Latest Discussions : Painting


06:50AM | 06/04/07
Member Since: 05/19/07
3 lifetime posts
Hello all!!

This is my first post here, I'm hoping you can help with your advice.

10 weeks ago I had a room painted by a professional painter. The paint used was Behr.Latex. Very deep, dark colors ( Sycamore Tree- green & Peaceful Night- navy )

At 3 weeks I contacted Behr to let them know the odor had not dissipated. They told me to put fans in the room, maybe bowls of vinegar, good ventilation. I told them I had good ventilation & fans in the room already. As long as the windows were all open it was okay. As soon as I closed the windows...the fumes were horrible. I stated my concern that this odor wasn't gonna go away. At that point a second person took the phone call and offered me a refund for the paint. That seemed strange to me. I wasn't asking for a refund. Told them I was looking for a solution.

I was told to give it a few more weeks to 'cure". I agreed to that.

We had beautiful dry weather, windows were open, fans going all was well. We get a cold snap, windows closed, the fumes are overpowering.

Call Behr again. The guy brings up my file. Is surprised that the odor persists. Tells me that the drapes, carpet, bedding could be holding the odor. Nope I tell him, only hardwood floors and wooden furniture in the room. He then suggests that I wash the walls& ceiling with a mild detergent to remove residue.

I asked if he really thought that would help. He hedged. He then told me that the only way to truly remedy the problem is to paint over all of it with an oil based primer followed by latex paint. I told him I would try washing the walls down. Which I no avail. Absolute waste of time. The odor persists. The hot weather seems to be making the fumes worse.

I will be phoning him about my refund, my question is this...Am I entitled to have Behr pay the painter for repainting the room as well as the paint refund? They so quickly offered me a refund that I'm thinking there must be an ongoing problem with this deep base. I really didn't feel like I was the first person they had spoke with about this problem.

Just wanted to hear what you'se guys think about it.Also, do you think the oil based primer solution will fix the problem ?

Thanks in advance!



02:45AM | 06/07/07
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
Is it a regular paint smell or is it a sour milk kind of smell?


02:51PM | 06/08/07
Member Since: 05/19/07
3 lifetime posts

The fumes are paint/chemical. Burns the eyes and throat.

Not a trace of sour milk.

Thanks for the reply!


05:22PM | 06/13/07
Member Since: 05/19/07
3 lifetime posts
...and what would it mean if it were a sour milk smell?


12:23PM | 11/10/15
A week after priming and painting my son's bedroom, the smell was still overwhelming, even after using fans and opening windows everyday. After reading lots of ideas from others with the same problem, I used this solution: I closed off the room for 2 days and ran a small space heater for about 10 hours a day in an effort to "bake" the paint to be sure it was completely dry. I also put 2 large Moso Bamboo Charcoal bags (from The Container Store) in the room to absorb the odors.
The heater caused temperatures to reach as high as 95. I turned the heater off at night and with normal furnace use the room stayed at about 75 degrees. The smell traveled just a little to other parts of the house, but the room was already smelling so much better. On the third day I removed the heater and opened all the windows and turned on all the fans in the whole house (I got lucky with a 50+ degree day in early November.) I left the house for about 8 hours and let the whole house air out.
This process made a HUGE difference in the room and there is very little odor left at all. I have been accused of having a Super Sniffer nose, and this really worked for me. No resealing or repainting, thank goodness!


03:53PM | 06/05/16
I also had a lingering paint fumes problem in my master bathroom. Here's the story: In November 2015 I painted my master bedroom Behr Latex Interior Eggshell in "Cottage White" color. The bedroom took 3 coats and aired out completely within a few days with 3 windows and a fan working. Then couple of days later I painted my master bathroom with the leftover bedroom paint, and when I ran out I bought another gallon of the same paint. THAT'S the gallon that caused all the problems. I painted 3 coats in the bathroom where there's a small window and a floor fan running for ventilation. Fast forward to June, 2016 the smell in the master bathroom is STILL there! It's this sweet bitter chemical paint smell. With window open 24/7 and a windy weather it seems better but once the wind dies down or we need to close the window, the smell is unbearable. I tried so many things to get rid of it. Plus, we left on a week vacation and I forgot to close the bathroom doors and the smell transferred to a master bedroom and I believe soaked into the carpet. We rented carpet cleaning vacuum, I used multiple powders, ventilation - nothing is working to get rid of the smell.. anywhere. I called the Behr company and the only thing they can do is do a refund for a Kilz Primer and another gallon of Behr paint which we need to purchase. They said the reason for the smell could be the paint freezing or something on the way to the store. This has been a nightmare smelling the sick paint smell for MONTHS and despising your own house. We're planning on priming, repainting the bathroom in hopes of killing the smell. As for the bedroom I have no idea, because we cannot afford to replace the carpet.


