to the walls can change the chemical makeup of the paint. Air fresheners , candles, ion machines and all that can only cover up whatever is already in the air. It can’t fix the source. Just think about say an open bottlen of perfume. Nothing can change the perfume composition or its odor unless its removed or covered.

  512. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Kane, I got it from Amazon with a money back guarantee so not too worried about it being a scam. I just took out the second kit and examined the packet. It is more flexible and powdery. The first one was rock hard. One of the instructions was to shake up the packet to distribute the ingredients. So I suspect it was a bad packet. I will try again with the second kit tonight.

    Also I’m not sure if it is due to mold/mildew growing in the paint or a chemical reaction. This is one way to find out.

  513. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Just got off the phone with customer service. They indicated the packet should not have been hard. It may have been stored improperly somewhere. I’m going to go ahead and set the second one off now. It’s packet is more flexible. Since it is an indoor bathroom with no windows it should be dark enough to work.

  514. Lisa   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Any gas strong enough and remaining long enough to kill microbes in the paint would also be highly toxic to human tissues. It’s hard to believe that something like that could be sold without some kind of oversight. But I suppose that depending on the cause of the smell, it might work or it might not – just like everything else that everyone here has tried.

    I understand that people want to just fix this. But if someone has decided not to pursue compensation or assistance from the paint manufacturer – why wouldn’t you try the simplest thing first? Which would be the masonry primer? Maybe it won’t work and then you can try other fancy things. But we tried a primer first. We didn’t know about the masonry primer and the paint company sure wasn’t going to tell us because then they’d be admitting that they had some familiarity with the problem. But I would have tried that too. And I would have tried anything else that somebody told me might work if I thought it would mean I wouldn’t have to replace the drywall.

    I still would ask / recommend that people involve the paint company, vendor, and professionals before they spend more money and destroy more evidence that the paint is causing the problem. But I completely understand that people just want to fix it.

    I suspect that some people who commented early on this site may have signed off on a small reimbursement from the paint makers before they knew that the primer didn’t work. Although some may have had success with just primer. Again – different causes, different cures.

    The paint companies are manufacturing products that are susceptible to bacteria, mold, etc. and to long- term offgassing due to their new chemical structures that are trying to reduce VOCs. Some of these fumes you’re breathing may be deleterious to your health. If that’s the case, shouldn’t we hold the manufacturers responsible? Yes, we want to get rid of it. Yes, we want it fixed. But then what about what happened to Brenda? who thought she got rid of it but may have gotten another bad can? At some point we have to deal with the REAL cause of the problem = the bad paint.

    Are we to live in houses without paint? That’s ok with me. But we need something on our walls. Carpets?

  515. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Look up Chlorine Dioxide. Here is the info. from the govt. on it.
    “Chlorine dioxide is used as a bleach at pulp mills, which make paper and paper products, and in public water-treatment facilities, to make water safe for drinking. It has also been used to decontaminate public buildings. ”

    You ask why not use the masonry primer? First that is alot of work to apply and it isn’t intended for indoor use so I don’t know what chemicals it would introduce into my house. Chlorine dioxide should break down very quickly after it is used.
    “Chlorine dioxide is a very reactive compound. In air, sunlight quickly breaks chlorine dioxide apart into chlorine gas and oxygen. In water, chlorine dioxide reacts quickly to form chlorite ions. ”

    “Chlorine dioxide is added to drinking water to protect people from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. Most people will be exposed to chlorine dioxide and its disinfection by-product, chlorite ions, when they drink water that has been treated with chlorine dioxide. ”

    “Chlorine dioxide and chlorite usually enter the body when people drink water that has been disinfected with chlorine dioxide. Because chlorine dioxide rapidly breaks down in air to chlorine gas and oxygen, you would not likely breathe air containing dangerous levels of chlorine dioxide, but if you did, it could be absorbed across your lungs. You are not likely to encounter chlorite in the air you breathe. Whether chlorine dioxide or chlorite on your skin would be absorbed to any great extent is not known.

    Both chlorine dioxide and chlorite act quickly when they enter the body. Chlorine dioxide quickly changes to chlorite ions, which are broken down further into chloride ions. The body uses these ions for many normal purposes. Some chloride ions leave the body within hours or days, mainly in the urine. Most chlorite that is not broken down also leaves the body in the urine within a few days after exposure to chlorine dioxide or chlorite.”

    “Both chlorine dioxide and chlorite react quickly in water and moist body tissues. If you were to breathe air containing chlorine dioxide gas, you might experience irritation in your nose, throat, and lungs. ”

    Based on the above I determined it was safe to shock my room with chlorine dioxide. I have the door sealed with plastic and painters tape. Tomorrows I will open it up and blow any left over gas into the sunlight. However according to everything I’ve read the gas should have naturally broken down by then and I will only have a chlorine odor.

    Still crossing my fingers that it takes the paint odor with it.

  516. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I’m still anxious to find out if the chlorine dioxide works. At least we’d know it’s bacteria in the paint. So good luck Michelle, and let us know how it plays out. Chemical wise can the chlorine be much worse than what we are all ready dealing with? If the smell can’t be rid of with trying everything else then the walls have to come out anyway.
    As far as what else to do on the walls. If we have to start over I will wallpaper, I hear it’s coming back in style anyway! Or beadboard paneling and stain it. But so far my husband is convinced it will air out ?. So I’m setting up our closet in the basement and putting a new bed in the guest room which we will be able to use. Will keep our spare be in he basement just in case.
    I will never paint again!!!

  517. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks Brenda,
    Yesterday we had 8.5% humidity but today it is 31% because rain is coming in and I can smell some moisture in the air. I asked the company if the humidity or lack thereof could have impacted it and they didn’t think so but maybe that would have made a difference. They definitely thought the packet being hard meant it was bad and were ready to send me another on the spot but I told them I got it through Amazon so they asked me to work through them for a replacement. Also being at altitude we have less oxygen. Another variable to throw in the the mix. On top of that we had high ozone yesterday. I don’t know if that could have affected it also. In any event as far as I can tell no reaction went off.

    I also realized I did not tape over the ceiling bath vent last time so did that this time.

    I gotta admit this has put me off painting also.

  518. Brenda   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Michelle once everything is sealed is it suppose to be dark, do you have to black out the window? Once it’s done do you open up the window to air out?

    We have central air conditioning and just thought uh oh once summer comes and it gets hot when we turn that on will it spread the bad air into the rest of the house? The air intake is in the hallway ceiling just out side the bedroom door so I am hoping as long as the door stays closed it will be ok. Just another thing to worry about. I’m so tired of worrying!

  519. Michelle   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Brenda,
    It is supposed to be dark as the gas will decompose right away in sunlight. Probably it is best to start the process in the evening if you have exterior windows so it is dark over night. You can black out the window if you want to run it for the full 24 hours. For the central air it seems like you are supposed to seal the vents with plastic. We have hydronic radiant heat so no duct work to worry about.

    Our bathroom is completely interior so I decided to run it this time during the day with a towel stuffed under the door. I still sealed the door to the room with plastic and painters tape.

    It also has to be over 50 degrees as if it is too cold the process will not work. They said not to disturb the area as the gas needs to spread so I can’t go in and check if it is working.

    Yes, once it is done you open a window to air it out. Since our bathroom is interior I will turn on the exhaust fan and if need be run a fan in the room. The reviews all said there is a chlorine smell after it is done which dissipates and leaves the room with no odor. Most of the reviews were for other types of odors not paint so we will have to see if it works for this problem.

  520. Lisa   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Michelle, thanks for posting that link on chlorine dioxide. You excerpted all the notes on its safety but none on its risks. I doubt that the product you’re using can cause much harm to humans unless its inhaled directly. As I said: anything strong enough or lasting long enough to penetrate the paint layer and kill microbes would be toxic to human tissue and would be unlikely to be sold in such a fashion. The by-products of water chlorination are carcinogenic. Chlorinated water is toxic. But, as with the product you’re using – the toxicity dissipates and breaks down. Any benefit of chlorine dioxide could likewise be gained by wiping the walls with bleach (for which one should wear the appropriate respirator and gloves).

    i hope the chlorine dioxide works for you. Thanks again.

  521. Lisa   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 8:51 pm

    The point of my comment above was: should we be having to soak every inch of our walls with bleach (a dangerous compound that can cause immediate and long-term harm) or “bomb” our rooms with chlorine dioxide? Or use repeated coats of primers which are also toxic? And all without knowing whether or which any one of these remedies will work?

    I’d like to see a warning on every can of these paints. I’d like to see this issue publicized. So that when this happens to someone, the paint company comes in and fixes it – WHATEVER THAT MEANS. And the customer doesn’t have to be further exposed to toxic gases and substances on their own. Let professionals come in with appropriate equipment and fix it – even if that’s masonry primer. I’m not saying masonry primer is the best option. I never tried it and I don’t really know. It was just one more thing to try short of ripping out the drywall. I’d probably try the chlorine bomb too – but it would be impractical in many situations and is also dangersous, just like ozone treatments. I did try wiping the wall with bleach in spots. The smell there went away overnight. I figured it might be possible to kill what I too believed were bacteria with bleach. but it was a large room and it was not feasible to soak every inch of the walls with bleach. Also, that could have damaged the drywall.

    It shouldn’t be up to us to overcome the damage and stink caused by these products. The money, the time, the stress, the toxicity. Is that really right?

  522. Lynne   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I agree with Lisa’s comments. I’ve been deeply moved by everything you are all doing to get rid of the problem. Perhaps having several lab tests done on the paint itself, or an air sampling test for mold or voc’s, would zero in on the problem initially and find the source of the problem. Cost is roughly 100 dollars per test, but worth it if it finds the problem as only then will you know for sure what to do to solve the problem. Otherwise its like finding a needle in a haystack. Various so called remedies can be hazardous, time consuming and as with Brenda, and my heart goes out to her, cause further illness and symptoms.
    With testing, you will also have proof should you pursue it legally, and several of you have very very strong cases in both small claims court and civil, the latter having the opportunity to meet and work it our before moving forward legally. Also one consultation with a lawyer for a half hour is only 100 dollars.
    This website is excellent in providing information and advice on how to fix the problem yourself. Kane has been outstanding as have been all the others. And it will be helpful to use for anyone trying to get the paint mfgs. to accept responsibility where it is theirs.
    There are labs in all areas who can test in the home and this can be used legally.
    You can also initially test yourselves more cheaply by getting or picking up the needed receptacles and they tell you how to do it. It’s simple.
    If you do it yourselves and find something, you can then bring in professional environmental testers to confirm and then use in court.
    I realize you had nowhere to live and had to do something…but perhaps this might be an additional way to do it and be reimbursed later on.
    Good luck!

  523. Lisa   |  Friday, 06 May 2016 at 8:59 pm

    PS – Michelle, I was only recommending the masonry primer if someone was at the point of ripping out their drywall. Like if a chlorine dioxide bomb didn’t work. It’s ok to use masonry primer indoors. But I just read that it is noted to have ingredients that cause cancer. So I’m not sure I would have used it after all.

    Why are the paint companies getting away with this?

    Because no lawyer has yet been convinced that he or she can win a case against them. Too many variables. Too easy for the paint companies to blame the customer. Only once customer are aware of this problem so that the moment it occurs they get the health department, CPSC and lawyer in there will anything change. And only once those who are sickened start getting treated by doctors who can verify the medical problems.

  524. Brenda   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 4:00 am

    Has anyone done the tests Lynne mentioned?

    I’m afraid to say that I don’t think anything will happen to remedy this horrible issue until someone dies from the fumes which could easily happen eventually as its so toxic. Unfortunately corporate greed always wins until a major tragedy happens. Then they are forced to take notice and the press will get involved. Sad that it takes a tradigy to wake people up.

  525. Brandie   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 11:15 am

    Yes, I had my home tested for mold through an independent air quality testing service. The test was negative.

    I purchased an indoor air quality reader that continuously provides air readings of particulates (mold, dust, etc) as well as VOC, carbon dioxide and humidity.

    So far, after I’ve painted with air pure paints, installed new carpet and even purchased a new mattress, the VOCs stay in the acceptable range except with cooking and cleaning which is expected.

    I can’t begin to tell you all how much we have suffered physically, financially and psychologically from this ordeal.

    I am planning on skipping the attorney. I am sending an invoice to the company with all my expenses to date with a due date for payment in full.

    We are exhausted of the whole ordeal and have let other projects in the house go trying to find a solution to this mess. I am ready to sell my home this whole experience has left such a bad taste.

    I am frustrated with the lack of an answer to the problem.

    I was terrified when we replaced the carpet it would never off gas. I am terrified to purchase a bed from Mattress Firm b/c I don’t know how long it will off gas. I have to buy non toxic and organic everything (yes, this includes beds too!)

    My nerves have been greatly affected by all this and have instituted a fear that everything is toxic.

  526. Brenda   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Brandie, yes I feel exactly the same way and I hate it. Worry and stress can take a toll on a body also, it’s horrible to feel this way.

  527. Anita   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Brandie, where did you get your indoor air quality reader? What brand is it and how much did it cost?

  528. Brandie   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Anita,

    It is called Blue Air Aware. I got it off if Blooningdales website for $149.

  529. Michelle   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I undid the plastic this morning and right away could smell some chlorine so I knew the reaction went off. The rooms smelled like an indoor pool. We undid the bathroom vent fan tape and started to vent the room. The chlorine smell wasn’t as strong as I feared it would be. Left the doors open to the house and went for a dog walk. Got back and the smell was milder, barely there. Sniffed the walls and there was no smell. It is 54 degrees here so can’t really leave the doors open too long.

    So far it appears that it may have worked but I’ll have to wait until the chlorine smell is completely gone before I can tell for sure. The bathroom is about 15ftx5ft with an 8 ft ceiling so much smaller than the 400 sqr ft the shocker was supposed to handle.

  530. Brenda   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Michelle, omg I am so hoping this works! Please keep me posted for a few months if you would. I’m wondering if it can come back especially once the hot humid summer starts. Are you on the east coast where it can get very humid?

  531. Michelle   |  Saturday, 07 May 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Brenda,
    I will post both if it is successful or if the smell is still there. With the chlorine smell it is too early to tell. I had to close the room back up as it is too cold here to leave the door open for long. We just had a big hail storm! I am in Colorado so we don’t get much humidity. Most of the time it is uncomfortably dry.

  532. WR   |  Sunday, 08 May 2016 at 11:58 am

    Michelle, I had recently been considering the Chlorine Dioxide and was going to post here before I saw your posts. Please post results back. I think that if the Chlorine Dioxide works, that it is likely a bacterial or fungal contaminant in the paint, as the chlorine dioxide probably would not neutralize a chemical off gassing reaction. Even with bacteria or fungus, I’m worried that periodic treatments would be needed with the chlorine dioxide. These are odd little bugs if they are surviving in the paint without water. Life cannot survive without water, and humidity in my home has been less than 50% for over a year (thanks to a new AC and industrial dehumidifier in the basement).

    If we gut the walls, I am thinking of using Chlorine Dioxide to prevent cross-contamination with any new paint. I’m worried that is what happened to Brenda–some sort of fungus or bacteria was perhaps in the old paint, and it was able to contaminate her new paint. I am very wary of low-VOC paints and will not ever use them again. One reason we haven’t replaced the drywall yet is that I am terrified to paint again. Right now, our air filter unit and keeping the door closed is working. I’m just so scared of more problems. Perhaps we will just use Shellac on the ceiling and wallpaper on the walls and call it day.

