How to Get Rid Of The Smell Of Spray Paint?

Learn how to keep your home fumes-free

If you need to start a home painting project, you might be worried about the spray paint smell in the house. Many homeowners complain about this problem, so no wonder people want to figure out how to get rid of those smelly fumes as soon as possible.

In this article, you will find out about getting rid of the spray paint smell in your home.

We will provide you with a few methods of paint fumes removal that are all-natural and non-chemical.

Like this, you will be able to keep your home paint smell-free and also deodorized since some of these methods use very nicely smelling products!

In addition, you will find out how to prevent your home from getting smelly while painting and why spray paints smell so bad. And of course, we will explain whether spray paints are considered harmful.

How to Get Rid Of Spray Paint Smell?

If you have ever used spray paint, you know that spray paint smell is not very pleasant. Some people even report having severe headaches after they accidentally inhale a bit of the paint fumes!

So what to do if you have spray paint fumes everywhere in your house after you finish your home painting project?

Of course, you can just open the windows and wait until the smell is gone completely.

Life Hacks - Stop Fresh Paint From SmellingLife Hacks – Stop Fresh Paint From Smelling

However, this method takes quite a lot of time. Also, ventilating might not do the trick and you will still be able to smell those paint fumes around you.

This is why we suggest you read on and learn what other options exist. With the help of the following life hacks, you will be able to remove heavy paint fumes from your home and even make it nicely scented!

How to Get Rid Of Spray Paint Smell?
KostyaKlimenko via VistaCreate

Use Baking Soda to Remove Spray Paint Fumes

You probably know that has the ability to baking soda absorb odors, which is why we often use it in the laundry and refrigerator. It means that it can also be successfully used to capture the paint fumes!

Pour the baking soda powder into shallow bowls and place them all around the room that was painted and is now smelly.

Also, when you are finished painting, pour the baking soda down the garbage disposal to give it a quick refresh.

However, it may so happen that you don’t see much effect after you do this.

If the odor of paint still lingers, try sprinkling some baking soda on the carpet and upholstered furniture and leave it overnight.

If the room is very smelly, be generous and don’t hesitate to sprinkle a lot! In the morning, just vacuum the powder from all the surfaces. The odor shall be removed as well.

Try Using Onions

Some of you may think that this solution sounds more like a toss-up on whether smelling the fumes or the onions is worse. However, the onion smell is a little more natural.

All you have to do is to simply slice at least two medium onions and place the onion circles in saucers around the painted room.

When the onion absorbs all the fumes, don’t use it for cooking! It may have absorbed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to human health. Just toss the onion into the garbage bin.

Try Using Onions
VitalikRadko via VistaCreate

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is good not only for absorbing toxins from your stomach when you have food poisoning. It is also an excellent odor reducer!

You can purchase it in small pouches or in a crushed formula and place it in bowls around the smelly room.

If you have any leftovers, use them to make extra sachets to stick in smelly shoes or use after your next painting project.

Lemon Water

Squeezing lemon juice into a bowl of water is a popular trick to eliminate or reduce bad smells. And this solution is used not only when it comes to removing paint odor but all different kinds of smells.

You need to note that it is a semi-effective method.

It provides very little protection against the fumes but it may reduce the smell by absorbing it. Speaking of the benefits of using lemon juice, it is very simple to use this solution and it is very cheap.

You just need to take several bowls, fill them with water, and add a few slices of lemon into each of them.

Then just place the bowls around the room. Water will absorb VOCs on its own, and adding some slices of fresh lemon will give off a clean citrus scent that is even more refreshing.

Since water needs a bit more time to absorb odors (especially so heavy as paint fumes), plan to leave the bowls of lemon water in the room overnight.

Lemon water
mreco99 via VistaCreate

Coffee Grounds

Bowls of dry coffee grounds can absorb the paint fumes as well. Besides, this solution also has deodorizing effect. You only need to be sure to dispose of them in the trash when you are done.

We recommend you use fresh coffee grounds and place them in a part of the room that has good air circulation. Like this, the pleasant coffee scent from the beans will be distributed around the room easier.

In addition, such a location will allow the coffee beans to simultaneously absorb the paint fumes that are lingering in the air.

Natural Extracts

You can also use essential oil to get rid of nasty paint fumes. Two of the best natural extracts to eliminate paint odor and refresh the room’s air are vanilla and peppermint. The way of using them is very simple:

  • Add a few drops of the extract to cotton balls
  • Place them in small bowls or saucers around the room

Like this, you will be able to eliminate strong paint odors relatively easily. All the methods we described here are natural, which means that they can be used in homes where people with allergies live.

Also, since all these solutions are very affordable and easy to get and prepare (like lemon water of coffee grounds), you can get them ready anytime.

What to Do to Prevent Paint Fumes In Your Home?

