A fresh coat of paint is all that you need to make a room or an object stand out. However, once you are done with the actual painting, you will most surely ask yourself how to get rid of paint smell? If this is an issue that you are dealing with, take a close look at the following list of tips and tricks that can come in handy in this situation.
Bring out the fans
Even though you keep your windows open as you paint, in an attempt to get rid of the smell of paint, this might not be enough. A good way to whisk away the smell of paint is to place numerous fans in the center of the room or the doorway, as this will help the paint dry faster.
One tip that you should keep in mind when doing this is to turn off the AC in your home as this will prevent the smell of paint from getting into the other rooms.
As you probably know, baking soda is an ingredient that can be used for a wide array of purposes. Many utilize it to absorb the odors in their refrigerators or laundry rooms. One way to make sure that no smell of paint will not linger in the room that you are painting is to place bowls that contain baking soda throughout that said room.
You can also try to scatter baking soda on your carpet and furniture and leave it overnight. Because of its consistency, baking soda is very simple to clean as you can vacuum it with little difficulty when you consider it necessary.
Water is, as well, a very convenient solution to combat the smell of paint. After you are done painting, place some buckets of water in the room and leave them overnight. This can prove efficient as water can efficiently absorb the paint vapors.
If you want to make sure that the room will smell as fresh as possible, some suggest that you add some slices of fresh lemon into the water. This trick, of using water to remove smells, is very popular and it has been used ever since the 19th century.
Another thing that you can do is to use vinegar for the task. Because of its acidity, vinegar can prove to be very helpful when it comes to neutralizing the molecules in the room that carry odors. Just like in the case of baking powder, you will have to pour vinegar into bowls and to place them around the home.
However, it is essential that you opt for white vinegar for this job. Even though culinary vinegar is more accessible, it only contains 5% of acetic acid and, thus, it might not provide you with the expected results.
Diatomaceous earth is a type of powder made of fossilized plankton that is known for its odor-absorbing benefits. Given that diatomaceous earth has a high silica content, it can help you get rid of the smell of paint efficiently.
If you want to use diatomaceous earth, you should buy a food-grade product. This is essential because conventional diatomaceous earth can be irritating to your lungs, as well as somewhat harmful to pets.
While the idea of using onions to get rid of the smell of paint might not be that appealing, you should know that onions are rather effective and that they are safe to use, as they will not cause any harm to your lungs.
So, if you have nothing against the smell, slice a couple of onions and place them all around the newly painted room. The next morning, collect them and remember to throw them away. Because they have absorbed toxic fumes over the night, they are not safe for consumption.
Another ingredient that is known for being a great odor-absorber is deactivated charcoal. You can find charcoal in powder form local or from online vendors. Place the powder in small bowls and scatter them around the room. After the smell of paint goes away, you can repurpose the charcoal for other uses, depending on your needs.
Coffee grounds can be used similarly to charcoal powder. This is true as unused coffee grounds can neutralize odors because of the strong smell that they emit. Even more importantly, coffee can also make your home smell fresh and appealing, especially if you are a coffee lover.
Extracts and candles
You can use peppermint and vanilla oils to eliminate the odor of paint and, on top of that, to refresh the smell in your newly painted room. To do just that, you need to place some drops of the oils onto cotton balls and then to distribute them all around the room.
Similarly, you can also opt to burn soy-based candles in the room. However, if you only have candles made of paraffin, it is recommended that you avoid burning them as they will actually emit more toxins and, consequently, they are even more damaging to your lungs.
Besides, remember that candles and paint is a dangerous combination. Therefore, you should make sure that the candles are placed in a secure area and that there is no risk that the objects in the room will catch fire.
You should never leave the candles burning overnight or unattended, as this is, as you can imagine, a recipe for disaster.
Tips on how to avoid dealing with paint fumes
If you hate the extra steps that you have to take to get rid of the smell of paint, there is one solution that you should know – that is, of course, zero VOC paint. This type of paint is water-based and it contains no volatile organic compounds. As a result, it is eco-friendly.
If you need to use oil-based paint, one thing that you can do is to invest in a type of paint that is marketed as low odor. Even though the process of finding this sort of paint is time-consuming, as you will have to put in a little bit of research before ordering a product, keep in mind that the market is packed with plenty of options for you to choose from.
Next, as you paint, remember to keep the windows open so that the paint dries faster and the fumes can get out more efficiently. Before you add a new coat of paint, you should always wait until the previous one is completely dry. This way, the paint will dry faster and the fumes won’t get stuck in the damp walls of your home.
Another pro-tip that is simple, yet efficient, is to check the forecast just before you start painting. If possible, that is, if you are not pressed by time, you should only paint when there is little humidity in the air. When the air is packed with humidity, the paint will take longer to dry, and, consequently, the smell of paint will be absorbed into your furniture. This means that it will take longer before you completely get rid of the smell of paint.
Health effects of inhaling paint fumes
While most paints that can be found on the market are rather safe, exposure to VOCs can prove harmful, especially if you fail to wear the needed protective equipment. The VOCs that paints contain, can cause short term and long-term effects on your health.
Most paints emit volatile organic compounds such as xylene, formaldehyde, acetone, and toluene, just to name a few. Exposure to these compounds can have side effects that you should know about.
First things first, paints can affect your skin by causing irritations. Moreover, the VOC can also irritate your nose, throat, and eyes and they can leave you with terrible headaches or they can make you feel light-headed or dizzy.
Another side-effect that you should be aware of is nausea and trouble breathing. If you are exposed to VOC constantly, there is a risk that your kidneys, liver, and nervous system will be affected.
In some cases, exposure to VOCs can also trigger allergies as well as medical conditions such as asthma.
How to minimize the risks?
Experts recommend that, when you need to paint a room in your home, you opt for special paints that are specially formulated to be utilized indoors. These paints have lower concentrations of VOCs.
Another thing that you should do before using the paint is to read the info provided by the manufacturer, as many of them give clear indications about the type of protective equipment that you need to use while painting. To minimize the risks of inhaling VOCs, the simplest step that you can take is to use a respirator.
As you paint, make sure that you take regular breaks so that you can breathe in some clean and fresh air. If possible, after you are done, keep the windows of the room open for a couple of days to allow the smell to go away.