Paint & Problems!

(Beth Wheatley) #1

I’ve started to re-decorate my son’s bedroom and need help/suggestions re paint. We have a slight mould problem which is always worse in the winter. I’ve researched this and found that matt type paint and textured wallpaper are not good as they give textures for the mould to attach itself to.

So I thought I would paint the (fitted) wardrobes with gloss. I’ve bought F+B 6yr full gloss which is water based with ‘low emissions’. Thought I would be best if I painted the doors outside so took them outside but by the time I had finished I had a really bad headache. So left them outside for a couple of days before putting them back. Since then he had a headache for two nights!

I suppose I could leave the doors outside for longer but then have the problem of painting the ‘shell’ which is fixed to the wall.

If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful.

Many thanks, Bea.


(Mark Robbins) #2

Hi Beth
The mould is more than likely due to condensation, it would normally start in the corners of cold walls. Ventilation is the best way of preventing it, or dehumidifiers (chemical or condensation) if difficult to ventilate. Regarding the paint, most water based paints are low odour/VOC and shouldn’t cause any problems.


(Ann Coe) #3

I have been painting my kitchen walls during the last 4 days and have had some terrible headaches too.
I have tried the old trick of cutting an onion in half an leaving it (cut side up) in the room but it hasn’t helped.
I have bought a ‘purifying spray’ from the pharmacy ( essential oil based) and it does give some temporary relief. I am leaving the doors and window open as much as possible (it’s cold though) in the hbope that it will help.
I do understand your problem, by the way the paint I used is Dulux, I generally use Leroy Merlin’s own brand but they didn’t have the colour I wanted !


(stella wood) #4

Gosh… the paint is meant to be low emissions… yet still gives headaches… that’s not much fun… though, I’m guessing that, having paid out, you don’t want to ditch it and buy something less noxious…

Can you use another bedroom while you decorate the current one?

Incidentally, if you discuss the damp problem with the folk like Leroy Merlin (or similar) they might be able to suggest a solution.

Remind us… how long have you had the property… and are you there fulltime… :thinking:

(our place was very damp until we dried it out completely… and rerouted the rainwater…)


(Jane Williamson) #5

I have to keep away from paint as I am asthmatic.
I am very sensitive to chemicals, strong perfumes, those awful plug ins, cigarette smoke, the strong cleaner used on the belts on the cash outs in supermarkets.
I am violently allergic to permanent wave solution and had to run put of the salon into the main street of Nailsworth once with my colour on my hair.
I sympathise.


(Lily Stevens) #6

A few years ago something similar happened to my son and he ended up in hospital for a week!
He uses paints on a regular basis, but this particular time the paint (from UK) caused a severe asthmatic attack.
Be careful!


(Beth Wheatley) #7

Many thanks for all your replies. Yes we are here full time and we do have humidifiers that are on for about 12hrs a day. The house is sort of set into the side of a hill so the clues are there, but we have re-routed the rain and have a system where the water flows to a certain point & then we have a pump that moves it away.

I’m quite happy to start again if I can find some sort of ‘organic’ paint that doesn’t give us headaches, I’ve only done two doors and there are six large & ten small. Quite ok to sand them down again. I might wait till it’s a bit warmer so I can leave all the windows open, unfortunately there is no spare room, unless he moves in with the dog!!

PS I found some ‘organic’ paint in the uk called ‘Lakeland paints’ which is supposed to be good but at £85+ for a 5 lite tin & the reviews!!!


(Véronique Langlands) #8

Use lime-based paint ie limewash with pigments, you might not get as many colours but it is miles healthier and also lets your walls breathe. To stop it rubbing off and make it washable there is a matt breathable topcoat you can put on. Talk to your local biocoop which probably knows someone if they don’t stock them themselves.


(Beth Wheatley) #9

Thanks Veronique, Do you think this would work on doors as it’s fitted wardrobes that I’m trying to paint.



