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How to reduce paint odor

Updated November 21, 2016

One of the drawbacks of painting a room in your home is the odour of the paint. Most paints have a strong smell while you are applying and it will linger for months after the paint has dried. Reducing the odour of the paint itself and of the walls after painting is essential. Paint fumes can be dangerous to people with health problems or small children, and are unpleasant for the rest of us.

Open any doors and windows that you can before opening the paint.

Turn on ceiling or box fans. Turn box fans towards an open door or window to help push the odour out.

Add one tablespoon of vanilla extract to each gallon of paint. Mix it together thoroughly. Use lemon extract if preferred, or if you are using a white or light coloured paint, to avoid possible discolouration.

Crush up a few handfuls of charcoal with a hammer or other heavy object. This is best done outdoors, since it is messy.

Place wet rags in a pan or small bucket. Place the charcoal in the container as well.

Leave the container in the room that smells of paint overnight. The charcoal will draw the paint smell in, and leave the room when you dispose of it.

Place a piece of white bread on a plate, and pour white vinegar over it. Use enough vinegar to soak the bread completely. Use several plates of the bread and vinegar if it is a large area. After sitting overnight, dispose of the bread.

Things You'll Need

  • Fans
  • Vanilla extract
  • Charcoal
  • Rags
  • Pan
  • Plate
  • Bread
  • Vinegar
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