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How to Get Rid of Oil-Based Paint Smells That Won't Subside

Updated February 21, 2017

Oil-based paint offers a glossy, durable coating and is ideal for certain surfaces where latex paint just isn't a good fit. Unfortunately, oil-based paints can take a long time to cure, and because of this, they tend to emit unpleasant odours that can fill an entire room. Fortunately, you can hasten the curing process through a few simple steps.

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Apply a mixture of one part vinegar and 16 parts water to the dry, newly painted surface using a rag. Dry the surface with a dry rag.

Promote curing by blowing a fan on the painted surface for at least three hours a day for at least two weeks.

Place the item in direct sunlight if possible for at least three hours a day for at least two weeks. If the item is too large or otherwise impossible to move, direct a fluorescent lamp toward it for at least three hours a day for at least two weeks.

Run a space heater or dehumidifier for a few hours a day if the painted area or object is in a humid location. Moisture in the air can prevent oil-based paint from curing.


Monitor weather conditions closely. Do not leave the item outdoors over night or during conditions of high-humidity.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Rags
  • Fan
  • Space heater
  • Fluorescent lamp

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.

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