Latest Discussions : Painting


05:06PM | 04/20/03
Member Since: 04/19/03
2 lifetime posts
3 years ago I painted one room in our house with Pittsburgh ceiling paint and MAB paint on the walls and trim. The MAB paint was latex semi-gloss on the walls and high-gloss oil on the wood. Within 1 week we noticed a very strange smell in the room. It smelled like cat pee, or amonia, but only when we opened a window and the room temperature was at least 75 degress. I figured the smell would go away when the paint fully cured, but I was wrong. 3 years later it still smells as strong as when we first smelled it. It only smells when the windows are open letting fresh outside air into the room. Turning on the central air lessens the smell somewhat by cooling the room, but it usually takes a day or two for the smell to go back "underground" after fresh air has entered the room from an open window.

I just pained another room with a brand new can of MAB paint and now it also has the smell. This room definately did not smell before the painting. Unfortuantely, I painted part of the ceiling with the old Pittsburg ceiling paint, so I can't tell which paint is causing the problem.

This smell is very strange becuase I can't pinpoint its origin. It seem to be coming from everywhere with no single part of the room, wall or ceiling smelling being the main source. Sniffing the the walls does not help.

Has anyone ever had anything like this happen? Any ideas about what the smell could be? Would painting with a non-VOC paint help?

Any suggestions on how to solve this problem are appriciated. A lot of time and effort went in to these rooms and I don't want to repaint and have the same problem.

House Age: 52yrs
Plaster & Drywall Walls
Plaster ceiling
MAB Paint latex/oil
Pittsburgh Latex ceiling
New windows and wood doors and trim in both rooms.


01:21AM | 04/22/03
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
I would reccomend you prime the walls with Zinsser BIN which in some cases can block odors along with stains, and then paint with some brand new paint, and maybe you should try one of the odorless paints on the market.


08:08AM | 04/25/03
Member Since: 04/24/03
5 lifetime posts
I agree with the othe comment. BIN in the red label cans seals in all oders. Then go back over it with the brand of your choice.


11:24AM | 04/26/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
It is possible that the outdoor air has more humidity, which "releases" the smell. However, from what you describe, it is more likely that some cat has marked his "spot" near that window, or that some other outdoor air problem filters in through the window when you open it.

You might also be smelling mold that is inside the windows (or in the walls next to the windows) and that only blows in when you open the windows.


10:49AM | 04/27/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Sometimes, if a can of latex paint has been frozen or is old and has chmically separated, the ammonia is released and will behave as you suggest. Are you buying from the bargain bin or not storing paint in a warm location?


07:25AM | 06/23/03
Member Since: 04/19/03
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the replies.

It is definitely not an animal related smell. As I said, this only happens after the room is painted. The most likely answer is something to do with Ammonia. These were not bargain paints, they were purchased from MAB over the counter and 3 years apart, but still the same smell. The ceiling paint may be the culprit though, because this is the only paint common to both rooms.


08:08PM | 07/08/03
Member Since: 07/07/03
8 lifetime posts
The oil-based paint may be the problem as well. Oil stinks from day 1.


08:08PM | 07/08/03
Member Since: 07/07/03
8 lifetime posts
The oil-based paint may be the problem as well. Oil stinks from day 1.


04:50AM | 07/11/03
Member Since: 02/26/01
35 lifetime posts
For what it's worth, I may be someting that leached into the wall or ceiling plaster that the liquid content of the latex paint released. I have a house built in the 1930s and have a similar problem in the kitchen and a bedroom although the odor is not of amonia (the bedroom is smoke from the lifelong smoking former owner and the kitchen is unidentifiable).


02:27AM | 07/12/03
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
In reply to deford about oil based and the odor it has. Once it is dry it will have no odor and not 3 years later and oil based paint does not have an amonia smell anyway.


03:38PM | 07/04/14
I know this is an old thread but I wanted to chime in anyway. We had the EXACT same experience with Pittsburgh Paints in our brand new house. 4 rooms in different corners of the house, not connected by any plumbing, all sharing the same color had the same mysterious odor. Funky, musky, animal odor. Our house is brand new, our dog has never soiled a thing. We even brought out a black light. Our builder and painters acted like they didn't believe us and even after having them over several times on days in which we had the windows open they refused to fix it. I talked to Sherwin Williams and they told me that the paint must be bad and was most likely frozen at some point. Essentially were sold old, aged paint and had to correct the mistake at our own expense. I would never recommend Pittsburgh Paints as they too, denied responsibility.


12:32AM | 07/07/14
Member Since: 07/06/14
1 lifetime posts
Maybe you can put some plant in the room which can clear the air.


11:12AM | 09/15/14
Member Since: 09/15/14
1 lifetime posts
I am having the same issue with a home built 5 years ago. I only get the odor when the windows are open. I have air quality people, plumbers etc....and no one has an answer. Could it be the paint? Small house did you ever solve your issue?


