Smelly stinky supplies? Why?

Many years ago had to bin paints that had awful smelly stinky odor.
Yesterday got 2 pops of color bottles and they have this weird chemical smell.
It is winter cold here so open a window is not an option to ad fresh air ventilation.
I have blurry vision from my rx cardiac meds so have to look bit nearer to see the crafting.
Usually read reviews for mention of chemical smells but failed to find it this time.
Any tips? What is that smell?

As someone sensitive to scents, I can relate to your frustrations! I am lucky that paints don’t bother me much, especially water-based ones, but I do have a half-mask respirator for when necessary. Not sure if that is something that would work for you or not. I also will sometimes put stinky things in the bathroom to dry since it’s a room with a ventilation fan.


Good advice! As for the “why”, it’s hard to say. Some pigments that give paint its color, do just have specific odors. Stronger colors might mean stronger odors? I notice some paints may also have a plastic-like smell. I assume that is just from ingredients added to make it shiny or stretchy, or otherwise “better”. If the paint is old, it is possible it has gone bad: rancid or moldy, etc.

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I’m a chemist and work with polymers. You could reach out to the manufacturer for a MSDS, as that may reveal the polymer that’s causing the odor. I work with some polyurethane materials, and they can have a fishy odor at times. The paint could be old, or with the supply chain craziness, the manufacturer may have had to use a different chemical supplier or change the formulation, which may account for the smell. If the paint is old, the polymers do degrade, and can also be food for things like mold or bacteria.

As for dealing with the smell, a chemical respirator may help. Or maybe light a better smelling candle so that can over power the paint stink.