Eliminating Painting Odors

Painting a room can give it a face lift in a day. While painting can have many appealing benefits, one of the project's pitfalls is the odor left behind. This can leave homeowners wondering how to reduce paint smells in the home.

The advancements of paint have led to many varieties of low-odor paints. However, even the most low-odor of the bunch will have some residual smell. What's more, homeowners retrofitting spaces that are older or who have used oil-based paints in the past may need to use a more potent paint to cover dark colors, block water infiltration or simply adhere to previous paint applications. These stronger paints tend to be more potent.

There are some steps homeowners can take when paint fumes are bound to overwhelm, particularly in a child's bedroom.

1. Empty the entire room of furniture and any porous materials that can trap paint fumes. This also will make it easier to paint with no obstructions.

2. Open the windows in the room before any paint cans are opened, and keep them open during the duration of the job.

3. Consider the use of latex paints, which are generally low-odor.

4. If alkyd, alcohol, or shellac paints must be used, add a few drops of vanilla extract to the paint to alleviate any odors. It won't affect the color of application.

5. Wait until the walls have fully dried before closing windows and returning the furniture to the room.

6. Promptly close paint cans and gather materials used for cleaning and removal from the room. Store them in a sealed container to prevent odors from spreading throughout the house.

7. If odors are persistent, placing a bowl of cut up onions in water in the room is an old trick that may or may not work. The onions supposedly absorb the paint odors, sometimes in as little as one day. This is an inexpensive idea to try.