06:32AM | 02/28/15


08:34PM | 05/05/15
Wow! I am going through this right now! We painted our closet this past December. It was a quick job and I grabbed a can of clearance paint from our local hardware store. About a month ago, when the weather turned warmer and I started opening the windows, I thought a cat in the neighborhood must have sprayed somewhere in our yard. But as the weather has been improving, the smell is getting stronger. I just had a pest control specialist in today because I was afraid we must have some kind of animal in our attic above the room. Well he did a full inspection, inside and outside of my home with no sign of animal. He also smelled the urine smell and pinpointed it to the closet. He told me to double check to see if my daughter might have thrown a peed in pair of underwear or pants into the closet. I cleaned the whole thing out and finally smelled the wall. It is the paint!! I thought I was going crazy until I read your post. Off tomorrow to buy the primer!


09:37AM | 07/27/15
I have the same problem with a bathroom ceiling paint that I used 3 years ago. The smell started as a cat pee smell and is now more of a human pee smell and it is really strong, but intermittent. I bought a very expensive primer/sealer and covered the ceiling but within weeks the smell came back. When I googled this before I read that it's a bacteria in the paint and measures to combat it are exhaustive. I'm thinking of removing the ceiling drywall and starting fresh with a brand new primer and paint. Painful experience for sure. The other suggestions here are from people that have never experienced the problem.


07:17PM | 08/08/15
Wow.....this has happened to us exactly as you describe.....we painted ceiling and walls in summer of 2012 and still have the strange smell in 2015 when outside air is allowed to freely drift in from open windows....the smell will completely disappear after a few hours when windows are closed and air conditioning is turned's been driving us nuts!!!!....did you ever find a solution???....Jim and Kay Marquette Michigan 906-250-4454.......we used Benjamin Moore Paint but I don't think the brand of paint is part of the problem.


12:14PM | 10/23/15
I too have been trying to fix a similar problem for 2 years. We tried successive layers of BIN shellac over several months. When we finally painted the room over that primer, the smell came back as bad as ever. We too had tried cleaning with bleach, alcohol, etc. We finally removed the drywall. Our paint was Manufactured by the Company PPG and the brand was ICON paint and primer in one - supposed to be zero VOC.

I would suggest that anyone reading this post the exact kind of paint you used. This is happening to a lot of people and seems to have to do with zero VOC paints, which perhaps the manufacturers havent'gotten quite right yet. Perhaps colorants too. Always keep paint cans and receipts. The companies seem to rely on the fact that no one ever suspects the paint and that the smell develops AFTER the walls are dry so that they can say it's not their paint. But when all your walls are the same, and you use the same kind of paint in two different colors, and one room stinks and the other doesn't - what do YOU think is happening?

People need to start getting together on this because each one of us individually is too small to hold the manufacturer or retailer responsible. Good luck!


02:54AM | 12/07/15
I moved into a condo on Sept 24, 2015 and the bedroom smelled like urine. I thought it was the previous owner's dog. I smelled the carpet but never could locate the problem. I noticed that it was always stronger near the walls so I smelled them and sure enough it is the paint. Now two months later the smell is a real strong ammonia smell. It doesn't matter what the temperature is or if windows are open or closed. Not sure what to do about it.


12:53AM | 01/21/16
Behr zero Voc primer and paint in one. 2 weeks after painting smells so bad we can't sleep in our room. Went back to Home Depot they said we will give u another can to paint over with. Wow. Great thanks. Have read that the smells come through after people have repainted.


12:35AM | 09/17/16
Painted two walls in our living room 6 months ago. we used Valspar. in the last month i keep smelling ammonia in that end of the house. glad i googled this. so do i have to tear out walls and rebuild or is there an easier way to get rid of the smell?


10:29PM | 04/08/17
Member Since: 04/08/17
1 lifetime posts
We had our upstairs professionally painted two months ago. Now that it's spring we are opening windows and the smell is horrible. It is definitely the walls as the two rooms we did not have painted are fine. It is not a cat outside and a plant won't take care of it. It is a problem with the paint.The painters used Porter Paints and the smell is ammonia-like-a cross between pee and B.O. Husband hired the painters and now he won't contact them about this. I'm very frustrated and not sure what to do about it. We had it professionally done because of the high ceilings and the last thing I want to do is try to re-paint it myself. Any ideas?


07:35PM | 11/11/18
i have a similar issue painted walls with Benjamin Moore Natura paint which has zero VOC, 2 or 3 days after there is a moisture smell coming out of walls. i dont eben know what to do now, any idea,? has anyone solved their issue? please help here as waiting for a baby , please reply or feel free to email me at thanking you in advance


10:06AM | 12/25/18
I just painted an entire master bedroom with Valspar Signature paint, and about a week later the chemical paint smell went away and it is full blown cat urine & dead rodent smell. The paint store says it’s the paint curing. Three weeks later it is as strong as ever. Warm air definitely makes it worse. I have a large bedroom that I can’t even use! From what I’m reading the smell may never go away. Has anyone had luck with a good primer over it? Did you have to replace the walls?


09:58PM | 03/16/19
It has happened to me also! We used some old paint in the kitchen and there's now a horrible urine smell on the cabinets where we painted. I'm hoping it will subside and disappear.