  533. Michelle   |  Sunday, 08 May 2016 at 1:32 pm

    WR, will do. I just opened the bath room back up (took the plastic seal off the door) and am running the vent fan again. The chlorine smell is actually a bit stronger today but that is likely because the heated floors ran last night and heated the room up. It is 44 here today and not supposed to be nice until late next week which will delay my ability to have it open all day to air out. No windows in the room so I pretty much have to rely on the exhaust fan. There appears to be no residue from the product. We have a granite counter and chrome faucet and it would be easy to see if there were some type of film on them.

  534. Nathalie   |  Sunday, 08 May 2016 at 4:39 pm

    in short 🙂
    I’m a woman from Belgium with the same issues. The past 6 months I read thousands of posts from Netherlands, France, Belgium, England, Australia, Germany about this topic. Everyone in different countries experiences practically the same “symptoms”. Almost no one found a real solution though. Companies ignore the problem since it is a reaction with the walls, according to them.
    Some of the ‘victims’ say it should help to put an alkali-resistant sealer on it. This should affect the Ph measure of the walls, as the bacterias need to grow in a certain range of alkalinity/acidity. This is a bit what Michelle did with her chlorine dioxide bomb I guess :). Hope it will work 🙂
    Others put bleach mixed with water on walls first, and afterwards the alkali resistant primer.
    I’m currently looking for an alkali-resistant primer to test, but it’s not easy to find in Belgium. Not ready to break off my walls in this room yet. 🙁

    My wall history:
    I myself put a thin layer of plaster on my old walls in 1 room. Before this, there was no smell.
    Then after 6 months drying period a relatively cheap universal primer from a Belgian handy-shop Gamma (stupid and never again). Sour odour appeared and staid even with ventilation , for more than 3 months.
    Put Sigma Renomat (synthetic alkyd resin with solvents) on it 2 months ago. Very strong smell, and still no cure.
    Now the paint-expert told me to put acrylate waterbased paint on it, since this should be an alkali-resistant paint. This is the top layer I already bought a year ago, so I did try it out:
    First yellow layer 1 week ago… the smell seemed less at first, but I noticed uneven pigmentation of the colour. Maybe salt in walls? Just put the second layer 2 days ago, to get a better look on the colour change. ’till now stronger and sour smell (hot weather for the moment). No change in colour so couldn’t be the salt either. Anyway, I don’t trust my nose, sight anymore at this point …

    If this doesn’t ‘cure’ it in a week (and I’m pretty sure it will still be present because of the nasty smell) I’ll try to find the alkaliresistant primer, and else I have to break the wall plaster and replaster.
    Good luck to all of you!!! I hope you will find something
    I ‘ll follow your posts, and will also post my solution if I ever find one.

    frustrated kind regards , Nathalie

  535. Anita   |  Sunday, 08 May 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Brandie thank you so much for the info.

  536. Brenda   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 2:34 am

    WR, when you say you may wallpaper do you mean over the bad paint or on new drywall?

  537. Jean   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Lisa, I believe that the Bin shellac primer also has the same warning as the masonry primer about containing ingredients that causes cancer….we bought the BIN primer because Pittsburgh Paint said they would pay for it but have been hesitant to use it for that very reason, especially with 2 babies in the house.

    Just wondering….do you smell it ONLY when the windows and doors are closed or do you smell it ALL THE TIME even with the windows and doors open? I thought I was only having this smell problem with the bedroom we painted in February. BUT I have a downstairs bathroom that we painted with the same brand of paint (Grand Distinction) last THANKSGIVING. We thought we weren’t having any smell problems with that bathroom but I just realized last week it was because the door to that bathroom is always open. I closed the door to the bathroom over night and went in in the morning and to my horror the bathroom smelled exactly the same as the bad smell from the bedroom upstairs.

    2 years ago before we moved into our house we painted 2 of the rooms with Glidden paint from Home Depot and didn’t have any smell problem. Just last week we redid a bathroom and painted it with Glidden. This bathroom is right next to the smelly room that was painted with the bad Pittsburgh’s Grand Distinction in February. I’ve been telling people that the smelly room smells like paint but now that I have this freshly painted bathroom right next to it, i realize that it is NOT normal paint smell. The Glidden painted bathroom smelled like what normal paint should smell like. Now a week later, the smell is very faint. It smells a LOT LESS than the bedroom that was painted more than 3 months ago and the bathroom that was painted 6 months ago.

  538. Michelle   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I regret to say that I think the Chlorine Dioxide did not work. I am still airing it out but the paint smell is still there when I walk in the bathroom with giant fan blowing on it and all the windows & doors in the house wide open. To me this would say that it isn’t bacteria but an outgassing chemical reaction. I will move on to ozoning it for a period of time and/or baking it in high heat. Not sure which I will try first.

    I have the same problem you do. I painted my bathroom a year ago with zero VOC Behr. The paint stunk so bad that I repainted it with zero VOC Olympic. I had been keeping the door to the bathroom open and since it is the guest bath and seldom used only noted a faint paint smell when I went in there. But then decided to test it by closing it up over night and the smell was really strong.

  539. Kane   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Michelle, sorry to read it did not work out for you. As I mentioned in my previous post, unless something is applied to the wall directly, IT WILL NOT FIX THE OFFGASSING OF PAINT!!!!

    If say a homeless person were in your home, no amount of candles, air fresheners, perfume will fix the problem of B.O. unless the person either showers or leaves. Apply that theory to your walls.

    I strongly advise not to use the ozone machine because you will be disappointed that it will not fix your problem and also it is more dangerous than whatever the bad paint is offgassing. Google “ozone machine dangers” and you can read for yourself.

  540. LYNN   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Coming in sideways, we have been told by environmental people, lawyers and others, and this is just one experience so others may vary, that in order to find out what the air quality problems are, i.e. voc’s, mold, etc., that the test has to be performed using special equipment, machines, or special air samples which are less involved…prices vary, some left for days, others for several hours i believe…then it is taken to a lab and diagnosed with hopefully results that are specific as to the source of the problem, in this case odor or fumes.
    Secondly, only this type of testing when the odor is still there, or evident (reason why so many online tell everyone to not cover it all up trying to fix by yourselves until the eviidence is carefully collected, or else wait so you don’t destroy the only evidential proof of the problem for possible later litigation or perhaps samples to provide others, i.e. agencies, investigative people, etc….the paint cans, for example, should also be kept as Lisa and others pointed out.

    This way, with proper testing usable in court you get two birds with one stone…you find the source of the odor which then tells you what you will eventually need to do to get rid of the problem, and secondly, you have now the evidence you need to present to the mfg., court, and any others who might be helpful in getting j utice and having the mfg. do the cleanup and solve the problem.
    My heart goes out to all of you…we all seem to care very much as we understand the nature of this problem…also even tho many of you are extremely savvy and knowledgeable, i looked up the chloride substance and it is very toxic…in fact they suggest using someething else if you can…so please be careful…
    If you have proof of a problem via lab tests, you have something to show the mfg. and others and may be able to force them to do all the dirty work as they will release you are saving documents and evidence for possible future suing. Medical records re your illnesses, even with pre-illnesses which make your immunie systems more vulnerable to toxic poisons brought into your home unnecessarily, will also hold up…as will inordinate amount of stress…this causes something like p.t.s.d., if not that itself, as it’s in your home, you can’t walk away from the problem, and you are left unjustly with a problem you did not create. Also, scientifically, your nest is a crucial factor in your well being, and when it’s invaded so to speak leaving you with stress and nowhere to unwind or feel safe, or leave as in some cases, that is a major point in suing later for damages, especially with physical proof as with several.

    It’s obvious we are all well meaning and care…what’s a little ruffling of feathers among friends, several of whom have actually been forced to flee the coop…

    Confronting the villains in this, manufacturers of the paint who are terrified of being held responsible and opening other possible law suits, is the ultimate key. There is no such thing as zero voc paint, period…low voc paints and some others all contain ‘secret’ ingredients in small amounts but it adds up…more to it, but there are some major things down the road for mfgs. as there are many, many of us.
    Also, by testing with labs, another advantage is, when safe to share what we have found, we can compare results and information we can all use in future litigation. This is detective work and a mystery, and the more we all know the better…it can be done without compromising ourselves if there is litigation.
    Small claims court costs under 100, and if you go to civil, there is always first a meeting, a negotiation, with all parties to avoid court, and it could be settled in your favor that way…cost is i believe roughly 100.

  541. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 2:40 am

    The paint companies will be very happy if someone here manages to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Then they can continue to pretend they’ve never heard of this problem.

    I fought long and hard and exercised great patience in waiting to see if each thing worked. I begged the company to come back and smell that the coats of BIN hadn’t worked. They plugged their ears and held their noses (figuratively) REFUSING to acknowledge the problem. They insisted that the BIN should have worked. They offered a small amount of money to cover the cost of the BIN if I’d sign a release, and told me if I didn’t sign it by a certain date i’d get nothing.

    It was only AFTER all of that that I learned that this phenomenon is well-known to the industry. Meanwhile, people like all of us on this site go on struggling: moving furniture, blockading rooms, exposing ourselves to more toxicity in an attempt to get rid of the first.

    I wish nothing more that for all of you to be free of your stink quickly and completely. But please, if you possibly can, report this to the manufacturer, to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, your local health department, the EPA (not sure about EPA, but they do regulate these things) and if appropriate, see your doctor and call a lawyer.

    If you find a solution now what is the cost already to your wallet? your health? your peace? This had a huge negative impact on my life for two years and counting.

    I completely support Lynn’s recommendations for testing. I can’t offer advice as to how to obtain the appropriate testing, because I didn’t have the foresight to do that. Perhaps someone could look into finding ways to hook up with appropriate testing and labs. I think this is a high burden, but it’s perhaps the only way to get justice if you’re facing big expenses as a result of trying to fix the odor in your home, of maybe having to rent temporary lodging if the problem is widespread in your residence.

    Has anyone pursued their homeowner’s insurance? We were told not to file since it wasn’t covered. Now I’m wondering if that’s some baloney that the paint corporations and insurance corporations have worked out to once again leave the bill with the working consumer.

    We are not experts. We might have certain ideas about bacteria and off-gassing and so forth – but this is an incredibly complicated science. Did you know that some paints are being specially developed to grow bacteria for scientific purposes? Testing is best. but if you can’t do that, at least get some third parties in there to acknowledge the smell – people who will vouch for you that it stinks. It might not be surprising at this point, but the paint companies have a vested interest in denying that there is even a smell. You can read the stories here and elsewhere.

    Good luck people. Keep sharing.

  542. Kane   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Anita and Brandie, Please be advised a lot of these retail “air monitors” are nothing more than false sense of security and you can’t get an accurate real time monitor unless it costs thousands of dollars. Read some of the reviews of “Blue Air Aware” and similar type of products on Amazon.

    The best monitor for air quality is you and the occupants of your homes lungs and nose. If you smell something and/or have respiratory issues when you’re home, then there is an issue. If you don’t smell something then there probably isn’t. I’m excluding radon and carbon monoxide in that statement.

  543. Brandie   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 7:54 pm

    With all due respect Kane, I disagree with your statement.

    This machine, in my humble opinion, functions to its specifications.

    I read the reviews on Amazon prior to purchase and to be frank, unless those reviewers were subject matter experts, I do not value their opinions as such. More often than not, you can find a poor review for any product you purchase.

    Are you a subject matter expert Kane? If so, I’d like to hear how these machines do not fit the bill.

    Additionally, we would not be on this forum unless our noses detected a problem. I would say mine is excellent which is why I now suffer with MCS.

    Also, please stop yelling at Michelle.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

  544. Kane   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Brandie, if you own the air monitor and it works for you then great! But I would bet that if you put the device in your closed garage with the engine running, it would still tell you that you have “clean air”

    I am trying to help those on this board save time and money being that I have gone thru the same exact issues. I stated that I did not believe chlorine dioxide would work before Michelle tried it and confirmed that.

  545. Jean   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Aw Michelle that is so upsetting. I think many of us were hoping the Chlorine Dioxide would work. 🙁
    We tried baking the room with a space heater and it didn’t work. However, i’m not sure if our space heater was hot enough. I’m not sure how hot the room is supposed to get for it to potentially work.

  546. Kane   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Jean, temp of the room would have to exceed 100 for 24 hours or more to accellerate curing of the layers of paint. It may have a stronger odor initially as the paint offgasses more than under normal conditions. For those that want to try this, I advise not to leave ur homes unattended as many space heaters draw a lot of power can can trip circuits or start fires and also remove valuable electronics such as phone, tablets, laptops so they dont fry in the heat.

  547. Michelle   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks Jean, I too was very hopeful. I just took the rolled up bath towel that I used to block the base of the door outside to let it air out as it still smelled strongly of chlorine. I hope I’m not mixing up the paint smell with the left over chlorine dioxide smell. If for some reason it miraculously stops smelling I will post about it.

    Thanks for the note about the room air monitors. I didn’t even know they had such a thing and have been looking them up on Amazon as I would like to have something that measures VOCs.

    I posted asking if anyone had tried the Chlorine Dioxide before I tried it. No one had so I decided to give it a try. So as I have your one post in favor masonry and cement sealer or primer and one other person’s post in favor or the Chlorine Dioxide I thought I would give the easier and cheaper solution a try first. You may have thought it wouldn’t work for me but it did work for another person just as your solution worked for you.

    Thanks for the suggestions of ” The fix for this is Masonry and Cement Sealer or Primer. I personally used Sherwin Williams Loxon ” Certainly it is very valuable for those who have found a solution to post and share it with others. As you have done, including as many details about your situation, product used, odor, length of time, solutions tired etc. are valuable to help those of us still searching for a solution.

    I may get to the point of repainting. However the tech. bulletin you described has Masonry and Cement Sealer or Primer as the fix for an unpleasant odor that gets worse in sunlight with air movement in the room. Not quite what I’m experiencing. Mine is a paint chemical smell that gets worse if the room is closed up and better if the door is left open. Originally I was think of encapsulation but after reading this thread so many people have tried it with different products and had the smell come back that it appears not to be a method that works for the long haul.

    As a result I have these questions so as to better determine if your solution would work in my situation. What product caused your smell? How long was it occurring? What solutions did you try before the primer was used? How long has your Masonry and Cement primer been up? Do you think you would be able to tell us if the smell comes back? Thanks for any additional information you are willing to provide.

  548. Brenda   |  Monday, 09 May 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Michelle I am so saddened the chlorine didn’t work. Back to square one ?.
    Kane I know you said what you did worked but the SW Harmony did not work for me.
    With all the talk of testing, does anyone know the cost? I heard talk of it being very expensive.

  549. Kane   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 1:57 am

    Brenda, what is the state of your room now? New drywall, primed and painted correct? Did you put your furniture back in the room?

    In my experience as mentioned earlier, lots of items in the room got cross contaminated and had to be disposed of such as ikea furniture, clothes, bedding, etc. if you don’t get rid of the contaminated items, the smell wont go away.

  550. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 2:38 am

    Kane when we gutted the room we let it air out for 2 weeks but the smell was gone once the room was gutted. Then we had the new drywall put up and let the room sit for 10 days. Then it was primed with Sw Harmony and room was left for a week. Unfortunately the primer had that claylike smell immediately and didn’t go away after a week. So figured nothing to loose to go ahead and paint with the Harmony color. Hoping it would be ok. Like I said before I will never ever paint again.
    The room was totally empty the whole time. We did put back in our 3 solid wood bureaus after letting the painted room air out for 2 weeks. I didn’t want to but we have no place else to put them they are large and heavy and were sitting in our living room for weeks. At last now we can use our whole house except the bedroom.
    Not sure what we will do. The smell isn’t as bad as the first time and changes with the weather. Just letting it air out everyday. Hoping someone here figures it out.

