Whether you are touching up a few spots or painting all the walls, one aspect of painting that no one looks forward to is the smell.
The fumes generated by paint can last for days even if you ventilate the area thoroughly.
For oil-based paints, the odor can be even stronger and last longer.
That is why it is recommended that you wear a mask when the paint is still wet.
But there are natural ways you can reduce and get rid of the paint fumes using natural methods.
What follows are seven tips that will help you rid the air of fumes faster, so you can enjoy your new paint job without the unpleasant smell.
1- Baking Soda
That box of baking soda is in your refrigerator for a reason.
Baking soda naturally reduces odors which means that it is perfect for also eliminating paint fumes.
Put a little baking soda in several small dishes around the room.
Or if you have carpeting, you can simply sprinkle it over the carpet and let it sit.
The baking soda will absorb the fumes and then you can simply vacuum it up from the carpet.
A good, cheap box fan may be one of the best and easiest solutions to the paint fume issue.
Simply place the fan in an open window, make sure it is pointing outside, open another window on the opposite side of the room if possible, and then turn on the fan.
This will suck out the paint fumes and help the paint to dry even faster.
3- Grounds from Coffee
If you like the smell of coffee, then this tip may be for you.
Instead of tossing out the grounds after you have made a pot of coffee, place them in a few small bowls and put them around the room in which you have painted.
The aroma from the grounds will absorb the smell generated by the fumes rather quickly.
While you will need to enjoy the scent generated by the coffee grounds, for most people that is a better alternative compared to the paint.
4- Lemon with Water
Toss some lemon slices into a bucket of water and place it in a room.
Depending on the size of the room, you may want to place a few smaller containers.
If you add a little salt to the water, the lemon will absorb the fumes at a greater rate.
If you do not have any lemon peels, you may try mixing lemon juice instead.
That will keep you from having to peel any lemons.
This may seem counterintuitive as the concentrated odor generated by onions will tear up the eyes.
However, when you cut a medium to large size onion in half, you can place each piece in opposite sides of the room on a small dish with the cut side face up.
The odor generated by the onion may be noticeable, but it does not tear up the eyes.
What it will do is absorb the paint fumes relatively quickly.
6- Scented Candles
A rather obvious solution is to place a couple of scented candles in the room.
Keep in mind that the candles work because the wax absorbs the odors, so you can go with standard candles if you desire.
Plus, there are candles which are specifically made to absorb unwanted odors which includes paint fumes.
Just make sure that the candles do not cause a fire hazard in your home.
You can do this by placing the candle in a bowl that has a small amount of water.
7- Vinegar with Water
Vinegar has an odor all its own, but white vinegar may be one of the best and certainly least expensive of all-natural products that absorbs the smell from paint.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and place in several containers.
While white vinegar does have its own odor, it does not stay for long once you have opened the windows.
Combine Different Tips for Faster Results
Keep in mind that all these tips will take an hour or longer.
With the exception of fans and candles which do not go together for obvious reasons, you can combine virtually any other method and get rid of the paint odors even faster.
The most obvious is the fan and the other products besides the candles which will help clear away the paint fumes from your room or apartment.
However, baking soda and any other solution, such as vinegar or lemon and water will certainly work.
The Bottom Line
Remember that when the paint dries the fume-generating elements mostly become trapped inside the paint.
And those are seven cost-effective, natural products that can reduce the odor generated by paint fumes.
You probably have one or more of these items in your home, so be sure to stock up before painting.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls. He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.