This paint stinks!!!!

Postby Parisienne » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:28 pm

The the oil based strong strong spirit smell of the primer is gone now and I found the gasy smell creeping through Here and there in brilliant sunshine. The gas paint is definitely photo sensitive.
There is nothing stinking like the previous stench which was becoming more and more intense in brilliant sunshine.
I do have a sensitive sense of smell and found it creeping through where I hadn't painted right up to the very edge as it is white primer on a white base.
I sprayed white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda on the edges and this seems to be very effective.
I add 2 teaspoons of bicarb to 30ml of vinegar in a spray bottle and it works. Be careful if you are going to use this as if fizzes up intensely.
I'm happier than previous i will paint right up the window frame edge with the primer and follow up with emulsion there after.
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Simply Build It

Postby sdfuk » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:29 am


I'm having this problem too, although not with Crown paint. I used Albany white emulsion to cover some brightly coloured walls before using Farrow and Ball. I then discovered that the Albany paint was 6 years old (left by previous owber of house).

Same as everyone else here, smell disappeared after applying the Albany paint (windows left open / onions in the room). However, after 2 months and when weather warmed up there is a gassy smell.

Possible Solution!!!

Well, here's what I will try and I will let you know the results.

I going to use Zinsser Clear B-I-N Sealer which states ...

"CLEAR B-I-N® Sealer is the ultimate odor blocker for interior surfaces. The fast-drying, clear, de-waxed shellac formula permanently seals in odors while leaving the original surface appearance unchanged. It is ideal for eliminating the toughest odors from food, kitchen grease, mold, pet urine, fire and smoke damage, and cigarette and cigar smoke"

It's worth a try.

Apart from that the only option is to strip the paint.

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Postby majanasa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:56 pm

Hi sdfuk,

I am based in Montreal, Canada. I recently purchased a house, and painted it completely before moving in. We have been experiencing the same gas/ammonia like smell described in this forum. This only happens when we open the windows on hot/humid summer day. We went nuts diagnosing this problem, from gas company, to air quality experts, plumbers, etc. Finally i found this forum.

Unfortunately I do not know if the problem existed before I bought the house, since we bought it and painted entirely in the winter before moving in. When spring arrived and we started opening the windows, this pungeant gas smell started appearing. We also found that some rooms it would get quite strong and would sting the eyes (including the eyes of my 3 year old)

I do not know if Crown paints exist in Canada (we have Crown Diamond, is this the same?). I also do not know what kind of paint are found in the various layers of previous paint jobs.

What I do know is that the walls smell occurs in all the rooms that I put a latex based primer over the old paint (insul-x aqua seal). One room I put an oil-based primer from zinsser (called cover stain) and I get no smell. All the rooms that have gyproc board vs. plaster also have no smell.

My guess is that something has happenned between the insul-x aqua seal latex primer and an old paint on the plastered walls of the house. And the symptoms are exactly what is described here.

I went to the local paint store and I was told to give B-I-N from Zinsser a try, as its a shellac based primer that is as stinky as an oil based alkyd-sealer while applying but the smell goes away after 30 minutes, unlike an oil-based primer which can linger for a very long time. Its also a very good sealer when it comes to odors.

I tried B-I-N for one of the rooms with the problem and then two coats of the same latex paint I had applied before (Moore style from Bengamin Moore) And the problem appears to be completley gone. Was B-I-N also a success for you? I am curious because I now wonder if i should do this for the rest of my house, or should i wait a bit and see if the gas-smell seaps through the BIN sealant with time?

thanks again to all on this forum. We were close to selling our recently purchased home, due to this mysterious problem.

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Postby billn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:23 pm

I hope I am not temping fate by saying this but having used two coats of alkali resisting primer then yet another two coats of emulsion the gassy smell has gone, there is still a slight smell but it is not a gassy smell and I am hoping it will eventually go. The alkali resisting primer is not too bad to put on but you must ventilate well and wear a proper respirator, I put two coats on as I had a lot left and decided on a belt and braces approach. So after eleven coats of paint in three months the bedroom may be finished?

Hope this helps others with the same problem I used all Johnstones paint and they were helpful with the problem, providing all the materials (but I still had to do all the work).
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Postby GalTumpson » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:25 pm

You're telling me pal. Had a nightmare when I was double coating my bedrooms in my house. The stuff reeked and clung to everything. I had to toss out the best memory foam mattress money could buy because the smell was choking me and the missus at night. I wont be making that mistake again
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Postby yyy » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:25 pm

Hi everyone,
My husband has just painted our son's room with Crown Soft Khaki Matt emulsion and we have a horrendous ammonia/cat pee smell in the room.
The paint was purchased on Thursday evening and we painted saturday morning. We also painted 4 other rooms over the weekend with Dulux with NO issue.

The thing I found strangest when the woman from Crown suggested it was "Ghost Odour" and coming from the walls is that we painted the walls in his room the exact same colour 10 months ago when we moved into this house. (The house itself is just over 8 years old).

