Make Paint Smell Go Away Quickly and Easily

Edited by Eng, Shelley, Doug Collins, VisiHow and 18 others

Adding a fresh coat of paint to a room can really transform its overall look and feel, but lingering paint odors can be very bothersome. While there are numerous low-VOC and low-odor paints available on the market today, many brands still offer traditional oil-based paints. The reason these paints give off such an odor is because of the solvent content. As the paint dries, the solvents evaporate and linger in the air. When you're exposed to paint fumes for an extended period of time, they can cause headaches and even dizziness. The best thing you can do is increase the ventilation and air circulation, but that's not always a possibility, so check out these tips below for getting rid of paint fumes.

Painted room.jpg


How to Get Rid of Paint Odors Quickly

  1. 1
    Charcoal is very well known as an odor absorber. Prepare bowls of crushed charcoal and spread them around your home, especially near the areas where the painting was done. In just an hour or two, you will notice a significant decrease in the smell. You may want to start setting up the buckets just before painting even begins, so the smell will be captured right away.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Baking Soda
    Baking soda.jpg
    Place several boxes of open baking soda in the room, or fill up several shallow bowls of baking soda and place them throughout the room. Just like charcoal, baking powder helps to absorb odors. The advantage of using it compared to charcoal is that baking soda is very easy to find at the store and it's relatively inexpensive. If the painted rooms are carpeted, sprinkle the carpets with a light layer of baking soda and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  3. 3
    Water and Lemons
    Lemons and water.jpg
    Fill up a bucket of water and toss in a few sliced lemons. The water will absorb some of the solvents in the air, and the lemons will add a fresh, clean scent to the room. Place it in the room while you're painting, and leave it at least overnight for the best results. You can also add some salt to the water to make it more effective at absorbing odors.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  4. 4
    Place bowls of vinegar around the room to absorb the paint odors. Vinegar is a very effective natural odor neutralizer.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  5. 5
    Coffee grounds
    Coffee grounds.jpg
    Place bowls of coffee grounds throughout the room to help absorb minor paint odors, and will leave an aromatic coffee scent throughout the space.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  6. 6
    Light a candle and place it in a bowl of water for a couple hours. This will help prevent a fire hazard, and the candle will burn the solvents released into the air. Keep the door closed to prevent anyone from knocking the candle over, and check it periodically to make sure it's safe.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  7. 7
    Electric Fan
    Open some Windows and leave a fan running to blow out any solvents from the drying paint. Leave the Windows open and the fan on for several hours.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help


  • Get some fresh air every so often while painting.
  • Wear a ventilated face mask to protect your respiratory passages from the paint fumes while you're working.

Questions and Answers

Is this the same as bbq charcoal?

Is this the same as bbq charcoal?. I have tried: N/a. I think it was caused by: N/a

If you use BBQ charcoal briquettes, you will want to get ones with no added items like lighter fluid. Usually, the cheapest option is just charcoal. You can also get powdered charcoal at health food/nutrition stores.

I had two bathrooms and toilet painted over the last three days, with an enamel paint, but the fumes are bad. How do I get rid of the smell instantly?

I had two bathrooms and toilet, which are next to each other, painted over the last three days, with an enamel paint, but the fumes are bad. I had two fans running in the hallway, towards the three doors of the bathrooms, but the smell is very bad in my office, quite a distanced from the painted areas. I can feel it is affecting my throat and chest. How can I handle this right now?

Room ventilation has always been the most effective method to eradicate the smell of paint in the room. The longer the Windows are opened, the less odor you will notice. During ventilation, it is a good idea to go outside for two hours.

Do not forget to remove any source of smell: cans with solutions, painting paraphernalia, etc. If your bathroom is heated, you will have to lower the temperature so that fumes are less aggressive.

The next stage is humidity. Take 10 liters (338 oz) of water and mix it with two teaspoons of mustard powder. Wash the bathroom and toilet floors, all of the wooden constructions, and other interior details with that solution. You can also mix 5 liters (170 oz) of water with one teaspoon of liquid ammonia or wash the floor with soap.

You can light candles in the office and bathroom for two hours. The smell of the paint will be "burnt". If it is possible, use several wet sheets to hang around the office and bathroom. Put a big bucket of water in each room. These will absorb the smell. Baking soda, coffee, salt, or orange peel will remove the odor quite fast too. You can put shallow plates with those around the office. To get rid of the specific enamel smell put basins full of water with salt around the rooms for two hours. This will greatly reduce the smell. Then, fill them fresh water and add salt again. Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of the smell immediately.

How can I eliminate the smell of Ink used for printing in the storage room?