  551. Kane   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Brenda, ok so you have isolated the issue to the SW primer and/or paint. Did you use new roller covers and brushes? I would go to the SW store you bought your paint from and report your issue to see if they have suggestions. Since this was brand new drywall, they can’t blame what was previously on the walls. The thing I like about SW stores vs various stores that carry say Benjamin Moore is that all SW stores are company owned and operated so they have more resources to help you than mom & pop hardware stores.

  552. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Kane, yes we used all new rollers and brushes. I do plan on going back to SW, I’m waiting the the exact 30 days from when we put the color on which will be Sunday. As the paint instructions on the can specifies it can take 30 days to cure. I have no hopes the smell will be gone in 5 more days.
    The first time this happened we had gone to SW to see if they had any suggestions on what to do, they didn’t, they also said they never heard of this issue!
    I was hoping since so many people have dealt with this that someone would figure it out, but reading blogs from the UK which has dealt with this since 2007 and no one there has figured it out I don’t have much hope anymore.
    I actually wish this second time around turned as noxious as the first time, then at least my husband would be willing to tear it out again. How sad is that!

  553. Kane   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Brenda, I would advise going on Friday if possible. Most knowledgeable staff is usually on duty weekdays and also contractors usually don’t start projects on Fridays which means less customers in the store. Mondays are usually busiest and weekends stores are staffed by some part time college kid that knows little. Good luck!

  554. LYNN   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Just curious to know why only one, possibly two, on this site have neither tested the paint or room originally to see what might be in the paint to cause the odor, and secondly, except for a few, if that, confronted the paint manufacturer directly with evidence of some sort of the ongoing problem, and then attempted in any way to hold them responsible as their refusal to cooperate honestly, as in my case and others, is borderline criminal considering how toxic and health injurious, both mentally and physically, paint fumes can be, plus the emotional stress bringing down the immune system and taking away any semblance of a normal, peaceful life when left with this problem right in your home.
    Having said that, i admire what seems to be a heroic attempt to clean up the problem yourselves, even though almost no-one has yet succeeded and many of you have used dangerous substances, knocked down walls singlehandedly, and have gotten ill…along with all the rest of the horror of this.
    Wrote this as i’ve followed from time to time and it’s heartbreaking to see, for example, all Brenda and others are going through and there is still no solution to getting rid of the paint fumes or other problems with paint and possibly other hazardous substances in the home.
    How much longer do we allow this criminal behavior, this total refusal to accept any responsibility for what everyone knows to be their problem/ The industry, lawyers, environmentals, know of this, not all of them, but many and until we bring it to the right places, keep getting it out there and not just on this blog, nothing is going to change for the people yet to wake up one morning after painting, or having someone else bring paint into their home, and finding they are living in a toxic soup, not always the case but often enough. And through no fault of their own….translation, they purchased paint that was contaminated with something and continues to smell, sometimes for years.
    Again, i’m in awe of your courage, and i mean that sincerely, your ingenuity, and i’m rooting for all of you as well as myself.
    As for testing, yes, it can be expensive and we should not be stuck with it…the paint mfgs. know that it is expensive and time consuming and the consumer doesn’t want to spend money or has’nt got it to spend on lawyers…which is the reason and the main reason they walk away, do nothing, lie, hire dishonest lawyers who do anything for a buck with their millions, and so continue to get away with it because very few organize, get the truth out there, write it down, call, contact governmental agencies local and otherwise, or establish safe communication with each other to figure out how to address what is a national, if not global problem.
    There is a new law case about an insect repellent used incorrectly in a home causing an odor which caused brain damage in a 9 year old and they are suing the manufacturer…not the same exactly, but paint fumese can be dangerous and there are probably many who’ve experienced some health issues they didn’t connect to it perhaps, or cleared up eventually as the odor in some cases disappeared. But it’s happening with paint, other things too, as not enough is being done.
    Universities sometimes address sthese things in projects as well.
    Don’t know the solution and i don’t do enuff either…just an honest gut reaction to how heartbreaking it is to seeing some others, like myself, experiencing such hardships and trying to do it all alone when the fault lies with the manufacturers of spoiled, often unsafe, products and walking away from the damage they cause in people’s lives without giving it a second thought.
    Good luck and will share anything of worth should i find it as i struggle along with you researching and trying to get justice.

  555. Michelle   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I just sent a request for Consumer Reports to do a story on this. If anyone else wants to tell their story and make a request also here is the link.

    The paint smell is definitely back as the chlorine smell is gone. The good part is I can eliminate bacteria as the source of the odor. Instead think it is some type of a bad chemical reaction. I was not comfortable with encapsulating bacteria but maybe that is the soln. for this. However so many people have tried it and not had it work that I’m leery of spending the time and money to add another layer of chemicals to my house.

    In terms of baking it, I just think that if it was going to out gas on it’s own it would have done it by now. I live in a dry climate with very little humidity and the bathroom is seldom used (once a month to 6 weeks). Just seems like if it could have cured it would have cured.

    Has anyone had success with ozone?

  556. James   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve used ozone gas numerious times for numerious problems and in different strengths. It won’t work because the source is still there. Ozone is just effective for example, you buy a car from someone who smoked in it, once you remove the cigerrett butts, you can shock treat the interior and, the ozone gas, which has very simuliar properties to chlorine gas, will nuetralize the smoke smell. Its also a very nice anti-mold spore remedy and dissinfectant. But no, it failed me on the paint problem.

    I’m going to try peeling the paint back off, and yes, it comes off like wallpaper! I painted with rthe exact same brand and even line of paint before (SW Super Paint) and it did not have this problem at all. Smell gone totally in like 5 days and actially cured hard as a rock. This time its like rubber and smells like clay or sometimes even like pickles, depending on humidity levels and temperature.

  557. Michelle   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks James for your experience with ozone!

    Are you able to peel the paint off of drywall?

  558. James   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 10:32 pm

    It peels off easy enough, just in quarter sized chunks though. Argh But I haven’t really tried it yet, so it may be more tedious once I get down to it.

    I don’t know about yall, but if I ever get this rubber paint off my walls, I’m never painting them again. I will just wall paper. 🙁 Out of fashion but at least it won’t smell.

  559. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 1:47 am

    James I agree with you I will never paint again I will also wallpaper. I did see on HGTV that wallpaper is making a come back. I wonder if it’s because so many people are now having issues with paint.
    I’ll be very curious how your raring off the paint goes, please keep us posted on your outcome.

  560. Brenda   |  Friday, 13 May 2016 at 3:34 am

    James, just curios did you start to peel the paint off your drywall?

  561. James   |  Friday, 13 May 2016 at 10:52 am

    I just peeled off a silver dollar sized piece in an area that was getting covered with trim work anyway. I imagine I could do the whole room like that if given enough time to work on it. But as of now I’ve been getting by with just using a dehumidifier. The smell is still there but not as bad.

  562. Brenda   |  Saturday, 14 May 2016 at 12:11 am

    James what room did you paint?

  563. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 3:04 am

    Michelle I sent a request to Consumer a Reports also, thanks for sending the link. I had previously filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency, never heard anything back from them. I also contacted NBC news but again no feed back.

  564. Kane   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Michelle, ozone machines are super dangerous!!!! It took down Sharper Image

    Like the chemical you tried, ozone machines can “remove” the scent of bad stale air such as in smoker’s homes where the smokers have moved or homes that suffered fire damage. It CANNOT stop offgassing of bad paint in the walls.

    Curing and offgassing are two different things. Latex paint cures between 2-4 weeks depending on conditions but offgassing can be years. Google it please if you don’t believe me.

  565. Michelle   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Kane, Thanks for the link. I am aware that ozone is bad however what I was thinking of doing is more a shock and clear as opposed to what the air purifiers were doing which was continuous contamination. However I found an article that talked about how ozone was shown to interact with new carpet chemicals and change the VOCs to other dangerous chemicals. Since I don’t know what chemicals I have I can’t predict which way they will go (better or worse) with exposure to ozone.

    Maybe I will try the encapsulation. I’m hesitant to do it until we get warmer weather so I can air the house out continuously. It’s too bad as I really like the color I put up. 🙁

  566. Kane   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 2:23 am

    A portion of a post from July 31,2012:

    We have had to use an Ozone Generator 5 times, to help curb the odor.
    Unfortunately, the ozone only covers the odor, leaving the same lung irritants and toxins in the air from the paint. Also, the ozone also dangerous – they have been banned in Canada, and CT is trying to ban them.
    We used it out of desperation.
    We have 2 fans in that rooms windows 24-7, and the air that goes out keeps coming in other windows, even on
    the other side of the house! and through the AC’s.

  567. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 2:38 am

    I was searching google for any other sites about paint fumes and came across a blog for paint contractors. One of the contractors started the discussion stating he painted a clients room and said the client was complaining about the smell and that it gave him bad headaches. The contractor was asking what he should do about it. ALL the other contractors did nothing but make jokes about the client, so much so that I had to stop reading them it was turning my stomach.
    They didn’t even discuss that there is a problem. Some of the jokes were about his wife giving him headaches! I felt like I was reading something written in 1950!

  568. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 3:16 am

    Brenda – I think I read that same site. It really is appalling. Is it a discussion where somebody kept putting more layers of primer on? Like they were going crazy? I remember when I read it I thought of myself.

    I think it’s possible that some painters don’t really want to believe this is happening. It would be rather unnerving to think that a product you rely on for your income might end up causing such a huge problem. I had meant to go back and post the link the the Paint Research Association’s statement on wall odor, but never did. They’ll probably run across this problem eventually. If they don’t then treat their customer with respect, they won’t do well for long.

  569. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 3:28 am

    I submitted a report to the Consumer Report site as well. I was a little confused as it looked like it might only be for their products (magazine, etc) But what the heck. hopefully they’ll notice several comments on the same subject.

  570. Michelle   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 3:37 am

    One of the pull down menus is for submitting an article idea. If anyone else does it, keep an eye out for that option. It is sort of a catch all interface so can be confusing.

  571. Michelle   |  Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 5:51 pm

    When I bought the chlorine dioxide I also bought an essential oil diffuser. It arrived 2 days ago.

    Yesterday I head to the grocery store and pick up Wyndmere Household Purifier.

    I figured, what the heck. My bathroom stunk so I might was well try it. I set it up on max and leave it in the bathroom for some undetermined time. Maybe a couple of hours, maybe less. Then I figure I am wasting it in there so take it out to move to our guest bedroom upstairs. The bathroom smells like lemon pie. I shut the door behind me but do not retape up and seal the room. I likely aired it out at some time with the exhaust fan but didn’t pay that much attention. I left the door closed to the bathroom all night but it wasn’t sealed. In the morning I go to open it up to get ready for our house cleaners, expecting to smell the paint smell. What do I smell? Nothing. I sniffed around and at the very back got a brief whiff of paint smell. So I turn on the exhaust fan and leave the door open. Later on after fan has been off a bit I go back. Still nothing.

    We will likely use the bathroom to wash the dogs this weekend so will see if it comes back.

    This is the first time in a year the bathroom has not smelled like paint fumes. I really don’t know what to make of it. Did the chlorine dioxide work but hadn’t dissipated yet and was causing an odor similar to the paint smell? Did the essential oils interact with something in the paint and change the chemical make-up? Did my nose give up and I just don’t smell anything anymore? Did our atmosphere change (we have been getting rain which is unusual so have some humidity whereas we usually have none, we also have good air quality which is also unusual as we often have high ozone)? Will it last? Inquiring minds want to know.

  572. Anita   |  Thursday, 12 May 2016 at 8:11 pm

    We all are victims of a serious chemical contamination that needs to be handled by professionals. I have posted the link to a 2-page article, where the paint industry admits to a CHEMICAL REACTION after a couple’s home, belongings and their bodies were contaminated by paint fumes that would not go away. Also, an entire family was critically sickened last year while on vacation when Terminix used a pesticide illegally to treat a unit below where the family was staying. The investigation was handled by the U.S. Justice Department. We can call, write or email the U. S. Justice Dept. They need to hear from all of us to act.

  573. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Anita – I just read about the case of the illegal pesticide use. Terminex used a pesticide that’s been banned for all but a few situations, and which should never be used in a residence. The family was severely injured and the father and sons may not recover. The justice department is prosecuting because the company violated the law and injured people, perhaps even killed them.

    The paint companies aren’t doing anything illegal if there’s no law on the books against whatever they’re doing. They are dodging and weaving to avoid having this pinned on them That’s why it’s SO important that if you’re sick from the paint you MUST go to a doctor and tell him or her what’s going on. You MUST report the problem to the paint company, and I would suggest that you simultaneously report it the consumer product safety commission and TELL THEM that you notified the paint company at the same time.

    One thing the paint companies are doing is: they’re telling each new report that they have no reports of the problem. They will NOT get away with this if the Consumer Product Safety Commission has a record of each person who’s made a report to them which also says that the manufacturer was notified.

    If what the paint companies are getting away with is legal, it shouldn’t be. But until someone’s illness or death is linked to the paint, there will be no path to prosecute. There has to be evidence. The justice department can’t do anything with someone calling up and saying “the paint I used smelled and is making me sick”. They need evidence that the paint contained something it shouldn’t have, and that that was the cause of the illness.

    There is no evidence unless there is a diagnosis and a link to the paint. We can’t do this ourselves – that’s why we need doctors and analytical labs involved. And we need lawyers involved who are prepared to oversee the investigation and tie it to some laws being broken.

    There was a class-action suit against Benjamin Moore which started with a woman who used BJ’s Natura paint. The paint never dried properly and continued to smell. She couldn’t live in the house. Was the company sued because of bad paint? No. It was determined that the paint contained VOCs when it was actually labelled as zero VOC. So they were charged with false advertising. PPG and Sherwin-Williams have since settled a similar charge from the Federal Trade Commission.

    As of now, it’s not illegal for the paint companies to stink up our houses and make us sick – unless you can prove that the paint stinks and that it made you sick. This sound simple enough, but in fact is very difficult. If the manufacturer refuses to recognize the smell, and you don’t have any testimony from a third party that’s recognized as a valid opinion, and you don’t have any diagnosis or treatment on record from a doc – you’re out of luck. This is the hard truth. I wouldn’t prevent anyone from notifying the Justice Department – but unless there’s evidence that a law has been broken there’s not much they can do.

    These companies know what’s going on and they have worked out ways to avoid culpability. If you cover up the paint – out of luck. If you have no sample for them – out of luck (although a good lab could still determine what’s going on). Waited to report? Probably out of luck. No proof you were treated by a doctor? A personal injury lawyer will not be interested.

    So, once again, I will advice anyone who has found this site as a result of seeking help with lingering paint odor: notify the paint company – and – notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission at the same time and tell the CSPC that you notified the paint company. Where there are enough complaints on file as also having been filed with the paint company, the paint company can’t continue to say they’re unaware of the problem.

    And if you are sickened in any way – headaches, nausea, etc. Go to a doctor and tell them you just painted and the smell isn’t going away and you believe it’s making you sick. Try to involve an agency that can test your home for whatever’s being emitted by the paint. Then, if you find that whatever you’re breathing is in fact toxic / harmful to health – then call a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers can collect enough money to make their time worthwhile without charging you.

