What’s That Paint Smell?
A fresh coat of paint can be a sight for sore eyes, transforming a dull or dingy room into something brighter and more appealing. Unfortunately, what’s good for our sense of sight isn’t always as good for our sense of smell. After a freshly painted room, the lingering smell of paint can be a bit unsettling. Wet paint is pretty low on the list of most people’s favorite smells, and that’s even without the headaches or other illnesses paint fumes can cause. Although the paint industry has made a lot of efforts in recent years with a goal of eliminating paint odor, that new paint smell still can be a major annoyance for anyone attempting a home improvement project. The good news is you can decide how long you’ll have to live with it.
If you’re excited about how your room will look with a fresh coat of paint but not how it will smell immediately afterward, there are a few tips and tricks for ridding that paint smell from your home. More than simply covering the scent, the idea is to absorb or disperse the vapors that cause it — giving you the chance to enjoy the new look of your room much sooner without letting that paint smell linger. For example, one of the simplest ways to eliminate the paint smell from a freshly painted room is by making sure there is proper air circulation from open windows or high velocity fan.
Paint preparation also makes a difference when it comes to keeping paint odors to a minimum. Try mixing a few drops of vanilla extra to the paint prior to painting. This can result in a more satisfying aroma while the paint continues to dry.
If you thought baking soda was used only for baking, you might want to think again. Baking soda is a powerful, natural odor eliminator that you can use all over the house. People often place a box of baking soda in their refrigerator to help eliminate funky odors. The same practice can be applied to a freshly painted room. Simply open a couple new boxes of baking soda and place them around the painted room for a day or so. The baking soda attracts both bases and acids, which can cause the paint odors to neutralize and evaporate.
The accompanying checklist courtesy of Nolan Painting outlines a dozen simple ideas to remove paint odor in your home. Give one of these methods a try the next time you paint a room and be astonished by the outcome.