02:58PM | 06/19/19
2019: Same issue. Painted late summer last year and while initial paint smell quickly went away, walls smell DISGUSTING after we open doors or windows to the outside. No smell with doors and windows closed and absolutely no odors from outside or other sources. Definitely the paint which almost make me gag when putting nose near.

We have now sprayed the wall down with a mixture of vinegar, water and tea tree oil. The smell has dissipated enough that we are comfortable in the room with doors open. It has been a couple of days and we are still good. Hopefully, it will last. Just wanted to share as not many solutions seem to be posted online to resolve this issue.


06:01PM | 06/26/19
You all mention brands of paint used, but someone thinks it is the combination paint with primer in a can. Does anyone get a smell from using a separate primer paint and then using a latex paint over the primer? Trying to figure if it is the combo paint in a can?


11:58AM | 08/30/19
I am wondering if certain colors have a bad smell. I painted a room with a sand color which smelled horrible. Thinking it may been that the paint was old, l used a shellac to seal it than painted over with a different brand in the same color. Same horrible smell. It has been months so l am getting ready to paint it again. I will use the brand l painted two other rooms with as l have had no problem. This was Pittsburgh Platinum. Thinking of trying a different color as well. Any idea if the color could be the problem?


08:29PM | 09/26/19
Anyone solve this issue?


12:47AM | 12/26/19
Try washing your walls with neat white vinegar. Vinegar is well known for neutralizing ammonia because it’s acidic. I have just saturated my ammonia smelling walls and so far so good. I’ll do it again in another few days. Hopefully it will kill whatever is causing the revolting smell. Dulux Professional Flat for Walls, 4 liter tin bought brand new at a Dulux Retail Store.


06:33AM | 02/28/20
We have the same problem. We used Behr zero Voc primer and paint in one about 9 months ago. When we realized it the smell was coming from the walls & ceiling we repainted (about 3 months ago). It was good for a while but the smell has come back. I'd love to know if anyone has a fix that will work long-term.


12:26AM | 03/03/20
Can anyone update if the vinegar spray helped? We're coming up on a year of urine stench after using Valspar and it gets nauseating in humid weather even with the windows closed.


01:30PM | 03/11/20
I'm now a member of this club. It's unbelievable. Painted a room in my home a few days ago and now the room smells like strong urine. I paid a pretty penny to have a painter put up two coats of zinsser bin and two coats of Ben Moore color in an attempt to address a cigarette smell in the room (thanks to my neighbors of 20 plus years). Well, the cigarette smell has been replaced by the stench of urine. I called the painter for advice and he was no help. I called a Ben Moore dealer for advice and have yet to hear back from them. I was thinking I need to have it repainted but folks are saying that won't solve the problem so I'm at a loss (feeling momentarily defeated really). Any advice would be appreciated. Currently laughing to keep from crying but I must admit to giving in to the sniffles yesterday. Please somebody, anybody, tell me there is a solution to this ironic dilemma.


05:47PM | 03/15/20
Painted a couple of studio desks with BIN primer and Little Greene Flat Oil Eggshell a few weeks ago. Both look great but now smell like the local alley cat has gone to town on them. Hopefully still curing and will dissipate but as mentioned above the strong ammonia type smell could be a combination of primer and paint. Worse when fresh air is let into the room as a number of others reported.


11:41AM | 04/04/20
Same issue. Glidden 2 in 1 ceiling paint.

It seems to only come from the painted steel, and not the drywall.

Brand new renovated kitchen.

Am at a total loss.


07:48AM | 04/11/20
Damn! The same problem here. I live in Germany. This is a world-wide effect people!!
After painting the walls, three months after, when the weather starting to be fine the cat-pissed-dead-roden smell appeared. I have realized that there is a part in my room where I re-painted the original smelly color and that wall does not smell. The others are terrible. Goin' to buy vinegar and spray that wall as I will not be able to get another color during the corona crisis. Will update. Peace!


10:01AM | 04/11/20
Update. Does vinegar help? Yes, it does at least for now.


09:35AM | 04/13/20
I have the exact same problem and used both Zinsser primer and Kilz primers in different rooms over paneling and covered all with Ultra White Sherwin Williams Showcase paint in satin finish. No problem with this smell before opening the windows and letting humidity in. It's horrible! I keep opening more windows for ventilation and it gets worse! I was convinced this stray cat was spraying around the perimeter of our house, but just sniffed the actual walls today and realize it's the paint and not any smell coming in THROUGH the windows. Am going to try the vinegar/water/tea tree oil solution as mentioned about. Hopefully this will work. My children and I painted every surface of this entire house over the winter and I absolutely cannot do it again. However, I have noticed it is not in the rooms that have sheetrock or plaster walls. Same ultra white smell. However those are the walls I did NOT prime. So I'm tending to think it is a primer to paint reaction and odor.


02:45PM | 04/24/20
Did anyone tested the chemical that smells? I mean I have to sleep in that room. I want to know what it is.