    Also – not just anyone can test your air. You need to assure that the lab is qualified and capable of that type of analysis. If you can’t afford it yourself (you probably can’t) – then you need the health department or a lawyer’s help even more.

    Here’s an example of the kind of lab you need:

    It is doubtful that ANY of us here could afford such analysis. That’s why it’s important to involve agencies that can do the work or who will pay for the work if a public health issue is at stake – or a lawyer if there’s money at stake.

    Let us know what happens as a result of notifying the Justice Dept. I’m not hopeful they will do anything at this point. If the paint companies are purposefully sickening us – that’s different. But chances are this is just another product defect that the corporations can explain away as unavoidable. Now, as to their negligence in dealing with affected customers: that is another story. I would love to see one of these manufacturers prosecuted once someone proves that they know customers are being affected by this and yet they’ve done nothing to warn us or help us after the fact. The problem may be accidental (it doesn’t happen to everyone) – denying the problem and refusing to compensate victims is criminal.

  574. Sandy   |  Friday, 13 May 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I am having the same problem I panited. 31days ago Pittsburgh paint acrylic latex I can’t stand to be in my home it makes me sick did you find an answer to your problem. The smell is bad. Makes my nose bite my eyes sore makes me lightheaded nauseated is there an answer to this problem

  575. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Sandy – please read my lengthy comment to Anita above.

    I suggest you notify the paint company and insist that someone from the company come to your home. Get a neutral party to be there with you and the paint company, and write down what both parties say. Have the rep from the paint company sign the narrative.

    I know this sounds crazy, but the paint company will do whatever it can to avoid acknowledging the problem.

    If it’s the paint causing the problem, I believe that you should have a right to expect the paint company to help. But they will not want to. Or they may pay for a primer to be applied over the paint. DON’T cover the paint until you have a signed commitment from the company that if it doesn’t work, they will take the next step with you. They will expect you to sign a release saying they’re not liable for anything further before they pay you for any primer or anything else. Don’t sign it until you’re sure it worked. I would say a year at least – since these smells can come and go with the seasons, and a couple coats of primer might squash it temporarily but not fixi it permanently.

    At the same time you call the paint company, report the issue with as much detail as possible to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    click on “Report an Unsafe Product” in the upper left. or go directly to:
    where you can report by phone, email or fax

    And tell the CPSC that you’ve reported the issue to the paint company.

    If the CPSC gets enough reports on this issue – or even one compelling report on harm to human health – they will pursue it. And if the reports simultaneously are made to the paint companies, the paint companies will no longer be able to deny that they have evidence of a problem.

    If your damages are extensive and you can document them, and you can afford it: hire a lawyer. If you’re sick go to a doctor and make sure there are records of your diagnosis and treatment.

    Everyone here wants to find a solution for their individual problem – just like I did. But there is no one solution because it’s unlikely there is one cause. What will you do if you can’t afford whatever becomes necessary to fix it? Or if you have medical bills you can’t afford to pay?

    Protect yourself. Don’t trust the paint companies. They only seek to avoid liability on this issue.

  576. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Sandy, I wrote a reply to your post but it’s in moderation. I’m going to wait a day or so and if it doesn’t post I’ll modify it and post it again. Thanks.

  577. Kane   |  Friday, 13 May 2016 at 7:50 pm

    A user here posted that he/she uses a $150 device to detect VOCs. An IAQ specialist uses a Photoionization Detector (yes google it!!) which costs $2500. Those $150 items are garbage sorry.

  578. Anita   |  Saturday, 14 May 2016 at 3:22 pm

    This is a serious chemical contamination. We have to work together to get the word out, so we can all get professional help. Google: Driven Up the Wall By Stench – Chronicle Live. The paint problem contaminated an entire house, the residents and their belongings. It is described as a chemical reaction. We can all call or email The Justice Department. One complaint won’t work.

  579. Brenda   |  Sunday, 15 May 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Anita I went on the Justice adept website to send an email,mint had many different departments, which one did you send a message to?

  580. Anita   |  Monday, 16 May 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Brenda, from the Dept. of Justice Homepage: click “contact”, then click “please choose the general topic of your message”, then scroll down to, “message to the attorney general”. If we all send an e-mail, we might get some help.

  581. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Anita thanks I will get a message off to them this evening. On the run right now.

  582. Kane   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Michelle, very interesting info about the diffuser. How is it holding up?

  583. Michelle   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 5:46 pm

    It did not hold up. It was great Wed., when I posted, through Sun. when we washed the dogs. I thought “mission accomplished, I’m done with this.” Even though we aired the bathroom out well Sun. night the smell was back on Mon. Just checked it gain today and still there. So there is some component of humidity that activated it.

  584. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Michelle, I’m so sorry it didn’t work. Somewhere above I posted a link to a report from “mayfly labs” that talked about how ozone can react with various components to actually increase the smell (depending on the cause of course)
    Also, in my case, heat and humidity did make the smell much worse.

  585. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Oh I could just cry, when I read Michelle that your room stopped smelling I was so very hopeful. ?

  586. Kane   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Michelle, have u considered Brandie’s fix? In May , she posted sanding down and priming with Kilz oil. Perhaps Brandie can chime in with more details.

  587. Kane   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Brenda, did you go to the Sherwin WIlliams store to complain after your 30 days passed?

  588. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Kane, no I never made it to SW at some point. Our weather has been so nice and dry the smell isn’t as strong and I feel frustrated as whenever anyone comes over to check out the room they look at me like I’m nuts.
    Some say they detect a smell of paint others can’t smell it. But come a humid day especially a hot one and it gets stronger. My husband says he can’t smell it but he couldn’t smell the very noxious paint the first time until we left the house a few days and it was over powering by then.
    This time I’m dealing with the sour smell that comes and goes in strength which is even more frustrating as at least when it was so bad we had to move out we didn’t feel so bad ripping it out, this time my husband thinks I’m nuts and he’s moving back into the room once he finishes his new shed project and then he plans on putting up new molding in the bedroom before he moves the bed back in there. I cringe at that thought.
    We did buy a new bed for the guest room so I will stay in there. ?

  589. Kane   |  Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Brenda, probably needs more time to cure if the odor is intermittent. There is constant offgassing from paint as it cures and even months/years afterwards! But the amount decreases over time but yes temp/humidity will affect odor of all sorts. Ex: perfume, trash, cooking. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  590. Monica   |  Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 11:10 am

    I found this website, because my parents have the same problem in their home. I would like to help them. They’re living in Poland and someone gave them advice to use a ceramic paint – Magnat. They painted one wall and it helped. Could you tell me if I paint all walls I’ll destroy this smell ?

  591. Anita   |  Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Brenda glad you contacted the justice dept. too. EVERYONE, whether you think your poison paint problem is solved or not, should do the same! It is not up to us to decide whether the paint industry has been using an illegal substance or whether this has been done on purpose or not. Leave that decision up to the expertise of the government agencies and their resources which our tax dollars pay for. IT IS UP TO US TO SOUND THE ALARM! Baby powder cases are being won because the company knew the product was causing harm, not because an illegal chemical was being used. WE ALL KNOW WE HAVE BEEN HARMED! We know the paint industry knows because they claim these fumes aren’t harmful. Doctors know we are sick, but they don’t know the cause. Lawyers can’t help unless doctors can verify why we are sick. We have reported the problem to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and they have not done anything. This problem has been going on for years! We keep trying to fix the problem ourselves because we have to have a place to live! Brenda did you try closing the door to your painted bedroom and running a dehumidifier? A dehumidifier helped someone in an earlier post. Sandy call every agency I have listed above.

  592. LYNN   |  Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I would like to zero in on the problem of paint odor in a room. Culprit? Paint,
    First, tho, would like to say I agree with you in the main. However, it is up to us, the consumers who are being given a raw, dangerous deal, to combat them and protect ourselves by finding out if they are using illegal substances or why there is this now common problem and if it is being done knowingly. We don’t wait for the government to do it as that can take years.
    We, all of us, are the ones who, as you say, can sound the alarm by doing everything, and i mean everything and anything to get out the alarm. .
    Don’t give up on the medical and legal professions as being very helpful. Proving anything legally is hard so, again, don’t give up on them and not use them. As someone recently said, importantly, get those doctor reports with symptoms, tests, ER or office visits and notes, and talk to lawyers, cheaper if needed through local law org. who have lists for low cost lawyers for one half hour and longer, and find out what else you might need to prove your case…any and all information can help and you never know where you’ll suddenly get a breakthrough..
    The CPSC person i spoke with urged me to send the information as she said the more people willing to add theirs to their site, the more proof there is down the line. You can access their website under paint to find your company and see how many other complaints, etc. already filed. May not be much, but more and more are learning they can do it and it will add up.
    Also, the CPSC is more of a central place to collect data, a watchdog to protect the consumer.
    Given that, as several have pointed out, determining what is in paint hat is causing it to smell is the key. Importantly there are several common problems with paint, and testing to rule out if it is mold or bacteria is usually a first step. And it can be tested by a lab or yourself to find this out. The cost is roughly a hundred dollars or so. Air testing to check for voc’s and other outgassing can be more expensive, and as Kane pointed out the store bought variety for the average consumer is not suitable for this purpose. A professional needs to be called in if it is warranted, and a professional can usually tell something by the smell itself…make sure you find a well accredited one and check reviews on line and with BBB.
    Doing this professionally may cost a few hundred dollars, a little more with the air testing, but if and when something is found, this will be solid evidence to use in court in small claims or civil.
    Additionally, when you try to remove the odor it will not be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but you will know what it is that needs to be applied to remove the problem at the start, hopefully. Worth a try..
    Odor in paint once applied is very very difficult to remove, which is commonly known in the industry, but not by consumers, and why so many of you deserve an award and are having such a difficult time.
    It will save you the time and physical and emotional effort you have poured into doing this all by yourself not knowing what or if anything will work. It’s a big drain financially, too.
    Some of you have used toxic substances which, although i’m in awe your courage and grit and understand how desperate you are, is both dangerous and might make it worse. I
    I believe we are mostly people who just happen to be stuck with bad smelling paint that does not go away and is injurious to us and our children, etc., and there will be some instances where we will find out the problem is not the paint or originated elsewhere. If that happens, i’m sure most, if not all, will do the right thing, and take the manufacturers of the paint off the hook.
    However, and until or if that happens, we are stuck with a product brought into our homes that has caused havoc in our lives, taken away any peace of mind, denied us access to areas in our homes, and, importantly, in most cases, we have been stonewalleld, lied to, manipulated and dumped by the paint corporations themselves who have simply walked away knowing or thinking we are isolated individuals who will just give up. But word is out and as you say, let’s get more of it also to the media like Consumer Reports, AARP, anyone and anything locally or nationally…planetary if necessary.

    So we both agree that everything, and i repeat EVERYTHING, we do is very important…
    We need to hold the paint mfgs. responsible and get justice…and find out the solution not only to how to get rid of the odor, but we need to save that evidence and submit it as proof to the paint companies or for court if and when needed.
    We will also be helping each other in the long run or if there should there be a class action suit of some kind…a good lawyer would know if there is an umbrella that will cover us all.

  593. Anita   |  Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Sandy where do you live? I live just outside of Philadelphia, PA. This problem is more widespread than we think. I contacted Home Depot where the paint was purchased. Of course they had never heard of the “unusual” problem. They told me to contact Behr. I contacted the Behr rep for the store. He said they don’t come out to customer”s houses. He gave me the number to “corporate”. I have contacted Behr several times. They said the problem was “unusual” and they would pay for the paint only. Behr told me to keep ventilating. Has anyone had a Behr or Home Depot Rep come to their home recently? Has anyone gotten any response after contacting the Consumer Product Safety Commission?

  594. Brandie   |  Friday, 20 May 2016 at 12:59 am

    I have refrained from posting for quite sometime. Warning: this is going to be a long post.

    When I bought my home, my folks painted the entire house for us. They patched the holes and painted the entire home in one day with SW Superpaint. We came home from work, noticed no odor and slept in the house with the windows shut no problem. We have since re-painted every room, closet, trim work etc. We have probably used every paint brand to include: Superpaint, Dutch Boy, Valspar, Olympic and SW Ovation.

    I primarily through the years have used Olympic Paint and Primer with no problems — then I wanted to paint a bedroom green. In Sep2015, I went to Lowes and purchased Sherwin William Ovation in my preferred shade of green because it was BOGO. I thought what a deal! My husband painted the room the day before with primer allowing time to completely dry. The next day we painted. I have painted for years, used adequate ventilation and got the job done. To my horror, I noticed a terrible smell about the second coat. By then, it was too late. The paint was on the wall and we were invested. I thought perhaps it would go away in a few days (at most) so we kept the window open and running the fans. One family friend said it smelled like pickles. The same day after painting, I noticed how sore and irritated my nose felt. I went to the doctor the next day. I had a chemical burn in my nose from the paint. I have never painted and had this kind of problem.

    I took a week or so off from the room and let my nose heal. By the next weekend, the smell was still there. We waited some more time and then decided we would have to paint over this SW mess and went out to buy Olympic paint and primer. Little did I know, it would do no good. The smell was still there and as time passed the odor changed from a pickle smell to a “chemical smell.” We were disgusted. I had no idea what to do. I found this thread and gained hope that I was not a nut. It is amazing how many people think it is all in your head and “I don’t smell anything.” I noticed the same as many before had noticed — the odor just kind of pooled in the room.

    Over several months of sealing off the room, we had professionals come and offer suggestions. Both of the contractors I had investigate stated the best thing to do was to paint over the surface with Shellac or Oil primer to seal the odor. As they explained, a water based paint will just continue to off gas the initial problem. The Shellac and Oil would apparently seal it off for good. One suggested we could also apply a 1/4 inch sheetrock over the “bad smell” instead of the big mess and expense of redoing the drywall. Both agreed that there was a “chemical smell” not present in the rest of the house. One cut off a piece of the paint to have a better smell and that is when we discovered the paint would literally peel off the wall. I took my own large sample and have it saved in my filing cabinet. Before you get too excited by this prospect, the paint would only peel completely over the areas that had been mudded. The other paint would only peel off in dime or quarter size sections and it would come off with a large mudding knife. While it would peel off the drywall with the mudding knife, it also peeled off the top of the drywall exposing the paper beneath. You may get hopeful by this prospect, but that also fails because if you paint over this the paint will bubble and never look right. I was livid. I had a representative come by from Sherwin Williams and take a sample of the paint from the drywall. To date, we have never had an official response by Sherwin Williams. We demonstrated how you can literally separate the layers of paint. It supposedly went off to a “lab” for testing.

    In Jan2016, my husband armed with a respirator system that made him look like an Antman, painted the room with Kilz Oil. Before he painted, he sanded the walls and stripped off the baseboards. The smell was outrageous. We left and aired out and aired out as much as possible.

    In Feb2016, I discovered Air Pure paint. Let me tell you it is expensive but if you purchase Air Pure, it smells like yogurt to me. It is supposed to reduce the VOC’s in the room from the inside out. I love it. I am satisfied with this discovery. He painted the ceiling and walls. We had a mold test done by a professional air quality expert, not a mold remediation service, for piece of mind. It was negative/normal.

    After while, we had taken up the carpet because we felt that perhaps the odor was absorbed into the carpet. As you know, it is sometimes next to impossible to get carpet to match as the years pass. Now we were stuck with footing the bill for replacing the carpet in our one story home. By this time, I was terrified that the carpet would never off gas. Any smell would bother me. I had to change all the cleaning products I normally use to homemade or use all natural like Watkins products. In Apr2016, the carpet was replaced. I also purchased my VOC detector that Kane in the above posts likes to rag on.

