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Help me get rid of vile smell in my cupboard

(32 Posts)
WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 10:53:21

Im in the middle of a kitchen refit. It includes converting my under stairs cupboard into a pantry.
6 weeks ago I emptied it of the mountain of junk in there. Cleaned the 70's Marley Tile floor and emulsion the walls.

For the past week a weird smell has been developing in the cupboard . At first I thought it was the paint and started propping the door open overnight after the workmen had gone home.
This week my workmen and I have noticed the smell more as it has become stronger. The gas meter is in the cupboard so Monday they gas people came out and confirmed it's definitely not a gas leak- not that it smells too much like gas tbh.

One of my workmen says it smells like cat pre to him but I'm not convinced. We don't have a cat although I suppose one might have got in with all the doors open for workmen to come and go at the moment.

Whatever it is - it's pungent and getting stronger.

The new flooring goes down next week and is going into the cupboard so I am asking for any smell killing household tips you might have or any ideas on how to get rid of this awful pong before the new laminate floor goes down.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Apr-18 10:57:38

What is on the other side of the cupboard wall?

Member Thu 26-Apr-18 10:59:53

Do you know what type of paint was used? There have been more instances of smelly emulsions since manufacturers have tried to be more eco friendly, one of the most recent Cases was Valspar

Frogletmamma Thu 26-Apr-18 11:01:52

Could try bicarbonate of soda?

SoupDragon Thu 26-Apr-18 11:01:55

Yes, and it was cat pee it smelt of wasn’t it?

Member Thu 26-Apr-18 11:14:41

Yes, cat pee or rotten animals.

There can also be an issue of pre - existing microbes on the wall not being cleaned off before painting and breaking down low preservative paint.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 11:24:16

I've heard about Valspar paint.

I used a bit of johnstones and crown white emulsion. I painted it myself. The paint was leftover from devirating our littke befroom and re painting the living room ceiling and not very old at all. 24hrs Prior to painting I washed down the walls with a warm sugar soap solution.

If it is the paint - what was the solution for the Valspar issue?

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 11:29:33

*SoupDragon*The cupboard is under the stairs. Onedude is an external wall to the integrsl garage. The other side is a partition wall to the living room.

Member Thu 26-Apr-18 11:33:18

Most of the stuff about wall odour phenomenon/ghost odour recommends using an alkali resisting primer prior to painting; I think you’re going to have to repaint

Member Thu 26-Apr-18 11:38:56

Or, you could try sealing it with Zinsser BIN without repainting, the results aren’t as consistent

MinaPaws Thu 26-Apr-18 11:43:38

We had the most evil smell in our cupboard under the stairs. it got worse and worse - so bad that clients (who I work with form home) started mentioning it. I was so embarassed. eventually discovered a desiccated shrew under a floorboard. The smell was very definitely coming from the dead shrew.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 11:54:17

Obviously I cannot remove the paint now but is there a sealant product I can use over the existing paint and then paint again??
Will that work?

All those people that had this smell after painting how did they resolve the issue?

I have paint galore here as so much decorating is going on. It's an awkward but small space I could easily do one evening after the workmen go home i judt need to be sure of what I should and shouldn't be applying to the walls.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 11:55:12

Sorry Member just seen your post.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Apr-18 12:43:32

I asked about the wall as I wondered if something like the scent of fox pee was drifting in through an air brick. Not likely if it’s a garage!

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 13:30:01

I've just been looking on the Screwfix forum and I've come to the conclusion it must be the paint even though I didn't use Valspar.
The stories are so similar to mine and I feel less embarrassed that I called out the gas people to check for a leak - it seems many people have done the same.

So I have ordered some Zinsser BIN which should arrive tomorrow.

This evening once all the workmen have gone I will clean the walls with bleach. Will Tesco thin bleach be ok?

Would really appreciate some input from anyone who had overcome this paint smell issue.

Pigletthedog Thu 26-Apr-18 13:35:47

Not much use as we painted both our kids' double rooms with valspar and it smelt awful but we had put the rooms back together and hung blinds etc before the smell really came out so we didn't try and cover it up etc. We just left it to time and fresh air to sort out.

I wonder if you just scrub it down win something simple like a big brush and fairy liquid, rather than something chemical like bleach?

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 16:46:59

Did the smell just eventually fade away? How long did it take?

It's taken 5 weeks for this smell to develop.

I'm worried as I used the same paint as a top coat on the ceiling and diluted as a mist coat on the new plastered walls just a few days ago.
By the time any new smelk develops my new kitchen will have been installed!!

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 26-Apr-18 21:57:23

Just bumping in case anyone else has had this problem and resolved it. I would love to know how.

Pigletthedog Fri 27-Apr-18 05:15:07

Yes it did take a while for the smell to develop, that's why we didn't immediately associate it with the paint (cue me giving the cats evil looks and in desperation even the children!) or try and fix it.

It took a good couple of months I'd say for the smell to dissipate. Maybe it would clear more quickly in somewhere like a kitchen, with more people in and out, doors opening and cooking smells etc. It's a gamble to take though I do understand.

Sorry I can't offer a solution

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Fri 27-Apr-18 10:55:09

So I scrubbed the floors and walls with a strong bleach solution last night.
I had a sniff before going to bed but could only smell bleach. I left the cupboard door propped open all night.
A bit disappointed this morning to fins the horrid smell is still there although nowhere near as pungent and strong as before. My workmen agree there is an improvement but it's still there.

So just hoping this sealant stuff arrives ok today so I can slap that on tonight. A little worried about how toxic the fumes will be whilst im applying it,in such a confined space.

Pigletthedog Fri 27-Apr-18 12:03:05

Hope you find a solution op

AgentProvocateur Wed 06-Jun-18 11:07:44

Bumping this to ask @walkinglikeaflamingo and @pigletthedog if your smells have gone? Our whole house was professionally decorated in November and only started to smell when this hot weather came. It would be a huge upheaval to clear the house to get it redecorated, so I’m hoping for some good news about the smell eventually going .

Pigletthedog Wed 06-Jun-18 11:11:53

@AgentProvocateur our smell did go, but just by itself with lots of fresh air. Do you know what paint your decorator used? If it was valspar, it might be worth contacting them. I went to get a paint sample the other day (not from valspar!) and whilst chatting to the lady at b&q, she said valspar have changed their formula so it doesn't smell due to the issues so many people have had , and that their customer services team are very good. Might be worth seeing if they'll offer you any help?

AgentProvocateur Wed 06-Jun-18 11:15:48

Thank you. It was Valspar, and I’d read about the issues before going ahead and discussed it with my decorator. He’d been assured that the problem had been fixed and that the new batches were ok. He’s gutted that this has happened, and I’m sure I will get the cost of paint and redecorating back from B&Q/Valspar - I just don’t really have the time or space now to get every room redone (DC moved back in, and I’m overseas for work a lot). I’m glad it did go eventually - I might just stick it out.

BetterEatCheese Wed 06-Jun-18 11:27:24

We have this and were told by a plumber that the waste pipe from the bathroom takes a right angle turn behind the cupboard, so any small blockages will smell. We now fill bath and sink and let it a go at the same time while flushing the toilet and it clears it and the smell goes

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