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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2010

Bad Odor from Using Old Latex Paint

Q. Two weeks ago I used some old latex paint to paint the interior of my garage. Since then, a bad odor level has been extremely high, especially in the heat of the day. I leave the garage door open to be able to work in the garage. Our house is up for sale, and I am concerned about the bad odor. How can I get rid of it quickly? Must I repaint with new latex paint? Please help.

A. Unfortunately I do not have an answer for you. Do you know whose latex paint you used? If it was old latex paint it is possible that it was already moldy. In case you do have mildew or mold, here is a recomendation from Sherwin-Williams' Loxon Block Surfacer datasheet that you can follows:

Remove mildew before painting by washing with a solution of 1 part liquid bleach and 3 parts water. Apply the solution and scrub the mildewed area. Allow the solution to remain on the surface for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow the surface to dry before painting. Wear protective eyewear, waterproof gloves, and protective clothing.

Quickly wash off any of the mixture that comes in contact with your skin. Do not add detergents or ammonia to the bleach/water solution.

I would apply the Loxon Block Surfacer and then apply one or two coats of NEW acrylic latex paint.

Most other paint manufacturers will have their equivalents to the Sherwin-Williams product.

I don't guarantee that this will work, because I don't know why you are experiencing the bad odor, but I hope this recommendation will work.


Ron Joseph

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