09:52AM | 05/03/20
So glad to read these posts. Same issue, and it’s been driving me crazy. Painted three rooms. In one I used some older oil based primer on a couple beams of bare wood. In the other two rooms I used new oil based primer.
The smell is awful in the first room. No odor at all in the other two. Definitely a primer/ paint combination effect.
I also wonder if I didn’t let that first coat of primer dry long enough.
Going to try vinegar today.


05:14PM | 05/04/20
I have the same problem. I know it’s the primer I used. Zinsser Bullseye bought brand new from Home Depot. I noticed a very strong ammonia smell when I was painting with it but I thought it would go away and was normal because it was wet. It’s been about 6 weeks and is still a horrible urine smell. I am so frustrated and upset. I did try the vinegar and tea tree oil mixture on the walls. It didn’t help at all.


11:45PM | 05/06/20
Ours smells like sour milk!! Benjamin Moore. I have never had an experience of wall paint smelling like this.


04:40PM | 05/11/20
Member Since: 05/11/20
2 lifetime posts
This has happened to us. We bought a 1 gallon can of PPG Ultra-Hide Zero Interior Latex Paint and painted one wall of our garage. It seemed to be fine, so we purchased an additional 4 gallon bucket to finish the garage and that is when the nightmare started. It smells horrible. We thought it was something in the walls of our garage, but now that I'm reading this thread I am convinced the 4 gallon bucket was bad. We can smell the first wall we painted and everything is fine, but the next two walls are a different story. I called PPG customer service and they have agreed to investigate and they are opening a ticket. If I can find my receipt they said they will refund me. Their advice was to paint over it with a shellac based primer, but I believe someone in this thread said that did not work for them. I found an article where this happened in the UK with B&Q paint made by Valspar and they had discovered it was due to the removal of a particular preservative that they were using. The absence of the preservative allowed bacteria to grow in the paint. They have since added this back. Valspar offered refunds to affected customers in the UK.


05:07PM | 06/10/20
I just spoke with Sherwin Williams about the urine smell that has persisted for several months now, and they want me to prime and repaint the room. I don't think I'll be going to Lowes/Sherwin Williams for the replacement paint.


10:47PM | 06/15/20
I painted a ceiling with Glidden ceiling paint. After painting the smell was very bad. The window has been open along with a stand fan, ceiling fan, and even running a molekule unit running nonstop. Paint went through it curing time (over 30 days) nothing has changed. Washed the ceiling with diluted bleach water and rinsed with regulator water. Still didn't help. Did some searching and found Zinsser Odor killing primer. I put a coat of this on just over a day ago and now the smell seems to be worse. Has anyone used this product before. I am running out of ideas. I also have a pregnant wife who is sensitive to smell and I do not want to keep applying high level VOC. Any suggestions???


