How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

How often do you find yourself asking why some paints smell worse than others? This question has plagued painters since the beginning of time. The answer lies in the chemistry of the paint itself.

Paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate into the air over time. These VOCs include solvents such as turpentine, thinner, and oil. They also include pigments and binders. Some of these chemicals cause headaches or nausea, but they are also known to cause respiratory problems.

To remove the odors from your paint, try using a deodorizer. Deodorizers are designed to neutralize the odor-causing chemicals in paints. There are two types of deodorizers: those that absorb the chemical odor directly, and those that emit a fragrance to mask the odor.

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell Naturally

1. Use a Deodorant

Deodorants work by absorbing the VOCs in your paint. You can use any type of deodorant for this purpose, including roll ons, sticks, sprays, pads, and wipes.

2. Buy an Odor Neutralizing Spray

An odor neutralizing spray works like a deodorant, but it’s more concentrated. It contains active ingredients that react with the VOCs in the paint.

3. Add Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural scented liquids derived from plants. They have been used for thousands of years to treat everything from colds to skin irritations.

You can add essential oils to your paint to help eliminate the odors. Simply mix 1 part essential oil with 10 parts water. Then apply the mixture to your paint.

4. Try Using a Diffuser

A diffuser is a device that emits fragrant aromas through the air. A diffuser may be plugged into a wall outlet or placed in a window. You can choose from many different fragrances, including lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree.

5. Clean Your Work Area Regularly

Cleaning up your workspace will keep the area free of dust and other particles that could trap odors. Sweep the floor regularly and wipe down surfaces.

6. Keep Your Painting Room Cool

Keeping your painting room cool will help prevent the evaporation of VOCs. If possible, open windows during the day so that fresh air flows through the room.

7. Seal Your Walls

Sealing cracks around walls and ceilings will help prevent the escape of VOCs. To seal the cracks, first sand them smooth. Next, apply a thin layer of caulking compound to fill the gaps. Finally, apply a second coat of caulk to ensure a good seal.

8. Wipe Down Your Tools Regularly

Wiping down tools after each use will help prevent the accumulation of dirt and grime on the surface. Be sure to clean all tools thoroughly before storing them away.

9. Don’t Overload Your Air Conditioner

If you live in a hot climate, don’t run your air conditioner at full blast when you paint. Doing so will increase the amount of heat in your home. Instead, turn off the air conditioning system while you paint.

10. Change Your Furniture Coverings

Furniture covers made from vinyl or polyurethane foam are porous materials. This means that they allow the passage of moisture and gases. When you change your furniture cover, make sure to wash it well.

What exactly is fresh paint smell?

Paint has a distinctive smell because it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are the same chemicals found in household cleaners such as aerosol cans, nail polish remover, and cleaning products.

When paint dries, these VOCs evaporate into the air. The stronger the smell, the higher the concentration of VOCs. Paint fumes can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even shortness of breath.

How do I know if my paint smells?

The best way to determine whether your paint smells is by using an air quality monitor. An air quality monitor measures the levels of VOCs in the air.

How long are paint fumes harmful?

Paint fumes can remain in the air for hours. It takes about two weeks for paint fumes to dissipate completely. However, this time varies depending on the type of paint and the temperature outside.

How long does it take for paint smell to go away?

It depends on several factors, including the type of paint used, the weather conditions, and the size of the room where you painted. In general, paint fumes should disappear within 24-48 hours.

Do I need to wear special clothes when painting?

No, but wearing gloves and eye protection will help protect yourself against paint splatters.

Is it OK to sleep in a room with paint fumes?

Yes, but only if the room is ventilated properly. Otherwise, paint fumes may trigger asthma attacks.

How long should I ventilate a room after painting?

You should wait until the smell has disappeared before reopening doors and windows. Ventilation helps remove paint fumes from the air.

Is the smell of paint toxic?

Not really. But it can be irritating to sensitive people. If you have allergies or asthma, consult your doctor before painting.

Does vinegar remove paint smell?

Yes, but it also removes some of the color from the paint. You can mix vinegar with water to dilute the acidity. Then, spray the mixture onto the wall and let it dry.

Does an onion get rid of the smell of paint?

Onions contain enzymes that break down the odor molecules in paint. To make an onion solution, place one sliced onion in a bowl. Add enough water to cover the onions. Let sit overnight. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth and then add it to the paint.

Can I use baking soda to remove paint smell?

Baking soda neutralizes odors. Mix equal parts baking soda and water in a small container. Use a sponge or rag to apply the mixture to the walls. Allow the mixture to dry, and then wipe off any excess.

Can I buy paint without any odor?

There are paints available that don’t emit any odor at all. Some of them are called “odorless” paints. They’re usually more expensive than regular paints.


If you want to avoid paint fumes, consider buying a ventilation system. This will ensure that there’s fresh air circulating around the room while you work. Also, keep the door closed during application. This will prevent paint fumes from escaping into other rooms.

At The Animascorp, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration to help you live better. From decorating and gardening advice, to entertaining and home repair how-tos.

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