How to Remove Interior Paint Fumes

Written by amanda sykora
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How to Remove Interior Paint Fumes
Choose a neutral colour scheme to help sell your house. (jacreative/ flickr.com)

Freshly painting your home's interior will not only make it more attractive but also increase its value. If you plan to sell your home in the near future consider using a nice neutral paint scheme. When painting your home, however, you may be bothered by odours that can be toxic to your health.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Low VOC or no-odour paint
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fans
  • Baking Soda or activated charcoal
  • Onion
  • Bowl
  • Cold water

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Minimise paint fumes by painting the interior of your home in the fall when humidity levels are lower. Paint has the strongest odour when being applied and while drying, and when humidity levels are higher the moisture in the air slows the drying process.

  2. 2

    Purchase a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) or no-odour paint. These paints release minimal pollutants and are nearly odour-free.

  3. 3

    Add a few drops of vanilla extract to the paint. According to the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Kentucky, vanilla extract has excellent odour removing characteristics and can help neutralise paint smells as you pain.

  4. 4

    Open all windows and place high powered fans in the rooms to circulate the air and speed up the drying process.

  5. 5

    Place boxes or bowls of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or activated charcoal throughout the house to help remove paint odours. Both reduce fumes by absorbing hydrogen ions and neutralising the acidic smell.

  6. 6

    Cut onions and place them in cold water throughout the house. Onions will help eliminate the odour.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear a breathing apparatus when dealing with toxic paint fumes. Prolonged exposure can lead to lung disease and respiratory complications.

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