01:21AM | 04/23/17
Six months after painting an upstairs bedroom with latex paint, the smell was still strong in spite of open windows and a fan. Perhaps I put the second coat on without waiting for four hours for it to dry completely as I was in a hurry to get it done. I turned up the heat as high as it would go (baseboard heaters) to about 85 deg. F and left it five days. The smell completely disappeared. I opened the window and put a fan on for a couple of hours to dissipate the heat and the smell did not return. I also had a couple of bowls of vinegar and baking soda but I think these were unnecessary.


09:28AM | 06/12/18
I purchased the Behr paint from Home Depot as well, had it tinted by them and painted a bedroom in April 2018. Today is June 12, 2018 and the smell is still there! After a week I went to Home Depot to ask them about the lingering smell and they couldn't tell me anything. Said it probably hadn't dried completely yet. I have had the ceiling fan going, windows open all day, etc. and the smell is still there. Now I'm told to use kilz and repaint the room. Glad they think it's just that easy to spend that kind of money to re-paint a room. I won't purchase Behr ever again.


02:23PM | 07/08/18

I have gone through above discussion and and getting that all people are facing same issue. Even I was also having the same problem so I was looking for some suggestion and after lots of research I got 1 relevant post where the easy solution is discussed that how How To Get Rid Of New Paint Smells. To know more about posts you can check it out here.
Hope It will work for you.


11:39AM | 02/12/19
I made the mistake of using exterior paint inside a small room and it smells horrible. I may try heating the room up to like 150 to 200 degrees F using a kerosene heater blowing into the room. Hopefully the high heat will cure the paint.


03:42AM | 03/05/19
Thank you for sharing. I live in an apartment and have been awakened by the smell of really strong paint. Not a good feeling. What people are using today is very harmful to some of us if not used correctly.


11:35AM | 03/21/19
I am going through the same issue with a vinyl acrylic paint and primer used 10 weeks ago. Sweet bitter chemical smell. Did anyone ever do air quality testing? My guess is it smells of acetone but I haven’t done testing.


01:08PM | 05/24/19
We painted our living room three days ago with Behr (zero VOCs) interior paint and are having the same issue.

Last night, I got tired of having all the windows open so closed them and put our air purifier out there. This morning, the air quality was still reading as 'Low'.

The suggestions in the link above are only to 'mask' the smell. I want the chemicals gone - not masked. I have a lung disorder so can't just cover it up.

I may try the heat-to-cure technique, but will need to be sure to cover the vents in the bedrooms so the fumes don't get into the rest of the house.


01:32AM | 06/17/19
We too are experiencing a similar issue with Dunn Edwards primer (Ultra Grip) with top coats of Suprema. Has been 2+ months and it’s s sweet, bitter chemical smell also. Washing walls did nothing and even repainting top coat on one wall had no effect. Very frustrating. They said we could Shellac over to seal then repaint but that stuff smells horrendous and may lead to other, new issues.


11:18PM | 07/30/19
I also purchased Behr paint from Home Depot to paint my studio all white. 2 months later and the smell is almost as strong as the day it was painted. I’ve been running fans and keeping my windows open this entire time and the smell has not dissipated. Does curing a room (via heating it) really work? At this point I’m willing to try anything to make the smell go away permanently.


07:51AM | 08/05/19
For anyone dealing with a lingering odor an ozone machine may be your best solution. It is specifically used to remove bad odors such as a smoke smell after a fire or mildew mold odors. I recommend you do your own research as you cannot be in the house while it is running. However it should leave the room with the smell of a fresh thunderstorm that will slowly dissipate back to "standard house" smell.


03:07PM | 08/05/19
My brother bought a brand new house 2 months ago, he still can't live in it because the smell of Behr paint which was painted 3 months ago. Behr gave the same advise, well it didn't work. Today they told him couldn't be the paint, it have to be something else in the house making the odor. Now he have to hire a environmental person to find the problem. I hate to say it is the paint, they can deny all they want. Looks like he need to talk to a lawyer if the company don't take care of this matter soon.


12:18AM | 08/19/19
We decided to move to a different apartment in our building but we could not get rid of the vomitous smell in the walls despite repainting. The painters use Glidden paints in our building. We decided to go back into our old unit in the same building but they had by then repainted the place using the same paint! Can hardly breathe for the sickly sweet odour with a side of burning rubber. It seems to be worse when exposed to fresh air from outside. Has anyone had any success with the BIN Stain and Odor sealing primer? Afraid to try it even in case the smell gets worse. Tnx.