    In my opinion, it functioned well. It would rise and fall as expected with cleaning, cooking and vacuuming. After we had the carpet for about a month, we had the same indoor air quality tester come and measure for VOC and formaldehyde in this room. I smelled no particular odor, but by this time, I think you have trained yourself to smell something. My husband smelled nothing. Neither did family. To obtain the truest measurement we could, we only had this room professionally tested. The room has been bare through this entire ordeal. We placed plastic on the door, shut off the vent and did our best to make sure the room was as closed off as possible. I left the VOC detector I purchased in the room on the floor. At time of closing the room, my detector read around 225ppb in VOC, which is considered excellent air quality. As the room sat sealed (from approximately 10:00pm to 11:15am when the room was entered for testing), the room ranged on my meter from 225ppb to about 330ppb which is considered moderate air quality, not polluted. The subject matter expert entered the room and initiated his test which took about two hours to complete. The air from the room was sucked into a black box while the room remained sealed. Please note, he did not come in with a $2500 on the spot reader. You need to send this type of testing off to a lab to get an accurate result. It took five business days for a comprehensive analysis.

    My total VOC’s in a closed off room was 1200ng/L or around 335ppb which is considered moderate air quality. Formaldehyde was moderate as well (which of 7,000 samples done by this company half are in the same range as mine). Keep in mind the following: my husband had done some touch up painting in the room probably no more than 96 hours prior to the test with Air Pure paint. This test was so specific it determined to no one’s surprise the culprits were coatings (which includes paints and varnishes even low and zero VOC paints), personal care products and alcohol products. Of all the contaminants, the paint alone only contributed 93ppb of the odor in the room. On my Air Pure monitor, a reading of 93ppb is considered excellent. The conversion factors were provided by the lab which I take to be accurate as they are also subject matter experts. Also keep in mind a reading of 1200ng/L is squarely the average of all the 8000 samples performed by this lab. Our air monitoring professional felt confident in the reading and stated it was about average of most homes and would feel comfortable putting his family to sleep in that room. Let’s also note that the levels would be expected to fall when the room was open and the central air was circulating through the vent.

    All that said, my monitor performed roughly equal to that of a professional air quality test. I feel liberated from this disaster and it is the best feeling I have had in the past 9-10 months. We have been through sheer hell and torment. I can’t take any odor and as such purchased a $1200 air filtering system that puts out hospital grade air. Please note, this machine was not in use anywhere near this room before or during testing. In fact, it was located on the opposite side of the house for the sheer purpose of not skewing the testing results.

    I wish you all well in this journey. We are not experts, just average everyday folks. Please do not interpret anything that I have said as professional advice or as a cure to your problem. Please have a professional assess and make recommendations specific to your situation.

    Thanks for reading this lengthy post and hope someone is encouraged.

    Now on to the way to make these ******* pay for what they have done to physically, mentally and emotionally exhaust us. I will be triumphant in this adventure to the bitter end.

  595. Kane   |  Friday, 20 May 2016 at 3:14 am

    Brandie, good info! Sorry if I offended you about your VOC reader. I’m skeptical of a $150 item but I’m glad it works for you and gives accurate readings. Just curious, what did room smell like after your walls were sanded and before you primed with oil?

    The air sample test sounds exactly like “Home Air Check” which sells for about $175 online. For those interested, Google it or go to Amazon. They are much more accurate and give better reports than competitors that have “badges”. I believe Lumber Liquidators were having their contaminated Chinese floors tested with the inaccurate badges.

  596. Michelle   |  Friday, 20 May 2016 at 1:31 am

    Just to be sure I got the story straight. You sanded your walls down, sealed the walls with the Kilz oil and then painted with Air Pure and it worked? But I don’t understand the sanding. Was that on regular drywall or some other type of wall like stucco?

    I am very keen on getting a VOC monitor. Which brand/model did you get?


  597. Brenda   |  Friday, 20 May 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Michelle I think you meant to ask this question to Brandie. But I also am curious to what her walls were that she could sand off the paint

  598. Michelle   |  Friday, 20 May 2016 at 4:30 pm

    You’re right. I noticed the error as soon as I posted but did not see an edit function.

  599. Kane   |  Saturday, 21 May 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Michelle, in a msg dated 5/9/16 Brandie mentions she bought the Blue Air Aware @ Bloomingdale’s for $149.

  600. Michelle   |  Saturday, 21 May 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks! I tried to go back and find it but somehow skipped over it.

  601. Anita   |  Wednesday, 25 May 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Here is a Behr paint fumes complaint posted on another site back in 2007!!! They have been victimizing and lying to consumers for many, many years:
    Hello all!!This is my first post here, I’m hoping you can help with your advice. 10 weeks ago I had a room painted by a professional painter. The paint used was Behr.Latex. Very deep, dark colors ( Sycamore Tree- green & Peaceful Night- navy ) At 3 weeks I contacted Behr to let them know the odor had not dissipated. They told me to put fans in the room, maybe bowls of vinegar, good ventilation. I told them I had good ventilation & fans in the room already. As long as the windows were all open it was okay. As soon as I closed the windows…the fumes were horrible. I stated my concern that this odor wasn’t gonna go away. At that point a second person took the phone call and offered me a refund for the paint. That seemed strange to me. I wasn’t asking for a refund. Told them I was looking for a solution. I was told to give it a few more weeks to ‘cure”. I agreed to that. We had beautiful dry weather, windows were open, fans going all was well. We get a cold snap, windows closed, the fumes are overpowering. Call Behr again. The guy brings up my file. Is surprised that the odor persists. Tells me that the drapes, carpet, bedding could be holding the odor. Nope I tell him, only hardwood floors and wooden furniture in the room. He then suggests that I wash the walls& ceiling with a mild detergent to remove residue. I asked if he really thought that would help. He hedged. He then told me that the only way to truly remedy the problem is to paint over all of it with an oil based primer followed by latex paint. I told him I would try washing the walls down. Which I did…to no avail. Absolute waste of time. The odor persists. The hot weather seems to be making the fumes worse. I will be phoning him about my refund, my question is this…Am I entitled to have Behr pay the painter for repainting the room as well as the paint refund? They so quickly offered me a refund that I’m thinking there must be an ongoing problem with this deep base. I really didn’t feel like I was the first person they had spoke with about this problem. Just wanted to hear what you’se guys think about it.Also, do you think the oil based primer solution will fix the problem ? Thanks in advance! Pam

  602. LYNN   |  Wednesday, 25 May 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks, Pam…very helpful and appreciated as are some others posted recently…thanks to everybody and please keep them coming…means a lot to us whether in middle of doing it ourselves, or negotiating, or anywhere we happen to be in the struggle to get rid of the paint odor we are stuck with and did not cause…so any and all information, whether remedial or input about how to negotiate with the companies, whether successful or not and what they were willing to do, etc. if does not compromise your case to publish,, etc, and how to reach all venues in the media whether investigative, universities, consumer advocates, governmental agencies, environmental watchdogs, eetc. and continue with other law suits past and present and future, national and local tv, mags, checking reviews, letters to the editors, just about anything to pick up on others with same or similar experiences with paint also as may have valuable info…Lynn

  603. Lisa   |  Thursday, 26 May 2016 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for that advice Lynn. I think we’re all coming at this from a different angle. For me – recouping my losses. For others, getting it fixed. For others – both at the same time. We’re all in this together and we all have a little bit different experience. Together perhaps we make a complete picture of the phenomenon and eventually this thing will out. Thanks.

  604. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 25 May 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Anita – thanks for that post. It was easy to find the web page by searching with a sentence from your copy of the post. I’m keeping a collection of these on-line complaints as best I can. I would appreciate help with this because it’s difficult to keep them all organized in order to reference them.

    Here’s something for everyone who’s interested in the big picture with these paint companies and their stinky paint:

    I believe that they use different tactics with different customers. If they think they can get away with just pushing you off – telling you they’ll refund the cost of the paint – they will. For instance, if you didn’t keep paint cans. If you did the work yourself, and you’re not a professional, that’s another strike against you. If you had a contractor, and your contractor is with you on the stink – you’re more likely to get some attention. But, finally, it seems they will inevitably suggest primer of some sort. This may work, or it may not. But once you put it on, they’re out of the picture and won’t help you any further (if they did anything to begin with). If you put the primer on and the smell is subdued for a while, you may be tempted to sign a release. Then you’re absolutely done – and they will be able to note that you’re another “satisfied customer” – because they won’t hear from you after you sign a release, because you know your rights are gone.

    Don’t sign a release.
    Don’t prime over it – until you’ve got some commitment or a third party involved (like a remediation expert – who can examine and give you an estimate for free. Make sure he or she notes the smell, describes it, and does enough investigation to confidently testify that it’s not coming from anywhere or anything but the paint. Talk to the professionals you have in and give them the literature that’s been linked to here. Tell them that if you have to go to court to get your money back you want to know that they’re with you. Have them talk to the paint company directly if you can. The paint company will always deal more respectfully with a professional than a DIYer. The more people who are smelling it and confirming it, the better. Otherwise, the paint company will try to write you off in one way or another.

  605. Brenda   |  Saturday, 28 May 2016 at 2:28 am

    I ended up finally going to Sherwin Williams and telling them about the sour smell from their paint. They are sending someone out to the house next week. I have no hope, just expecting them to offer paint cost or some primer as that seems to be their resolution. Not sure what I will do.

  606. Kane   |  Saturday, 28 May 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Brenda, i’m sure SW will try their best to make it right. You’re dealing with a chain store that only sells paint unlike big box stores that sell crap paint and hardly support it. They will likely go the prime and repaint route before suggesting replacing drywall. Good luck and keep us posted!

  607. Brenda   |  Sunday, 29 May 2016 at 3:03 am

    Thanks Kane, I will!

  608. Anita   |  Monday, 30 May 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Lynn. The post from Pam was originally posted on another site back in 2007. I re-posted it here to show that this dangerous chemical contamination from paints has been going on for at least 10 years! There are many more posts like these on-line. I don’t suggest waiting for the government to solve this dangerous problem, but I think they and anyone that can help needs to be contacted. A person who works with the media told me the news media hasn’t responded because they are not getting enough calls. That is why I have suggested that we join together to contact others. If a news station gets a bunch of calls at one time, they might respond. We have all figured out that the problem is with low and no VOC paints. Most of these different paint brands come from one supplier! That’s why so many brands are effected. We all know our homes were fume and odor-free before the paint whether a DIY or pro painted. If our stories go public, others who are suffering and haven’t stumbled on this site will join us. Lisa you are right about us all being in different stages of this dangerous problem. I am glad you can live in your home and are trying to get your money back, but I have been sick and out of my home for over a year! I have spent tens of thousands of dollars. My family, like others who’ve posted here, are in the get our health, homes and lives back stage! Those who post should not be discouraged from contacting anyone or agency suggested. Those of us who can’t live in our homes, like Sandy, need immediate help from anywhere we can get it. We are desperate, trying to survive and would appreciate the help of all who post here no matter what your stage of this nightmare. Brenda, good luck with Sherwin Williams. Thank you for contacting the Justice Dept. and the TV station I posted. You understand how it feels to be sickened and out of your home because of poison paint! Brandie, thank you for telling us about the CHEMICAL BURN in your nose and the AirPure paint. It feels like I am being burned alive by stinking, hot sulfur particles when I try to walk into my home. These chemical paint fumes are burning our eyes, noses, mouths, throats, lungs and skin. That’s why some of us can’t live in our homes. Many of us have wondered why some of the early posters on this site have not returned to post updates. Sadly, I honestly think some of them are dead or too sick to post.

  609. Lisa   |  Monday, 30 May 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Anita, you may also want to contact the consumer protection division of the attorney general’s office in your state. You can also call a report to the Federal Trade Commission.

    (as I’ve linked to earlier, Sherwin Williams and PPG settled an FTC against them that they were selling VOC paint as “zero-VOC”.)

    As anyone can see from my posts, I’ve always encouraged people to go to a doctor if they’re sick and verify the nature, and hopefully the cause of their sickness. I’ve also encouraged people to get as much evidence about the problem as they can.

    Because, unfortunately, no one can do anything without evidence. That does NOT mean the problem shouldn’t be reported to anyone and everyone who will listen. I only made a comment about the justice department because they are about law enforcement – and if you have no evidence of a law being broken, they can’t help. That’s why we need to start with county health departments, , consumer protection division of state attorney general, consumer product safety commission, doctors, air tests, paint tests, etc. Once there’s evidence of a violation, then justice can get involved.

    I’ve linked to the law suit against Benjamin Moore, where a woman in CA couldn’t live in her home because it had been painted throughout with BM Natura, and it stunk. This started a class action suit. But the lawyers only proved that the products were mislabeled as zero VOC, when in fact once the colorants were added, they were not. The case was about false advertising, not about poisoning people.

    So, as I said, I would never try to stop someone from reporting this to the Justice Department. I just think it’s inappropriate and may be less likely to do any good than reporting to one of the several organizations or persons I’ve listed. And of course, media attention is good in order to publicize the problem.

    I’m sorry if I inadvertently suggested that it’s wrong to call the Justice Department. I thought I was very careful not to say that – and to simply suggest that they probably won’t get involved unless someone shows that one of the paint companies is willfully contaminating their products with known toxins. I think this phenomenon is about paint companies not handling a certain problem with their products, and instead trying to suppress individual complaints by various means.

    You are in a very bad situation. I don’t know what might be the best solution for you. And I understand what motivates your call to the Justice Department. I hope that you have also contacted your health department, and the attorney general in your state in order to make a complaint and ask for advise from their consumer protection division. I think if I remember correctly it’s impossible for you to address the paint company directly? Or through one of these agencies? Is that because of a statute of limitations?

    I’m very sorry if I’ve been insensitive towards you, and to your situation. I do think that most people here are just trying to fix their problems, and maybe some do. For myself, even though I’d read that some people couldn’t fix their problems by priming their drywall, and had to replace it, I couldn’t really believe that priming wouldn’t help – so when a painter recommended that we had to try it before replacing drywall. It didn’t work of course. So we’ve spent a lot of money that we really couldn’t afford. That was 2 years of my life. Now it’s going on another year of battling the company, and it’s very hard because we had no idea it would come to this. There’s a strong chance we will lose and will have lost three years of time and lots of money just because the paint companies are selling this product that sometimes is defective – and in your case probably toxic.

    What can be done? I still suggest calling every applicable organization, starting with the most local. Get as much free advice as you can from professionals who will give their assessment of the situation. And if you want to call the Justice Department, go ahead. But please don’t do that IN PLACE OF these other calls that might be more effective in getting to the problem. They are the same ones I’ve listed before except for these two new ones that I’ve added in this comment today:
    Call your State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or Office.
    Report to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)

    Thank you Anita. I’m sorry if I’ve been insensitive. It’s obvious you’re in a situation that’s way worse than mine regarding toxicity. I honestly don’t know what I would do if my entire home were poisoned in that way, so that I couldn’t live there and also couldn’t afford to fix it. It is criminal. Before I ask you more about it, I’ll try to take the time to read your earlier comments again.

