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How to get rid of a paint smell fast with lemons

Although there are many worse smells, few people enjoy the stench of fresh paint filling their nostrils. If you're doing some decorating and want to mask any resultant paint fumes, you could do a lot worse than harnessing the natural aroma-eliminating power of lemons. While opening your windows and doors will be the most effective way of ridding your home of the smell of paint, citrus fruit can come in very handy if it's too nippy to keep your rooms well-ventilated.

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Add some lemon extract to your paint before you set about your brush work. US DIY site This Old House advises that doing so can help neutralise some of the odour given off by paint. Mix one tablespoon of lemon extract with every 3.75 litres of paint. Don't worry about the effect this will have on the colour and consistency of your paint. Lemon extract is clear, and the amount you'll be adding won't have a notable diluting effect.

Slice up 16 lemons and place an equal amount of the fruit in four large bowls. Fill the bowls close to their brims with water and place one in each corner of your room. If you've just painted a particularly large room, you may need to add additional lemon and water-filled bowls at strategic points along your walls. The water in your bowls will soak up the paint fumes circulating in your room, while the lemon will give off a lovely, fresh citrus aroma, according to home improvement site Apartment Therapy. Replace the water and lemons daily while your paint smell persists.

Mix one teaspoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and 500ml of water in a bowl. When the mixture has finished fizzing, decant it into a spray bottle and proceed to spray it into the air in your smelly room to help mask the paint pong. Reader's Digest recommends repeating the process up to three times a day, but you may want to spray a little more frequently if your paint fumes aren't subsiding.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lemon extract
  • Tablespoon
  • 4 large bowls
  • 1 small bowl
  • Teaspoon
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle

About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.

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