Dutch Boy Refresh paint: can it handle our bathroom?

Dutch Boy Refresh Paint

Have you ever walked into a house and knew immediately that there was a cat living there?  Or that someone smoked?  Or cooked a lot of fried foods?  Gross.

Timing is everything, and when Dutch Boy contacted me asking if I wanted to try and review their Refresh paint, I couldn’t believe my luck, because my contractor had been bugging me to pick a color for the first floor.  The half bath off of the dining room seemed like the perfect place to try this odor-absorbing paint.

The deal is this: Dutch Boy Refresh Paint has Arm & Hammer odor absorbing technology.  It’s supposed to trap odors in the paint, and they claim that even when scrubbed, the odors won’t get out.  That’s really innovative, because paint is like your house’s skin: it covers just about everything.  So if it really works, that could make a huge difference in a room.

Other features of the paint are (from their website):

  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®
  • Zero VOC, compliant per strictest regional and national air quality standards.
  • Gallon and quart containers are recyclable.
  • Green Cert™ certified
  • Wall paints are not formulated with formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors, alkylphenol ethoxylates, and crystalline silica.
  • Gives mildew-resistant coating

Picking a color was fun, because the choice is just enormous.  We ended up choosing Brushed Steel – we thought it would be a nice compliment to the grey-blue covering the rest of that floor.  The Dutch Boy website has a very cool feature where you can try different colors together in sample rooms.  Definitely helps to see the colors on a big area.

I received two gallons of paint, much more than enough for the little half bath, so at some point we’re going to paint another room with the rest.  The paint went on very smooth.  It is, of course, hard to accurately show the color – in reality it looks a little more silvery and less blue than this picture shows – but this is fairly close.  I’m very happy with the color, it looks like it did online.

Dutch Boy Refresh Paint

It is, of course, impossible for me to do a complete review of the paint right now, because the odor absorbing benefit is something that we don’t get to experience for a while.  The workers are doing their part to help us, by smoking on that floor every time they work, and in the week that the paint has been on, I’ve gone right up to it and sniffed it and don’t smell any smoke at all.  But still, I think it hasn’t been anywhere near long enough to tell.  So I’ll revisit this in six months or so.  In the mean time, if you catch me sniffing walls, you’ll know why.

Originally posted on Selfish MomAll opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.


  1. says

    Paint me green with envy. They contacted me, but only to write about some contest they were holding. Truth is we are a few weeks from a big pain job in our house. At any rate, it’s good to know your initial impression is positive. I’m most intrigued by the 0 VOC as the paint smell is one of the things I hate about freshly painted walls. I’ve had my family spend a night or two at grandma’s to avoid breathing the fumes in.

  2. says

    @kim/hormone-colored days – I asked for 12 gallons to do the whole floor (it’s basically one big room so we were doing the whole thing in the same color). Since that floor has the kitchen on it, I think putting it on a bigger area would be a better test from their perspective, but they only wanted to send two. So while this won’t be as good of a test in terms of the smell factor, someone on the fence about trying it can at least be reassured that it goes on smooth and has great colors. Whatever ends up happening with the smell issue, you don’t lose anything by using it – it acted just like any other high-quality paint would, plus you’ve got the green factor!

  3. Mary says

    Hey Amy, I was wondering if the Dutch Boy paint you applied ended up working well in your bathroom? Does it really suck up the odor as advertised? How satisfied are you?

    • says

      @Mary: I think it’s a difficult thing to quantify. I just went up to the bathroom wall and smelled it, and it smells like…nothing. Like a wall. But so do my other walls that didn’t use that paint. I think what will be most helpful to people looking for a green, no VOC paint is knowing that it goes on and lasts just as well as a “normal” paint (in the beginning many of the no VOC paints had terrible coverage). To find out if it really handles long-term stink, I think someone would have to do a controlled study using cigarette smoke or garlic, something like that.

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