Are you considering doing some interior painting this season? Everyone wants to feel proud of their home and updating with fresh and modern interior painting is a big part of that. Along with that often comes the stench of paint odour.

Sometimes you have family or friends coming to stay and you want to give your place a spruce. Before you know it, their arrival is coming and you’re just a few days away and you’ve just finished painting. The only problem is you can’t leave your windows open all day long when it’s absolutely freezing outside. There are a few tried and true tricks to help get rid of paint smells. Keep reading if you need to remedy this issue fast!


Getting rid of paint smells isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst parts of painting your home. The smell of paint can be overwhelming. Even if you have a ventilation system, the smell can still linger in the air. Paint smells are especially problematic if you have children and pets, who are more sensitive than adults.

Is the paint smell harmful?

The chemicals present in paint fumes can cause both short- and long-term health effects. While painting, and as the paint is drying, some people may experience symptoms such as headaches, eye-watering, dizziness and breathing problems. Other immediate symptoms include throat and lung irritation and vision problems.

How long does it take for the paint smell to go away?

Nowadays, paint smells go off as fast as 3-5 days unlike before. However, it depends on the location where the paint has been administered to. If it is indoors and you let windows be opened as much as possible, then it will be faster than usual.

How do you get rid of the smell of paint in your house?

It is a general fact that the smell of paint will be gone as soon as it is dry out. Now, you may be wondering how to get rid of paint smell fast.

Changes in the way paint are made mean that overwhelming paint fumes aren’t as strong as they used to be. Water-based paints don’t carry strong smells, so you should only have lingering fumes for a couple of days.

However, if you are impatient to get rid of this smell, then…

There Are Some Ways You Can Speed Up Getting Rid of Paint Smells

1. Keep the room well ventilated

Open windows, and doors and keep a constant airflow circulating within the room. Place a couple of rotating fans around the room, angled towards an open window, and they’ll help get rid of the fumes.

Don’t switch the fans on until you’ve finished your coat of paint and it’s touch dry.

2. Baking soda

How to use baking soda to remove the paint smell? Baking soda is magic.  It naturally absorbs smells, so it’s helpful in places like your fridge.

If you want to use it to cut down on paint smells, pour it onto several plates and scatter them throughout the room. Leave it overnight and then throw it away in the morning.

For soft furnishings like carpet or your sofa, sprinkle the baking soda over it, leave overnight and then

Vacuum it up the next day.

3. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is another natural odour absorber. It’s often a feature in cooker extraction hoods and air purifiers – so you know it works!

Like with baking soda, place small amounts of activated charcoal on plates and scatter them around the room. Leave it a day or so, and then throw it away after the smell has dissipated.

4. Keep your house cool

If you have windows open and the room is well-ventilated, it should be a cool temperature anyway.

But if you’re painting in winter, don’t turn the heating on until the paint is dry. This helps keep the paint fumes to a minimum.

5. Low VOC

Choose paint with low VOC to cut down on the smell. VOC (or volatile organic compound) causes strong paint smells, so choosing a low VOC paint should mean the paint scent isn’t as strong.

6. Air purifier

Air purifiers help to absorb smells and get rid of them quicker. Unlike fans, air purifiers won’t speed up the drying process but still get rid of the smell, so you can switch them on as soon as you start painting.

7. Onions

Does onion get rid of the paint smell? This method might make your house smell like onions for a short while, but it’ll get rid of the paint smell. 

Onions contain a chemical that neutralizes the chemicals that make the paint smell. All you need to do is chop an onion in half and place it in the room you’re painting.

8. Candles

Sometimes, the best way to get rid of a smell is to mask it with another; find a candle you love and burn it for a couple of hours to cover the smell.

9. Vinegar

Vinegar does wonder in removing paint smells. The use of vinegar to remove paint smell has been a practice for decades. Just keep bowls of it in the area or in the room where somebody is painting. It keeps air french and absorbs the smell.


How to get rid of bad emulsion paint smell?

Paint can sometimes smell really awful and that can even have bacteria build up on it. The best way to remove this kind of smell is to clean the surface, can even repaint and there shall be proper paint storage to the materials to prevent bacteria to lodge.

How to remove paint odour in cabinets?

Baking soda is magic. It naturally absorbs smells, so it’s helpful in places like your fridge. If you want to use it to cut down on paint smells, pour it onto several plates and scatter them throughout the room. Leave it overnight and then throw it away in the morning.