12:38PM | 06/21/20
Research&Development of Manufacturer/(maybe not plural since so much of business's model presume it pressure /manufacturing's root ingredients Greedily gotten singular in the 'global (?)' 'Economy (?)' ..skip it(Asia[China] thumb on essentials yup THEY DIDN'T Do(HAVEN'T DONE DUE DILLIGENCE like the rest of Industrialized Globe implemented R&D( Gov Letting them get somehow around [liwyers smothering rest of us] Avoiding Safety sneaking UnTrialed
production THUS dumping halfbaked Everything for Everyone to use ! ...We know the painting pain; pro or novice, prep or bare,new/recoat..most are recoat.. Water base to whatever base ..indeed air quality is affected STILL After nearly A Decade REGARDLESS if about a LISTING of aTOXIC LIST a Stabilizing Ingredient IS MISSING AND EVERYONE HAS NOT BEEN WARNED let alone HAS ANY OPTION !/REACTIONS W FRESH AIR! HUMIDITY SENSITIVE!, TYPICAL SURFACES NEGATIVELY AFFECTED! Asia Will Fix INSTANTLY AS SOON AS AMERICAN SUES USA BRAND OUT OF OUR WAY(get Yankee to sue its own self,then big us run world for our big us).. What do the Billionaires do when indeed as this keeps them too from sleeping?// ... I wore out as wiped the mucus gag years of prev owners 2chainsmokers as much could [first w distilled white vinegar (it could corrode n react ) ]switched to hydrogen peroxide ..seemed better ..since CoV its rarity n not same stuff (figures too no due diligence if they put more tap water in it Or use pool grade instead of proper food med grade bottling)//(($@me $htg around to grab money USa during coV from A Us company inland USA I can tolerate helping them by adding some distilled water also USA though ThoughtFilled Manufacturing is Necessary Every EVERYHERE too!! Priming w BIN or Kilz Max aka Restoration or 1-2-3 iv encountered stinklasting. I did wait to do each step(Back agony,moreso chemistry neutralizing esp watery yuck.. But I know too lazyness of covering over dust even The water based primer of 2012 WORKED(Max)on popcorn ceiling and a leak w nicotine ceiling of 30yo construction only basic primed of staaank n I let Max dry over a week into still can like you all say ambient fresh air AND THATS MILD NOW BUT UNDER WAYNESCOATING ! I even think sure I topcoated w Behr LO VOC I'd b shocked if hadn't -iv Done THIS SMOKE TENT HOUSE ENTIRELY its taking me a DECADE yeaaarrrs of peroxide airings ,New AC n eeeven painted n cleaned down inside of airhandler's plenum plywood(exterior weather type paint not these above) !!(heap of help)But /warm days knostirre.If area hadn't been Able to be Disinfected and truly deepest aired odor itself had and Able to have Fresh no pre-odor of primer before stirred likewise w topcoats EACH STEP DRY DEEPEST N AIRED WAITED OUT THESE DARN STEPS !(WEEKS YUP!!) THE AREA STANK FROM SUCH A SOAK !?? Yes if canNOT clean a popcorn ceiling that stinks YOU'LL HAVE TO LET PRIMER ON IT DRY A WEEK MAYBE MORE WITH THESE 'NEW' Lo VOC lowly tons of guesswork .. And luck ?? Crappsassteracations. Proceed cautiously... Look,by the timing wasting on drying These Are Spoiling just Once after opened past 90s I used Exterior paint on ceilings : gases badly enclosed but windows worked it out //I to God wish I cud reassure you exterior w a semi gloss hard enough shell if can encapsulate wet dog cat piss hemp blackened cigarette gag HELL but I DIDNT HAVE them then. I hv warned my world and I Do return New OLD PAINT n THEY DID RESHELF IT!!H HD! ?? I dont Recommend actions here,lending experiments experiences,esp since things changing..refusing a clerk's pick Is Not Rude - its rude dumping business quality and taking money for it ! I painted a cat stinky aluminum lanai ceiling (stuffy hot n humid baked Oven
couldn't help itself odor rises n had pitting) with Zinsser Mold Killing primer That uneasy job also I aired as agony aided airing anyway but rainmakingpisstink did gehalu mild buttt only really all done when topcoat hardened hardest one is the Weather Shield Exterior its a white maybe only in white I kept it as came no color added white.. All paints stored in house Years even in AC mind you Regardless Not opened Once to tint Do Spoil past 3-4yrs yes its risky waiting! (Ammonia is stink sign for fail,take it to your county recycling haz chem drop-off itl make plastic misc its ok). So I think its unfair to let you be sure exterior painting your ceiling is your safest option bc Things Aren't Trustable Anymore /So please get a new unopened quart from indoor well kept store Shook ,use it on a small spot internal wall far corner,after close its lid nicely w mallot seal the can by pressing its lid's rim well w your can key +wrap plastic around can assure airtight..if a week the corner is decent your project may have hope, step at a time w small tests. Things are all different. I think I'll have a terribly white livingrm ceiling after all that agony I'm not healthy anymore either. The lanai is nicer now though hot kindv prefer over itchy throat ammonia New this week Primed on old 80s not painted since livingrm popcorn ceiling!!note: exterior paints Are often Nasty Paint Peelers: to paint over them w a water base Makes water base just crack n peel !!(why primers were invented as go betweens as glues to stick together layers). Class action against greedy buy out foreign bank snob manufacturing egotistical Idiot Self Centered Politrickians THE/THEY'R WHO WE SUE( Individual/s Not Our investing homeland own economy.. I obviously do my own work and CANNOT HIRE $1K PAINT SPRAYING CARE-LESS painters.!. I cannot keep this respiratory barrage by con-tractors up let alone do it years myself.. So Unfair!Abusive!! And too my topcoats these popular only ones on shelves readily available are water based latexes Regardless depth of bases some colorants I'm sure smelled sooner regardless completed coats every few days in two weeks !!( THERE IS NO GOOD TIMING WITH A JOB WITH IMPROPERLY MADE PAINT,AS LABEL DIRECTED OR WAITED..Iv bn incapable of rushing anyway and primed and good conditions Everything good.!. Not healthy paint I think, the ONEe factory for Everything business 'model' STINKS !!


05:39PM | 07/08/20
For the last 4 years my kitchen had a weird smell between the months of may and October, when the humidity increased in the UK. I had 2 damp professionals round who couldn't pin point an issue. Turns out it was the paint that was on the ceiling. The smell was intermittent so tracking it down was a nightmare as some days it would be strong and others hardly there at all with no changes in the room. A lot of people said it couldn't be the paint or the walls, but I eliminated every other source it could be.

I thought is take a chance and I painted the ceiling in the Zinsser 123 plus and the smell was gone instantly! Couldn't believe it. Funnily enough I painted a bedroom last year in Dulux pure brilliant white emulsion, and now we're getting a (not bad) smell in that room when its humid outside. Im thinking it was the same type of paint used on the ceiling in the kitchen.


