This paint stinks!!!!

Postby sheenawalker » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:47 am

Hi I used the international sealer and after 2 weeks it still smelt very strong. I put a fan in the room with all doors and windows open for 2 dyas which helped a bit. Then painted over with two coats of emulsion and slowly the smell of the sealer is fading. I have now slept in the room but continue to keep the doors and windows open. So far, 4 weeks after applying the sealer, no sign of the OFF smell. Fingers well crossed as I see from other posts that it can come back. Nightmare!!
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Postby duechristmas » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:14 pm

We're two months on from applying the sealer now, the two walls where we stripped the paper are fine, no smell of anything. The two where we left the paper on have a smell (of paint) strong enough to make you feel sick if you spend any time in there. I'm now resigned to calling in a decorator to strip off the remaining paper and reskim the lot, that'll be the third redecoration in 3 months :(

The other bad news is that before the smell developed we used the same brushes to repaint the dining room (no lining paper here), there's no gas smell there, just a sickly cat pee smell, joy! the room smells musty and unclean. I'm hoping we can live with it as we don't spend significant amounts of time in there but I can see another purchase of Internaional Sealer happening before the Summer's out.

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Postby thedoctor » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:42 am

Hey, this post has been going on for ever and is also, elsewhere on the website. DIY Doctor got involved with Crown paint and BBC Watchdog a while back and you can read and see the results in our press archive. If you want to move on though, there are hundreds of decorating tips and tricks on the website in our projects section here.
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Postby duechristmas » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:01 pm

*UPDATE* the paint smell has finally cleared from my daughter's room three months on. The dining room has just been redecorated with Zinsser and new paint and another room in the house that I used new brushes and rollers over plaster that had only been painted once now smells of gas too - this was also painted with Homebase paint, this time 'Home of Colour' - steer clear!
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Postby DaveyJ » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:26 pm


I have just painted my hall, stairs and landing with Dulux Trade Subtle Ivory and now my house smells like rotten eggs. I remembered seeing the edition of Watchdog a few years back where they'd discussed this same problem when people had used Crown Paints, which has led me to attribute the smell to the paint- in fact, if you smell the wall directly you can clearly smell it's coming from there.

I did not think it was something Dulux had had a problem with, and judging by a lot of the posts on here Dulux seems to be the paint of choice to help get rid of the smell. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had a problem with Dulux? There's something clearly wrong with the batch I've had made up, as it's a paint I've used many times at different houses I've owned and never have I had a smell like this.

I'm on to Dulux at the moment, so will post more if and when I have any answers. For the time being though, I'd be wary about using their paints. Considering this problem caused Crown no end of grief and bad publicity, I find it hard to believe that Dulux haven't learnt from their competitor's mistakes...
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Postby tkr » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:41 pm

I'm also having problems with a Dulux paint which now smells of rotten eggs two weeks on. A friend used Dulux quick dry white gloss over a previously painted surface - that was a normal gloss finish decorated about 3/4 years ago, not water-based. The smell is worst on a window sill, although I think I am getting a slight smell from the window frame and skirting boards too.
No amount of fresh air helps and its not fading. I've also tried a cream kitchen scouring cleaner on a few occasions, but with no effect.
I've read on one forum that vinegar/water works to neutralize the chemical reaction. Anyone tried that? Or does it just overpower the rotten egg smell with a vinegar smell?
Other suggestions are to rub down the whole lot and remove the paint layer and start again. However, if by chance its a chemical reaction between the new paint and old paint, wouldn't it be necessary to get rid of the layer of old paint too, as this is where the reaction is taking place? What about stripping the whole lot with something like Nitromors? Or could this just add one more chemical to the mix?
Any suggestions?
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Postby Elledee » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:17 am

I have just found this page like all of you and can't believe this has been active for 7 years and this problem is still not resolved. We have just painted our bedroom and ensuite in our six year old flat with crown breath easy with same problem..
instead of it smelling nice and fresh of newly painted rooms it's smells like the paint has been lying about for years. This was new tins, not wanted down, and only one coat! I shudder to think what the stench would be like with a couple of coats. We have only been here three months and this was first room.we have painted and now very reluctant to paint anywhere else! has anyone found anything to mask the smell?
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Postby Mayrace » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:04 pm


We have used crown breatheasy Matt emulsion in our baby's room. We wanted something odour free as we needed our baby to sleep in the room quite soon after painting it. But, 4 months after it being painted, it still smells odd. Our baby has been sleeping in it as we thought the smell would go, and thought it couldn't do any harm as it's breatheasy paint. But, now we are beginning to worry. Our baby has developed an eczema like skin condition on his face and he has had a constant runny nose. It's occurred to me that maybe it's the paint. I'd appreciate an opinion. If we paint over the crown paint, will this solve the problem? Could the paint be harmful? Should we move our baby out of the room (which is really tricky but of course we'll do it if we need to). I'm shocked the paint still smells when it's advertised as odour free. I'll be really horrified if it's been harmful for my baby and would like to take this further with crown.

