How To Get Rid of Paint Smell (Risks, Methods to Avoid)

Painting your objects will definitely give it a new look. This new look brings with itself a robust and pungent smell of paint. Many oil-based paints can leave paint fumes behind that could linger on for days which could be a hassle, and some of you might be allergic to that smell. This is why it is being recommended to select an open-air area with ventilation before you start your painting process.

Yes, I agree that some of the paints are environment friendly and safe, but still, they too have a smell which can induce headache, toxic and unpleasant. Let’s have a quick look that if we don’t take these fumes seriously than what effect it could have on our health.

Risk of inhaling Paint fumes

Fumes that are emitted from the paint can be risky. If you accidentally touched that paint that you may feel some sort of irritation on your skin and could be extremely dangerous if you, unfortunately, swallowed any oil-based paint (read here if you get spray paint on your skin).

Besides that, oil-based paint can also cause irritation in your nose, throat and even in your eyes, but they can be relieved when you are exposed to fresh air.

Side-effects of inhaling Paint fumes

  • Breathing problems
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Slight irritation in the nose and other respiratory organs.

But if your exposure to paint or its fumes is for a more extended period than it is something to get worried about. It can even cause long term damage to somebody systems like;

  • Kidneys
  • Nervous system
  • Liver

Some people might have some allergies like asthma form paint. Exposure to some strong fumes can trigger their problem so they should be extra careful about themselves

There was a study in 2010 about the level of Volatile organic compound (VOC) in the children’s room. It was deduced that kids who have a higher level of VOC in their bedroom are more likely to suffer from asthma, eczema and even rhinitis.

Don’t worry! We not only tell you the problems but also comes up with some best solutions.

Fortunately, we have some ways to remove that paint fumes form your surroundings quickly so that you can genuinely enjoy your creative activity.

Methods to eliminate paint smell

We have listed some everyday things which are usually already at your home, so you won’t have to make an extra effort to go and search in the market. Though they are present at your home but I am sure that you are still unaware of the amazing qualities they have, which can surely help you to eliminate the smell of paint from your place.

1) Baking Soda: If your room in which you have done your painting have carpets, then soda would entirely be helpful. This is a natural deodorizer that absorbs the smell. You just need to sprinkle some of the baking soda on your carpets and give it some time to digest that smell once you feel that there is no scent than simply clean it or vacuum it (to learn more about removing the smell of paint, read here).

2) Vinegar: Vinegar can also be a deodorizer that has to be used in a small amount and then leave it for some time. You would not expect this solution to fight against strong scent but believe me, it works. Be very careful that you should not spill vinegar even by mistake.

3) Candles: To your surprise, Candles will not only stop the pungent smell of paint but also absorbs those form surroundings. The flame of candles does that absorbing function. You can even use some scented candles to have a sweet and pleasant smell in your room.

4) Charcoal: This also proves to be a fantastic natural option that you can use to get rid of paint smell. It is one of the most effective odour-absorber because of its porous texture. It is also effortless to use. You just have to place some grinded charcoal in any suitable container in the painted room for a few hours, and your room would be free with any odour.

5) Water and Leamon: Take a bucket of water and toss some lemon slices and just leave that in your painting room. This will absorbs all the smell and will leave a fresh and clean vibe in your place.  This is also an easy way to eliminate paint smell if you are comfortable with the scent of citrus. It is also said that for adequate results add some salt in your bucket.

6) Fan: Fan is the way to keep your painted room well-ventilated. You can even open the windows if you see the weather outside is windy. The fresh air will surely help to eliminate the smell of paint.

7) Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds are also a fantastic deodorizing to absorb the odour. If you are a coffee-lover, then you will enjoy the smell of coffee beans rather than of painting.

8) Onions: Lastly, Onion’s odour which itself is not pleasant at all, has amazing absorbing qualities. Just place thicks pieces of onion rings in the corner of your room in which you are painting. It will keep your room odour-free for several hours. Remember to throw away that onion after using that as onions pick up chemicals from paint fumes, thus not suitable for eating.

9) Natural Extracts: The two natural extracts that can help you with clearing your room with any paint odour are vanilla and peppermint. Simply put a few drops of these extracts on a piece of wool and then place that wool in your painting room. This is so effective that even some experts add few drops of the same extract directly to the can of their paint before starting their work.

10) Dry Coconut shells: Burning the dry coconut shells will release a strong smell that will dominate the smell of the paint and will give you quick relief. This remedy is also often used in some rural areas where they used these dry shells to get rid of mosquitoes.

11) Herbs: Herbs like basil or rosemary will help you to get rid of paint smell because of their strong odour. For temporary bases, you can have these in your painting room, and there will be no suffocating smell of paint to irritate you.

12) Naphthalene Balls: Camphor and Naphthalene are poisonous, but they can be used against this smell. Just place them in your painting room, and you will be relieved.  

Tips to Avoid Heavy Paint Fumes From the Start

These were some simple home remedies that you can adopt to get rid of your paint fumes. Wouldnt that be great if we tell some tips which could prevent the heavy fumes of paint from the start of your painting process. As it is said that ‘Prevention is better than cure.’

Firstly when you plan to paint your items, check the weather forecast. Don’t paint if the humidity level is very high. This is important to check as a high level of humidity can slow the drying process, and even the paint itself emits the most potent odour as compared to other days. If your painting is taking too long to dry then its a possibility that soft materials in that room like drapes or carpets might absorb that odour

To avoid the strong fumes of paint, try to select low volatile organic compounds formula, which I agree that not always possible. If you don’t have any option other than oil-based paints than choose the one on which is already mentioned as ‘low odour’. You can also look for some eco-friendly paint which is made of milk, plants or minerals.

While painting keeps windows and door open of that specific room to let the odour dissipate in the air but make sure that the windows and door of other room must be closed to prevent the fumes spreading all over. This has to be done because when you can’t bear the paint smell and it is getting on your nerves so you will have options to go and relax.

Lastly, let coat completely dry and don’t rush for others. Wet walls can easily trap paint fumes and even slowly emits toxic gas. After you are done with painting, keep the lids of paint cans and brushes with a plastic wrap. Believe me, it works.


Painting is indeed a great way to show or enhance the creativity inside you. You can not just sit and see your furniture losing its bold colours. Without taking a risk on your health, you should use zero VOC paints and should avoid primers and oil-based paints. Instead of giving up the idea of painting select the right type of paint and should be aware of tricks and tips to prevent that pungent and suffocating smell of paint.

Many of the things are usually at home, which can help you to get rid of the smell of paint. So follow the instructions carefully and adopt these simple home remedies that are mentioned above to enjoy your painting experience.

So if you are planning to repaint your room then note down all the hacks above and get benefited by this guide.

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