Paint issue 1 month after paint completion.

Questions & AnswersCategory: Enviromental Painting Questions and ConcernsPaint issue 1 month after paint completion.
Anonymous asked 9 years ago

I am having an issue with a bathroom that I had painted recently. 1 month ago I painted the interior master bathroom with Lowe’s semi-gloss paint. It did not go on well and I needed to use multiple coats (in some areas up to 4 coats). I placed fans in the bathroom to circulate the air and help dry. There are no windows in the bathroom, only a fan in the ceiling. The paint was still tacky even 2 weeks after I finished. I assume that was due to multiple coats and that it would just take longer.

The paint is no longer tacky at all, however, the entire bathroom smells like pickles. Yes, pickles. It is terrible and is making us sick. Do you have any idea of what this is or how to fix it? I am at a loss here and we have been living in the guest room for over a month. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance

25 Answers
Crowder Painting answered.

I have smelt primer that has gone bad. It has a sour milk smell, not pleasant. It is possible something like this has happened to your paint. You should have noticed this right away as the paint was being applied.

The only way to get rid of the smell is to prime everything and repaint. Use a shellac primer to seal up the smelly walls and ceiling. Wait a day after priming to see (or smell) if the "pickles" smell has gone away. If not another coat might be needed.

You need to contact the paint department and the manager at Lowes. Tell them what has happened and the symptoms, extensive drying time and the smell. They should ,at least, provide you with the primer and replacement paint.

If this is "bad paint" they will want the original can with some paint inside for testing. That is what a real paint store would do.

Anonymous answered.

Paint Smells

I am a professional painter and have come across this problem twice. With most latex paint now becoming low or zero voc, they have lowered a lot of the solvents that are in paint that fight bacterial growth. Getting rid of the smell is a difficult process. Some where either from the paint company to the person that mixed the paint or the person that applied it, the paint was inoculated with a bacteria. Taking two weeks for the paint to dry with fans going sound like it was bad paint. That also could have been where the paint got inoculated.

Getting rid of the smell is a challenge of its own, first you must kill the bacteria that is growing on the walls and ceiling. I washed the walls down with beach and water and then rinsed them with a clean sponge and clean water. Let the walls completely dry and then prime with a solvent based primer that is for odors, let dry and the room clear of the solvent smell and see if the smell is still there, if so apply another coat of primer. Once the smell is gone you can reapply the paint making sure you use all new and clean equipment and I also recommend using a paint that has a microban in it, which won't allow bacteria to grow on it for in bathrooms. I hope this helps someone out. Thank you and God bless.

Crowder Painting answered.

There shouldn't be any smell.

Latex (acrylic) paints shouldn't have any unpleasant smell after just a few hours, 24 hours tops. This has to be a problem with this brand of paint. If you are have this problem you should tell Lowe's about it.

Anonymous answered.

Lowe's paint smell problems also!

We painted 2 bedrooms in March with paint purchased at Lowes on 2/26/09. The smell in our room went away normally, however, the stench in the other room is bad. I don't know if it's pickle smell exactly, but it's not pleasant… 3 months later! Both rooms were painted with Olympic premium interior latex semi-gloss paint. Our room is a rich burnt orange and the stinky room is a rich tweed color. We can't figure out why paint bought at the same time and both are rich colors, would have drastically different odors. After reading these comments, I'm going to contact Lowe's paint department. If the smell hasn't left or lessened in 3 months, I don't think it will.

Crowder Painting answered.


Try to increase the movement of fresh air. This will include opening windows, if the weather permits, and moving large pieces of furniture a foot or two away from the walls. A fan or two could help.

I don't think the smell is harmful to adults. But, I would limit exposure to small children until the smell goes away.

I don't know why the paint would smell like this. With two people reporting this problem, maybe someone should call the manufacture and offer a complaint. There could be something wrong with this batch of paint.

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