07:31PM | 10/19/20
Wow! So happy to have found this thread. We are going through the SAME EXACT situation right now. Got the Sherwin Williams Emerald paint from a store in Morristown NJ. I painted 3 rooms in the same color...only one of the rooms smelled. We thought it was our floors, just had them refinished and sealed, but the smell quickly became incredibly foul, like stale cat pee or strong ammonia. It was so stifling that my eyes watered and throat closed up whenever I was in the room. Mind you, this was our toddler's bedroom! We switched his room and now it's empty..but the smell persists. I laid out bowls of vinegar and am going to try soaking the walls in vinegar this week. I also bought a deodorizer to see if that helps. I can't believe this happened! Now we have a room that looks beautiful but REEKS to the point of having a physical reaction to it. HORRIBLE!!!!


04:24PM | 10/23/20
I have the same problem!!! I used some leftover paint (Cloverdale low VOC paint). I put a coat of my sons room with it. The next day, I couldn’t walk into the room! It smelled awful!!! I washed the walls with a bleach and water combination. Let dry overnight. Then I put on 1 coat of BIN (red can) odour primer/sealer. Much later that day, I put on a coat of new fresh paint. It still smells!!! Should I add another coat of BIN primer? Use vinegar on walls?!? I’ve tried the baking soda in cookie sheets; lemons and water in bowls; vinegar in bowls; even with nothing in the room it smells. Any advice please????


04:47PM | 11/01/20
Hydrogen sulphide, is the gas byproduct from the bacteria in some paints. It'll usually smell like ammonia or urine but normally doesn't last that long unless it's been sitting for quite a while?


05:49PM | 11/17/20
I am having the same issue we painted our entire home with PPG Paint and now it wreaks like ammonia and mold. Did anyone try an ozone machine has this helped?


05:49PM | 11/17/20
I am having the same issue we painted our entire home with PPG Paint and now it wreaks like ammonia and mold. Did anyone try an ozone machine has this helped?


06:27PM | 01/17/21
Has anyone ever experienced this ammonia smell from paint used in a painting? We have had a painting hanging on the wall for 15 years but recently we started noticing an ammonia smell coming from it. Does that make sense to anyone? Any ideas on what to do?


07:23PM | 02/19/21
Use straight vinegar. I had to cover a dark shade in a bedroom and used old Kilz first. It mixed fine so I used it. It smelled like puke and pee. Horrible. Tried the onions. Tried soda. Then we applied straight vinegar with a roller. Once the vinegar dried the smell was gone!


10:06PM | 02/28/21
Possible solution to ammonia smell!

I painted a room with interior latex paint during a room remodel. The painted dried and the room smelled fine. After a week i introduced some furniture I built in MDF (medium density fiber). On that day the ammonia smell appeared. The smell continued until I removed all the MDF furniture and aired out the room. The smell completely disappeared! The smell returned when I moved the MDF back in.So there is a direct correlation between the paint and the MDF. I did some research and found that new MDF wood off-gases (releases) formaldehyde. I don't know the chemistry but somehow the formaldehyde combines with the VOCs offgassed by the latex paint to produce ammonia.

My solution? I laminated all the exposed MDF, thus sealing the MDF and preventing off gassing. The ammonia was gone. Laminating wasn't too hard for me since I had built the furniture in the first place.

For most people laminating furniture won't be possible or feasible. One option would be to paint the MDF with a super-effective sealant. Another might be to place the MDF in a very hot environment for weeks or months to "cook off" the formaldehyde. Obviously not a viable solution for most folks. Another option is to repaint the room with a non-latex (i.e. oil-based) paint. Just keep in mind that something in that room is probably
Hope this helps. --ted


11:15PM | 02/28/21
Possible solution to ammonia smell!

I painted a room with interior latex paint during a room remodel. The painted dried and the room smelled fine. After a week i introduced some furniture I built in MDF (medium density fiber). On that day the ammonia smell appeared. The smell continued until I removed all the MDF furniture and aired out the room. The smell completely disappeared! The smell returned when I moved the MDF back in.So there is a direct correlation between the paint and the MDF. I did some research and found that new MDF wood off-gases (releases) formaldehyde. I don't know the chemistry but somehow the formaldehyde combines with the VOCs offgassed by the latex paint to produce ammonia.

My solution? I laminated all the exposed MDF, thus sealing the MDF and preventing off gassing. The ammonia was gone. Laminating wasn't too hard for me since I had built the furniture in the first place.

For most people laminating furniture won't be possible or feasible. One option would be to paint the MDF with a super-effective sealant. Another might be to place the MDF in a very hot environment for weeks or months to "cook off" the formaldehyde. Obviously not a viable solution for most folks. Another option is to repaint the room with a non-latex (i.e. oil-based) paint. Just keep in mind that something in that room is probably emitting formaldehyde, which is bad for you.

Hope this helps. --ted


08:12PM | 03/09/21
Hello, did the vinegar work? I see that somebody posted a thread that they rolled vinegar on the walls about 3 weeks ago. Has the smell stayed away. eyes are watering it stinks in here!


11:10PM | 03/10/21
I doused my bedroom walls in hydrogen peroxide today. Fingers crossed for this to work!


12:52PM | 03/12/21
Finding this thread has been very comforting that I am not the only one with this same exact problem.

I currently have this same "ammonia smell" problem in a small bathroom and now my daughter's room. The paint used was:


I have painted many rooms with this same brand paint for years - I never had a problem but this is the first time I used this color.

