Want to learn how to get rid of paint smell? Painting is such a fun, easy, and quick way to spruce up anything from nightstands to kitchen cabinets or your entire living room. But it does have a downside – the smell.
You feel a sense of triumph for a job well done but that victorious moment is also mingled with irritation at that obnoxious stench floating in the air. The lingering scent of chemical fumes can put a damper on your glorious, newly completed paint project.
Sure you can always crack a window open. But what if it’s raining, unbearably hot, or incredibly cold outside?
You don’t want to invite unpleasant weather into your perfectly climate-controlled home. Fortunately, there are plenty of at-home remedies to this problem that are simple and inexpensive.
Oil based paints generally tend to contain more VOCs that are responsible for paint smells, while water based paints tend to have less VOCs and less of a smell.
How to Get Rid of Paint Smell Naturally
There are many ways to get rid of paint smell. Don’t you just love it when you can reach into your cabinet and pull out an amazing multi-tasking product that knocks out life’s messes without compromising the health of your family with toxic chemicals?
It produces a feel-good moment akin to the one Harry Houdini must have experienced every time he pulled a rabbit out of his hat to the immense delight of his audience.
You may not have a room of raving, loyal fans to cheer your every DIY remedy move, but who says you can’t imagine the thunderous applause of impressed do-it-yourselfers in your imagination.
A little fantasy doesn’t hurt. It’s like reveling in that little square of chocolate you eat from time to time to get you through an otherwise lackluster day. So without further ado, here are some amazingly effective and simple methods for getting rid of paint smells naturally.
Break Out The Baking Soda
This is the kind of baking soda you want to use. It’s smooth unlike the grainy kind you clean clothes with.
What’s not to love about this scentless, white powder that beautifully whitens teeth, cleans bathtubs, treats heartburn, and fixes a myriad of life’s annoying issues? This beauty is also extremely effective at removing odors.
If you’ve ever seen an open box of baking soda in your grandma’s fridge, it’s because she knew the odor-absorbing power of this household staple. You can benefit from the same technique after your paint job.
Grab some cereal bowls and add baking soda to them. Place your bowls around the room and let the baking soda sit overnight to absorb paint smells overnight.
Light Some Candles
A divine smelling candle makes everything better, doesn’t it? There are so many great varieties to choose from. But there are odor eliminating candles that are specifically designed to absorb odors from sources like paint, smoke and pets.
Light a soy-based candle like this one so you can purify the air without harming your lungs.
Why not try one like Just Makes Scents Odor & Smoke Candle and make your home smell as fresh as a daisy again? It gets rid of odors by neutralizing them.
Plus, it’s a soy candle so it’s clean-burning and virtually smoke-free making it safe to breathe. After all, with the paint fumes in the air, the last thing you want to do is add more chemicals to your space.
Employ Activated Charcoal
If you’re into DIY face masks, you’ll know the power of a good charcoal-based recipe. It’s so great at absorbing impurities that it’s also used to remove toxins from the body and gases from the air.
Created by the controlled decomposition of carbon-based compounds, this amazing substance comes in the form of a fine, black powder. Activated charcoal looks like someone took volcanic rocks and pulverized them until they looked like dirt.
To get the most from this marvelous paint odor eliminator, just pour it in cereal bowls. Place the bowls around the room, sit back, and enjoy the clean air restoring properties of activated charcoal.
Use Coffee Grounds
Not just for that morning cup of joe anymore, coffee grounds are excellent paint odor absorbers. Pour the coffee grounds into cereal bowls and place them around the room to absorb the paint smell.
Use coffee grounds like these to absorb odors from paint fumes in your room. Remember you never want to keep products around that have been used to absorb toxic chemicals from paint fumes. So toss the grounds when you are done with them.
Pour Lemon Water
It turns out lemon water isn’t just good for detoxifying your body. It’s also great for detoxifying your air. It’s the water that pulls the heavy-duty here.
But adding slices of lemon will emit a fresh citrus scent that will improve the smell. This method takes longer, but it still gets the job done.
Place a bucket of water in the middle of the room and let it sit overnight.
Use Natural Oil Extracts
Natural oil extracts are safe for the environment and provide a soothing aromatherapy experience. Each extract you use has a unique benefit to offer you.
