How To Get Rid Of Paint Smells Quickly

After painting a room, the unpleasant smell can linger for a few days, but in our guide, we discuss multiple ways to get rid of the smell.
Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
How To Get Rid Of Paint Smell
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Whether you have painted your kitchen cupboards, bedroom, or hallway, the smell that lingers after it’s been painted isn’t to everyone’s taste.

The smell itself is caused by the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are used to make the paint. Although some paints feature low VOCs, the fumes are often still present after use.

If you can’t stand the smell of new paint in your home, below are some tips on how to get rid of the paint smell.

How To Get Rid Of Paint Fumes


1. Improve Ventilation With Fans

Although most people will open their windows whilst painting, you can help blow the paint fumes out with the use of some fans. We would recommend placing a fan in the centre of the room and angling it so that the air pushes the paint smell towards the windows and out of the room. If you are painting a small bathroom, switching on the bathroom extractor fan to constant whilst the paint dries would be another great way to improve the ventilation.

2. Use Charcoal

Charcoal is a known odour absorber, and simply placing a few bowls of charcoal around the room is a highly effective method of removing paint smells. It also benefits from being pet-friendly, non-toxic, and eco-friendly.

3. Bowls of Vinegar

A couple of bowls of white vinegar strategically placed around the room is another great method of removing the paint smell. The acid found in vinegar neutralizes the molecules in the paint fumes to remove the smell.

4. Sprinkle Baking Soda – (Ideal For Carpeted Rooms)

If you notice that the paint smell is mostly present on soft surfaces such as carpets or a fabric sofa, sprinkling baking soda is the best method. It neutralises and absorbs odours and it can be vacuumed up after a few hours.

5. Cut Onions

The saying, “fight fire with fire“, is very much how using onions to eliminate the paint smell works. Leaving cut onions throughout the freshly painted room can effectively combat the paint smell. However, if you don’t like the smell of onions, this wouldn’t be the best method, as the smell of onions may also linger.

6. Ground Coffee

The use of ground coffee is another great way to neutralise odours, and if you are a lover of coffee, it’s a smell that you may actually enjoy. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t reuse the coffee grounds but instead throw them out once the paint smell has been removed from the room.

7. Scented Candles

Although candles may only hide the smell of paint, they will also absorb the fumes to make the room smell far better. We would recommend placing two candles at opposite ends of the room and allowing them to burn for several hours.

How To Avoid The Dreaded Paint Smells

Preventing paint smells from lingering in the room in the first place is highly recommended if you can’t stand the smell. Ideally, you want to keep the room’s doors and windows open to help the fumes dissipate into the air. You’ll also want to keep other doors in the home shut to avoid the paint smell spreading.

Other tactics to avoid the paint smell lingering include using low VOC paints, allowing each coat to completely dry before the next coat and avoiding high humidity days as this can slow down the drying process of the paint.

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