12:07AM | 08/28/19
Member Since: 08/27/19
2 lifetime posts
We recently had our children's play room painted. No big deal, we changed the colors on the wall but kept the ceiling and trim the same color. Have been using the same painters for years and trust them very much. A week after painting a started smelling this faint rubbery smell. We thought it was electrical, tested all of our stuff, even called in an electrician. It started getting progressively worse, we called in a dead animal dead animals. We called in a plumber twice because when we went away for vacation and came home the smell was much better until we all started to shower and such. Had the vents tested for leaks. Finally we called our painter and he took out our doors to test it. It is definitely the trim. We used Kelley Moore Durapoxy paint. It seems to get worse in the afternoon or if we have the windows open (hence why it got bad after we got home from vacation and aired the house out). We painted in JUNE and it still smells. Our painter, the wonderful person he is, is trying his own test. He bought a no VOC primer and new paint but it didn't help and he thinks it's worse. He's going to try to prime and paint with something other then the durapoxy to see if that helps. If not, we may try sanding off the old paint, then prime and paint. If none of that works then we have no choice but to replace the moulding. This is just the strangest thing. This is the same paint on all our trim and doors and we have never had this problem. Would really love to hear what people keep trying. This has been a nightmare, although I feel lucky that it's not in my whole house. BTW, the paint reps were useless.


09:32PM | 09/25/19
Hi, BV019976
Did enviromental person find the problem? I have same smell issue with behr paint both plus and ultra. Sweet plastic like odor never goes away no matter how good ventilation the room . The odor become stronger when temperature is high or fan is on. Very frustrating. I can't stay at the rooms painted with behr paint.


09:45PM | 09/25/19
Hi, BV020113
I experience same thing. When the window is open the odor become worse.I found once the air in the room is circulated . The odor is stronger.


10:27PM | 11/23/19
I’m so glad to find this Information to know that I’m not alone in living with a terrible paint smell for seven months now. I painted my living room and dining room with Glidden Satin Paint purchased at Home Depot in April of 2019. Paint committed a strong irritant older but not on the irritated my eyes but gave me sinus headaches. I contacted Glidden and all they would do was offer me the cost of the paint also. All I wanted was a solution and got none. I contacted Homedepot and they took no responsibility although the dye/colorant in the paint was put in the can at Homedepot. After four months of irritated eyes and sinus headaches I was forced to repaint which did not solve the problem. I got the top brand paint called Harmony at Sherman Williams and as recommended from the store manager I had my apartment repainted with two coats of primer and two coats of new paint matched to the original color. Unfortunately this did not solve the poroblem although the strong irritant smell did disappeared only to be replaced with this sour milk smell.

Now for the last three months I have the sour milk smell that you’re all describing which also gets worse with the fresh air. I can’t get rid of it. For six months I have requested Glidden to test my particular can of paint to no avail. Finally I insisted my complaint be forwarded to their legal department. After six months they informed me they tested the batch of paint which does not have the dye/colorant in it. I informed them again that the problem is in my particular can of paint which has the colorant/dye in it that must be tested. I contacted the US consumer agency who is trying to assist me to see if the paint needs to be recalled. Glidden has now informed them that they tested the batch of paint which is testing the wrong paint. They continue to evade the issue. The paint that needs to be tested is the dye/colorant in the paint.

Three supervisors from Glidden Paint informed me that it’s not their paint and it’s the environment. I live in a standard apartment with good ventilation. It is clearly the product.

Can anyone advise me what to do next?
Thank you all for being there-I hope someone responds. I can be reached at


05:57PM | 03/02/20
I've been using Kilz primer throughout the house, but wanted to get the "real" paint on in my bedroom - Behr Premium Plus Chantilly Lace. My bedroom is the one with paint over the primer and is the only room that STILL smells like paint 2 months later. I still have some left plus another gallon unused. How do you go about getting your money refunded? I think that's what has been affecting my pets, too. It gets worse with humidity


12:34AM | 03/03/20
We're going on 8 months of ammonia stench after painting with Valspar. I think we might try the space heating technique mentioned above since airing the rooms out clearly hasn't made any difference.

Customer service at Valspar has been completely useless and claimed the paint needed more time to dry after 1 month of application. They agreed to refund us the cost of paint but never collected our info to send the check after stating they would. I only hope the reps at Behr are more sympathetic.


05:54PM | 03/30/20
I have MCS, multi chem. sensitivity. My wife does not. It is true some cheaper paints have toxic chemicals. Formeldahyde is used in furniture making. I had to off-gas my new sofa for 6 months before even sitting 4 feet away from it and yes humidity makes it worse. Do not try repainting over the problem paint. Extreme heat, ozone machine, scrubbing carpets with Dettol or Provon hospital soap MAY help. Some chemicals take longer to off-gas. I only use zero voc Sherwin paints now. It is difficult for people not having MCS to fully understand our sensitivities.


04:15PM | 07/16/20
Similar result here. I built four organizer bins for my chest freezer and painted them with some Benjamin Moore alkyd latex.
They smell so bad I don't want to put them in the closed freezer where the smell might get into the food.
So, I've been baking them in the freezer box with a small electric heater supplying heat and airflow. After about 3 hours at 123f, the smell has diminished a bit. Giving it another 2 hour session now.
If I ever paint my house interior, I will buy small samples first, and test them to see what brand loses the stink fastest, and then, start the job in the early spring so I can use the whole house fan to keep it ventilated for a few months.

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