Furious B&Q customer in tears as paint ruins car – but company hits back

Furious B&Q customer in tears as paint ruins car – but company hits back

Fuming B&Q customers want the br to take action after paint pots spilled open and 'ruined' their vehicles.

However, the DIY retailer has hit back against complaints and argued that care needs to be taken when travelling in a motor with a pot of paint.

Customer Adam Bolwell has hit news headlines after saying a £42 pot of grey emulsion Valspar paint popped open when he was driving up a hill in his Peugeot 107 and left his footwell "looking like a swimming pool".

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The 25-year-old claimed he had visited B&Q in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, on March 26, to buy some paint to spruce up his bedroom, and used his partner's car.

After buying the paint, Adam says he placed it into the footwell of the passenger seat – but minutes into the short ride home the paint toppled over and the lid popped off, flooding the car.

Adam, from Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, said: "I put it in the front passenger footwell. I was going up the hill about one mile away from mine, I wasn't driving aggressively. It fell over and it went everywhere. It didn't fall off the seat, it just tipped over.

"It was like a swimming pool, I lost about four-and-a-half litres. It wasn't great. I was a bit annoyed to say the least."

As soon as he got home, the accountant said he tried to do damage control by scooping the paint out with the mat, and then pressure-wash the inside of the car.

However, he said his partner, learning support advisor Jasmin, was left in tears and was no longer able to use the car for any length of time because of "the fumes".

Adam added: "My partner was in tears and panicking because she uses it for work. She was angry and gutted, she was wondering what she was going to do."

After reaching out to B&Q, Adam claims he was told he would need to contact his local store to see if he could be refunded, but as the paint was sealed when it arrived, they refused.

"I was fuming and B&Q weren't the most helpful," he said.

"I emailed the complaints team who said they'd pass it onto the store and they haven't been helpful at all.

"They said once it's left their store it's nothing to do with them."

After being contacted, B&Q said they were sorry to hear about Adam and Jasmin's experience, but that the paint cans need to be handled with care, and some of their tins come with warnings on.

They added that when there is a "rare" spillage, they try to properly assess the incident to understand how it happened, and if there was anything they could have done to prevent it.

Adam claimed: "They said it was sealed correctly and it's up to the local store whether we get the money back and they said it wasn't their fault.

"They mix it on site, they said it was already sealed but they must have taken it off to mix the colour.

"I presume they get the paint in a clear white and mix the paint so they need to take the lid off to add the toner and seal it back on. Obviously they haven't sealed it correctly.

"My dad is a painter, he said he's bought thousands of tubs of paint and he's never had that."

According to Adam, the car is stained, they had to throw the car mats and it "still smells". He added: "I can't be in the car for too long because of the fumes."

Other customers have complained about the same issue with paint ruining their cars.

One couple claimed in 2026 the paint seeped into the underbody of their £12,000 Mercedes, making it not worth repairing.

B&Q says that fewer than one in 100,000 tins led to a spillage complaint, but offered to carry out additional testing.

In October 2022, another customer shared a photo of her car covered in white paint, claiming B&Q had refused responsibility.

Meanwhile, other B&Q customers have reached out to the chain on social media, claiming to have the same issue, and not being refunded.

One wrote: "So today I bought a tin of Valspar paint from B&Q that I had mixed. I put the tin on the floor behind passenger seat thinking this is the most secure place.

"The tin has toppled over and covered the car. Thanks B&Q for the lack of attention to detail in securing the lid.

"B&Q won't accept any responsibility, claiming once it's left their store then it's my problem. Great customer service."

Meanwhile, Adam said: "There's a Facebook thread of other people who have had the same problem.

"Most of the time when you buy paint you can't get the lid off. A refund would be good. I won't be buying paint from there again. They haven't been helpful at all."

A B&Q spokesperson said: "We are sorry to hear about Mr Bolwell's partner's experience and have reached out to ask for more information.

"Paint needs to be transported with care, and many of our paint tins include a message reminding customers to store them in a secure, upright position.

"On the very rare occasion that a customer experiences a problem with transporting paint, we seek to properly assess the incident to understand how it happened and whether there was anything more B&Q could have done to prevent it."

Valspar declined to comment.


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