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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

This is a major issue for us right now as the two bedrooms are for our young children.

The house is 1973 and both rooms had wallpaper up until we moved in two years ago. Upon moving in we removed it with fabric softner and then scraped glue off with water.

We then let dry for weeks, maybe 2.5 to 3. Then we applied a lagging paint FiberLock to seal in asbestos Joint compound. Let dry for a week.

Then applied Zinsser Gardz sealing agent for problem surfaces. Let dry for a week.

Then applied Killz2 primer, let dry for a week. Then applied two coats of Behr Ultra Premium, dark colored. Deep Red and Deep Green. Then we moved in.

Here is the issue, especially this winter, every inch of all four walls, internal, external etc smells from up to an inch away of a dusty, chalky, wet plaster type smell. And because of this, each room smells like it when you walk in and our children have been sleeping in it as we have no other option.

So, we had air tested. Came back fine other than fine dust particles from rugs etc and a moderate level of ethanol (cleaning, wipes, paints, solvents). Guy said most homes have it or far worse VOCs, nothing too concerning.

This is driving us nuts, our kids have chronic cough, for the last month in the bitter cold have been openng windows each day.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Or how to get rid of it without ripping down walls? I was thinking of repriming and painting.

Thank you.
 

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Where are you located (city, county, state, country)? What style of house? Where in the house are the rooms located,? Above grade or below? Is there a wall containing plumbing near these rooms? And the problem is just in these two rooms?
 

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The fact that all four walls of both rooms smell this way makes it seem unlikely that you have a leak. Do you have unpainted rooms that don't smell?

I think someone who is familiar with the properties of all of those paint layers that you put on will have to answer this.

What's the humidity like in your house?
 

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Make no since to me all the different layers you used.
Never even head of "lagging paint fiberloc"
Should have just use Gardz and then the paint.
Never ever would have used and Kilzed product.
Something had to be very wrong that you have not mentioned to have taken all these extra steps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi All....thanks for replies.

I live in New England and the walls don't contain plumbing. As far as I know, the drywall was installed in the 70s as the wallpaper was 70s style.

Humidity level came back as normal as well.

The extra steps were probably too much. But I found asbestos joint compound (tested) covering walls once wallpaper was removed and started thinking about the safety of my children. So therefore I put a light coat of Fiberlock Lag Kote 2 to encapsulate it. The Gardz was to seal any leftover glue and messed up drywall. I then put primer which was Killz 2 and painted. All said and done the walls look fantastic. However the smell continues to get worse, its now been two years.

I'm wondering if due to soaking walls to get off paper and scraping glue that the wetness is now permeating all the coats? Again, the walls have a wet plaster, dust/chalking smell. No flaking, no mold (tested) etc.

Another interesting fact. The walls I painted without wallpaper don't smell. Those walls did not have Lag Kote either, but had Gardz, Killz and Behr Paint. In addition, other walls in house did have paper and I did same process. they slightly smell, but not even close to these rooms.

I called Lag Kote/Fiberlock, told them what is going on and they saw no reason that a smell should be created as the Lag Kote 2 is for interior use and is reccomended for walls if needed.

What would you do now? should I seal again with odor blocker and paint with high end Ben Moore or something?

Thank you
 

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Maybe you got a bad batch of that Fiberlock whatever. Strange stuff happens sometimes. I might cut out a little section of drywall and move it to a different location for awhile. Make sure the smell is not coming from behind the wall and permeating through or something weird. Be a little scientific about it. If it is in fact the wall itself that smells, prime it with shellac primer and paint it. Maybe just do one wall first to make sure it works.

I don't think you necessarily need a high end paint. The shellac will block the odor. Check out Sherwin-Williams Harmony. It has negative VOC's!

https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/products/harmony-interior-acrylic-latex
 

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Personally, I've only encountered that smell when something in the wall is wet. Putting on another layer of finish might hide your problem for a while, but I'd want to find the source.

There are lots of ways that moisture can get in your walls: leaky plumbing, bad waterproofing in the bathroom, roof leaks, poorly flashed windows, poorly applied siding, ice dams during the winter.

I'd be investigating those things. I'd be crawling around in the attic with a flashlight looking for water stains and cutting out sections of drywall where the smell is strongest.

I also wonder if a moisture meter that is typically used to measure moisture content in lumber can be used to find moisture in the walls.
 

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Hi All,

This is a major issue for us right now as the two bedrooms are for our young children.

The house is 1973 and both rooms had wallpaper up until we moved in two years ago. Upon moving in we removed it with fabric softner and then scraped glue off with water.

We then let dry for weeks, maybe 2.5 to 3. Then we applied a lagging paint FiberLock to seal in asbestos Joint compound. Let dry for a week.

Then applied Zinsser Gardz sealing agent for problem surfaces. Let dry for a week.

Then applied Killz2 primer, let dry for a week. Then applied two coats of Behr Ultra Premium, dark colored. Deep Red and Deep Green. Then we moved in.

Here is the issue, especially this winter, every inch of all four walls, internal, external etc smells from up to an inch away of a dusty, chalky, wet plaster type smell. And because of this, each room smells like it when you walk in and our children have been sleeping in it as we have no other option.

So, we had air tested. Came back fine other than fine dust particles from rugs etc and a moderate level of ethanol (cleaning, wipes, paints, solvents). Guy said most homes have it or far worse VOCs, nothing too concerning.

This is driving us nuts, our kids have chronic cough, for the last month in the bitter cold have been openng windows each day.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Or how to get rid of it without ripping down walls? I was thinking of repriming and painting.

Thank you.
Hello, I came across your post and wanted to know if you managed to resolve this issue with dumb plaster smell? We have similar issue in 2 rooms. We have bought the house and discovered this issue.
 
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