For instance, peppermint is known for increasing alertness. In addition to acting as a natural energizer, it can also eliminate hunger pangs. Lemon, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, and orange are also wonderful for knocking out unpleasant paint smells.
Lemon oil is both stimulating and calming. Lemongrass soothes anxiety and depression. Rosemary improves insight while relieving fatigue. Tea tree helps stamp out stress. Orange lifts your mood.
Peel An Onion
When you think of onions you don’t exactly imagine something that improves smell. It’s the last thing you want on your plate if you’re trying not to offend anyone.
Split an onion in half just like you see here. It’s super simple and fast.
But when it comes to improving the quality of your air, few things work better than this powerful vegetable. It absorbs and neutralizes the odor of fresh paint like a boss. Grab a large onion.
Peel it. Slice it in half. Grab two bowls. Place each half in its own bowl cut side up. Put the bowls on opposite sides of the room you painted.
Burn Some Sage
Did you know that centuries ago Native Americans burned sage to cleanse a space? If you’re not familiar with the practice of burning sage, it’s easy enough to learn.
You just light the end of a sage bundle. Allow the smoke to fill the air. Walk around the room with the burning sage.
You may also be pleased to know that sage produces a relaxing effect on many people. Also, according to studies, sage helped relieve anxiety and depression.
Some acupuncturists will burn sage in an attempt to rid their patients of negative emotions. Given the benefits of burning sage, you might want to consider adding it to your weekly house cleaning routine.
Once again, not exactly something you’d associate with knocking out odors, vinegar is one of those stinky liquids you try to avoid at all costs. But it does such a fabulous job of eliminating offensive smells that you’d be remiss not to try it.
You can use either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. They both absorb paint smells quite well.
In small bowls, pour the vinegar until it covers half of the bowl. Place the bowls around the room and before you know it, you’ll be able to enjoy the smell of your home again.
This is an example of what distilled vinegar looks like, a great solution to help you get rid of paint fumes. White vinegar is clear like water. It’s different from apple cider vinegar which looks more like apple juice. Either will absorb paint smells and help in removing the smell of paint.
Close The Door
Make sure to close the door of the room that you did the painting in. This is a fantastic way to trap the paint odor.
Roll a towel up and place it at the base of the door if there is a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Doing this will keep the smell from escaping from the room.
Also, if you feel comfortable doing so, open the windows to speed up the odor-eliminating process and let the fresh air in. This may present a challenge if the weather is poor or the neighborhood sketchy.
So use your good judgment here. Another trick is to close doors and windows of other rooms to keep the fresh paint fumes from spreading like a wildfire.
Purify The Air
Using an air purifier to eliminate the smell of paint is super easy. The science behind an air purifier is simple. It uses a fan to pull air in.
Then it filters the air back out to remove the paint odors from the room. Although it’s a simple enough method, it does take a while to work.
You may need to leave it running a couple of days to fully remove the smell. Plus, it’s not exactly the cheapest option.
More Tips for Reducing Paint Smell
Before you start breaking out the paint, feel free to open the windows for better ventilation if the weather permits.
Don’t paint too many rooms at one time to reduce the smell of paint. If it’s advantageous, open the windows during the daytime and let the fresh air in.
Even better, place a tall fan facing an open window to help the fumes leave the room. Use a low VOC paint. True, it is more expensive.
But it’s the perfect option for dodging pesky paint fumes altogether. An example of low VOC paint is chalk paint. It’s easy on the lungs and can be applied without any primer.
VOC is an acronym that stands for volatile organic compound. These compounds are a set of chemicals that have strong paint odors.
Getting a low VOC paint will ensure that you’re not filling your home or body with harmful chemicals. You’ll never have to worry about experiencing nausea, dizziness, or headaches with this type of paint.
You can also use paint made from clay, minerals, plants, or milk. Regardless of the paint you choose, remember to keep the lid on to further help minimize any smells.
When you’re finished applying the first coat give it enough time to fully dry. You don’t want damp coats of paint giving off toxic fumes after your paint job is complete.
The only thing you want to linger in the air is your immense feeling of pride at a beautiful paint job you can enjoy for years to come.
Idara Hampton enjoys working on DIY projects and sharing what she learns with others. She also flexes her creative muscle by writing about health and wellness topics on her blog. You can find her at www.idarahampton.com.