This paint stinks!!!!

Postby JeffM » Thu May 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Saw the article on watchdog. Just had all bathrooms changed in our house and used Crown paint in the downstairs cloakroom. This is the 3rd time since we have lived in this house that it has been painted but the first time a serious odour has existed after painting. I even got the company who installed the new toilet to check that there was not a leak or break in the seal of discharge pipe. You just have to enter the room and the odour is evident.

Watchdog were advised it was bacteria pre-existing in the walls, how come it never occurred before? What a load of rubbish as an excuse. Recommendation is to apply a sealant, why when I have paid enough for the paint. What a cop out by Crown.
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Simply Build It

Postby Sweet Sue » Thu May 27, 2010 9:26 pm

I have just been reading posts on the Watchdog website and a couple of comments caught my eye.

One comment was about the time of year when the painting was done - both my smelly rooms were done around February March time and I left windows open. Did the temperature have an impact? Or the moisture levels as it would have taken a while to dry?

The other comment was by a decorator's wife who reported that storing paint below a certain temperature would cause this problem. Given the weather that we had in January/February last year and again over this winter what are the odds that my paint was stored at or close to freezing temperatures.

In future i will buy my paint in the summer and store it where it won't get too cold and hopefully never have this problem again.
Sweet Sue
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Postby CrownPaints » Fri May 28, 2010 12:21 pm

We also want to reassure our customers again that:
• There are no health and safety side effects arising from wall odour phenomenon.
• Wall odour is in no way caused by or related to the quality or formulation of our, or any other manufacturer’s, paints.
• All our products are produced here in the UK at our manufacturing plants in Darwen and Hull, and do not include any own label brands for the retail market.
• The application of an alkali resistant sealer has solved the problem in all of the extensive tests we have conducted. The following link provides a demonstration of its correct application: ... enomenon-2.
• External environmental and microbiological specialists from across Europe are currently conducting extensive tests into the phenomenon.
• In the meantime, the Paint Research Association has further information relating to the issue on its website:
• If you are a Crown customer and think you may have experienced wall odour phenomenon, please call us directly on 0845 521 2499 so that we can deal with your query.

Kind regards,

Geraldine Huxley
Customer Services Director, Crown Paints
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:53 pm

Postby JRS » Fri May 28, 2010 4:48 pm

Personally i would use dulux paint but i have never experienced any bad smells from crown paints. I would say that paint can go off after being left for some time.
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Postby canecreek » Sat May 29, 2010 10:24 am

CrownPaints wrote:The issue being discussed here is known as ‘wall odour phenomenon’

Geraldine Huxley
Customer Services Director, Crown Paints

I find this hard to believe because i bought my house brand new 3½ years ago i watched it get built , i lived in it for 2 years with no smells what-so-ever its only when i painted 1 small room with the crown easy breath paint did that room stink.
If it was the walls then all the rooms would smell as the same materials were uses to make the walls in every room.

Just the 1 room stinks and it stinks since using your paint, i understand as a big company you have to come up with an excuse but i know the truth at the moment im having to live with it and the "Death/sewage" smell you have infected my home with.
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Postby buttonmoon » Sun May 30, 2010 5:49 pm

An update to my previous post, Crown gave me vouchers for the sealant and new paint.

So far so good, sealant stank in it's own way for a day or two, new paint applied and so far I have every window open upstairs for the first time in nearly two years :D with no smell!

Thank you Crown for fixing my problem with no fuss.
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Postby CrownPaints » Sun May 30, 2010 5:49 pm

Hi canecreek,

At Crown, the customer services team and I take product complaints very seriously, and we are sorry that you have been experiencing problems after painting with Crown.

The team and I would really like to discuss this issue with you in more detail, and we are sure we will be able to resolve it for you.

Please contact us via,, or via our helpline on 0845 521 2499, and we can talk it through with you.

Yours sincerely,

Geraldine Huxley
Customer services director, Crown Paints
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:53 pm

Postby Louise76 » Mon May 31, 2010 9:47 am

We watched the watchdog programme about Crown paint.
We had already purchased a 5L tin of the Crown breatheasy matt paint in Liquer to redocorate our hall the following day, and STUPIDLY we went ahead and painted it thinking that the problem would not happen to us.

Unfortunately, our hall now smells like gas/vinegar (that's the best I can describe it). The previous paint on the walls was Crown Liquer, exactly the same paint (we just wanted to freshen it up).

The paint was purchased at B&Q who are doing a buy one get one free on Crown paint just now (hmmm suspicious?) - so here I am on the forum to see what we should do next? Who is going to pay for the alakli primer to redecorate the walls?

Has anyone 'waited it out' and has the smell gone?

Please help.
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Postby Sweet Sue » Mon May 31, 2010 8:06 pm

With regards to sticking it out with the smell. I waited a year because I didn't know what to do (took up the floorboards, searched the loft, checked the plumbing and the gutters, cleaned the patio etc). Eventually I found this site and finally used the primer this weekend.
The smell doesn't fade in my experience - and I have the problem in two different rooms with different paints (neither of which are from Crown).

The suggested primer is about £45.00 for a 5 litre tin - which did both rooms with some to spare. Its like really runny gloss and is best applied with a roller (it dribbles off the paint pad in my experience). It smells like gloss and needs to be ventiliated.