Our office is used as storage for some of our ink supplies. We smell the strong odor upon the arrival of the ink. As the day goes by our nose get used to it and we cannot smell it anymore, but every time we have a visitor or some staff member comes in, they complain about the smell. Can you help us eliminate this problem? Thanks. I have tried: I was thinking of putting some charcoal around the room. Do you think this would help? I think it was caused by: Yes, the ink stored in our room.

The coal will definitely help! Ink scents can actually cause disorientation over a long period of exposure. Lemon and vanilla can also be used in the room. Place a few open containers with the solution in the room. You will have to monitor them to see how fast they evaporate but you will want to swap them out regularly so that you get the strongest smell and do not have a mildew issue. You can also use essential oils in the mixture or get an essential oil diffuser like one from NOW. These diffusers missed the essential oil into the room and you can use a strong scent like Mint.

How to get rid of the paint smell in the room?

I just painted the floor about 2 days ago and the paint smell is still in the air. I am trying to get rid of the scent. What do I use to remove the scent? I have tried: Not as yet. I think it was caused by: I painted the floor and the room is still closed up

Did you seal the floor with a shellac sealant? For now, put bowls of charcoal around the house to remove some of the harsh smell. Make sure that the humidity in your house is low so that the paint can cure faster.

See more questions like this: Office recently painted (today). How do we get rid of the smell of paint?

Our painter used Olympic oil based semi-gloss to paint our condo's cabinets, trim, and doors six weeks ago. The smell is still strong, and it's making us ill. What do we do?

Paint smell is making us sick. What do we do? I have tried: Ventilation. We're not living there yet, so it's closed most of the time with A/C set at 75 degrees. We live in Daytona Beach, FL and the humidity is upon us for the summer season. I think it was caused by: Olympic semi-gloss oil based paint.

There are numerous complaints with paint smell from Olympic and Benjamin Moore that has lasted more than 6 months. Part of your issue is that you used an oil based paint which can take two months before it cures, however, the humidity of Florida will cause this process to take even longer. The best recourse for you is to seal the cabinets, trim, and doors with AFM Safe Coat. You may have to put on three applications. You also should set the A/C to 68 along with a dehumidifier so that as much moisture as possible is removed. One trick painters swear by is burning several scented candles. Not to mask the scent but they claim it burns off the chemical drying agents put into paint.

Need to get the smell of pain out of new grand baby's room. Can you help?

I painted my room with Ultra Premium BEHR paint with a VOC 50. I got very sick for days. I tried to air it out with cross ventilation and fan. Did not work. Then I put 2 more coats of VOC Gl I semi-gloss paint and smell got better but is still present. I tried charcoal overnight but still, there is an odor. I am no longer very sick with a migraine, visual sensitivity, and blurred vision, nausea etc. but need to get this smell out of new grand baby's room. HELP?

You need up to a month for the paint to cure on a wall. Until this time the odor will slowly go away but the first two weeks is the strongest. If you live in a humid area, try to use a dehumidifier to keep the air dry in the room or keep the A/C on.

Oil paint smell in my studio flat.

Yesterday I painted my room with oil-based paint, but the smell left behind is strong. Please advise me with some ideas for how to remove this smell. How long will it take?

It can take up to two months for an oil-based paint to cure. Some people put a sealant gloss over the paint to keep the smell to a minimum. The best thing to do is open windows for a fresh air flow. When I paint a room, I put a box fan reversed in the window with another window in a cross room open to create a cross breeze.

I am painting a mural with oil paint and I need the smell to go away fast since this is being done for a school with children from 2 years old. I fear the smell gives them problems with their breathing may be causing them to get ill. I have read everything here but for this situation what is the most effective method?

I am in Panama hence what could be the best maybe natural substance I can use . in order to get rid of the smell of the oil paint. It is in a lobby that I am painting. this mural. I have tried: Nothing since just today I was told that the staff can not handle the smell I paint at night. I think it was caused by: It is the oil paint I am using

Charcoal helps significantly. You can also put bowls of baking soda and cut lemons around the room. Burn a few candles in a safe spot while you are painting. Unfortunately, if you are painting in a hallway, it is tough to get proper air flow. Set up as many fans as possible while you are working and if possible prop doors and windows open too.

The contractor used a sealant for our basement and I can't get rid of the chemical smell?

A few days ago we had our basement sealed and we can't get rid of the chemical smell down there. I have tried: Fans and open windows. I think it was caused by: The paint and concrete sealer that he used

You may want to seal further with a KILZ primer. Try charcoal all over the basement first. If the smell is there still after two weeks (the usually curing time for concrete sealer) then purchase KILZ primer.

