Skip to content
how to make your clothes smell good without using fabric softener
In the home

How to get rid of paint smell

The smell of paint can linger, even once walls are dry. Read on for tips on removing paint smell for good, plus some safety advice on paint fumes & pregnancy!

Is your living room lacking in lustre? Or your kitchen feeling a bit knackered? What you need is to spruce things up with a new coat of paint! Decorating your home can be a massively rewarded experience, but you need to ensure it is handled safely. Learn how to remove paint smell from your home, and other vital safety tips, in this handy guide.

Painting Wisely: Avoiding Long-term Paint Smell               

Putting thought into the shade and type of paint you choose is the first step to making sure your paint job is a success.

To ensure a long-lasting finish, make sure you prepare your walls properly with a primer and first coat. You can buy these combined for interiors, which is a good solution if you want to get back into the room quickly.

The finish you need for your topcoat depends on what you’re painting. Flat finishes, a versatile paint type based on latex and sometimes containing vinyl to make it more hardwearing, is the most common choice for walls and ceilings. If you need a really hardwearing finish, though, you could choose a satin finish; these are often used on wood surfaces, and have a slight sheen. You can also get special bathroom and kitchen paints that resist mould and moisture. Ask someone in your local DIY shop for guidance.

When choosing a colour, the best thing to do is test your options at home. Ask your DIY shop for samples to take home, and try them out on the walls you plan to paint. Make sure to paint a largish area with each, so you get a really good sense of how they’d look on a whole wall; and leave them up for a while to see how they work in various weathers and times of day, before you make up your mind.

Painting Safely: Paint Fumes and Pregnancy

Wall paint has quite a distinctive smell, and many people worry about the effect of paint fumes in pregnancy, in particular. However, guidance from the NHS suggests that modern paints pose very low risk even to unborn babies, so you should be able to paint during pregnancy with no worries.

However, it’s best to avoid painting during the first 13 weeks, as this is when your baby goes through lots of key development. You should also avoid using solvent-based paints during pregnancy, as these have more harmful fumes.

For a safer and more pleasant painting experience for anyone, it’s best to leave all windows and doors to the room open to provide good ventilation. There are also lots of handy tips around for how to get rid of paint smell that bit quicker. You can place a bucket of water in the centre of the room to absorb soluble vapours from the paint; and some people find the two halves of an onion, placed at opposite sides of the room, remove paint smell surprisingly fast!

With these simple tips in mind, you should be able to choose your colour with confidence and enjoy transforming your room safely. If you’re confused about anything or need extra advice on colour or technique, staff at your local DIY shop should be happy to talk to you. Get creative; think carefully about the results you want; and enjoy your room’s new look!