Thinking it might be something with the mix specific for this color range?

I read more than half of the posts here - has anyone come to a cause/solution to the smell???



12:55PM | 03/12/21
Finding this thread has been very comforting that I am not the only one with this same exact problem.

I currently have this same "ammonia smell" problem in a small bathroom and now my daughter's room. The paint used was:



OY 0X 12.0000
BK 0X 7.0000
RD 0X 2.0000
GY 0X 7.0000

I have painted many rooms with this same brand paint for years - I never had a problem but this is the first time I used this color.

Thinking it might be something with the mix specific for this color range?

I read more than half of the posts here - has anyone come to a cause/solution to the smell???



12:00PM | 03/13/21
Moved into a house that had been freshly painted - walls, ceilings, trim. 4 months later we are unable to be in the house because of health effects: burning in nose and throat, nausea, headache, lung congestion. Valspar admitted that bacteria in the Low and Zero VOC paint was the problem but they offered no working solution.

Airing the house does not work. Ozone machine did not help at all. Am now repainting entire house with Kilz Restoration primer and Sherwin Williams paint. Hopefully this will work!


09:27AM | 03/16/21
I've known of contractors hired help peeing into paint buckets and rolling it on for laughs.

I'm sure this happens at paint factories from time to time as well.



10:52AM | 04/05/21
Any solutions? Customer having same issues... I'm now about to rip out walls!!!


08:30PM | 04/07/21
I have this issue now using a left over can of Sherwin Williams Duration. I believe you need to use Oil Based Kilz Original so that is what I will try tomorrow. And now they even make this in an odor free primer!! I know water based primers will NOT work. Fingers crossed!!


08:40PM | 04/08/21
One more for the thread- Benjamin Moore Regal Classic semi gloss trim paint with Insl -X prime all latex primer sealer for door trim and base boards.
B and J often with no issues - first time for this primer and Regal select.
Going to try the vinegar otherwise I will rip out the trim and base boards!
Thanks everybody- misery needs company and suggestions!


11:45PM | 04/27/21
I found a solution, at least for my house. After reading the foul odor is caused by bacterias, I decided to try the UVC sanitizing device I bought due to the pandemic. After going over my bedroom walls with it, the smell was gone almost instantly! I was finally able to sleep in my bedroom for the first time. Hope this helps


02:50AM | 05/16/21
I just bought 2 gallons of Pittsburge paint 5/12 /21 my bedroom smells like bleach To the point it burns my eyes and throat I painted 4 other rooms no issues with better quality pain these were 19.99 gallon worse paint I have ever used. All my years I have never had such strong bleach odor.I had it tinted light mint green it was so watery it ran off my roller horrible coverage I'm going to give it another coat tomorrow .so unreal I will contact MFG on monday .


09:15PM | 06/06/21
Anyone have any updates with remedies? Same problem here in NB, Canada. Used Beauty-Tone paint from Home-hardware. It was new paint.


09:31AM | 06/25/21
We have the same issue with using PPG Diamond Paint + Primer which we bought from Home Depot in November 2020 and January 2021. Painted 3 rooms with the stuff and it went on well, but as we opened the windows in the house, those rooms started to smell like cat urine. We opened a case with PPG and are waiting to see what they’ll do.

Prior to painting these 3 rooms we painted another room with an older can of the same paint. It too had this issue. We didn’t realize it was the paint and initially thought it was some sort of mold issue related to a leaky window. The mold expert came out to inspect and found nothing of concern. Our solution for that room was to put oil based primer over it and then paint over the primer with latex. The smell is gone, although now replaced with oil based primer smell…which is slowly dissipating.


12:15PM | 06/28/21
I want to hear more from the posts that used the UVC sanitizing device and the one that used the vinegar rolled on… mine does not smell like ammonia, I could almost maybe tolerate that, but it smells sickly sweet, like a bad air freshener. The painter mentioned the paint smelled bad and still proceeded to use it. The smell gets stronger each day. They told me that they would paint it again with a fresh mew paint. At first it was better. The new paint smell was way better than this. I have it in two places. And I am already sick and chemically sensitive.


06:12PM | 06/28/21
@BV025531, what brand paint did your painter use? Was it a dark color?


06:14PM | 06/28/21
@BV025504 what brand of oil primer did you use to get rid of the original smell? Has the odor of the oil dissipated since you posted?


03:58PM | 06/29/21
I've had this problem too! I repainted much of my Mom's house but had that obnoxious odor only in the closets after the doors had been shut for a few days. I live in a dry climate; perhaps that's why the odor was confined to the closets.

But now in my new house, in an even drier climate, I could smell that cat pee after painting! I felt haunted. And nauseated. Once again, it was only in a closet, hooray for small mercies.

So as I resumed painting other rooms, I added a dollop of almond extract to the paint before I began rolling. It initially makes the room smell like cookies, not a bad problem to have. And weeks later, no odor of any kind is detectable. I'm not certain why this works. Does the alcohol content of the extract add some needed ingredient to kill the offending problem? Maybe.

