Effective Tips on How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

Effective Tips on How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

Posted by Eyes of Lady Wimbledon | 1 February 2024 | Home & Garden

After completing a painting project, the lingering odor can be unpleasant and may even cause discomfort or health issues for some individuals. It’s important to address this issue promptly to maintain a healthy living environment. 

In this article, we’ll provide several effective tips and strategies to eliminate paint smells, ensuring your newly refreshed space is comfortable and safe. Whether you’ve just added a fresh coat to a room or finished a creative work, these tips will help you clear the air quickly and efficiently. 

Ventilate the Space

Proper ventilation is the first and most crucial step to removing the paint smell. Opening windows and doors to circulate fresh air will help eliminate the odor. You can also use fans or air purifiers to speed up the process. It’s recommended to ventilate the space for at least 48 hours before occupying it again.

Use Natural Odor Absorbers

Natural odor absorbers such as baking soda, vinegar, and activated charcoal eliminate paint smells. Simply place bowls of these substances around the room or mix them with water to create a spray. These natural remedies will help absorb the odors without adding harmful chemicals to your living space.

Utilize Essential Oils

Another natural and effective method to eliminate paint smells is by using essential oils. Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon are known for their odor-eliminating properties. Add a few drops of your preferred oil to a water bowl, or mix it with vinegar and spray it around the room.

Try Odor Eliminating Paints

If you’re planning a painting project, consider using odor-eliminating paints. These specially formulated paints contain ingredients that neutralize the paint smell and prevent it from lingering for an extended period. They are available in various colors and finishes, making them as versatile as traditional paints.

Clean Thoroughly

Cleaning is essential to remove any residual odors. Start by wiping down all surfaces with a mixture of water and vinegar. This will help eliminate any lingering paint particles contributing to the smell. Don’t forget to clean any brushes, rollers, or other tools used during the painting process.

Follow Proper Painting Techniques

Prevention is always better than cure. To minimize paint smells in the future, follow proper painting techniques. Use low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints as they produce fewer fumes. Also, avoid painting in hot or humid conditions as it can intensify the paint smell.

Call a Professional

If the paint smell persists after trying these methods, it’s best to call a professional for assistance. They will be able to determine the source of the odor and provide solutions tailored to your specific situation. Professional cleaners may also be able to effectively remove any remaining paint particles or residue causing the smell. You can learn more by contacting professionals in your area. 

The Danger of Paint Odors

Paint odors, primarily caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can pose significant health risks, especially when inhaled over extended periods. Short-term exposure to these fumes may lead to headaches, dizziness, and respiratory irritation. People with asthma or other breathing issues may experience exacerbated symptoms. 

Prolonged exposure is more concerning as it potentially affects the liver, kidney, and central nervous system and may contribute to cancer development. Pregnant women should be particularly cautious, as certain VOCs have been associated with developmental disorders in fetuses. 

Therefore, while aesthetically pleasing, fresh paintwork requires careful handling and ample ventilation to mitigate the dangers associated with paint odors. 

Additional Factors to Consider

  • Temperature and Humidity Levels: High temperatures and humidity can increase the volatility of organic compounds in paint, leading to a stronger odor. To mitigate this, aim to paint during cooler, less humid days or use a dehumidifier to maintain optimal conditions in the painted space.
  • Quality of Paint: Select high-quality paints with low VOC content to reduce the strength of paint odors. They are less harmful to indoor air quality and minimize potential health risks associated with traditional paints.
  • Room Size and Painted Area: The size of the room and the painted surface area can impact how concentrated paint fumes become. Larger spaces with good air circulation tend to disperse fumes more effectively.
  • Personal Sensitivity: Individuals may have varying levels of sensitivity to paint odors. Those with heightened sensitivity or allergies should take extra precautions, such as avoiding the area until it’s fully aired out.
  • Drying Time: Paints have different drying times; some may emit odors until completely dry. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying time before using or furnishing the room.
  • Underlying Materials: The materials painted over, such as wood or previous paint layers, can affect odor intensity. Some materials may absorb and slowly release the odor, prolonging the dissipation.
  • Previous Ventilation and Cleaning: A room’s existing cleanliness and ventilation before painting can affect how quickly odors dissipate. A well-ventilated and clean space will allow odors to clear out more rapidly.
  • Furniture and Fabrics: Porous materials like upholstery, carpets, and drapes can absorb paint odors. Consider removing or covering these items during a painting project to prevent them from retaining smells.
  • Frequency of Renovation: Regularly painted or renovated spaces may accumulate residual VOCs from repeated applications. This history can affect the rate at which new paint smells dissipate.


Paint smells can be a nuisance and even pose health risks if not properly managed. It’s essential to take precautions and follow the abovementioned tips to eliminate or minimize paint odors. 

Using natural odor absorbers, proper ventilation, and quality paints with low VOCs, you can enjoy freshly painted spaces without worrying about unpleasant side effects. 

Additionally, always consider calling a professional for help if the smell persists or you have concerns about potential health hazards.

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