Even though it is always advisable to ensure there is enough ventilation while painting, it is sometimes impossible. Lucky enough, I will take you through several DIY tips on how to clear paint fumes after painting.
Painting your home walls is one quick and inexpensive way to restore and revive your living space.
Sadly, the paint can leave behind fumes, making you not enjoy your home for quite a several days.
Whether you use paints with low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or not, you can still smell the paint fumes even after the paint has dried.
The oil-based paints have more VOCs than the water-based paints, thus making the latter have less smell.
(Read more on how to paint a room: DIY tips )
Tips On How To Clear Paint Fumes After Painting: Top 8 DIY Ideas
A fresh paint coat can transform and refresh a dull looking bedroom, kitchen, or even living room for a fresher look.
On the other hand, the paint’s fumes can make you not enjoy your new looking home.
The fumes are choking and can have an adverse health effect on you and your family members.
Nevertheless, below are some simple, safe, and pocket-friendly DIY tips on how to clear paint fumes after painting.
Ensure to start capturing the fumes the very moment you begin to paint your room/home.
1. Make A Mixture Of Water And Lemon
Not only does lemon detoxify our bodies, but it does also cleanse the air we breathe.
The water in the mixture will absorb the paint fumes, while the slices of lemon will refresh the air.
It will fill the air with a fresh citrus scent.
Do not wait till you are done painting. Instead, take a bucket fill with water and put in a few slices of lemon while the painting is in progress.
If possible, put a pinch of salt into the mixture and let it stay in the room overnight for good results.
2. Light The Candles
Believe it or not, the candle’s lighting is one unique trick that can very fast eliminate paint fumes after painting.
Candles burn the VOC’s gases in the air, thus making your air toxic-free.
Yes, the ordinary candles will do the trick. Natural beeswax or soy-based candles will be better than paraffin-based since the latter can be a little bit toxic.
Strategically position one or two candles in your room; this depends on the room’s size.
Place them opposite each other for broader coverage. Let the candle burn for several hours, ensuring your family members’ security, especially your kids.
If need be, you can as well buy the odor-eliminating candles.
3. Peel And Cut Some Onion
Onions may have a strong smell by themselves, but they are not as toxic and harmful to your lungs as the paint can be.
On the contrary, onions are very effective in eliminating poisonous fumes from the paint.
Take one or two medium-sized onions and slice the onion into two halves along the rings.
Put the two halves separately into a shallow bowl and place them in the corners of the house.
Ensure the cut part is facing upward. Let the onions stay in the room for long hours or even overnight.
Once done, ensure to throw away the onions and not use them for cooking as they are poisonous.
4. Dust Baking Soda
When growing up, most of us saw our mothers and grandmothers use baking soda to clear odor in the fridges, clean bathtubs, among other uses.
As a result, baking soda is widely known to eliminate odors, and paint vapors are no exemption. You can use baking soda to clear paint fumes in a room as below.
- Fill various shallow bowls with the baking soda and strategically place them all around the room. Let the bowls sit in the room overnight for the soda to work effectively.
- Since the paint fumes may diffuse into the soft items around the room, such as the carpets and window drapes, it will be ideal to dust some baking soda on to them. Leave the soda overnight and vacuum it away the following day.
- The baking soda’s last trick involves filling some shallow bowls with a half cup of baking soda and a little water. Stir the mixture for the soda to dissolve. Place the bowls across the room and let them absorb the fumes for the whole day.
5. Make Use Of The Charcoal.
The regular household charcoal briquettes mostly used for grilling can do an excellent job in absorbing odors and even paint fumes.
In fact, you can crush the briquettes into powder to increase the surface area for absorbing the order for better performance.
Besides, you can purchase the activated charcoal in a nearby hardware store.
Activated charcoal performs better due to its fine size, making the charcoal more porous and excellent in absorbing order. Fill the charcoal in various small bowls and place them in the room.
For better results, place the charcoals before painting commences.
6. Bowls Of Vinegar
Are you surprised? Please do not. Despite its distinctive smell, vinegar is a good odor eliminator.
You can use either apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar.
The culinary white vinegar has a lesser percentage of acetic acid; thus, it may not work faster than the household vinegar.
Pick several small bowls, fill them halfway with the vinegar and place them all around the room to eliminate paint fumes. Within no time, the strong paint smell will be gone.
7. Use The Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are not only an excellent morning beverage but a great odor absorber, including the annoying paint fumes.
Keep a few bowls filled with coffee, dependent on the size of the painted room. The coffee will absorb the fumes and leave your space with a pleasant coffee aroma.
Remember to dispose- of the coffee grounds after use.
8. Peppermint/Vanilla Extracts. (Natural Oil Extracts)
Natural oils are not only safe for the environment, but they offer an aromatherapy encounter. They are always beneficial to the user.
There are several natural oils available in the market, and they include; rosemary, vanilla, tea tree, peppermint, among many others.
In particular, peppermint and vanilla are strong enough to mask and eliminate the paint’s suffocating fumes.
Armed with few cotton balls, put some drops of either oil and place them all around the room.
For an added advantage, mix them with water and place the bowls with water inside the room.
Extra Tips On How To Clear Paint Fumes From The Start
Most of the above tips are employed during or after the painting job is done.
On the other hand, by factoring in the presence of paint vapor before the painting work begins, you will be able to reduce the paint odor and avoid the suffocation by the fumes. Below are extra tips you can put in place.
1. Watch The Weather Patterns
Before you commence on your painting spree, ensure you have studied the weather pattern very well.
When the air is damp due to high humidity, the paint tends to dry very slowly, thus emitting a powerful odor, which diffuses more into the upholstery in the house.
On the other hand, when the weather is shiny, the paint tends to dry faster. Besides, it’s not always good to paint at night as well.
2. Give Time For The Paint To Dry
When you paint a new fresh coat of paint while the beneath one has not dried well, paint fumes can get trapped and keep on emitting toxic gases slowly for longer.
Ensure to give each new paint coat enough time to dry entirely, even in humid or rainy weather.
3. Choose Zero Or Low VOC Paint
To avoid the nauseating odor which comes with new paint, always ensure to buy zero or low VOC paints as they have less smell.
If it is an oil-based primer or paint, purchase the ones labeled “low odor.” Even though most paints nowadays are labeled as low VOC, it will better if you buy zero VOC paints.
If you are very sensitive to smell, paints made from clay, minerals, and even plants can be ideal to use. Ensure to keep the paint cans closed when not in use.
4. One Room At A Time
If possible, do not paint too many rooms simultaneously, more so if you will spend your time in the same house.
The smell of the paint fumes might be overwhelming. Inhaling too much paint fumes is not at all good for your health and your family as well.
When painting one particular room, ensure to keep other rooms’ doors, and windows closed to minimize the paint fumes from spreading.
For the room which is being painted, leave the doors and windows open for ventilation.
5. Use Few Fans
Other than opening windows and doors of the room being painted, you can whisk the paint fumes faster using fans.
Strategically place some box fans at the center facing the doors and windows. With the fans running, the paint will dry more quickly.
To ensure the fumes do not move around the rest of the house, ensure the house air conditioner or heating system is off.
Final Thought On How To Clear Paint Fumes After Painting
Painting is one of the various ways one can improve and give a fresh look to their kitchen, living room, or even bedrooms in a home.
Actually, to maintain your home’s colorful look, you should ensure to paint once every two years or so.
Unfortunately, many people avoid interior painting for several years to avoid the paint’s toxic fumes.
Nevertheless, avoiding painting your home is not a solution at all. Other than letting your home look worn out and old, employ either or several of the above tips on how to clear paint fumes after painting.