(Ann Coe) #10

Oh no Jane, I can only imagine how horrible that must have been for you to have to leave the hairdressers in that state !
I really cannot stand cigarette smoke, it really makes me feel ill, why oh why do smokers congregate outside doorways making it so hard to cross their barrier to enter into shops or even hospitals ?

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(Véronique Langlands) #11

@Toovey27 hi, I used céruse* wax on my kitchen cupboards and they came up nicely, I didn’t want them shiny but I suppose I could have buffed them up to a bit of a satiny sheen, you could try using lime paint or a stain and then wax over the top. Liberon are the people for that, bricomarche etc stock them, otherwise have a cosy chat with a proper artisan painter, they are always off on courses and find out about new ways with traditional ingredients.
*not real céruse, no lead in it.


(Jane Williamson) #12

I made a short programme for the local West news on the gauntlet I had to run to get into Gloucester Royal Hospital.
It was taken over by a cigarette smoking man who was there because of lung disease and who made more interesting television than my reasoned argument.
I also joined the hospital’s committee on combatting smoking.
Like all hospitals it had a non smoking policy in both the buildings and grounds.
Staff flaunted the policy and the committee was a talking shop with no one wanting to take disciplinary action against offenders.
For me, people who have smoke on their clothes can cause a reaction and I was totally disenchanted and thought the whole thing a waste of time and money, just paying lip service to the ruling.

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(Robert Hodge) #13

A prerequisite for the presence of mould is dampness, and the best long term answer is to deal with the cause rather than having to retreat the symptoms by repainting frequently.
The dampness at the surface level of the wall is caused by one of two things. Either water is being absorbed through the wall, or the wall is so cold that warm moist air is condensing on its surface. Either way, installing an insulating damp proof layer is the answer.
A relatively inexpensive way of doing this is to glue 20mm thick polystyrene panels to the wall, and then glue plasterboard that has polystyrene bonded onto the back of it on the top of that, making sure to stagger the joints in the two layers. The polystyrene is completely waterproof, and thus will prevent any water penetrating through the wall from the outside, and the insulation factor provided by the polystyrene will keep the surface of the wall warmer and thus prevent condensation. The resulting plasterboard surface can then be painted with normal emulsion paint that should not give any airborne toxicity problems unless a person is particularly sensitive to it.
An added benefit will be a reduction to heating costs from the added insulation factor. I have used this method on my own old house to good effect as we now have a warm, dry, and mould free home and a much lower heating bill.

I notice that you say that you are running humidifiers for about 12 hrs a day. Is that really what you meant, or did you mean dehumidifiers ? If the latter, then clearly the house has a damp problem that needs the cause to be addressed rather than just treating the symptoms. There will be a cost, but then you will save on electricity by not having to use the dehumidifiers.


(Beth Wheatley) #14

Hi Robert,
Many thanks for your comments. Yes I did mean dehumidifiers, sorry about that. I understand what you are saying but is filling a house with polystyrene a good idea? It does seem a bit worrying to me with regards to fire. I have also seen called something like ‘solar venting’ & wondered if that would be worth a look?? Anyone got one of these?

Appreciate you taking the time to reply!



(stella wood) #15

Beth… If not polystyrene then another form of “break” between a damp wall and the interior.

Might be a good idea to actually find out why the wall is damp… and get that sorted out… stop the damp from the outside, getting in…

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(Robert Hodge) #16

Yes it is true that polystyrene is flammable, but then so are many of the soft furnishings in the average home, not to mention all the plastic items we surround ourselves with in this modern world.
If a fire were to be severe enough to penetrate the plasterboard covering and ignite the polystyrene, then anyone in the house would have long since been overcome by the smoke. This is of course why we have smoke alarms, and preferably more of them than the minimum standard required by law.
Given the substantial reduction in fire risk from electrical faults thanks to Residual Current Circuit Breakers, and coupled with the early alert provided by smoke alarms, then I don’t think that there is really any additional risk posed by properly installed polystyrene insulation.


(Beth Wheatley) #17

I see what you mean Robert - thanks, it given me lot to think about! Also everyone else who took the time to reply.