How to Remove the Smell of Varnish

Written by tabitha harwell
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How to Remove the Smell of Varnish
Varnish is applied to furniture to protect it against normal wear and tear. (Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Varnish is a type of coating applied to wood to create a beautiful, gloss appearance that is also water- and heat-resistant. The varnish is typically tinted to create a stain on the wood, however, it can be applied as a clear glaze to maintain the original wood colour. There are side effects to the varnish, which include the odour that comes along with application. While it is recommended to work in a well ventilated area, the smell can linger into other areas. Help dissolve the smell quickly using vinegar as the smell-eliminating agent.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bowl
  • White, distilled vinegar
  • White bread

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  1. 1

    Pour 1 1/2 cups of white, distilled vinegar into a bowl. The vinegar will help absorb the varnish smell.

  2. 2

    Set the bowl in the coldest area of the room and light a candle in the warmest area of the room. Cold areas will include a darker corner away from natural light, or forced heat. The warmest area may include a window sill, or table next to forced heat. The vinegar will remove the harsh smell of varnish and the candle will bring in a pleasant smell.

  3. 3

    Rid the room of strong varnish smell by putting a piece of white bread in a bowl and saturating it with white, distilled vinegar. Place several bowls of bread and vinegar around the room and leave for 24 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply varnish in a well ventilated area that is free from children and animals.
  • Keep vinegar and candles out of the reach of children and pets.

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