  610. Anita   |  Monday, 30 May 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Lisa, I have contacted every local dept. and organization you’ve mentioned and many, many more. I haven’t even posted all of the details of the BEHR paint poisoning in my home, because it is so horrorific! My family has tasted and spit the chemicals from the paint fumes out for almost 2 years even without living in our house. It is even in our eyes. This is not about an “odor”. Poisoning people is a crime and this has been going on for almost a decade without paint companies warning consumers. When people post here that they cannot stand to go into their homes or a room in their homes. They’re not kidding! If it is inappropriate to contact the Justice Dept. and other agencies, they will let us know, but we have to try! People’s lives and everything they own are at stake. People are not going to continue to post if their suggestions are dismissed as not being thought to be appropriate in someone’s opinion who’s problem hasn’t been as devastating! It is not about being able to afford to fix it. Their are people on this blog and others who have replaced drywall and the problem still remains. The fumes have permeated every room and all our belongings. The only fix left would be to replace all drywall and flooring and furniture in the entire house and hope it is fixed! You can still live in your home even if you don’t get your money back. My house might have to be torn down and we are still sick.

  611. LYNN   |  Monday, 30 May 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Anita, your situation if you can document all best you can would be a classic case to bring to the media, investigative journalists and the like, and if there is ever a class action suit, and there are many kinds not all of which last years in the hands of a good decent lawyer who sees there is enough evidence and cause,,,important is documentation of the physical effects to you and your family in as much detail as you can provide, doctors reports, notes, symptoms, tests then and even now if experiencing problems and affordable as important…as an aside, there are some natural ways to detox that are safe, but still document where you are now as evidence with medical reports too…i’ve been deeply moved by the courage of so many given what people have been through, also by the desperation of the ones who take on the removal on their own over and over again…along with that, the way through this as everyone else has been writing, yourself and Lisa, and so many, is to also address the source of the problem…the lack of avenues for justice for the consumer who has so little recourse…everyone in the industry knows, lawyers, environmental consultants, residential consultants, consumer complaint governmental agencies, epa…everyone knows and i have been told, ‘we know it’s not fair, but…’, quite a few times, honestly have, and so there is a portentially dangerous toxic substance going into millions of dwellings, homes, etc., and statistically, with the new lower or zero voc paints with their inherent problems and the lobby and lawyers of paint mfgs. bribing members of congress, corps do it, check it out, they slilp through laws such as the fact that there is NO TRUE ZERO VOC PAINT, they are allowed secret ingredients, and if low enuff, they don’t have to declare an ingredient, there can be many of those, and they interact, etc…plus sometimes they are improperly mixed, they squeeze out of liability if smelly paint by sayign they compared it to the original ‘batch’ and then get to throw away that batch of evidence so the consumer has no proof in court…i was told no need to test for voc’s as there are none…not true scientifically and easily proven…the catch, a lawyer, money and hard for ‘victims’ tho don’t consider myself a victim but victimized by their manipulation, deceit, and borderline criminal behavior…if your symptoms are caused by the paint, aside from the emotional effects, then they are criminally liable for allowing the continuation of a product that fails often enough and turns possibly lethal…don’t think many have died or are too sick, possibly several, but the lowering of the immune system can, over time, eventually lead to an early demise or certainly illnesses, poor quality of life, and for many of us there is also the emotional and financial drain, having a form of ptsd in general terms, as not being able to resolve a problem directly in your home, or walk away from it (achoose your problem so to speak), and being stonewalled, left alone with little recourse, and deprived of use of your own home…is a major crisis…so thanks Anita, Lisa and everyone for all you do and your terrific suggestions…i’m following up Tuesday…and welcome any and all…keeping the faith with all of you.

  612. linda   |  Tuesday, 31 May 2016 at 5:38 am

    It is all consuming. I was thinking of contacting Dulux paint and asking if they wanted to wipe out their competition and naming PPG. I have never had a problem with Dulux. I am in Sydney and our politicians are all as corrupt as yours so like banging your head up against a brick wall.

  613. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 01 June 2016 at 1:06 am

    Linda – I think PPG owns Dulux now. 😛

  614. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 01 June 2016 at 1:10 am

    PPG is the biggest coatings company in the world.

  615. Anita   |  Friday, 03 June 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Jean thank you for posting about how you thought you didn’t have the paint fume problem in your downstairs bathroom, but you can now smell the fumes when you close the door. Others have also noted that these paint fumes are lingering in homes even when they think that they are gone. Nathalie thank you for posting about your problem in Belgium and for letting us all know you have seen thousands of similar complaints about these paint fumes from “the Netherlands, France, Belgium, England, Australia & Germany.” The paint industry insists this is an isolated problem which only effects a few, but thousands of posts show that this is a widespread, international, dangerous chemical contamination. Lynn I know you posted you, “don’t think many have died or are too sick, possibly several…”, but a local news station ran a story a few months ago. People were complaining about mysterious burning and a horrible taste in their mouths. The doctor that was consulted in the news story said that the problem was so serious “that people were literally jumping off of bridges.” The story got over a million hits in a few weeks. I instantly thought of the paint fumes. If paint fumes can cause a chemical burn in an adult, like Brandie experienced, imagine what it can do to the eyes, respiratory system and body of an infant or toddler.
    Brenda would you please post an update when you can?

  616. LYNN   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 2:34 am

    oddest thing…was going to add re my just written post…’about walking around times square naked painted red white and blue, better try food coloring instead’, and couldn’t find your last several posts in my e-mails i had just replied to…is somebody savvy re computers as to why this is happening?…could be it’s the type of blog it is through the third party…

  617. Lisa   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 1:11 am

    This problem is widespread. The paint industry is aware of the problem but won’t acknowledge that their customers are having the problem. The insurance companies are also aware of the problem. So are expert chemists in the business.

    This will not be resolved until someone who has enough money to hire a lawyer ends up painting their whole house with stinky paint and has to move out because of it. Just like the woman in California who used Benjamin Moore “natura” and started a class-action suit.

    In the meantime it’s our job to publicize the problem, and to notify whomever we may, and to fight our own cause as best we can until the day we get some justice for the harm and expense we’ve suffered.

    PS – Anita, I suffered the kind of taste problem described in that article. 20 years ago I had a reaction to a drug that has since had class-action against it for that very reason. A “taste disorder” where one side of my tongue felt like it was constantly sour. I had spasms in my tongue and my ear on that side was constantly ringing. It got better over time, but has never completely resolved. That side of my tongue is still somewhat numb. I have to use a special toothpaste that won’t irritate the problem. Doctors thought I was neurotic. The problem didn’t surface until several years after I used the drug. I really did drive me crazy. i couldn’t sleep because my tongue was spasming and my ear was ringing, multi-pitched tones.

    It’s a horrible thing to experience. Even now I regret that I chose to take that medicine. But I didn’t know any better. Just like using this paint. I’m lucky that things weren’t worse. The amount of money we spent was a very big deal for me. We are working-class folks who had a reason for doing our paint ourselves and buying the 20 dollar cans of paint. Even that was a big investment.
    I’m sure a lot of people have just taken their losses and moved on. But if your whole house is toxic, you really don’t have that option.

    What can we do to help? I’ve called the media number you gave, but no one has called me back. I reported to Consumer Reports, and they did e-mail me to say that they’d contact me if they did a story. That was encouraging. Is your local news cooperative? I’ve seen local news stories here that do investigative work, and they expose rotten landlords or businesses that are ripping people off.

    Let me know what I can do to help.

    Here’s the complaint form for the Attorney General in Pennsylvania:

    I don’t remember if you mentioned them, but they will want to hear from you if they haven’t already.

    Also, the FTC:

    You’ve probably already notified these agencies, but I’m posting the links here in case anyone else hasn’t.

  618. Lisa   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 1:13 am

    Drats! Accidentally posted one link twice. Sorry! Wish there was an edit button…

  619. LYNN   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 2:09 am

    Anita, i stand corrected and thanks for pointing that out…this e-mail nails it it as has Lisa, Brenda and so many others on this site…am starting litigation on my own so lapsed and haven’t been reading posts so am possibly repeating and my apologies..reason being.any responsibility in my case was denied by the paint company and contractor who claims he did his job by painting and if there’s a problem with the paint he purchased, brought into my home and applied to the wall is not his responsibility but between myself and the manufacturer of the paint…
    i mention this should it help anyone out there dealing with a third party, contractor. also, or thinking of hiring someone to paint again for you…insert a clause in the contract….i’ve a breather so am reading now to catch up… the recent experimental attempts by paint mfgs. to produce a less toxic paint, supposed zero voc meaning their lowering preservataives, etc.. gets dicey when you deal with so many doing it around the world on their own in their individual labs and they screw up…badly….
    If someone claims there is chocolate in milk and there is none, i can take it to a lab and get the results in a few days…sue them…they will be penalized by the feds and watchdogs…point being, i have found not one agency, legal firm, lab, consultant, governmental watchdog, that could tell me where i could bring my complaint other than court against both the paint mfg. and contractor nor why when it is self evident i am the one who has to prove their responsibility for a defective product, laying out money for lawyers and labs in order to be heard or my problem acknowledged…all the while living in a mess through no fault of my own…the governmental agencies keep records and sue when people are dropping in the streets, i was encouraged to post, leave info and comments to help others in same paint pickle and paint pickles, but when i asked what laws protected me, where i could research, etc…nothing…so may have to end up paying three hundred per hour for a lawyer just to find out…there are no pro bono lawyers where i am and nothing at the court house as in some other places…even then, it’s uphill given the scarcity and a general lawyer as this needs a consumer or product one
    It’s obvious in reading what you wrote there is a glitch…a dangerous one…remember the lead in paint finally exposed?…some may…
    You are right on… people have lost their lives, been infirmed by this, especially children, elderly, animals who breathe it in when it seems barely’s insidious and builds up in the tissues and brains….fumes invade the body just as much as that chocolate milk if it has e-coli or benzedrene…
    When i first had problem bought at hsn two air purifiers but closed and taped the door after three months as
    advised, stayed in my bedroom and out of rest of house…there are better ones but may help a little…my heart goes out to those of you suffering with the emotional and physical pains, and i share some tho not to the extent some of you have.
    Someone posted, think it was Lisa, we keep files of the information, like yours, which can be used in the future as something has to be done…re that local news story, what was the cause of the burning and taste…and where was it…if its industrial product used in homes, like paint, with the millions response maybe it could be a model for us in some way…as stood out…and wonder if anyone is pursuing the story in the media since it really got attention and stood out…this one should too like you say…unless it;ll take us walking around in the nude painted red white and blue to get attention…would Erin Brockavitch’s office know of some people here in U.S. or globally like herself that might pick up on this…think she’s going to bat for people of Flint…,

  620. LYNN   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 3:17 am

    This e-mail was written in reply to the one posted by Anita several hours ago…has it dropped off anyone else’s computer…i can’t retrieve it…anita, can you confirm when you posted it today…

  621. LYNN   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 7:17 pm

    it was a sorting issue corrected…sorry

  622. Lisa   |  Tuesday, 07 June 2016 at 8:25 pm

    “…A hitherto largely unresearched and to date unresolved problem is that referred to as “ghost odour”. It entails a nuisance odour occurring in rooms that have coatings that have already dried and filmed, and in some cases coatings that are already fairly old. This ghost odour may occur days, weeks or months after the coating has been applied, and is described and perceived as being like cat’s urine, perspiration, onion, rubber or fruit. It is also known that this ghost odour can be perceived with particular intensity in warm weather and at relatively high atmospheric humidity, in many cases even after a room has been ventilated, under intense sunlight, and especially in association with exposure to ozone….”

  623. Brenday   |  Tuesday, 07 June 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Very interesting! The chemicals made my head swim just reading about it on the site you shared.
    I have no update on my status yet, waiting for the manager to call from SW as he said he was going to research this. It’s been a week since I talked to him, I’m hoping he isn’t going to blow me off. My husband thinks once he talks to the paint manufacturer he wint be too helpful.
    I’m curious, send me an email…how is your situation going?

  624. Anita   |  Saturday, 11 June 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Here are 2 posts from a pro painter’s forum in 2011:

    i just finished a residential paint job the homeowner wanted BEHR ULTRA we were there for three days
    the first day i noticed that my eyes started bother me the second day same thing and then the other guys that were working with me complained about the same thing i told them that i was experiencing the same thing today was our final day there so we had some touch up to do and one of the guys eyes just started tearing my eyes and the other guys eyes were itching bad now i just came out of the shower and my eyes have a burning sensation has any body else noticed or experienced this at all using BEHR ULTRA again BEHR ULTRA was the only chemical product that we were using

    I neglected to use a dust mask for just a little sanding of some trim previously painted with BEHR enamel. For the next year I suffered from constant intense nasal irritation and runny nose. In over 25 years of painting, I’ve never ever encountered anything that cut up my nasal passages like that. That paint had microscopic razor blades in it or something. Perhaps they didn’t grind the powders well during the manufacturing process. It was as if I snorted talcum powder.
    Everyone please get the MSDS sheet for whatever paint was used. The Behr paint that has ruined my house and the health of my family contained silica and other cancer causing substances.

  625. Anita   |  Saturday, 11 June 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Here is a 6ABC CALL FOR ACTION consumer news media link where we can submit our problem even if we think it is solved. People need to know before it happens to them. I wish someone would have warned me. There is a phone number you can call M-F 11-1 (ET).
    If you get a response, please come back to post and let the rest of us know.

  626. LYNN   |  Saturday, 11 June 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks, Anita…much appreciated.

  627. Brenda   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 3:52 am

    Anita thanks for posting that complaint link I will fill out the form and send it in plus call them to make sure they get the info. It’s important for everyone on this blog to contact them with your complaints otherwise no one will ever investigate this awful situation.

  628. Brandie   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Would anyone be interested in joining a Facebook group? Might get more folks on board as well for complaints etc. We could contact each other directly also.

  629. Brenday   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Brandie, yes the Facebook idea is great! I get so frustrated with trying to get on this site it’s so slow for me and u get knocked off a lot. Will you set it up?

  630. Brandie   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I will set it up tonight with an explanation on how to search for it.

  631. Brenday   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 9:10 pm

    That’s great thanks for putting this together!

  632. Kane   |  Sunday, 12 June 2016 at 9:51 am

    Brenda, you need to go to the store to talk to the manager. Calling you is not a priority to him and he probably just hopes it will go away. He can’t avoid a face to face.

  633. Brenda   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 3:46 am

    Kane, I did originally go in person and talked to the assistant manager, told him my story he then said he would have the new manager who was going to start the next eek call me. So I gave it a week and he did call me, I again told him my story. He said he wanted to research the info I gave him on “wall Oder phenomenon”, and said he would call me back. That was a little over a week ago so I plan on going in to meet and talk to him this week.

  634. Brenday   |  Tuesday, 14 June 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Kane I went back to SE today and got the sorry but there is no solution. He was very vague I could tell he was trying not to say much. He wasn’t trying to be helpful at all so I insisted they at last pay for the bad paint and the cost of new masonry paint as I don’t know what else to do and since it worked for you it’s worth a try. I can’t seem to get into all the comments on this blog anymore and can only reply on my phone my iPad won’t connect to the blog either. Can you please tell me what type and brand of masonry paint you used?
    Also Brandie created a Facebook private group hope everyone joins I think it will be easier to contact each other.

  635. Lisa   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Brenda, I think a facebook group is a great idea. We could possibly “tag” it with a number of search tags, like: stinky paint, paint odor, paint smell, etc.

    Just came across this copy of the class action against Benjamin Moore “Natura” paint. The complaint matches mine exactly: odor persists and paint doesn’t dry.

    Also: notice to new visitors with a problem from Olympic ICON “zero VOC” paint. It has been re-named “Assure” paint. PPG says this re-naming is a result of marketing research, but that the formula is basically the same.

