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bad smell after painting

I have an interior bathroom(only exhaust fan outlet to air) that I painted with KILZ latex multipurpose primer.

The room had old wallpaper on it that came off very easily. the glue that did remain had taken on what was like the texture of very thin translucent paper. The sheetrock was very dry. I spackled a few spots and applied the primer.

The sheetrock in small sections rippled (which I assumed was the paper absorbing the moisture) and in one other spot just came off the underpart of the sheetrock when the roller moved over it.

After finishing the room, it smelled pretty bad and was difficult to work in. Two days later is still smells. I have had the exhaust fan on and an ozone air cleaner going and it still smells.

I am wondering if the interaction of the primer and the old sheetrock caused the smell, but more importantly, what can I do about it. I've thought to try a different primer (Zinseer?), but don't know if that will work.

Thanks for your thoughts.


Re: bad smell after painting

When you say thin translucent paper, I think you are more correct than you know. I believe you may have peeled the wallpaper in two, leaving all the glue and the backer paper on the walls, then the water in the primer penetrated and caused the wrinkling you mention.
I never use naught but oil primer over old wallpaper paste. With that smell, you won't smell anything else for a day or two.

Re: bad smell after painting

If the smell does not lessen to an acceptable level within a few days, prime the whole area with Zinssers' BIN primer. BIN is a pigmented shellac. Shellac is by far the best product for sealing in objectionable odors, everything from cat odor to acrid burn odors from house fires.

Re: bad smell after painting

It does sound like the walls weren't prepared properly either with excess glue still stuck on the walls or some kind of residual oil/water preventing the primer from sticking sufficiently. Now that you have primer on it will be a little more difficult to get the wall in a proper state if it causes a noticeably different texture but some fine sand paper and another coat of primer may work wonders.

The smells can be caused by the primer itself as it cures over a few days which is compounded by being so under exposed to fresh air. A few boxes of arm & hammer baking soda may help reduce or remove odor during offgasing of the curing process and prevent additional moisture.

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