Method #1: Onions and Interior Paint Smells

This may seem a little bit strange to you, but onions are a great option for masking and eliminating the smell of paint thinner!

It’s one the best odour eliminators and control methods out there. Here are the steps in order to get rid of the strong paint thinner odours:

  • Finish your interior painting job.
  • Once you are done, peel and cut an onion in half.
  • Put the onion halves on two separate plates on opposite sides of the freshly painted room.
  • This works because the onion is very porous and will absorb the paint odour, leaving your painted home smelling way fresher than before!



Method #2: Vanilla Extract & Bad Odours Related To Interior Painting

What does adding vanilla to paint do? The strong and sweet smell of Vanilla can act as a deodorizer to fumes.

This method only works if you do this in advance prior to your interior painting. If done right, it should greatly reduce or completely eliminate the odours from paint in your room.

  • Before doing interior painting in your home, pour a gallon of paint into a bucket.
  • For every gallon of paint, add ½ tsp of vanilla extract.
  • Mix well before the interior painting job.
  • When you’re left to apply your interior paint to the wall, the strong paint fumes will be significantly reduced. This is how to get rid of gloss paint fumes.
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Method #3: Commercially Available Products to Remove Bad Paint Smells

Bad paint odours aren’t exactly a new problem. Because of this, many companies have already developed multiple products and paint odour eliminator additives as a neutralizer to combat the odour of paint.


  1. ZORBX
  2. BON-CC-41
  3. Febreeze
  4. Air Wick
  5. Generic Air Fresheners
  6. Candles
  7. Kabosh Paint Odour Eliminator

As always, make sure you read the instructions on the product carefully before using the product.

Method #4: Covering and Sealing the Paint

The best way to mask the paint smell in the house is to mask the paint itself as much as possible. This means:

  • If you’re taking a break during interior painting, cover your paintbrush with a plastic bag while you’re gone
  • Keep the lid closed on your paint container as much as possible
  • Place the paint outside when you aren’t using it
  • Use disposable containers to hold your paint (such as old ice cream tubs)

Method #5: Making Sure You Use the Proper Products

This is probably the easiest way to avoid having to deal with toxic smells related to paints. Here are some tips on what kind of products to use for interior painting in Toronto:

Make sure you use zero or low VOC (volatile organic compounds) for fewer paint smells. Most interior paints today have at least low VOC, but zero VOC paints are the best to avoid toxic odours for your home in Toronto and the GTA.

Avoid using oil or alkyd-based paints and primers at all costs. In some cases, an oil-based primer is necessary for items such as smoke sealing or stucco painting. If this is the case, make sure you use a low-odour primer. If you really want to go out on a limb, there are also waterborne primers that are made for stucco ceilings that are latex-based but act as alkyd paint. Benjamin Moore has good waterborne paint made for ceilings.

Method #6: Turn Your Thermostat Down and Open Some Windows and Doors

When all else fails to remove paint odours while doing interior painting, the most obvious way is to air the house out. The advantage of doing it this way is:

  • You don’t expend and waste too much heat.
  • This is the most efficient way to air out your house while expending the least amount of heat.
  • This is the best way to truly air out your house after interior painting. Within 2-3 days of doing this, your house will be free of the paint smell and paint toxic fumes if there are any.
  • It’s the fastest way to have a toxic-free painted environment, while not wasting too much heat.
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And there you have it, five great methods to reduce the smell of paint to the absolute minimum. Now you have a great new interior paint job and a fresh-smelling Toronto house!

Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest page for all sorts of painting inspiration!

Are you Doing an Interior Painting Project and Having a Hard Time Choosing the Colour?

Maybe it’s not harsh paint odours that’s the issue. Maybe it’s that you’re having a hard time even getting started on your interior painting project because you just can’t seem to pick a colour! First off, you need to stop and ask yourself, which room is it that you’re painting? Because different spaces have differing needs and vibes. For example, if you’re thinking of bedroom colour schemes, it can often be helpful to think about stress relieving colours. As you likely want your bedroom to help induce sleep and feelings of peacefulness.

If you’re thinking of painting your living room or one of the other main spaces of your home, it can often be helpful to think about your overall design aesthetic. For instance, do you think you have more of a modern or classic taste when it comes to interior painting? To find out all the details and what style you might be, visit this blog here.

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