How to remove the smell of paint in a room of the house?

The only thing that should stick around after you’ve painted a room is that gorgeous paint color you’ve chosen. And not its smell. Because in fact, a smell of paint can appear for several days after drying your last coat. So whether you are repainting a bedroom, living room, kitchen or any other room in the house, the post-paint smell can be quite unpleasant – thank you VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which come from the materials used to make the paint and give off that smell of fresh paint. You might as well anticipate by choosing a paint with a low VOC content. But even then, the smell of paint is still there. Either way, here are some tips on how to get rid of it.

Reminder of the harmful effects of paint

Not only is the smell of paint unpleasant, it can also have harmful effects on your health, some of which can even take a major form in the long term. The greater the exposure to the toxic odor, the greater the effects. Inhaling the smell of paint can lead to headaches, dizziness, vision problems, breathing problems. But luckily, there are some easy ways to get rid of paint odors and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next section.

Tips for removing a paint smell from a room


So yes, it might not be so pleasant to smell the onion rather than the fresh paint. But at least the onion won’t hurt your lungs. So slice two medium-sized onions and place them in small saucers at the four corners of the room. Obviously, when the job is done, do not consume them, as they have absorbed the Volatile Organic Compounds.

Coffee grounds

Bowls of dry coffee grounds will not only absorb paint fumes, but they can just make you more alert and keep you going until the job is done. Again, be sure to throw it in the trash when you’re done.

Drops of lemon juice in water

The water will absorb the VOCs and the addition of fresh lemon slices will distill a citrus scent, like an even more refreshing clean smell. The water takes a little longer to absorb odors. So leave the bowls of lemon water in the room overnight.

Natural extracts of mint or vanilla

Two of the best natural extracts for removing paint odors and freshening the air in the room are vanilla and peppermint. Simply place a few drops of the extract on cotton balls and place them in small bowls or saucers scattered around the room. Some experts say you can alleviate the smell by adding natural extracts to the paint directly before you even paint. You can also try to place mint or vanilla infusion cups at the corners of your room.


Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar absorbs paint fumes without adding additional toxicity to the air. Again place your bowls in all corners of the room.


A candle flame will help you burn VOCs from the air, but be sure to select the right type of candle. Paraffin-based candles can actually emit more toxins into the air. So choose a candle made from soy or natural beeswax to breathe safely. Use extreme caution if children and pets have access to the room while the candles are lit.


Deactivated carbon is an excellent odor absorber. Just grab a piece of charcoal from your stove or fireplace, wrap it in a cloth and drop it in your freshly painted room.

Coarse salt

Fill bowls with water and add coarse salt to it. Let diffuse for a few hours. At the end of the operation, do not consume this coarse salt which has absorbed all the VOCs.

Aromatic plants

Opt for aromatic plants that have a fairly strong scent such as rosemary or basil. Temporarily move your pots or planters inside your home to counter the overwhelming smell of paint.

Adequate ventilation

Ventilate as much as possible after painting. Leave windows and doors open. As long and as often as possible in order to eliminate odors inside your room. You can plug in one or more fans to speed up the process, but they will probably only do what they are effective for: moving air and therefore displace the VOCs.

In short

Have you given up on your painting projects simply because of the poisonous smell? Of course the effects can be harmful, but do you think that not renovating your home is the solution? On the contrary, repainting is part of the maintenance of your home. So in order to ward off toxic odors, use non-VOC paints and avoid oil-based paints and primers as much as possible. Keep your rooms airy and use common cooking ingredients like onions, lemons, coffee grounds, vinegar, vanilla, water, peppermint, etc. to get rid of that strong paint smell.