The only thing that should linger after you paint a room is that gorgeous paint color you chose. And not its smell. Because in fact, a smell of paint can linger for several days after your last coat has dried. So whether you’re repainting a bedroom, your living room, your kitchen or any other room in the house, the post-paint smell can be very unpleasant – thanks to 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 tricks to get rid of it.
Reminder of the harmful effects of paint
Not only is the smell of paint unpleasant, but it can also have adverse 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. Inhalation of paint odor can lead to headaches, dizziness, vision problems, respiratory disorders. But luckily, there are easy ways to get rid of paint odors and that’s what we’re going to talk about in the next.
Tips for removing a paint smell from a room
So yeah, maybe it’s not so nice to smell like onion rather than 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 work is done, do not consume them, because they have absorbed the Volatile Organic Compounds.
Bowls of dry coffee grounds will not only absorb paint fumes, but they may 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.
Lemon juice drops in water
The water will absorb the VOCs and the addition of fresh lemon slices will instill a citrusy, clean smelling scent that’s even more refreshing. 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 eliminating 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 lessen the smell by adding natural extracts to the paint directly before you even paint. You can also try placing cups of mint or vanilla infusion at the corners of your room.
Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will absorb paint fumes without adding additional toxicity to the air. Place your bowls again in all corners of the room.
A candle flame will help burn VOCs from the air, but be sure to select the correct type of candle. Paraffin-based candles can actually release 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 charcoal is an excellent odor absorber. Just grab a piece of coal from your stove or fireplace, wrap it in a cloth, and lay it in your freshly painted room.
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Fill bowls with water and add coarse salt. Let it diffuse for a few hours. At the end of the operation, do not consume this coarse salt which has absorbed all the VOCs.
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 suffocating smell of paint.
Ventilate as much as possible after painting. Leave windows and doors open. As long and as often as possible to eliminate odors inside your room. You can connect one or more fans to speed up the process, but they will probably only do what they are effective for: stir air and therefore move the VOCs.
Have you given up on your painting plans just because of the toxic smell? Certainly 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 to ward off toxic odors, use VOC-free paints and avoid oil-based paints and primers as much as possible. Keep your rooms airy and use common kitchen ingredients like onions, lemons, coffee grounds, vinegar, vanilla, water, peppermint, etc. to get rid of that strong paint smell.