I used PVA white put tint color like three little bottles normally when I painted the smell only lasted for a day but now 4 days have passed and it's bad?

I used PVA white put tint color like three little bottles normally when I painted the smell only lasted for a day but now this like 4 days and its bad. I have tried: Bowls of vinegar and cut up onions put in the room. I think it was caused by: Eish, I am not sure now. I do know we all at home are coughing badly.

Open all windows to create an air flow. Low VOC paints now can smell worse than before because the mold and mildew agents were removed from the paint.

How do I get rid of a strong smell in my apartment?

I had my tubs refinished and the chemicals they used are very strong and lingering. How do I get rid of the smell? I have tried: Air freshener. I think it was caused by: Chemicals used to refinish bathtubs in separate areas of the apartment

Strong ventilation is your best option. Those chemicals are extremely harsh. Apartment bathrooms have poor ventilation so you should have a fan or two blowing in the bathroom while all the windows are open for 48 hours.

Any other suggestion on how to take away odor easily?

I tried everything but the odor is still there ...

The only suggestion left is patience. If you have tried everything possible including charcoal and a sealant gloss, you will have to wait it out with fresh air ventilation. This is why many say the best time to paint is Fall and Spring before it gets too humid or too cold to have windows open for extended periods of time.

I want to re-use paint bucket for grain storage as it is extremely air-tight and also helps prevent buying new plastic?

I have cleaned paint buckets from the last time's home painting. These buckets are extremely air-tight and convenient for storage. I want to use them for my annual storage of lentils. But the buckets still have remnants of paint smell although they are completely cleaned off the paint residue. How could I eliminate this smell? Couldn't find a similar situation in the article. it deals with paint smell after painting of walls but not of re-using paint buckets.

You should not use a paint bucket for any food source. Paint chemicals leech into the plastic and this is why there is still a smell. You can use them to store non-edible items but keep in mind that the smell will also end up on what you are storing in there.

We had a friend put wet paint brushes and paint rollers into our refrigerator overnight, we lost everything in the refrigerator, but the paint smell is gross. What to do?

Sorry, I put problem above. Had a friend put wet paint brushes and wet paint rollers in our refrigerator overnight. We did not know anything until the next day. We had to get rid of all the food, but the smell is gross!! what to do? We have tried a lot of different things, but did not work, any other ideas? the smell is so bad!!

Put charcoal and baking soda in the refrigerator and do not use it for several days. Then turn it back on and see if the smell is disappearing. Once a day swap out the charcoal and baking soda. You can also soak some bread or a rag in vinegar and leave it in the refrigerator.

Strong and pungent paint smell form zero VOC organic paint?

Graphenstone Organic paint - I have painted all wood wardrobe doors and all walls in bedroom. Very low odour on painting and next day. However, on the third day, the room smelt like fish, that slowly dissipated by the end of that day but since then, now 10days later, there is still an extremely strong pungent smell not unlike ammonia. The room obviously is unusable, all furniture has been removed and all windows are wide open. I have contacted Graphenstone who to date have been very dismissive stating that it is probably due to the paint underneath - so my fault! It is recommended for repainting by the way! The underneath paint is a water-based, low odour matt on walls and similar on the wardrobe doors. On entering the room, very quickly I feel dizzy, disorientated and eyes stinging. I have had to use steroid eye drops for the irritation. I have tried raw onion, baking soda, a dehumidifier for several days without any change in the strength of the smell.. Any advice would be gratefully received.. Many thanks. The difference is this was not regular paint but very expensive zero VOCs organic odourless paint and advertised as containing no toxic substances. I have tried: Raw onions, baking soda in dishes around the room, dehumidifier for 3days. Ventilation: all windows have been wide open since painting. I think it was caused by: The paint is supposed to be diluted by 10% with water, so it is possible that I didn't dilute sufficiently, but we're talking only100mls water to 1000mls of paint. Even so I cannot imagine that maybe 20 or even 30mls of water would have had this effect.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: Paint smell and eye irritation in the newly painted kitchen cabinet?

Hello Yassora, What's the best way to eliminate fresh paint smell?

The whole house was painted two weeks ago, I've stayed overnight in the home three nights and I awake with a head ache and a constant feeling of dizziness.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.



VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

My husband wants to paint our upstairs walls by Christmas?

How long will it take to get rid of the smell of the paint. We have children coming to visit and we live in Noblesville Indiana. How many days will the paint smell be in the newly painted rooms

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Home

Recent edits by: DeleteQnA, User1, Jay

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 158,048 times.


Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No