Although it can bring a new look to your room, painting also gives off an unpleasant odor. Introducing fresh air into the room is often the first suggestion on how to get rid of paint smell, but it’s not always effective.

So what could we do next?

There are other popular home remedies you can try, which are simple, cheap, and effective for that annoying odor. Let’s have a look at them.

Common Solutions for the Paint Smell


CharcoalCharcoal is a familiar solution when people need to absorb unwanted odors in households. It’s eco-friendly, pet-friendly, and non-toxic. So unsurprisingly, charcoal is the first method we suggest.

Just put some buckets of charcoal scatteredly around the room where you have just done the paintwork. You may start to see the difference in the smell within just an hour.

To remove this lingering smell even more effectively, we recommend placing charcoal in the room before you start the painting.


Orion has always been known for its odors-absorbing property.

Slice two onions into halves across their rings, then put them in bowls where the cut sides face upwards. Place these bowls in the room where you have just painted.

After a few hours, the onion halves will absorb the smell with an amazing result.

But remember, instead of the paint smell, now you have the onion smell in your room, which is worse for some people. So make sure to open the windows in order to remove this pungent scent.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extractVanilla extract can actually have an application no one thinks of. This essential ingredient of many desserts can neutralize odors on the next level, which you can see (or actually, smell) the effect faster.

There are many ways to take advantage of this special odor remover.

You can either put some drops in the paint before starting the work to stop the smell right from the beginning or pour them into some cotton swabs placed around your room.

For those who don’t like the smell of vanilla itself, consider peppermint extract, which brings the same effects with a more pleasant fragrance.

Baking Soda

Baking sodaThis is a versatile agent, useful for many applications, including its odor-neutralizing.

Like vanilla extract, you can use it in various ways. For example, just fill it in some small bowls and leave them overnight in the room. When the morning comes, the smell will have already gone.

Or you can mix it with water and place it in the room with a container. Baking soda and water can both neutralize and absorb the unwanted odors (you can learn more about this surprising property of water below).

For carpeted rooms, to prevent the smell from going in the fabric, you can sprinkle some baking soda on it and leave it overnight.

In the morning, vacuum the carpets clean to enjoy a new smell in your room.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juiceMix some lemon juice and water together at the same quantity before putting some baking soda into it. Finally, pour the final fizzy mixture into a plastic spray bottle.

Spray this homemade odor remover in the room when it just gets painted. Wait for one or two hours to see how effectively the paint smell has been neutralized.

Alternatively, you can drop a lemon slice and some grains of salt into a small bucket of water and leave it there overnight.

The next day you’ll be surprised by the pleasant lemony scent floating around the room.


VinegarVinegar is a renowned smell neutralizer, which makes it a great way to remove paint smell from your house.

To get rid of that toxic stinky odor, just pour some vinegar into a few bowls, then put them in the newly-painted room. It will slowly but effectively absorb any suffocating smell, making the air chemical-free and fresh again. All of this just needs a few hours to come into effect.

Coffee Grounds

This is another creative use of coffee grounds, which does a terrific job of neutralizing various types of odors.Scatter small bowls of coffee grounds throughout your room and leave them there when you’re painting. Slowly, they will absorb the odor while releasing a fresh coffee fragrance at the same time.


CandlesYes, you heard it right. Your scented candles can do more than just bringing light, warmth, and fragrance to a date or a weekend night.

They have two mechanisms to do the tricks.

First, the fragrance of scented candles can overwhelm the unpleasant smell of paint by themselves. In addition to that, their flame can burn the compounds coming from the fumes of the paint. As a result, it’s particularly useful when you use oil-based or alkyd products.

Put a candle into a bowl of water after lighting it. Wait for a few hours for the smell to become weakened. But you may actually start to see the difference after a few minutes.

Many nice fragrances are available, including sandalwood, rosemary, pine, lemongrass, eucalyptus, menthol, and other strong scents that can cover the smell of paint seamlessly.

There are many odor eliminating candles on the market, mainly made for odors from pets, garbage, and smoke. They also have a positive effect when it comes to the paint smells. But ordinary ones may be enough in most cases when the scent is not too much, and you don’t want to spend more money.

A word of caution: be careful when you handle candles or other burning things around your kids to avoid any accident.

Scented Water

Scented waterBesides lemons, there are many other fruits and plants you can use to make scented water – a natural odor remover. The most effective ones we should mention are lavender leaves, citrus and orange peel, clover, and rosemary.

Put all of those ingredients into a pot, fill it with water, and then boil it. Simmer gently for about five minutes before turning the heat off.

Infuse these plants for about 30 minutes and pour the final infusion into a bowl.

Keep that bowl in your room while you’re painting to let them do the job. This magic infusion can absorb any bad smells as soon as you take off the lid. After the paintwork is done, the rest of the paint smells will fade away completely in just a few hours.

Naphthalene and Camphor

Naphthalene and camphor are also able to deal with paint smells. But remember to be extremely careful with these poisonous substances, especially with your kids. Don’t overuse camphor as well since it can choke you.


Last but not least, just some buckets of water can also do the trick. They can suck in the solvent vapors, eliminating the resulted foul odors. This will take less time if you put more buckets in the freshly-painted room.

Other Tips on How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

Other tips on how to get rid of paint smellAlthough the above methods can work wonders when you need to get rid of the annoying smell of new paintwork, do not rely entirely on them. The best approach is always preventing this odor right in the first place.

The main culprit of this smell is the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the paint.

Once the paint has dried, it will release these compounds, resulting in toxic and smelly fumes. On top of that, VOCs can also cause side effects such as asthma and sinusitis when you breathe in the paint smell.

As a result, the below tips are usually about replacing or at least reducing the amount of VOCs used:

  • Go with paint with zero or a low amount of VOCs. Fornatutely, they have become more popular with more products on the market.
  • Don’t use oil-based or alkyd primers and paints. When you can’t avoid the oil-based primers, at least opt for products with low odor levels. Use natural paints instead, such as products made from minerals, milk, plants, and clay.
  • Try not to paint too many rooms at one time. Otherwise, you will be locked out before they all dry. And inhaling a large amount of paint smell is also extremely harmful to your health.
  • Always apply a coat of latex or oil paint when the latest layer has dried. The reason is that the coats of paint or primer remain under the dry layer, slowly emitting toxic fumes for many years. In humid or rainy weather, wait for more time to let the paint dry completely.
  • Keep the containers of the paint covered as much as you can, preventing the chemicals from leaking into the air
  • Cover the paintbrushes when you don’t use them.
  • Having proper ventilation is also crucial in painting. Keep your windows and doors open fully when possible so that natural breezes can go into the room. Put some electric fans to direct the smell outside.

Final Words

Your kitchen is a place full of surprising wonders, isn’t it?

With just some cheap and available remedies, the old odors will fade away, and you can have a new fresh fragrance again in just a few hours. This not only does a favor to your nose but also removes any harmful effects on your health.

If you have tried and found those tips on how to get rid of paint smell useful, tell us about your experience in the comment section below.