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


Old 06-18-11, 04:22 PM
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Paint off-gassing? Drywall off-gassing? Something else???

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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Old 06-19-11, 04:09 AM
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Welcome to the forums Larry!

It is strange that any paint odor would get stronger over time
Have you tried opening the windows and setting up a fan to see what happens? Fresh air ventilation is always the best remedy for paint odors. I would think that the primer and paint would adequately seal any odor from the drywall although I have no personal knowledge of the chinese drywall that was a problem a few years back.

Is there anything else that could be causing the sweet odor?
Old 06-19-11, 05:12 AM
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Yeah, I'm with Marksr. I'd be very suspect of this odor coming from the paint after this length of time. All of the paint should have cured long ago.
Old 06-19-11, 05:31 AM
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I would be surprised if it was the paint. After about 30 days it has fully cured and is no longer off-gassing. Has it started to get hotter where you live? you ma have something else that is going funky.
Old 06-20-11, 10:12 AM
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The only way I can see this being the paint is if you had a lot of ventilation in the rooms at first but don't now, which is allowing the odor to build up over time. That said, paint shouldn't smell by now.

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