Home remedies to get rid of paint fumes

Written by ashley kurz
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Home remedies to get rid of paint fumes
Keep the paint smell under control with fume-absorbing substances. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Painting your home adds beauty, brings your decor together and allows you to creative control over what you see in your living space. The fumes from paint, however, are not pleasant, even with low-odour paints -- they may even cause headaches for some people. Ventilation is always recommended by paint manufacturers, but it is not always enough. There are some home remedies that can help you further eliminate the fumes.

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Onions not only have a strong odour themselves, they can also absorb the fumes from paint. Cut up several onions and place the chopped pieces in five or six bowls. Add water to each bowl and set them around the room during the painting process. Leave the windows in the room open as well, to keep fresh air circulating. Once you are done painting, dump the onions and replace them with fresh ones in bowls of fresh water. The onions will continue to absorb the fumes as the paint dries.


Vinegar is usually considered a food product, but it has many uses in the home, one being an air freshener. Vinegar is a strong but natural odour remover. Set bowls of vinegar around the room during and after painting. Keep the windows open as well, to move fresh air in to help disperse the smell.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract can help to remove the fumes from paint before it is even applied to the wall. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to each gallon of paint that you use. Stir it in thoroughly with a paint stirrer and apply the paint to the walls as you normally would. Leave the windows open to ventilate the room and bring in fresh air. The vanilla extract will not change the colour of your paint or the paint's ability to adhere to the wall. If your paint is already "low-odour," the vanilla will all but eliminate the smell.

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