What are they suggesting has happened in his room in the past 10 months so that using the same type and colour of paint makes this horrendous smell. (he's only 5!!)

I also asked her if it was harmful to our health and was assured that Crown paints are 100% safe.
Fair enough, but the point is, If they're adamant it's NOT their paint and it's something on the walls, but ADMIT not knowing exactly WHAT on the walls, how can they then say with 100% certainty that it will cause no harm??!!

Homebase, where we bought the paint have been great. They want us to take in the leftovers and they said they'll try and sort it out asap.
Crown have said they will give us vouchers for sealant and new paint, but after reading some comments here I'm not sure I want that hassle!
My husband is going to try and get Dulux paint tonight and we'll try going over the walls again

I'm absolutely raging that they're trying to palm it off as something other than the paint!
Has anyone painted over with different paint and had any success without sealant?

Hope you all have lovely fresh smelling homes by now. x
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Postby geraldcroft » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:23 pm


I have just had my house repainted. I have bought Dulux and Crown Paints, not cheap ones.

One Friday my bedroom was painted with Crown Breath Easy paint. It wasn't cheap but I wanted a decent paint and I liked the colour. On Saturday morning there was a dreadful smell of cat pee in the room. I thought I was imagining the situation so I left it a day. Since then I have opened the windows a lot to let in fresh air but the smell will not go away!!!! It smells absolutely disgusting I have cleaned the carpet and changed all the bed line but nothing has reduced the smell. I have even moved all the furniture thinking that something has come into the room and died. The rest of the house is fine and the smell of new paint is a great smell compared to the smell in my bedroom.

Thank goodness I didn't use Crown in the living room. How embarassing to have people visit and just smell cat pee throughout the house.

Anyone know what i can do? Would they listen at Crown or B&Q
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Postby MarianS » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:32 pm

I am so relieved to find this forum and confirms I am not going mad!
We painted our bedroom with Crown Breatheasy at the weekend. I normally use Homebase's own brand but liked this particular Crown colour. Did the first coat Saturday afternoon and the second coat on Sunday morning! Had bought new curtains, bed linen etc etc and the room looked great!

We were really pleased with our hard work over the weekend until we woke up on Monday morning to the most dreadful smell of ammonia! I thought we have inherited a few tom cats during the night! I immediately thought it might be the new curtains or the dog had crept in during the night and marked his new territory! I soon realised even he doesn't smell this bad! We were at work all day yesterday and got home to the whole house now smelling! I searched the internet all evening for smells caused by decorating and found a link to the Watchdog report. I emailed Crown and have had a response today asking for the batch number.

It is early days yet for us, but the thought of having to strip the room out again to redecorate is just a nightmare! We both work long hours so only have limited free time which we really do not want to spend redecorating the room again!!!

Has anyone had any luck with the "wee" smell going away on its own? In all my years of decorating I have never come across anything like this! I will stick to Homebase paint from now on!
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Postby Denis S » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:53 am

Another new victim of the smelly paint conspiracy here!
We too recently painted the spare room out, now we have the cat urine smell. Is the alkali resistant sealer really the only way? we were hoping to just repaint over with another brand, but after reading a lot of the replies I'm now not so!
Denis S
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Postby Ronniecole » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:05 pm

I have painted walls with crown paint! And now it smelt of a ferret , was that bad stung my eyes and made my asthma bad! Spent £300 on paint and labour! I painted adjoining room in dulux proper paint and no smell from that room! So bacteria answer is a load of rubbish! And I have never had this problem with dulux and will never use crown rubbish again, I wake up feeling sick my eyes sting! Now guna cost me another £300 or more as will pva walls first to seal walls then paint with dulux no that junk! Ps on same wall I put dulux trade and it don't smell! You can sniff wall and smell stench! Dulux should make a advert saying our paint won't ruin your house! Mine room smells like a tramps den! Don't use there rubbish lucky I never have used this on customers houses or be skint now!
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Postby Denis S » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:06 pm

Sent off for a tin of International Alkali resistant sealer from ebay (cant find a local supplier) We are hoping this will cure it, post back in a month to let you know.
Denis S
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Postby Ronniecole » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:39 pm

Have painted 2 coats of dulux matt and has got rid off smell!
Never will I use crown breath easy! Funny how dulux don't make house stink! Something in crown reacts causing that ammonia smell not bacteria! I had used bq paint day before so recon it reacted to chemical in that paint!
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Postby Denis S » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:03 pm

We did the same Ronnie, but the smell was back after three days hence the plan to use the sealer. I hope for your sake it has gone for good!
Denis S
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Postby Ronniecole » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:23 am

I hope so worst smell in the world! My hamster cage smelling bedroom, I going to smell walls now lol
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Postby sheenawalker » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:47 pm

I have the same very bad problem. I can't believe that this has been going on for years without anyone finding a solution and that paint is still being sold that can have this gahstly result. So many posts about the problem and so few reporting success in getting rid of the smell permanently. Has anyone tried coating the walls with oil based undercoat or is the sealer better? Has anyone had a complete success
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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:38 pm

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