    So, if you’ve used ASSURE paint, and you have a problem, and you call PPG, they will tell you they’ve had no complaints with that paint BECAUSE IT USED TO BE CALLED ICON. Ask them if they’ve had complaints with ICON – because you know that’s what ASSURE used to be called.

  636. Lisa   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 6:12 pm

    This problem is widespread. The paint industry is aware of the problem but won’t acknowledge that their customers are having the problem. The insurance companies are also aware of the problem. So are expert chemists in the business.

    This will not be resolved until someone who has enough money to hire a lawyer ends up painting their whole house with stinky paint and has to move out because of it. Just like the woman who used Benjamin Moore “natura” and started a class-action suit. (linked to above)

    In the meantime it’s our job to publicize the problem, and to notify whomever we may, and to fight our own cause as best we can until the day we get some justice for the harm and expense we’ve suffered.

    Notify the Attorney General in your state – ask for the department of consumer affairs. They will want to hear from you.

    Also, the FTC:

  637. Lisa   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Anita, you’ve probably already contacted them, but just in case:

    Here’s the complaint form for the Attorney General in Pennsylvania:

  638. Anita   |  Monday, 13 June 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Brandie, I’ll join a Facebook group. Whatever it takes to draw more attention to us all being poisoned by dangerous paints like BEHR! Lynn I had to tape the door to try to keep poison paint fumes out too, but it was too late. Why should we be held like prisoners in our own homes? Brenda that “wall / ghost odour” explanation from the paint industry is a slick lie designed to pin blame on consumers for their dangerous, defective paints. It’s like when Toyota blamed the unintended, sudden acceleration of some of their vehicles on floor mats pressing on gas pedals! These greedy, ruthless, companies will say and do anything to avoid taking responsibility for hurting innocent consumers.

  639. Brandie   |  Tuesday, 14 June 2016 at 2:30 am

    Hi All,

    So I set up the Facebook group. I have never set one up before, so I may have some issues to adjust.

    Here is the name: Friends Affected by Paint Fume Exposure.

    Here is the link:

    If interested, please join.

    I think this will be a faster. I am kind of lost in all the different replies as I read most of your posts on my phone.

    This blog is getting slower as time passes.

    Thanks to all!

  640. Brenda   |  Thursday, 16 June 2016 at 2:31 am

    Brandie I unjoined the group on FB for now. I need to create a new email so I can create a second FB profile that won’t have any personal info or photos that the FB world can see if I stayed on with my current profile.
    This blog seems to be pretty quiet lately, wondering if it’s just people are busy with summer?

  641. Miss V   |  Monday, 20 June 2016 at 2:02 am

    I found myself on this thread last April, when I was also having an issue with a bad smell after painting my master bedroom. It seemed I was never going to find a solution, after realizing that I was not alone with this problem – and that no one else had found an answer. It seemed those who were desperate enough, and took the advice of others posting, decided to tear out the drywall and replace it altogether. Being that I was renting a home, that was not an option for me. I spent 6 months trying to rectify my problem, which consisted of starting over – time and time again, by painting with Kilz and then top coating. I probably painted my bedroom about 20 times, while spending that six months sleeping on an airbed in my family room. And then, one day, I happened upon another forum and read a response from a contractor who was advising another woman about her similar situation. Like me, she’d had a problem with a smell after painting and couldn’t get rid of it. She’d painted with Kilz to seal that smell, then top coated, and then ended up with a new smell that was just as bad – if not worse. THAT was my current problem. The original funk from the original paint job was gone, but now my room had taken on a new smell, which was more of a chemical smell that made it difficult to even breathe in the room. Well, the contractor had told this woman that one or two top coats over Kilz wouldn’t get rid of the Kilz/chemical smell that she was now having. Although this is what’s recommended and often told is only necessary, he said that when painting indoors with Kilz, you may need six to eight coats of paint to kill the Kilz smell. I thought that was INSANE, but after having started over half a dozen times and finding the same problem recurring every time, I decided to give it a shot. I had already painted two top coats at the time, but went back up there and added another four coats in a two week period. THAT was the last of my problem. It actually worked. I only wish that I had done that in the beginning, and saved myself $1500 in paint and supplies.

    Not sure if this will help anyone else – this may not work for you, but it worked for me, and I didn’t have to replace the drywall. I’d like to thank that contractor, but I honestly can’t remember where I saw that post at.

  642. Michelle   |  Monday, 20 June 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Miss V,
    How long ago did you do this? I just got a quote for drywall replacement, actually 2 quotes, one for $850 and the other for $2900. Clearly the $2900 person didn’t want the job as it is very small. Anyways I’m back to considering encapsulation but am not keen on exposing myself to the smells of primer only to have it fail. I was thinking of trying Kane’s concrete and masonry primer but haven’t seen any more posts reporting they had success with it.


  643. Lisa   |  Monday, 20 June 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Miss V, thank you for your contribution. There are many who don’t have the option of replacing their drywall as the only sure-fire way to get rid of lingering odors from paint. So any advice on a solution that’s worked is welcome.

    There is the possibility that at the time you took the final step, the offgassing was also breathing its last breath. Because there’s no definitive answer as to what causes this problem, or how to fix it, none of us can really know what to do for sure short of replacing drywall. But every attempt that meets success is worth considering.

    It’s possible that doing nothing will also bring about the eventually end of the stink – but who can wait, not knowing? And not doing anything?

    Do you remember what the original paint was that started the problem?

    Thanks again so much for your comment.

  644. Miss V   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 4:11 am

    The original paint was Glidden Duo. I had already painted my other rooms with the same paint, only different colors. This was the first time that I had ever had a problem with Glidden.

  645. Miss V   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 1:01 am

    Michelle, my original problem started in April 2015. It was 6 months of trying to rectify the problem. In October 2015 is when I somehow fixed it, by using Kilz and about 6 topcoats total of paint. Keep in mind, the original smell was rancid – like rotten paint. Could have been bad paint, as I was told by painters. Then after sealing the walls, the original smell was gone, but then I had a chemical smell after 2 top coats. For the next 6 months, I kept resealing the walls and trying again. Same thing every time. The last time, I just painted a bunch of topcoats and that seemed to seal the chemical smell.

  646. Michelle   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 3:19 am

    Miss V,
    Thanks. It sounds like there are quite a few coats of Kilz and paint, Kilz and paint and then finally Kilz and 6 top coats. I notice the same thing with Kane’s solution. He appeared to do a number of primer coats before eventually trying the concrete and masonry primer. So I’m left wondering if mine, which is still just the original two coats (first one Behr zero VOC, second Olympic Icon zero VOC) will be encapsulated with just one coat of primer and then coats of paint. I probably should just spring to replace the drywall but that means I have to replace the tile also. Otherwise they have to leave strips of the paint and old drywall to attach the new drywall to…. all for a $30 decision to repaint and try a new color in there. And I have to say replacing the tile just scares me. What if I then end up with a leaking tile job or a poorly done tile job.

  647. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 3:49 am

    I just read the latest comments, haven’t been on for a while. I get too depressed. My bedroom is still in limbo, my husband and I argue about what to do so I tend to ignore it. I’ve tried to get some help, input, refund from SW but they keep ignoring me. I’ve gone to the store and the manager says he can’t help me. He did say they would send someone to the house to smell the room but it’s been over a week and no word. I’m tired of dealing with any of this.
    My husband said he is going to prime over the paint and try top coating with untinted paint. it was interesting reading Miss V’s comment that it eventually worked for her. That’s a lot of paint but I guess worth it if it works.
    I did find a paint which I’ve never heard of before, has anyone heard of Romabio paint? Google it, it sounds like a good paint to use. I sent them an email telling of my issue and everyone’s on this blog and asked their opionion on what to do and if they have heard of this. Will let you know if I hear back from them.

  648. Miss V   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 4:22 am

    To be honest, in the end, my last attempt to fix the problem was 3 coats of Kilz. I applied all 3 in a one week period, then waited a few days to apply the 2 top coats. I had previously (with the first few attempts) only applied one coat of Kilz. But after reading so many other posts on different forums, I went for more coats of Kilz to seal the walls for sure. Kilz actually replied to an email I sent them and suggested that the longer I let Kilz sit before applying the top coat, the better it will seal. So, 3 coats of Kilz over a period of a week, then a few days to let it sit, and I started painting. Six top coats is a lot, but it was well worth saving myself from tearing out the drywall.

    All I can say is, for anyone who can’t afford to tear down the drywall – like me, this is something to try. Just wear a good respirator, ventilate, run fans, then crank the heat up in that room in the night. I also bought 4 Moso bags from Amazon – charcoal, and placed them in the corners of the room. That helped absorb the chemicals in the night when the heat was on.

  649. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 5:25 am

    Do you think Zinsser would also work for the primer instead of Kilz?

  650. Miss V   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 5:28 am

    Yep, I am sure Zinsser would also work.

  651. Kane   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 10:55 am

    Zinsser makes different types of primers Brenda so you should be more specific. I
    Believe their “Cover Stain” oil based is comparable to Kilz Original. Zinsser also makes BIN shellac and 1-2-3 water based.

  652. Brenda   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 5:26 am

    Has anyone heard of Watertite paint? Was wondering if that would be a good sealer to try.

  653. Miss V   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 5:30 am

    Never heard of that. Sorry.

  654. Kane   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 11:10 am

    Miss V, so glad you found a solution! What brand paint and color did you use after the Kilz?

    From prior posts many of us have wondered if the darker colors we chose could have been factors in odors.

  655. Miss V   |  Thursday, 23 June 2016 at 1:44 am

    Kane, the paint I ended up finishing the room with was Glidden Duo. I never changed brands. I can’t stand the smell of Behr paint, so I stuck with Glidden. Originally, I was, indeed, using a darker shade when I painted my room. I lightened it up a bit to a rusty color – somewhat orange, in the end. Not sure if darker tints play a part in odor, but it’s quite possible. That HAD crossed my mind as well.

  656. Kane   |  Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 10:58 am

    Brenda, why risk trying Watertite when Miss V and Brandie have had success with Kilz Oil?

  657. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 2:29 am

    Kane, I didn’t realize they both used Kilz with oil. As I’ve said before I’ve been having difficulties being able to get back into all the comments and I don’t have very good memory. I can totally relate to “Dori”
    Anyway, I know Kilz has a very strong odor so was afraid to use it. Did you also use the Kilz oil?
    I also was hoping to find something where you don’t need to do so many coats but if that’s what it takes so be it.
    Won’t be able to do it for quite a while as my husband hand hand surgery last week so he will be laid up for a while and I can’t be in the room long. We don’t want to hire it done as we already spent a fortune on this.
    I never did get any help what so ever from SW. I will try again but it stresses me out so much to be taken as a fool with them.
    As for your comment on dark color tint, mine was a light yellow and a friend also painted a light beige and she got the sour pickle odor.
    Do you think it would be ok and work if we only paint with Kilz and don’t use paint?

  658. Miss V   |  Thursday, 23 June 2016 at 1:52 am

    Actually, I didn’t use oil. I used the interior water-based Kilz Max. Not the clear one. I put 3 coats. I was afraid to paint with the oil. But the water-based one still stinks pretty bad. Used a respirator, just to be safe. And you HAVE to paint over it. That stuff is like chalk after it dries. It’s not meant to be a topcoat. You will want to put a few coats of Kilz, at least 2 – but I did 3 to make sure the bad odor was SEALED. Then keep topcoating until you can’t smell the Kilz anymore. That stuff is horrible, but I am glad I used it. It worked for me. I hope you also have success with it, if you go that route. Ans be sure to heat that room up to dry it out.

  659. Brenda   |  Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 2:52 am

    Brandie you said you used 3 coats of Kilz oil and 6 coats of top coat paint. But you also mentioned you sanded your walls. How do you sand drywall?

  660. Lisa   |  Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 4:07 am

    As of a few years ago, PPG owns Glidden. PPG makes Olympic ICON, with which I myself, along with others here, have had a problem.

    Also, as I mentioned, Olympic is replacing ICON with ASSURE, but it will be the same formulation.

    I wouldn’t expect anyone to read through all the comments on this page, but a YEAR after we painted with ICON and it ended up stinking, we put 3 coats of BIN over it. We did 2 coats in one day, and then a third coat a few weeks later. We thought that did the trick, but the next summer it started to stink again – it just didn’t stink as early in the summer as it did the year before.

    Since 3 coats of BIn helped reduce the smell, we figured a couple more couldn’t hurt. But they didn’t help. So, a total of 4-5 coats of BIN and there was still a smell. We decided at that point we’d go ahead and try painting again, so, a month after the last coat of primer we painted with Benjamin Moore Aura. Then it smelled even worse than it did with the primer alone, even though when we applied the Aura to other surfaces it dried and didn’t smell afterwards.

    So, a month after that, the room still smelled. That was when we decided to replace the drywall. We spent a total of about 3 thousand dollars on all the primer, labor and drywall replacement. We had no other options to consider at that point. It had been 2 years. We didn’t know about the masonry primer, and frankly after so much time and money we were ready to do something that would be guaranteed to work

    This was a financial hardship, and also two very difficult years in our home.

    It’s evident that all manufacturers are experiencing this problem. Please continue to publicize your experiences and notify appropriate agencies and organizations about this issue.

    Thank you all! I am so grateful for this site and for all your comments. Having use of the affected room again feels very strange after so long. It remains primer white. It’s ugly. You can see where the shades of white are different around the edges of the walls from cutting in. But we’re just too scared to paint.

  661. Kane   |  Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Brenda, I’m quoting from your post and I know you’re going thru a tough time and may not understand.

    Your question: “Anyway, I know Kilz has a very strong odor so was afraid to use it.”
    My response: Kilz is a brand. They make different types of primers including latex and oil. Yes their oil and any brand oil has a strong odor. But if it ain’t strong, it’s probably not as effective at sealing.

    Your question: “Do you think it would be ok and work if we only paint with Kilz and don’t use paint?”
    My response: NO!!!!! oil smells for a very very very long time. I know you read the post that Miss V was nice enough to share that she needed 6 coats of paint to cover the smell of oil because 2 was not enough.

    If you’re having difficulty accessing older posts, it’s best to take notes as new posts appear as many of the questions you’re asking have been answered multiple times. I strongly suggest before you try anything to go back and hound SW in store. Emails and phonecalls are not as affective as they can easily blow you off as they have been. Keep us posted and good luck.

  662. Lisa   |  Thursday, 23 June 2016 at 2:28 am

    When the drywall here was finished, the contractor wanted to know what kind of paint we planned to use because he would pick the primer based on the paint. We’ve never used anything on our walls other than latex. So, I don’t know if this was just in the case of newly primed drywall? I don’t know.

    I don’t know that I’ll ever be in this position again, because I have begun to doubt that I will ever paint again. However, if I did, and this happened again, I would NOT let the manufacturer off the hook. I look back at how they played me now. The stinky paint was right on the walls, there were two reps standing in the room, and now the company is trying to say they “have no evidence of an odor issue”. Please, if you’re still in a position to address your stink with the manufacturer, don’t be so nice that you get screwed. Make them write something down and sign and date it. You may be glad later. Don’t let them tell you they can’t do anything. They can do everything! They are the manufacturer! These companies KNOW about this issue. There was a class action suit against Benjamin Moore. And PPG and Sherwin Williams settle a class action for labeling their paints as zero VOC when in fact the colorants added VOC. You won’t be able to claim either of those things because they are now making low VOC colorants too. HOWEVER: this is a problem that appears from time to time with various paints, and the customer shouldn’t have to foot the bill. Spread the cost we’ve incurred over the millions of customers who buy paint. Or reduce your many millions of dollars of profit to throw us a bone.

