How to get rid of the smell of paint

Changes in the way paint is made means that overwhelming paint fumes aren't as strong as they used to be. Water based paints don't carry strong smells, so you should only have lingering fumes for a couple of days.

There are some ways you can speed up getting rid of paint smells.

1. Keep the room well ventilated

Open windows, doors and keep a constant airflow circulating within the room. Place a couple of rotating fans around the room, angled towards an open window, and they’ll help get rid of the fumes.

Don’t switch the fans on until you’ve finished your coat of paint and it’s touch dry.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda is magic. It naturally absorbs smells, so it’s helpful in places like your fridge.

If you want to use it to cut down on paint smells, pour it onto several plates and scatter them throughout the room. Leave it overnight and then throw it away in the morning.

For soft furnishings like carpet or your sofa, sprinkle the baking soda over it, leave overnight and then vacuum it up the next day.

3. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is another natural odour absorber. It’s often a feature in cooker extraction hoods and air purifiers - so you know it works!

Like with baking soda, place small amounts of activated charcoal on plates and scatter around the room. Leave it a day or so, and then throw it away after the smell has dissipated.

4. Keep your house cool

If you have windows open and the room is well ventilated, it should be a cool temperature anyway.

But if you’re painting in winter, don’t turn the heating on until the paint is dry. This helps keep the paint fumes to a minimum.

5. Low VOC

Choose paint with low VOC to cut down on the smell. VOC (or volatile organic compound) causes strong paint smells, so choosing a low VOC paint should mean the paint scent isn’t as strong.

6. Air purifier

Air purifiers help to absorb smells and get rid of them quicker. Unlike fans, air purifiers won’t speed up the drying process but still get rid of the smell, so you can switch them on as soon as you start painting.

7. Onions

This method might make your house smell like onions for a short while, but it’ll get rid of the paint smell. 

Onions contain a chemical that neutralises the chemicals that make the paint smell. All you need to do is chop an onion in half and place it in the room you’re painting.

8. Candles

Sometimes, the best way to get rid of a smell is to mask it with another; find a candle you love and burn it for a couple of hours to cover the smell.

 

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