Paint off-gassing? Drywall off-gassing? Something else???

larry48June 18, 2011

There is a strange smell in two of my bedrooms and I am trying to determine what it is. Here's the background:

My house is 12 years old. Two of my bedrooms were connected via a 4' x 7' opening in a common interior wall. I hired a contractor in January to frame in the opening and install drywall to fill-in the opening. In late March I repainted both rooms with Lowe's Valspar Low VOC paint (different colors in each room). I put a coat of primer on the newly installed sections of drywall before painting the walls. I also repainted the ceiling in one of the bedrooms with Valspar ceiling paint (I don't think this was low VOC). About a month later, I repainted the ceiling in the second bedroom.

Recently, I have begun to notice a sweet type of smell in both rooms. I first noticed this smell in the second bedroom after painting the ceiling, but it mostly dissipated after a few days. More recently, the smell seems to be stronger in the first bedroom, which I painted almost 3 months ago.

Any ideas as to what could be causing this smell? It seems strange for paint-related smells to get stronger several months after painting.

I have painted several other rooms in my house over the last few years using similar Valspar paint and have never had a problem. That's why I wonder if the new drywall could be causing this. I don't smell a rotten egg type of smell that has been described with some of the drywall problems in Florida a few years ago.

Any suggestions to figure out what this is? One of the bedrooms will become a nursery in about a month, and I am concerned about potential toxins in the air.

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I suspect it is because summer has arrived. Hot exterior walls leads to hotter interior walls and sometimes this creates the paint to start to smell again. I have a room in my house that I never heat or run the AC into and now when I walk in there it smells like it has been freshly painted. I would still email Valspar though and explain what it is happening to see if they have any insight.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:01PM
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