How To Get Rid Of Paint Smells After Painting: Some Tips And Preventative Measures

Did you know that standard paint fumes take 14 to 24 weeks to dissipate? While you enjoy your newly painted space, others may be bothered by the lingering smell. This guide will help you address and prevent paint odours by utilising the following practical tips.

Efficient Ways to Eliminate Paint Odours Plus Preventive Measures

If you have just painted the interior of your home or business then the following tips may help combat the small of paint:

Harness the Power of Onions

Combat fresh paint with onions, which release sulphur, a compound that neutralises paint smells. Slice and place a few onions around the room for a couple of hours. Once the task is complete, dispose of the onions.

Baking Soda's Odour-Neutralising Magic

Baking soda, with its abrasive qualities, efficiently captures fumes and eliminates paint smells. Spread baking soda in bowls or on baking sheets near painted walls to aid in odour removal.

Water, Lemon, and Salt Solution

Create an effective vapour absorber by filling a three-gallon bucket with water, lemon slices, and a tablespoon of salt. Leave the bucket in the room overnight, and by morning, paint fumes should noticeably diminish.

Activated Charcoal for Efficient Odour Absorption

Use activated charcoal to absorb pollutants and paint odours. Place crushed charcoal in aluminium baking pans around the painted area to benefit from its porous surface.

Vinegar Bowls for Solvent Neutralisation

Fill bowls with vinegar and place them around the room to neutralise solvents responsible for paint smells. Vinegar's acetic acid also doubles as a disinfectant for cleaning brushes.

Coffee Beans for a Pleasant Scent

Coffee grounds with caffeine absorb paint smells. Place ground coffee beans in open containers around the painted room for a pleasing aroma.

Masking with Natural Extracts

Use extracts like peppermint or vanilla to mask paint smells. Moistened cotton balls or a few drops of essential oil in bowls of water can be strategically placed near painted walls.

Practical Candle Use

While candles don't absorb paint smells, they efficiently mask them. Opt for soy-based or natural beeswax candles, as they are less toxic than paraffin candles.

Preventing Paint Smells – Some Key Tips

The following will help reduce the amount of smell there is, though you cannot reduce it to zero, the following tips will help, especially eco-friendly paints:

Choose Low VOC Paints

Opt for paints with low or zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to minimise fumes and reduce health risks associated with traditional paints.

Control Air-Conditioning and Vents

Turn off your air-conditioning unit and close air vents to prevent the spread of paint smells throughout the house.

Paint in Cooler Temperatures

Choose cooler days to paint, as high humidity can slow drying, leading to prolonged odours.

Seal Paint Cans Properly

Ensure paint can lids are tightly sealed to prevent both drying out and the escape of paint smells.

Allow Paint Layers to Fully Dry

Wait for each paint layer to dry completely before reapplication to minimise fumes.

Ensure Adequate Ventilation

Keep windows open and use fans during painting to facilitate good airflow and expedite drying.

Deep Cleaning for Persistent Smells

For lingering paint smells, deep clean carpets and furniture to remove paint residue and pollutants. Professional services, like San Pedro Carpet Cleaning, can ensure thorough cleaning for a fresh and odour-free space after painting.


Your local professional painters may leave fans overnight that are carefully placed in order to combat smells in small or poorly ventilated rooms. This is not only to combat the small but also to help the paint dry evenly and in time for the next coat. In short, all the above tips will help, but the most effective way is good ventilation for a decent period of time afterwards.