The extract seems to have little effect on the paint texture, but you might want to be a little cautious with the amount you add.


08:33AM | 06/30/21
I don't have a solution to this problem but I will tell you WHAT DOESN'T WORK!! Anything this is not applied directly to the surface will not fix a problem that is on the surface (walls, ceilings, floors, etc.)

candles, onions, bowls of water, lemon, vinegar, air freshener, ozone machines. Think about it folks. If say a person that has not showered in weeks sits in a room and you spray air freshener or light candles, will it fix the root problem of the dirty person? NO!! It may just mask it temporarily. Same with bad paint on walls. I wish everyone luck in finding solution.


10:14AM | 08/03/21
We painted the walls in our bedroom with Glidden Premium Flat Indoor Paint and Primer and it now smells like rotting seaweed. I have never experienced anything like this! I will try rolling vinegar and pray it works but would definitely rip out all the drywall if necessary! It’s awful to not be able to sleep in your own room! Sorry to everyone going through this. Anyone considering filing a lawsuit?


04:05PM | 08/23/21
Same issue here. I painted my walls with PPG general purpose Zero Primer+Sealer (I bought it ‘cause it claims to have zero VOC), I then I applied Ben Moore Paint. When applying the primer, it smelled just like the paint, nothing weird, but the second day I opened the windows to make the room ventilate, it started to have some sort of sour smell, but if I closed the windows the bad smell slowly hides itself. I’m sure that the smell comes from the primer, because only the walls where I applied the primer (to cover previous dark color and touch ups) have this kind of smell. It was so bad that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I tried spaying white vinegar/Lysol, tried onions, tried UVC light, nothing worked. Eventually I gave up and just closed my windows and turned on AC. The smell is still there on the wall, at least it won’t spread to the whole room. I guess it’s because of the humidity. I’m going to see if it will get better after a dry winter, if not, I guess I’ll have to seal and repair the smelly walls…


10:07PM | 08/24/21
@BV025867, what your experiencing is called "wall odour phenomenon". the paint industry in europe has acknowledged the problem while in USA they deny it exists.

when your wall with primer is exposed to ozone which is present when it is above 70 degrees, it gives off a bad smell. when windows are closed then the smell may be less.


05:49PM | 08/25/21
@ BV025877 Thanks for the info, really helpful! I googled wall odor phenomenon and found quite a few people having this issue. In the forum, one guy shares the feedback from a UK manufacturer that “this is extremely rare and affects only 0.001% of customers”, what can I say, lucky me… I’m guessing the smell will never go away and the only easy option I have is to use BIN to the wall to completely seal it?


06:18AM | 08/27/21
I had this issue since summer 2019. We painted 2 bedrooms with Benjamin Moore Regal (never had issue with this line before) in March of 2019 and when hot weather hit in the June 2019 is when the smell appeared. We tried zinser BIN shellac in 1 room which did not work then we tried KILZ original oil primer in the other. That didn't work either and the oil smell lingered for months. With COVID and not going out we could no longer deal with it and ended up replacing the drywall in the house.


11:38PM | 08/28/21
OMG i can't believe this long thread spanning years with so many ppl victimized by crappy paint! My nightmare started with Glidden and Behr paint from Home Depot. I should've gone to a real paint place like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. 3 rooms I painted with Home Depot bought paint still smells after 5 years. They were AirBNB rooms but due to odors I can no longer rent them out. None of the suggested fixes work.


03:08PM | 09/22/21
We just had the same problem happen with Dunn Edwards Everest zero VOC paint. And I’m suspecting to a lesser degree, their Spartawall low VOC paint too. It’s horrible, smells like ammonia or cat pee. It’s worse when humidity or heat is let in through an open window. I’m fighting with Dunn Edwards to cover the cost of removing and replacing all affected drywall and wood, but they are telling me there’s nothing wrong based on lab tests. It is so frustrating and we are about to be out of pocket a TON to fix this issue. For those of you who opted to go ahead and tear out the drywall, what paint did you use instead? I’m so scared this could happen with any brand based on reading this thread.


11:26PM | 10/18/21
Omg, this is definitely real. I painted my hallway 2 weeks ago along with it this panel that opens to the shower plumbing. It smells like stinky cheese *barf* every time I walk thru the hallway. I’ve had a fan on the wall with the panel, thinking it was the plumbing. I reopened it and smelled inside and nothing. Smelled the hallway walls and it was foul! I used GreenSheen recycled latex paint from Habitat for Humanity. It isn’t Zero VOC they say it’s lower VOC than regular paint. There was a seal on the bucket, it didn’t smell when I opened it. It was really separated though, with a 4-6 inches (it was 5 gallons) of light yellow/clear viscous fluid. It mixed fine. I had it stored in a cool spot in my garage, wasn’t stored during overly hot days.


10:37PM | 10/19/21
Same issue. We have painters here with PPG paint and it smells like cat urine so strong it’s making me sick the last few days. They better be fixing it. Sounds like new drywall is only option for it to be gone?

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