A common rule of thumb says: it is always better to prevent a problem rather than try to fix it later. With paint fumes, it is all the same.

It is better to do your best to avoid them from the very beginning rather than wasting your time on getting rid of them afterward. So before you start your next home painting project, take these nuances into consideration.

What to Do to Prevent Paint Fumes In Your Home
Kuzmafoto via VistaCreate

Use Low-VOC Spray Paint

You can cope with the “smelly issue” by minimizing the number of volatile compounds your paint releases.

This can be achieved if you look for a low-VOC paint next time. The fewer volatile compounds a paint contains, the less off-gassing and fumes it will produce as the paint dries.

Such paints should come with a “Low-VOC” label on their cans. Luckily, they are available in most stores. In addition, try to avoid using oil-based paints as they oftentimes have more paint fumes.

Keep Your Painting Area Well Ventilated

When painting indoors, providing proper ventilation is a must! Like this, you will make sure the paint fumes are removed from the room while you are applying the paint. Of course, as the paint dries, more fumes will be released.

This is why you should do the following:

  • Open the windows
  • Set up industrial fans
  • Instal an air purifier

Like this, you will be able to make sure that there is enough airflow to reduce the smell and fume build-up. Do not use a household fan for this purpose as they can take damage from the chemicals and start a fire! Instead, opt for an industrial fan made for these types of environments.

Note that ventilation alone will have a larger impact on the odor than it will on hazardous chemicals. This is why you should not stay in the same room as the drying paint because it is still harmful! Just because the smell is gone after ventilating the room, it doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to be there.

With the help of these recommendations, you will be able to prevent the accumulation of paint fumes in your home and make the area safer for you and other family members.

Tips For Avoiding Heavy Paint Fumes From the Start

By addressing paint fumes before you even begin a painting project, you can reduce the odor and make the process easier.

  • The best way to avoid paint fumes is to select a healthy alternative paint, like one with low or zero VOCs
  • If you must use an oil-based paint or primer, choose those that are marked as low odor.2 There are also paints made from plants, milk, minerals, or clay
  • Before you begin painting, check the weather forecast. Avoid painting on days when the humidity is high since it slows the drying process, and paint emits the strongest odor.
    Let each coat of paint dry completely before applying the next layer of paint.
    As you paint, keep the lids on paint cans and cover paint trays and brushes with plastic wrap when not in use
  • While painting one room, keep the doors and windows open to allow the fumes to dissipate into the air.
Tips For Avoiding Heavy Paint Fumes From the Start
KostyaKlimenko via VistaCreate

Is The Smell of Spray Paint Harmful?

This is a common question and here is the answer: it is not the smell that’s dangerous, but rather the chemicals the paint contains. However, the smell may indicate that strong chemicals are in the air.

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell: 4 Simple Remedies For Paint Fumes RemovalHow to Get Rid of Paint Smell: 4 Simple Remedies For Paint Fumes Removal

Sensing the smell of spray paint in small amounts will not cause you any damage, but if you spend a lot of time in an area that smells of spray paint, you may actually be badly affected. For example, you may feel a chemically-induced headache, dizziness, and a sore throat.

This is why you should always wear proper protective equipment like a respirator or a face mask, as well as protective gear for your skin.

They will protect your eyes, lungs, skin, and throat from exposure to harmful chemicals.

Why Does Spray Paint Smell So Bad?

As you definitely know, any paint is very smelly. The main reason why most paints emit such a strong chemical smell is because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that the paint contains.

Volatile organic compounds are substances that contain carbon.

Carbon vaporizes at room temperature and makes its way into the atmosphere. This element, as well as other volatile compounds, are released as the paint is sprayed out of the can.

Afterward, the paint keeps emitting them as it dries and cures.

This is why, in order to minimize the odor and the risk that comes with spray paint fumes, consider buying low-VOC alternatives.

They contain less hazardous compounds, and there are some brands that claim their paints are non-VOC or level 0 VOC!

So, now you know how to get rid of heavy spray paint fumes in your home after the painting project. We provided you with several homemade solutions like baking soda and lemon water, which may help you eliminate the heavy paint odors.

In addition, you are now aware of how to prevent those nasty smells from spreading around your home.

Why Does Spray Paint Smell So Bad
Unika via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How long does spray paint smell last?

The lifespan of spray paint smell will vary greatly depending on the circumstances. You can expect the smell to last for a couple of days in a well-ventilated room and much longer in a room that’s closed up during and after spray painting.

⭐What does spray paint smell like?

To describe the smell can be hard but it’s definitely a chemical smell, reminiscent of the smell of nail polish.

⭐How to get rid of spray paint smell on fabric?

Soaking clothes in baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, borax, and vinegar solution can help remove paint smell from fabric. Also, you can opt for a product like EnviroKlenz Laundry Enhancer. It’s specifically made to neutralize strong smells.

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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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