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10 Ways to Get Rid of Paint Smells (Easy Tips & Tricks)

paint brush

paint brush

Whenever you paint a new room, you want to start enjoying it right away. Whether you only touched up the existing paint on something, or have given it a whole new look, no one wants to wait to use it for any longer than they need to. The same is true for practically anything you paint, including cabinets and furniture.

However, paint fumes can quickly stop you from enjoying your new room and may make you think twice about using those newly-painted cabinets. Even if you adequately aired out the room while painting, the paint fumes can linger around for days to weeks.

Typically, oil-based paints have the worst fumes. However, other paints can be equally as bad. When painting, you need to wear a mask of some sort to prevent yourself from breathing in so many fumes. But no one wants to wear a mask while enjoying their new room.

Luckily, you can do a few things to speed up the process and remove the new paint smell. Many of these will work with all types of paint. Combining them usually leaves better results, so you may want to employ more than one method.

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The 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of Paint Smells

1. Use Coffee Grounds

coffee beans
Image By: StockSnap, Pexels

If you’re a coffee drinker, you likely have coffee grounds ready to go. After brewing your morning coffee, take the used grounds and put them in small containers. Then, spread the containers throughout the room. Coffee grounds are very absorbent when it comes to air particles, including those that cause paint fumes. They should soak up the scent quickly, though you may have to do it multiple times in a row.

Plus, it’ll leave your room smelling like coffee—which may or may not be a plus in your books.

2. Use Onions

white onion
Image Credit: Pexels

Onions are another thing that quickly absorbs odors from the air. It can efficiently work on paint fumes as well. If you have onions lying around, cut them in half and place the halves around your room. The larger the onion, the better. You probably don’t want to use more than one onion for a small room.

The goal is to get rid of the paint smell, not make the room smell like onions. Start with fewer onions than you think you need; you can always increase the number if it doesn’t work the first time.

 3. Baking Soda

baking soda in a jar
Image Credit: Pexels

Baking soda is often used to absorb smells. It can make your fridge smell better and remove the nasty smell rotten fruits leave behind. It can also be used to remove the smell of paint fumes. You can use baking soda similarly to everything else we’ve mentioned thus far.

Get several small bowls, cover the bottom with baking soda, and spread them throughout the room. If your floor is carpet, you can also sprinkle the baking soda on the floor and then vacuum it up at the end of the day.

4. Water

glass of water
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Sometimes, for lighter paint fume smells, all you need is a few cups of water. It works well when used with other methods or when there is just a small amount of linger fumes left.

You can make water work even more effectively by adding lemon to it. This will also give the room a pleasant citrus smell, which is much better than onions in our opinion. Using several containers throughout the room is likely your best option. For even more odor-absorbing power, add some salt to the water as well.

5. Vinegar

white vinegar bottle
Image Credit: focal point, Shutterstock

Vinegar is excellent at absorbing smells. If you have anything smelly you ever need to clean up, vinegar will take care of it. It is also good at getting rid of paint fumes, though you will be left with a vinegar smell afterward. We recommend using vinegar as a first attack and then following it up with something less smelly, like baking soda or water.

We do highly recommend watering the vinegar down before using it. You can do this by adding equal parts of water to it. You may be able to cover up the smell with a bit of lemon as well.

6. Candles

scented candles
Image Credit: Pexels

If you have a few candles you like, you can burn them in the room as well. The scented wax will cover up the fumes, but the heat will also literally burn the smell out of the air. It works best if you have a few candles you can spread around the room.

Of course, you shouldn’t leave the candle unattended, so this method isn’t quite as useful as some others.

7. Circulation

girl inside a room with open window
Image Credit: Pexels

An easy and straightforward way to remove smelly fumes is to circulate the fume-heavy air out of the room. You can do this by leaving windows open and placing fans to direct the smelly air out of the area. The main downside to this is that it doesn’t work well with some of the other methods we’ve mentioned.

Some other areas of your home may smell like fumes for a little while using this method. However, eventually, the idea is that the fumes will end up outside, where they will be diluted down to practically nonexistent levels.

8. Charcoal

Image Credit: Pexels

Charcoal is very good at eliminating smells and other impurities from the air. Some air purifiers even use charcoal. You can easily remove paint fumes with one of these air purifiers, or you can place a bag of charcoal in the room. While this won’t be as effective, you should notice a significant difference.

Plus, it is straightforward to use this method with others. And, it won’t leave your room smelling nasty either.

For more fume-fighting power, place the charcoal in a pan so that there is more air coming into contact with it.

9. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is fossilized plankton. To the eyes, it looks like a white chalk-powder. It is naturally very high in silica, which makes it very good at absorbing odors. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is also extremely safe, as you might imagine.

You should place it in disposable cans or paper bowls around the room.

10. Natural Extracts

natural extracts
Image Credit: Pexels

To eliminate odors, you can also use vanilla and peppermint extract. Place a few drops of each on a cotton ball, put the ball in a bowl, and then spread the bowls throughout the room. This also makes the room smell good, unlike some of our other methods.

You can use this alongside a more robust method, like vinegar, to lessen the after-smell severity.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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