Dead animal smell from dried paint.

Laser_LadyMay 15, 2002

We painted the outside of our house with exterior Weatherbeater Latex from Sears. It reeks like dead animal (some say cat urine). At first we painted the back and the smell was so bad I asked the neighbor if he was spraying heavy duty insecticides. Within a couple of days the smell was so bad the neighbor began cutting down his oleanders, (the oleanders are [were] growing along the fence between our houses. He thought there must be a dead animal in them.)

Then we painted the front of the house. After that dried we discovered the smell was coming from the house! The mail lady and even the UPS man both have gagged when delivering to the front door, as well as the neighbors. It has been 9 days now and it keeps getting more sour. The smell is very organic in nature.

Sears paint says this happens sometimes and we should seal the whole house with an oil based primer and then re paint with an oil based paint. The smell is so bad we cannot leave the windows or doors open. I think Sears needs to send someone out to our house.

I want to know what smells. I do not want a some poison sealed forever in my walls!

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It sounds like you are experiencing something similar to what I did, except mine was inside and was only bad when I opened windows and ventilated the house. I agree with Sears about sealing the house with an oil based blocker/sealer (2 coats of Bin or Zinser). By sealing it off, I believe you will de-activate the odor and eliminate any potential problems. Your only other option is to remove (sand) the paint off before repainting.
I would have Sears come out. If they guarantee their product, I think it would be in their best interest to give you replacement paint. Besides that, they will see that there really is an odor. I know that from my experience, many people were skeptical when I told them there was an odor coming from the paint.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 16, 2002 at 7:40AM
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That is purely awful. Shoot, Sears ought to do more than replace the paint - they should send a painter out to do the paint over, too. That is a lot of work they're talking about as you obviously know. "This happens sometimes" is not a worthy response from them at all. Good luck, I do hope Sears comes through for you on this disaster. In our area we have a really good consumer advocate on our local evening TV news show and she would love to help someone with such a problem. Maybe you have one of those advocates in your area that could help if Sears hesitates. Store managers do not like to get such publicity on local TV news and generally respond to the pressure.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2002 at 4:36PM
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We used paint on an old wooden chair. While it was drying it just smelled like paint. After it dried, it smelled like a cross between formaldehyde and vomit. Not pleasant, to say the least. We tried sealing it, but must have gotten the wrong kind because then we had a bubbling and peeling stinky chair.

We tried sanding it down, using an odour and stain killing all purpose sealer, then painted again with latex paint. It worked, but I swear on damp days I still smell a hint of formaldehyde and vomit...

    Bookmark   May 27, 2002 at 1:04PM
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Contact Sears. Today's paints tend to have to meet low odor requirements. Perhaps something else has occurred that is coincidental to the new paint job, such as a dead animal under a porch or deck. If so, it will take about 6 weeks for the decomposition of the dead animal and alleviation of the odor.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2002 at 2:03AM
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We just painted with brand new, but gone-bad NO VOC paint (Dunn Edwards in a dark teal). It went on smelling like good paint but when it dried it has a chemical sour smell like a cross between formaldehyde and vomit. We live in the desert (Sedona) so humidity is not an issue. Headaches and nausea are not fun. We sealed all offending walls with 2 coats of sealer primer (BIN Advanced) and another top coat of paint, as suggested by paint company, and it did not fix the smelly problem. Then we got desperate. We have burned two boxes of nag champa incense, as well as cinnamon candles for days. We have washed the walls down with backing soda.... vinegar.... and natures miracle. Everything we do alters the smell, but does not clear it up. Other rooms we painted with lighter tan color of same paint are perfect. The windows have been open for days with exhaust fans going, and we are being held prisoner in the only warm room that doesn't stink. Once the room warms up the smell comes back. After reading dozens of blogs on this issue and hearing over and over that paint company's do not own up to having a fix to this bad no-VOC paint issue, it looks like we may to have to tear down dry wall! HELP .... Any suggestions out there would be helpful before I rip my home apart.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 3:25PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

You might try using something to remove the odor from the air, such as activated charcoal. I don't know if a fan-powered filter machine is available, but as an alternative, if you can find a water treatment company they might sell you granular activated carbon in bulk. Get a few pounds of it and spread some on a cookie sheet (or three!) in each room.

Another possibility is to get an ozone generator and crank it up in your house. They can be rented at tool rental places. However it may require you to be out of the house for a couple days. And, it may work while it's running but as soon as you shut it off, the odor will start to build up again.

I would have though the stain blocker primer would do the trick, but I am not sure how that's formulated, it may be impervious to water soluble stains but may not be to these vapors. You might consider more of an impervios seal such as shellac, or polyurethane. How about a flat or satin polyurethane varnish? It would be clear and invisible, so if it works you're done.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 2:49PM
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