This paint stinks!!!!


Postby Hendrik John » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:09 pm

Dear all

We have painted our new house (ground and 1st floor) with a VOC free primer and paint. Initially there was no problem, but after 5 weeks, we still have a warm/BURNT RUBBER odor in the rooms. It doesn't disappear with ventilation and it's too strong to live and sleep in those rooms.

Did anybody tried the H2O2 hydrogen peroxide 3% treatment described by avatamsaka?

Dear avatamsaka,

Is the hydrogen peroxide H2O2 3% treatment on the walls still successful?

Thank you
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Postby Ragusa » Wed May 30, 2018 4:32 pm

I've just registered in order to post on this thread which I found after searching for causes of a sewage smell in the bathroom. I've had various traps and pipes replaced, drains and soil stack checked, water board and council checking their drains, all to no avail.
Like for most people here, the stench is awful on a sunny breezy day with the window open, and only when the wind is blowing into the room. The wind has been from the wrong direction a lot of the time, or it's been cloudy, so the various tradesman haven't smelt it at all!

I had discounted the paint theory even though I'd heard of the problem, because there was a fustiness in the bathroom well before the painting was done, in fact I assumed that new flooring and paint would freshen the place up. Water had got in some months before from a problem with the roof and the painter found a patch of mould when he stripped off the paper. He cleaned it off and sealed it, papered with lining paper and painted with Johnstone's bathroom paint.

Now I'm wondering if the original fusty smell was caused by the mould, and somehow the paint has made it much much worse, though I haven't seen Johnstone's paint mentioned as a problem. I'm going to get it redone with the Zinsser as recommended here, and I hope there are still people around who can tell me if it did the trick long-term before I spend yet more money! At least in my case it's only one room, but you'll understand that I'm at my wits' end.
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Postby Hendrik John » Wed May 30, 2018 9:50 pm

We've been recommended Sikkens Alphacryl Primer, 2 layers. So far it works. It is about 6 weeks ago.
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Postby Beany » Wed May 30, 2018 9:59 pm

Hi Ragusa
We painted 4 rooms with Valspar and got the dreaded smell. After finding this thread we re did the lot with Zinsser BIN and then re painted. The smell went immediately and after 10 months, it has not returned. Fingers crossed the Zinsser has cured it.
Good luck.
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Postby Melja » Wed May 30, 2018 10:15 pm

Hi Ragusa,

I did one room with the zinsser BIN. It is still working. No smells of any kind. Heaven. Other room I left and can still smell it on a hot day with window open. It was never as bad as the room we put the Zinsser on but this has been 2 years now and it still smells. Don’t hesitate to use Zinsser it does work. It will block all issues concerning the wall whether it was the paint or the wall. Good luck.
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Postby Ragusa » Thu May 31, 2018 9:08 am

Thank you so much for the replies. I've contacted my painter and will see him in a few days to arrange getting the work done. It's a relief to know that the Zinsser works long term.

To be totally clear, is this what has to be done?
strip off lining paper,
clean with sugar soap,
a coat of Zinsser BIN
Zinsser perma-white paint?

Can't wait! People who haven't experienced the smell think I mean a bit of a whiff. Little do they know!
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Postby Beany » Thu May 31, 2018 5:19 pm

Hi Ragusa
I think you could paint the Zinsser BIN over the paper if you didn't want to go to the trouble of taking it all off - Zinsser BIN is like shellac so forms a hard shiny seal. Having said that, I think a 'proper job' would be like you said, rip it off and clean with sugar soap then apply BIN, then your paint choice.
A word about the Perma White - i have used this. As you probably know it has some kind of anti fungal / anti microbial additive. It can be tinted to most Dulux colours so, in my wisdom, thought i would skip the Zinsser BIN and cover with a tinted Perma-White in the hope the additive would kill off the smell and save me the BIN step - wrong - is does not work in this way. The smell went initially but returned after 2 weeks. I had to do the whole damn thing again!!
In my (now quite considerable) experience the only way to get rid of the smell is to use the Zinsser BIN. Once this is on the wall you can use any paint over it as the wall is now sealed. The smell is caused by the paint / plaster contact. I do not think there is any need to use the Perma-White once you have used the Zinsser BIN. That said, I know that some people use a tinted Perma- White just in case. Some people also use the Perma -White as their first choice paint in future projects so as to minimise the risk of getting the problem again.
Hope this helps.
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Postby Ragusa » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:35 am

Hi Beany,

Thank you so much for that.

I've just had some work done in the kitchen and a wall skimmed, which is obviously going to be painted. I better use the Zinsser BIN on that too, just in case.
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Postby danpb » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:17 am

Repainted our hallway with Homebase Home of Colour white one coat emulsion and 4 months later started getting the horrific smell of gas. Had the emergency gas engineers out twice to check for gas leak and the second engineer was clued in enough to pinpoint the recently done paint as the problem straight away.

Just covered it all in Zinsser BIN as suggested here. The smell of gas is gone, but we now have the smell of the Zinsser BIN instead. Anyone have any guidance on how long that takes to dissipate ? Have all windows open and fans to get a good airflow through. Is it better to let the Zinsser BIN smell dissipate first, or overcoat it with emulsion straight away ?

