A fresh coat of paint can give a new lease of life to your walls and ceilings. Woodwork also benefits from a periodical redecoration. Repainting your home not only gives a new look to the environment, but it also sanitises your interior.
The only negative side to these redecoration jobs is the smell of paint products which is often leftover. Some may ignore it, but sensitive homeowners may find it unpleasant or even sickening.
Although modern interior paints have non-toxic formulations, the typical smell can linger at least until the product is completely dry. Some wood stains and varnishes may even leave a persistent smell that can last for days. That’s why experts advise to paint your interior while the house is still empty.
Now, we all know this is not always possible. More often than not, you’ll be painting your interiors whilst living in the house, that’s why we’ve come up with some simple solutions to help get rid of the new paint smell from your home:
- Ensure Proper Ventilation
The easiest way to get rid of the annoying smell of fresh paint is by working in a well-ventilated environment. Leave the windows open or the extractor fan on to eliminate much of the odour while you’re still coating the home surfaces.
We recommend to either keep the windows open or leave the extractor fan on until the paint is completely dry.
The paint smell is generated by the product’s fumes. Cold or damp weather retains these fumes in the environment for a longer time, and that’s why experts recommend avoiding painting on rainy days or when the temperatures are below 10°C.
- Use Charcoal
A great way to get rid of the bad smell is through substances that can absorb the fumes. Charcoal is one of them and it’s enough to just fill a few buckets and scatter them around the area where paintwork has been carried out.
Being a natural product, charcoal is non-toxic, pet-friendly and eco-friendly. And within as little as an hour, you’ll start to notice the desired effect.
According to the specialists, placing a bucket of charcoal in the room before starting your project is even more effective in getting rid of the lingering smell.
- Scented Candles
Scented candles act in two ways to help get rid of the smell. On one hand, their fragrance covers the smell of paint. On the other hand, the flame burns the flammable compounds from the fumes. This method is therefore particularly useful if you’ve painted woodwork with alkyd or oil-based products.
The best fragrances to consider are menthol, eucalyptus, lemongrass, pine, rosemary, sandalwood, and other strong fragrances that can seamlessly cover the odour of paint.
- Lemon Juice
When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade and use it to get rid of the new paint smell from your home.
Mix 500ml of lemon juice with the same quantity of water, add a few tablespoons of baking soda to get an effervescent mixture and pour it into a spray bottle.
Spray this solution in all environments that have been painted and wait for an hour or two. The smell of new paint will be effectively neutralised.
Alternatively, slice a lemon and drop it in a bucket of water. Add a few grains of salt and keep the bucket in the room while you’re painting. Leave it overnight and in the morning your environment will surprise you with a fresh lemony scent.
- Scented Water
Lemons aside, you can use many other plants to make scented water. Among the most effective, we can mention the springs of rosemary, clover, orange or citrus peel, and lavender leaves.
Add all these ingredients to a pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes and turn off the heat.
Let the plants infuse for about half an hour, pour the infusion in a bowl and keep the bowl in the room during the redecoration work. The infusion will absorb the bad smell from the moment you take the lid off the tin – and should completely remove the odour in a few hours after the painting is over.
- Baking Soda
Similar to the bicarbonate, baking soda is a versatile agent and an excellent odour neutraliser.
There are various ways to use it to get rid of foul smells. For instance, you can fill small bowls with baking soda and keep them in the room while you’re painting. Leave them overnight and in the morning the smell will be gone.
Alternatively, mix some baking soda with water and keep the container in the room. Both the baking soda and the water will absorb and neutralise bad odours.
In carpeted rooms, it is also a great idea to sprinkle baking soda on the carpets to prevent the odour from getting into the fabric. Leave overnight, vacuum clean in the morning, and enjoy the fresh smell of your home environment.
Onion is renowned for its odour-absorbing properties. You can either cut the onion into slices and scatter it around the room, or cut the vegetable in half and place it in a bowl filled with water.
Regardless of the method, the results will be amazing. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably be left with the smell of the onion, which some might argue is even worse! So be sure to keep the windows open to get rid of their pungent scent.
- Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds do a splendid job in neutralising odours. Place coffee grounds in small bowls and scatter them throughout the room. Just leave them there as you’re painting and they will slowly absorb the chemical odour, whilst simultaneously releasing an inspiring fragrance of fresh coffee.
The kitchen is certainly full of wonders, and one of them is vinegar. A renowned odour neutraliser, vinegar is great for getting rid of paint smells from your home.
Fill some small bowls with the liquid and place them in the room that has been painted. Leave them for a few hours and you’ll notice the suffocating smell of new paint fading away.
- Vanilla Extract
Last but not least, vanilla extract lets you take odour neutralisation to the next level. You can use it in the traditional way or just add it to the paint to get rid of the odours from the off.
In addition to this, pour a few drops of vanilla extract on a few cotton swabs and place them around the room. This enhanced smell remover will help you get rid of the bad odour faster.
If you don’t like the scent of vanilla, peppermint extract also provides the same results with arguably a fresher fragrance.