In all honesty I am not convinced that the primer has worked but I am happy to give it some time.

As to the special price on Crown they regularly do promotions like that especially over holiday weekends. So do Dulux.
Sweet Sue
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Postby KM » Mon May 31, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi Geraldine,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to the issues we are facing at the moment. I am one of the people that has experienced this “smelly paint” problem.

I must start out by saying that Crown have been very helpful in trying to resolve this issue for me and that the Crown trade representative here in Ireland that is assisting me has been very responsive, informative and very keen to get this resolved.

I am at a dead end at the moment and have just have a couple of points and queries in response to your posts...

CrownPaints wrote:The application of an alkali resistant sealer has solved the problem in all of the extensive tests we have conducted. The following link provides a demonstration of its correct application: ... enomenon-2.

- The problem is not resolved in all cases by applying the Alkali resistant sealer as we had this applied last week and the room re-painted and one day later the gassy smell is back worse than ever. Are there other options to resolve this as the Crown rep dealing with my issue is at this point unsure of how to proceed?

- In Crown's assessment of people that are experiencing this issue have they differentiated the differing smells that are being experienced? In order to clarify this, our problems to date were in two rooms. One room had a sour milk type smell coming from the wall the other room had a totally different smell more of a strong gassy type smell. These were two very differing smells! The alkali sealer has worked in the room with the sour milk type smell on the wall which we are delighted with but has not fixed the smell in the other room. The smell is back!

- You have stated that independent tests conducted on a range of samples across the industry confirm that there are no health & safety issues with this problem, where these tests conducted in homes where people are experiencing this problem? Can some proof be provided of this as this is a big worry for me?

I am like many others including Crown trying to understand what is causing these smells and as I have tried the recommended solution and am still experiencing this problem smell I am concerned at what the next steps are to resolve. Should I be looking to remove all layers of paint from the walls back to the bare plasterboard, seal and paint? Has anyone tried this?

Many thanks,
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Postby LILYSDAD » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:28 am

[Just an update -i was one of the people filmed for watchdog---crown breatheasy paint stunk our house out for 2 weeks ...At first Crown customer services told me that they d never had any problems before and had never heard of any....well when i pointed out DIY DOCTOR that soon changed to --oh yes we are carrying out tests -it has now changed to "smelly wall phenomenon" a phenomenon that seems to have been recently invented by the PRA and Crown...I can find no other mention on the internet...All i know is that i have a beautiful kitchen extension,insulated clean and warm with no problems until i painted with breatheasy then the stink of ammonia....I still have no compensation and have received no advice, proof or facts regarding smelly wall phenomenon. The smell in my home faded after 2 weeks but i will never use Crown Paints again .....I dont trust the paint and i dont trust the people. By the way painting with Dulux on the same surface presented no problems whatsoever....??? go figure that one out?
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Postby CrownPaints » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:13 pm

We are sorry that you have experienced problems after painting with Crown. Please get in touch with our customer services team directly on 0845 521 2499, as like me they take every product complaint very seriously and want to help you resolve this quickly.

Geraldine Huxley - Customer Services Director
Crown Paints
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:53 pm

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?
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:47 pm

used dulux for years, never encountered this problem. had it with crown on two occasions now.
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Postby frankiejenny » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:59 pm

We've just had 3 rooms painted using all Crown Trade paint (8 days ago). The walls are in ‘Extreme Clean’ and the ceilings are just plain white matt vinyl emulsion. We had it done while we were away and when we first got back (the day after it was completed) all we could smell was the normal smell you get with paint. The next day, we put the furniture back in the upstairs room. Did this on a warm, sunny afternoon and the gassy smell was overwhelming. It made us feel sick. Since then, the gassy smell comes and goes (sometimes unbearable and nauseating) - it seems to coincide with being warmed by the sun and also seems worse when breezes blow in. We went around the house smelling the walls and ceilings (they are low and slope so are easy to reach). The problem seems to be with the white matt vinyl emulsion as that very obviously stinks when it is warmed by the sun, whereas the walls (extreme clean paint) don't smell bad in the sun.

Don't know what to do about it. Concerned that some people who have repainted after applying the alkaline sealant still have the gassy smell. Reassured by the person who said the smell went after 2 weeks. Is there anyone else who has had the problem sort itself out? How long did it take?

This could cost a lot of people (including us) a lot of not only time and stress but also enormous amounts of money – Seems strange that the paint company/ies are saying it’s not the paint but walls when it’s only certain types of paint causing the problem – can’t really change the walls can you...

p.s . bathroom was repainted a couple of months ago using Dulux bathroom paint (bought from a DIY store) on walls and ceilings – no problems there – so it seems that the ‘problem walls/ceilings’ are only a problem with certain types of paint – which logically seems to point to the paint being the problem not the walls – otherwise everyone will have to have their walls analysed before embarking on any decoration! Paint should presumably work efficiently on all types of wall and ceiling unless specified on the tin. Which again, logically points to the paint being ‘not fit for purpose’ rather than the building materials being faulty.

Thanks to everyone who’s posted here – at least we realise we are not alone in our torment!

Have emailed Crown but so far no response - will no doubt update as things develop.
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