As for emulsion, I was thinking it would be a better bet to get paint from a trade supplier like screwfix on basis that they probably have high stock turnover, so less likely to have old bacteria contaminated tins. Thoughts on Leyland Trade emulsion, or Dulux Trade emulsion ? I just need pure white, no tinting.
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Postby Leelee » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:07 am

Hi I'm so glad I found this thread; Can anyone help. Same problem smelly paint used zinsser after reading this thread; it worked the original smell has gone. But we're left with a very strong sweet smell from the zinsser. It is now 4 days I have the doors / windows open and a fan on. The smell is invading the whole house. When we wake in the morning the smell is less but as the day heats up the smell becomes very strong we're not able to sit in the room. I'm even staying in all days I can leave the house open! Please can anyone help - how long does the smell of zinsser last .
Ps I have not painted over yet in case that effects it. THANKS
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Postby danpb » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:08 pm

Leelee wrote:Hi I'm so glad I found this thread; Can anyone help. Same problem smelly paint used zinsser after reading this thread; it worked the original smell has gone. But we're left with a very strong sweet smell from the zinsser. It is now 4 days I have the doors / windows open and a fan on. The smell is invading the whole house. When we wake in the morning the smell is less but as the day heats up the smell becomes very strong we're not able to sit in the room. I'm even staying in all days I can leave the house open! Please can anyone help - how long does the smell of zinsser last .
Ps I have not painted over yet in case that effects it. THANKS


I had exactly this problem too. It took a good 4 days to reduce to a bearable level, perhaps an entire week to really dissipate well. Wasn't until we had it painted over that the sweet smell was fully gone. In the second room we did, the zinsser smell went away much quicker, but it had less bad gassy smell in the first place, and it was painted over with top-coat the next day too.
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Postby Ragusa » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:39 pm

That's a relief to know. I was worried when I saw the posts about the Zinsser smell.
I haven't had mine done yet as there was other work to be finished in the house. I'm hoping the painter will be here to do it all soon, including the bathroom which needs the Zinsser.
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Postby Leelee » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:14 pm

Thank you. But maybe you can help me again- we thought the zinsser had completely worked; but as the zinsser smell lessens we have noticed a whiff of the original paint. I went round the whole conservatory sniffing the walls and there are definiate patches that smell of the original paint. Zinsser smells better! We are planning on another coat of zinsser tomorrow to try and catch anything we may have missed What do people think?

Something else that we've noticed is a slight smell throughout the house from all the walls they have all been painted over the last 5 years but we've not really noticed it before. Its day and night and we think linked to this very hot weather Opening the doors and windows seems to help so at the moment we're planning on leaving them.
Thank you
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Postby Leelee » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:27 pm

Hi and thanks
This is now my 3rd message re stinky paint and I'm not sure if I was clear about the smell previously.
Our conservatory smells I don't know how to describe it - its awful but we wonder if its partly our own fault for putting on old paint ? mouldy. 1 coat of zinsser appeared to work but now a week later the zinsser smell has gone and the original smell is back but not quite as bad. We are going to re zinsser any ideas gratefully received.
And now to the house This was a new build 11 years ago. We didn't start any painting for 5 years then .....
We have always used Crown or Dulux for 40 ++ years never had a problem New paints were used for all the room mentioned below -
1. Painted the conservatory Feb/March 2012 no problems
2. Over 3 years In the summers of 2013 and 2014 and 2015 we painted 4 bedrooms, bathroom and ensuite, hall and kitchen - no problems.
3. in summer 2016 we painted the stairs, landing and dining room and kitchen again
4. 2017 we painted the sitting room no problems
Last summer 2017 we noticed a slight smell in the kitchen and the bottom of the stairs it disappeard On reflection as the weather cooled we weren't worried
5. Then this year (2018) - over the last week the smell which is the same as the previous summer (2017) has returned but much stronger and over a larger area I'm not good at smells but I'll guess musty - the whole of the kitchen, utility, stairs, landing and hallway and sitting room . Its probably the large area which is making me so aware of it - the utility has smelt for longer perhaps 2-3 weeks but when its just a small area its easier to let it pass - knowing it would go when its cooler- interestingly theres a glass door so it possibly gets a lot of sunshine and heats up quickly
Having read this forum I assume its the hot weather which is what my husband said last year - I've closed the windows, pulled the curtains and I'm running fans - can anyone tell me will this improve when the weather cools. Some of the rooms were painted 2 -3 years ago and its just become a problem. Its definitely coming from the walls.
My husband and I are pensioners its a lot of time and energy to paint a room - so my question is will it improve as the weather gets cooler ( it is exceptionally hot) and then once we've sorted the conservatory we can start next spring on the other rooms
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP.
AFTER 40 YEARS OF USING CROWN AND DULUX I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN IN MY HOUSE; AS LARGE COMPANIES THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES CAUSING THIS AMOUNT OF COST, WORK AND DISTRESS TO THEIR CUSTOMERS.
And help please from every else
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Postby Leelee » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:36 pm

Hi everyone
I just wanted to feed back it's now 2+ weeks since we painted our conservatory with 2 coats of zinsser and wow 95% improvement. Returned today after being away a week all doors and windows closed and a slight smell of zinsser when we went into the room. Doors and windows opened and within minutes room fresh. Time to paint with emulsion! I'll let you know in a week or two. Thanks to everybody.
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