Paint Techniques

Interior & Exterior Decor Effects

10 Easy ways to get rid of any unpleasant paint smells in a freshly painted room.

Posted by Winnie Saayman on August 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM

What causes that awful paint smell? Oil-based paint odours come from evaporation of solvents as the paint dries and because some of these compounds evaporate slowly, the fumes tend to linger in a freshly painted area. Exposure to these paint fumes can cause headaches, dizziness and generally make the room unpleasant to move back into.

Getting rid of nasty paint smells is easy.

Ordinary “old fashioned” and affordable kitchen ingredients are easily available and will help mask and reduce paint odours while you wait for the compounds to evaporate.

Vanilla extract or Peppermint oil.

Add drops of pure vanilla extract or peppermint oil to cotton balls or in small bowls of water and set them out in the room.

Coffee grounds

If you are a caffeine addict, fresh coffee grounds put out in bowl around the room will mask mild paint odours.

Charcoal

Charcoal can be used to deodorize any powerful chemical odour. Lightly crush whole pieces of wood charcoal into small pieces and leave overnight in containers placed around the room.

Light a candle

Another way to get rid of solvent fumes is to light a candle and let it burn in the room for a few hours. The open flame will burn out the flammable substances in the solvent. Candles still pose a potential fire hazard so place the candle on top of a bowl or a saucer of water to catch any dripping, hot wax and keep young children out of the room while the candle is burning.

A bucket of water

If you don’t want to risk a fire by lighting a candle to burn off the fumes, you can simply place a few buckets of water around the room to absorb the solvent vapours. It is not as efficient as a candle, but is a safer option if you’re painting a room finished with or made with wood.

Onions

Cut large onions into quarters and set them out on plates throughout the room. The residual smell of onion will disappear much quicker than the smell of paint would have.

Vinegar

Place bowls of white distilled vinegar around the room to neutralize odours.

Lemon

Place lemon slices in bowls all over the newly painted room for a day or two and throw them out later to remove any unpleasant paint smells.

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

If the room has a carpet in it, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda liberally all over the carpet and vacuum up in the morning. This is a two in one solution as your carpet will be freshened and deoderised at the same time as your freshly painted room.

Ventilation.

Open all doors and windows for as long as possible during the day and night. Putting a fan in the room for this period will also hurry along the process of clearing up any lingering, unpleasant paint smells

 

 

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5 Comments

Reply rupali
7:50 AM on October 29, 2014 
I m a skin allergic person. We have recently painted our house . From Past three weeks, m fed-up with smell of paint.i have fallen sick due to this..
i have tried opening the windows,use of vinegar, candles. etc.
Kindly advice me what needs to be done to get rid out of this.
Reply Brian
2:04 AM on November 18, 2013 
Brandon says...
I think you forgot to talk about Covering the Paint to prevent the bad paint smells after Interior home Painting.
The best way to mask the paint smell in the house is to mask the paint itself as much as possible. This means:

If you?re taking a break during interior painting, cover your paintbrush with a plastic bag while you?re gone
Keep the lid on your paint container as much as possible
Place the paint outside when you aren?t using it
Use disposable containers to hold your paint (such as old ice cream tubs)
Reply Brandon
7:56 AM on May 6, 2013 
dont paint simple isnt it
Reply winnie saayman
2:48 AM on April 16, 2013 
Hi lynette, tell me the name of the paints they use- doesn't sound right.
winnie

Lynette says...
It is 8 weeks since I had a couple of rooms painted. I specified and paid for the use of a low irritant paint. However, the painter mentioned he had to buy more paint and I suspect it is of a v. low quality. On the last day he was here I commented on the gaseous adour and even had a plumber out to check my gas appliances. This paint was used on woodwork. The fumes are still evident and cause pain and watering to my eyes, give me a headache and respiratory problems. I have tried a cut onion which weems to work for a day or so but the odour is still with me. Also tried basil, lemon, rosemary, lavender in an oil burner whick seems to mask the smell but not eradicate it. Help!
Reply Lynette
9:40 PM on April 15, 2013 
It is 8 weeks since I had a couple of rooms painted. I specified and paid for the use of a low irritant paint. However, the painter mentioned he had to buy more paint and I suspect it is of a v. low quality. On the last day he was here I commented on the gaseous adour and even had a plumber out to check my gas appliances. This paint was used on woodwork. The fumes are still evident and cause pain and watering to my eyes, give me a headache and respiratory problems. I have tried a cut onion which weems to work for a day or so but the odour is still with me. Also tried basil, lemon, rosemary, lavender in an oil burner whick seems to mask the smell but not eradicate it. Help!