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English Living

I’m a paint expert;
here are five ways to reduce the smell of paint from your home


Getting rid of the distinctive smell of paint isn’t easy and with searches for ‘how to get rid of paint smell fast’ increasing by 67% over the past month, it’s clear that a lot of us are trying to find methods for getting rid of that lingering paint smell as soon as possible.  


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. The paint smell should be unnoticeable from 36-48 hours after painting. However, in poorly ventilated rooms, the odour can linger for up to a month.

Paint expert and managing director of The Paint Shed, Michael Rolland, has unveiled five ways to assist in eliminating persistent paint odours from your home.

Bucket of water

Before trying anything, you should ensure you’ve opened the windows in the room to aid natural ventilation. To speed up the process, 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. This trick has been used since the 19th century and remains a good solution to remove that unwanted stench.

Use fans

​Increasing circulation is a key factor for removing that paint smell; fans can move those paint vapours along quickly. Make sure that the fan is facing the window so that it guides the odour in the right direction. It needs to be a big fan, as small handheld ones won’t have much impact. This is a more costly solution if you don’t already own a fan, so our recommendation is to try the other tips first and use this if they haven’t done the trick.


Baking Soda:

Baking soda can be effective in different ways; you can place half-filled bowls around the room and leave 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. 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.


When people think of getting rid of that horrible paint odour, they often overlook the simple things they usually do to make their home smell better. 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. 

Coffee grounds:

Coffee grounds are a household product that are regularly left over and wasted. So, 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. You can fill these bowls to the top depending on how much coffee grounds you have; if not, spread it evenly between three or four bowls. Leave those bowls overnight; then, when you return the next day, the room should smell a lot fresher.

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