How to get rid of that paint smell

How to get rid of that paint smell

October 24, 2016

While a freshly-painted room may look great, the harmful fumes that emanate from some paints can stop you from fully enjoying your newly-decorated home. 

Many paint smells are caused by chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that evaporate from conventional paint as it dries. There are numerous health complaints associated with the use of VOCs, such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; headaches, nausea and allergic skin reactions. In the worst cases, these fumes can exacerbate asthma and kidney complaints.

To prevent fumes building up you might want to try one of the many household remedies that are recommended for getting rid of them.

Tip one -

One suggestion is to cut an onion into quarters before placing one quarter on a plate in each corner of the decorated room. Because onions are good at absorbing odours, this should defeat the fumes. Likewise, crushed charcoal put in several bowls around a room should neutralise paint fumes.

Tip two -

Other suggestions include using salt, lemon and vinegar, which all have properties for soaking up paint smells. The best approach is to fill bowls halfway up with water and then drop a few slices of lemon and/or a quarter cup of salt into each bowl. Leave them overnight and they will absorb the fumes. Alternatively, half fill a few bowls with vinegar and go through the same process.

Tip three -

Bowls of coffee grounds are also meant to help absorb paint odours – and they will also leave an aromatic coffee scent into the bargain. In addition, lighting a candle or two in a freshly-painted room will a burn off any solvents that have been released into the air space.

Prevention is better than cure

Of course, if you are yet to start painting your home, you could consider using an odourless paint – such as those in the Little Knights range. They are as safe as household paint gets – being non-toxic, non-allergenic and 100% free from VOCs, carcinogens and petrochemicals. 

This means Little Knights paint is totally odourless, not only when it has dried but also while you are applying it.


Little Knights

Beautiful colours for beautiful homes

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Four beautiful odourless paint finishes


For a solid, flat and elegant finish that is easy to touch up when required, matte paint is ideal for creating a gentle, soothing finish.  It helps to conceal flaws too, making it a good choice for older walls with "character".


Has slightly more lustre than a matte finish, low-sheen rather than shiny.  This attractive finish resists stains better than matte paint, and is easier to maintain


Creates an attractive and highly durable high sheen finish, an ideal choice if you want to make a room look bigger.  While it is the easiest to clean (just wipe with a damp cloth) Silk paint’s light reflecting properties do make it more difficult to touch up because any difference in sheen will be apparent.  It will make imperfections in your walls more noticeable, so it is worth investing a bit of extra time on surface preparation to make your walls as smooth as possible.  


Even our gloss paint is zero-VOC! An easy-to-apply, non-drip antibacterial gloss paint that provides a hardwearing, wipe-clean finish for interior and exterior wood and metal.  (Please note, the gloss does not share the formaldehyde-absorbing properties of the emulsion paint, but there's still no safer gloss paint on the market!) 


Little Knights

Simply the safest paint for you and your family