After spending hours painting a room, it can be annoying being left with a strong distinctive smell that can stay around for weeks at a time.
Paint expert and managing director of The Paint Shed, Michael Rolland, said paint gives off its scent due to the volatile organic compounds it contains – these are added to keep paint in a liquid form before application.
While the paint smell should be unnoticeable from 36 to 48 hours after painting, in poorly ventilated rooms, the odour can “linger for up to a month”.
Luckily the expert has shared five ways to help “eliminate” persistent paint odours from homes.
1. Bucket of water
Before trying anything, households should ensure they’ve opened the windows in the room to aid natural ventilation.
To speed up the process, the expert suggested: “You can fill two buckets with water and place them in different corners of your room. The water should then absorb some of the paint vapours, reducing the smell.”
Michael claimed that this trick has been used since the 19th century and remains a “good solution to remove that unwanted stench”.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda can be “effective in different ways” as households can place half-filled bowls around the room and leave them for 24 hours.
Another solution is to sprinkle some baking soda over the carpet or floor, then leave for a few hours to absorb the paint vapours before hoovering.
The expert said: “This is a cheap method, and baking soda is often already in your cupboards waiting to be used. The baking soda in the bowls can then be poured down your drain, clearing your drainage system. This way, it doesn’t go to waste.”
People often overlook the simple things they usually do to make their home smell better when thinking of getting rid of that “horrible paint odour”.
Lighting a few candles and leaving them for a few hours will help “cover the paint’s stench”. However, it is important to either stay in the room whilst the candles are lit or at least stay in close proximity due to the potential fire hazard.
4. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds are a versatile household product that is regularly left over and wasted. However, this can be used to “absorb paint vapours” and saves it from going to complete waste.
Like baking soda and water, put the coffee grounds in bowls and place them around the room.
Households can fill these bowls to the top depending on how much coffee grounds they have. If households don’t have much, spread it evenly between three or four bowls. Leave those bowls overnight and the room should “smell a lot fresher” the next day.
5. Use a fan
Increasing circulation is a key factor for removing that paint smell and fans can “move those paint vapours along quickly”.
Households need to make sure that the fan is facing the window so that it guides the odour in the right direction.
The fan also needs to be big, as small handheld ones “won’t have much impact”. This is a “more costly solution” for those who don’t already own a fan, so it is worth trying the other tips first and using this if they haven’t done the trick.