    That is all. Good luck.

  663. Rhonda   |  Friday, 24 June 2016 at 4:38 am

    It’s called off gassing.. I am now at the point to where I gotta watch everythingg I buy… 1 formaldehyde is in everything. I used NO VOC PAINT.. IF U want to try wiping it down 1st with White vinegar/water.. may do it..we are being bombarded with way too many furniture stains, Pressed wood, formaldehyde in clothing u name it! Google MCS ( multiple chemical sensitivity you will learn a lesson) kind regards

  664. Brenda   |  Friday, 24 June 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I ended up having my husband to to SW as I went there twice and called 3 times to no avail. They gave him our money back for the 4 gallons we bought from them and of course said we had to sign the relapse. We did as we don’t have the patience to do a lawsuit. and I don’t think we could handle he stress level. It would be one thing if someone already won a case and thought we had a chance.
    My husband wants to try and cover it with some clear sealer, I can’t remember what it was but if it works I’ll post it. I think it was something Safe Coat.

  665. Kane   |  Friday, 24 June 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Brenda, previous posts say AFM safe coat does not work and makes the surface shiny and if not applied correctly it will be bubbly

  666. Lisa   |  Friday, 24 June 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Brenda, you should NOT have to sign a release for a simple refund on the paint you bought. That refund should be covered under the warranty. If they have worked out some kind of agreement to compensate you for further expenses if their paint was bad, THEN they will ask for a release – meaning they’re off the hook for further damages.

    That’s fine if you get what you want. BUT – we were asked to sign a release after a few coats of primer seemed to get rid of the smell. But that was in October, when the smell tended to go away anyway. We refused to sign a release until the following season of warm weather, when we could be sure the primer had worked. Guess what? It didn’t work! And when we told PPG we wanted to wait to see if the primer would work, they got a little huffy, like it was a sure thing. But we knew better BECAUSE OF THIS SITE.

    Now, it’s possible that if we ignored the smell from the primer, and started putting lots of layers of paint on, we might have been ok, Like Miss V. No way to know, because after two coats of paint it smelled worse than with just the primer, so at that point we’d had it AND there is a 2-year statute of limitations on a claim for property damage in our state – and that was only weeks away. In fact, I believe that statute of limitations was the reason the manufacturer simply continued to drag things out, saying they had to do this and that and talk to so-and-so and blah blah blah – stalling and figuring that we were too ignorant to figure things out. Well in many ways we were, and perhaps still are – but live and learn.

    Kane – I appreciate that you are assisting us in this way. I’m glad you solved your problem.

  667. Lisa   |  Friday, 24 June 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Brandie, I just asked to join your FB group “Friends Affected by Paint Fume Exposure” – I’m a little concerned that people will think it’s a group for people with chemical sensitivities. I know it’s wrong for me to criticize when I’ve done nothing similar myself, but I didn’t know if that’s what you meant for the page to be. Perhaps at some point when my own personal problems with this are behind me, I will put together something on “Lingering Paint Odor” or “Paint won’t stop smelling”. However, I sometime wonder if I want to devote any more of my life to this than I already have. This wasn’t meant to be my purpose in life. I thank you greatly for making that page. You’ve done us all a service. THANK YOU!

  668. Anita   |  Friday, 24 June 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Brandie, thank you for starting the FB page. Would you consider a name change, like: “This Paint Stinks” or something similar so it will be easier for people to find and it might get more attention? Thanks Miss V. After reading your post, I can’t emphasize to everyone enough how important it is to contact the Fire Dept., (call 911) Health Dept., Poison Control, Attorney General, Justice Dept., Media Outlets etc.. and let them know you are being overwhelmed by suspicious fumes. Having to paint over 20 times is just a further indication that we are all dealing with a dangerous chemical contamination that should be handled by HAZMAT professionals not consumers who have been victimized. This is not MCS. Terrorist don’t just use bullets and bombs. In today’s society, we could all be the victims of a chemical attack. We were all warned of this possibility after 9-11.

  669. LYNN   |  Saturday, 25 June 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I just wanted to thank all of you for this invaluable information. I’m pursuing this from two angles, a contractor who painted the walls and claims the resultant paint odor is a problem between myself and the manufacturer.
    I have a receipt stating the paint in my can is ‘unpleasant smelling and differs from new cans of same paint’…the mfg. asked me to bring them into the store and compare, before sending to the lab. Interestingly, they only tested for mold and bacteria stickwise, stating no need to test for VOC, formaldahyde, etc., as ‘it has no voc’s’, meaning they are squeezing through a loophole of very low voc contaminents which it does contain, and there can be many, so it can add up. There are other variables. I specifically asked for a receipt and when they both said it smelled bad, made faces actually, i asked them to put that on the receipt. Important.
    A rep came from mfg., first said ‘just paint’, will go away in time, ‘like a new car’, then said ‘no more he could do’…same with corporate cust. svs…got through to top sales person of this area at corporate…said, we’ll be glad to paint over it for you’, point b eing it’s common knowledge you can’t get rid of paint odor by just painting, but we all know on this site it destroys the evidence.
    My room is small and even putting up drywalls, etc…should cost no more than tops 4 or 5 thou. Told him that. He spouted ‘integrity, important to take responsibility if their problem…sent a rep…she first said ‘smells like new paint’, which it does as all say after 8 mos…then she walked out of room and denied there was any odor at all…
    I could have taped her secretly in AZ…if you are in a state that allows that…do it…whether a store clerk, or mfg. or contractor, or anyone who might be a witness…people sadly, lie…and it is your only protection or way to get justice in a system which needs changing, and these mfgs. some of them, are corrupt. I’ve learned this the hard way.
    I’m sharing this in hopes it will help someone in some way.
    As for the contractor…so far, and i am still researching and pursuing this with little money, and they all know that, seems the contracctor association, even with a complaint, is law bound not to hold contractor responsible for any substances, like paint, he brings into the home…only for his actual work.
    They claimed not to know where i can pursue that…suggesting a lawyer which, with so far no lawyers who work on contingent or probono in this area, and i’ve called everywhere, it can cost thousands. I got one free consult with a lawyer in a different area of law, who had no clue.
    So far i cannot find a law on the books, and this is important, that protects the consumer, you and i, when we bring contaminated, hazardous, problematic i.e. ill-smelling or substandard, materials we purchase (or a contractor brings in)…
    I have so far been told it is up to me to prove what is wrong with the paint (substance) and then i have to provide the proof in court…all of this can cost many thousands of dollars…and all the manufacturers and contractors have to do is sit back and wait.
    States vary, but this should be a national issue re things like paint which is used EVERYWHERE.
    Who is protecting us. Where do we get all the money. ..Lisa wrote they stall, and they do…they lie…i wanted to work this out fairly and amicably…not even sue for ddamages whiich i told them…they don’t care.
    Family, others entering my room said it hurt their throats, it smelled like new paint still, i cannot use my own home…all i did was hire someone to do remediation which was minor, and paint the room…and it has been devastating to my life, health and well being.
    There are savvy people on line here with great, terrific info…let’s get it rolling…i’ll check out the new site which sounds great but we have to be careful, honest, about how we do this…if we claim chemical sensitivities when they are within normal range that is fine…those who have extreme ones can on an individual basis use this, i believe, to show that they have the right to expecdt low or no voc paint to be jsut that, but when excessive or problematic, the advertising was false and they have been harmed further…something like that.
    Again thanks and any info, will post immediately…this site is a Godsend.

  670. Lisa   |  Sunday, 26 June 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Lynn makes excellent points.

    What do we do?

    I filed a small claims case when, after desperate attempts to work things out with the manufacturer, I got nowhere.

    Go ahead and file a small claims case if your state allows recovery up to the amount you’re out. There are limits in each state. BUT – (and this is where the accumulated wisdom of this site comes in) YOU MUST HAVE EVIDENCE. That means: if the room is still as is, with the stinky paint on the wall, then you have evidence. But since a judge probably won’t want to travel to your home, you need someone there to testify that the room does smell, and that it’s the paint that smells. If you painted on new drywall, and you have some of the drywall still, and ihe drywall doesn’t smell – then you’ve pretty much proven it’s the paint.

    Or perhaps like Lynn you have the paint in the can and it stinks (mine didn’t stink in the can). I don’t know how a judge can argue with a can full of stinky paint. In small claims, you only need a preponderance of evidence. Paint isn’t expected to smell after a period of weeks (usually a month at the longest) You can find on the product information online the “cure time” for your particular paint.

    This is about defective products.

    If a paint can is labelled “low odor”, but the paint actually stinks – then the product is defectively labelled and is considered in violation of strict liability.
    “Marketing Defects – Flaws in the way a product is marketed, such as improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings.”

    “The doctrine known as “res ipsa loquitur” shifts the burden of proof in some product liability cases to the defendant(s). Translated, this Latin term means “the thing speaks for itself,” and indicates that the defect at issue would not exist unless someone was negligent. If the doctrine is successfully invoked, the plaintiff is no longer required to prove how the defendant was negligent; rather, the defendant is required to prove that it was not negligent.”

    The manufacturers know about the problem but they put no warning on the paint cans or anywhere else. Then, when the problem occurs, they deny the evidence (they say there’s no smell)

    So – this should only be a matter of proving that IT SMELLS, not that there is something chemically wrong with it. In fact, you will not be able to prove there’s something chemically wrong unless you get a very high-priced analytical lab that specializes in this sort of thing. Why? Because there are other cans of paint out there that will have the same components as yours, but which didn’t smell. And those are considered acceptable by the industry and the law.

    We have rights that don’t depend on us having a lot of money. But they do depend on us knowing the law and who to turn to.

  671. Lisa   |  Sunday, 26 June 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Lynn, here is the site to file a complaint with the consumer dept in your state:

    I was told by a lawyer that if I have a pending small claims case, the attorney general’s office will most likely wait to see what the outcome of that is, and wouldn’t be interested before that.

  672. Lisa   |  Sunday, 26 June 2016 at 10:30 pm

    If anyone is interested in trying to re-coup their losses due to stinky paint, they must be able to prove that the paint smells. It sounds so simple, but if you’ve already solved the problem then you might have lost your evidence. So that is why I say: before you prime or remove drywall, or both – have someone from the company come and smell the problem, and get something signed from that rep that says that the room smells, the paint smells, etc. Don’t just assume that if they come and smell it that they won’t later deny the problem. These companies know there’s a lot of money at stake. So far they’ve been dealing with this successfully by denying it and by making people sign releases after they give them some amount of money as reimbursement, whether or not the problem is gone, Tell them you need to wait a while to make sure. My problem came back, even after I told them the primer had worked. I hadn’t signed a release yet BECAUSE PEOPLE ON THIS SITE HAD TOLD ME THAT PRIMER DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK PERMANENTLY. If I hadn’t known that, I would have signed the release, and I wouldn’t still be able to try to get any further reimbursement. As i’ve said, I still dont’ know if I will be able to, but I wouldn’t have been able to even try.

    When you call the manufacturer, or go to the store where you bought the paint, you are no longer an ignorant customer. YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM THAT MANY HAVE DEALT WITH. So when you hear “never heard of this” or “we have no reports” or ” we can do nothing unless there’s a batch problem” etc etc etc – you know that the person you’re talking to is either ignorant or lying. There’s no crime in being ignorant, but if you’re a representative for a big paint company you certainly shouldn’t be ignorant. And if you’re lying – well – since you’re lying about a defective product – that’s a different story.

    So, it’s either ignorance or a lie. Don’t accept either one. If your small claims court will allow you to sue for the amount you need, then go ahead and sue. But try to work it out with the company first if you’re at that point. Get professional estimates from remediation experts and send them to the company and tell them you expect reimbursement because it was their paint that caused the smell. Tell them you need someone from their company to come and verify otherwise if they’re not going to pay for it. Make the expert and the paint company talk to each other. (that’s what I would have done if I could do this all over) Otherwise it’s just your word against the paint company and they’ll say they didn’t smell anything (unless you got it in writing and signed)

    If the paint company sees you’ve got evidence they can’t deny, perhaps they will settle with you and you won’t have to go to court.

    I’m afraid these companies may be “circling the wagons” now that consumers are becoming more aware. Don’t expect them to take responsibility for this as they should. It’s too easy for them to blame us or pretend it’s not happening.

  673. WilliamE3   |  Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at 11:21 am

    I read this site a year ago, and just read it again now: it’s tripled in size. Great group. Kane, thanks for your knowledgeable contributions. I have my own story and am only half way through my problem.

    Let me start by asking:

    1. Is the Concrete and Masonry paint toxic? Chemically unsafe? I see a California state warning.
    2. Epoxy based paints: anyone tried them, and are they safe for interior use?
    3. Has anyone used Odoban Odor Eliminator as a preliminary step?


  674. Kane   |  Thursday, 30 June 2016 at 2:40 pm

    William, masonry concrete primer is latex based and has a slight odor (all primers have some sort of odor) but much less than oil and certaintly less toxic than contaminated paint many of us have had to deal with. If you want to take a chance with it, I strongly suggest you test it on a piece of wood or ideally small piece of drywall if you have. California in general has strict standards for many things and set the standard for CARB2 (formaldehyde emission in flooring and furniture)standard.

  675. Kane   |  Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at 5:47 pm

    For those on the fence about trying Kilz Max, I looked into it. Here is PDF

    On it states: • Sealing odours: For persistent odours, apply
    a second coat of primer before topcoating. If
    odour continues, a longer dry time is needed
    before topcoating

  676. Michelle   |  Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I’m torn between trying encapsulation and ripping out the drywall. It seems those that had success with encapsulation tried a number of different primers and paints with something like 20 coats applied. I actually prefer to rip out the drywall but I’m held up trying to find someone to redo the tile around the tub/shower. The benefit of trying the encapsulation is if Kane’s concrete masonry primer works the first time then there is an easy soln if this ever happens again. If the only solution really is ripping out the drywall then I’m stuck with my current colors because I won’t ever paint again.

  677. Kane   |  Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Michelle, some have asked if the masonry/concrete primer I used held up during the heat. Well I moved late Spring so can’t confirm if it did. It seems the proven methods here are Kilz Oil by Brandie and Kilz Max which is latex by Miss V. My personal suggestion is if your bathroom is a half bath, has a ventilation fan, and you can do without it for 2 weeks, go with oil over the exposed drywall. Leave the tiles cause that’s costly.

  678. Kane   |  Thursday, 30 June 2016 at 2:14 am

    Michelle, oops just re-read your post and see that it has a tub. Perhaps try Kilz on a small portion of the wall. If you choose to go with oil, there are quart containers that sell for $10 or less at all hardware and big box stores. If you choose to go with the Kilz Max, it sells for $35 but make sure you ask it be shaken.

  679. Brenda   |  Sunday, 03 July 2016 at 2:02 am

    Updating my situation. My husband is insistent not to tear out Sheetrock AGAIN, so he wanted to try the a AFM Safecoat. Put the first coat on this morning. Smell seemed worse to me. Just put the second coat on tonight, not as smelly as first coat. Putting a third coat tomorrow.
    Time will tell. Will keep you posted.

  680. Michelle   |  Sunday, 03 July 2016 at 3:10 am

    Definitely let us know. I feel so bad for you that you already replaced the drywall and are still having a problem. Do you think it was the second batch of paint you used?

    I’m dying to put something on because we can do that ourselves. However I really think tearing out the drywall is the right soln for us. We chose zero VOC paint because we didn’t want out gass