As people probably know, paint can be quite a strong smell and can affect hamsters who have a stronger sense of smell than us.
So just wanted to pass on some suggestions for low odour paints (I've been painting and decorating recently!)
The paint I've found (accidentally) that I love using smells of nothing! Except possibly slightly of muddy water - but certainly no fumey smells. It's by Earthborn and it's called Clay Paint. It's made from Clay and apparently is the only Uk paint manufacturer to be given the EU Ecolabel.
It's not the cheapest paint, but neither is it the most expensive. It costs about £10 more than standard well-known paint brands, per tin, but it also goes a long way. I found it best to add a little bit of water, as it's so thick, which makes it go a bit further and easier to paint on. Although when I painted it on thick it only needed one coat, so that's worth considering too.
I found it by accident as other half wanted some breathable paint for a wall he had plastered. This one is a breathable paint so we got it for that reason, but I loved using it because it doesn't smell - and I am asthmatic so that helps with that as well. It's a matt finish and looks very nice on the walls. One downside is it isn't washable like some paints - but it's easy to touch up if you had to wipe a mark off. So not the best paint for an area that tends to get mucked up with pets etc. Although they do sell a breathable wall glaze you can paint on top that makes it wipeable for high traffic areas. I tried the wall glaze and that's nice too - but adds to the cost. Also doesn't smell much - a slight vinegary smell to it that wears off quickly.
So I am now a big fan of this paint - nice to use, safer with hammies in the house and no nasty smells if things like that bother you. The other big bonus for me (being a messy painter) is I can splash it on the floors, furniture and myself and it just wipes off or washes out easily
So that's the one I've used downstairs where Charlie is. I've used a few other paints upstairs as well. Johnstone's paints are also supposed to not smell very much. I've used their undercoat which didn't have a strong smell but haven't tried the emulsion - although reviews say it is low odour. I've also used a Laura Ashley water-based eggshell paint instead of gloss for woodwork and that too had hardly any smell. A couple of other paints I used upstairs were a bit smelly and one in particular was overpowering even though described as low odour, so I'm sticking with the Claypaints!
So here's my list of tried out paints that don't smell much or don't smell at all, if anyone is decorating with hammies around.
1) Earthborn clay paints
2) Johnstones Trade Joncryl water based primer undercoat
3) Laura Ashley Eggshell
4) Earthborn Wall Glaze (for high traffic areas if you have dogs eg)
In the past I've used Farrow and Ball emulsion paint because it hardly smelled at all and was good with my asthma, but haven't tried that for a long time, so it may have changed - plus it's a bit expensive, but is wipeable I think.
A lot of paint companies are claiming to be non toxic and low VOC's and low odour but have other nasty smelly things in - as I found out. So I'm sticking with the ones I've tried that don't smell. Also Johnstones have a huge range of undercoats and primers - the one I used was recommended as low odour so they might not all be the same.
Feel free to add your own paint recommendations!