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Postby Elledee » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:33 am

We returned one of the tins to B and Q and the assistant couldn't believe the smell when he opened the lid. He is keeping it aside for the Crown rep when next in and B and Q have promised to get back to me. This was around three weeks ago!
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Postby Storm10 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:39 am

I painted two of our bedrooms with Crown Brilliant White Matt Emulsion 10 weeks ago, it wasn't the breatheasy one just the standard.

Ever since we have been plagued by the awful cat's urine/gaseous smell.

I washed the walls with a solution of white vinegar as someone had suggested but that didn't help, however while washing the walls I noticed that the smell seemed to be coming from the areas that I had previously filled and repainted.

I had cracks between the plasterboard so used fibreglass jointing tape and ready mix joint cement 10L tub.

To double check where the smell was coming from I wiped an area of wall that hadn't been filled then smelt the cloth, no smell, then I wiped an area of wall that had been filled, strong urine/gaseous smell.

I decided to seal all the filled painted areas with Crown Alkali Sealer and the next day repainted with the same tub of Crown Brilliant White Matt Emulsion. The cat urine/gaseous smell has now completely gone, brilliant!
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Postby Elledee » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:44 pm

Not sure I exactly know what you did here but know now for sure will avoid crown paint like the plague!!! We have always used dulux or b and q in past. I thought perhaps smell had left bedroom but after airing it today feel I can smell odour again... Just been to another of our properties which we painted throughout with b and m paint and place smelling lovely and fresh!!!!
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Postby woodygtb » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:39 pm

Am at wits end over this!!
I Was unaware of the BBC 'Crown Breatheasy' investigation. Went to B&Q on Thursday and 2 for the price of 1 Crown Breatheasy paint being sold. My daughter picked out a matt colour she liked, prepped and painted her room. Then the 'cat wee smell' began. Found this wonderful forum. Spoke to Crown customer services, advised to wait seven days? Totally uninterested in helping. Spoke to various tradesmen, Tech bods at Dulux. Finally decided to go with 1 coat of the Zinzer Binn primer sealer, then 1 coat trade Dulux vinyl silk, as of tonight there is now a primer smell mixed with the new paint, Will see what it's like in the morning and update. Has anyone found a long term solution to this problem!!!!!! It seems to be wrecking so many peoples lives judging by this forum.
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Postby Tangorhumba » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:15 am

I have read with interest all of the posts relating to this topic. I live in South west France (I am British) and I wanted to change to colour of a bedroom so used some french white emulsion left off another job so could have been more than a year old. It was also stored in one of our barns so temperature could have affected it and it was watered down. I painted the walls twice and then applied the new colour - again a french paint. I did this during the month of June last year (2013). After a few days when the new colour was,on I notice a cats pee smell and honestly thought a cat had got in. I smelled the walls because that was the only new factor and that was the problem. I opened the windows and it got worse. A friend who is a professional painter/decorator in UK told us to cover the walls with an oil based undercoat to seal it which we did and then after a few days painted it again with new emulsion. It seemed to work and Although I thought I could occasionally smell something it was nothing like the original smell. However, we have had some very hot weather and my family here who of course opened windows and the smell is back!!!
It's a horrible smell but it is interesting that there is so much written about it on this site which I have just discovered this morning.
My family went home yesterday and now we shall try to find some alkaline sealer/primer and start all over again. paint in France is an horrendous price, - more than 50 euros for a 2 and a half litre tin so we are very unhappy about the situation. However we shall try the offered solution and get back to you.
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Postby Seany3 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:51 pm

Help!! I have stinky cat pee walls after using old crown matt emulsion. I went to a trade centre today to buy zinsser bin on the back of googling, but the staff said I should just strip the paper off the walls as the smell will have absorbed onto the paper. Anybody know If stripping the walls, repapering and painting with new clean paint will work? Our hall is huge :( I only used the old paint as I wanted to touch up a few scuffs. I repainted a few days after the smell developed and it seems I made the issue worse. Any experience about putting bad sour paint on papered walls and how to fix extremely appreciated x
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Postby thedoctor » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:42 pm

Hi,follow this post right back and you willsee how to contact Crown to get an answer to your question.They will tell you (as we would suggest) that you should never paint over wallpaper anyway. The moisture from the paint can soften the wallpaper adhesive which can become unstuck leaving huge bubbles at best and peeling wallpaper at worst. Our advice would be to strip the paper and paint properly but first try the paint on an ordinary plastered walltosee if you stillget the same smell when the paint is not applied over paper.
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