How To Get Rid Of Bad Emulsion Paint Smell

Painting your home gives it a new and aesthetically pleasing look, but we end up battling with the smell coming from it. Emulsion paint smell is generated by various paint components including solvents in paint evaporating, which happens during the paint drying process, through pigments that create color, binders to help the paint dry fast, and additives to improve durability and prevent mildew.

It is more serious to deal with when the smell is generated from oil-based paints like gloss, satinwood, and eggshell since they are solvent heavy. These kinds of paint give your room an expensive beautiful finish but it definitely comes at a cost “Smell” that is why you need to know the step-by-step guide on how to get rid of bad emulsion paint smell.

The smell coming from them is not just nasty, but few studies suggest the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within them could be far worse for indoor air quality and the health of people exposing themselves to it in the painted space for too long.

Interestingly, there are several methods to get rid of those fumes so you can get your freshly painted walls without too much bother. This article focuses on how to get rid of bad emulsion paint smell.


Paint smell will not go away – Easiest Approach

It is very much possible to get rid of that emulsion paint smell. The choice of your paint determines how strong the smell will be and how long it will linger. Water-based products do not carry strong fumes, so they are quicker to get rid of.

The easy means to achieve include keeping your room well ventilated, the use of baking soda, the use of charcoal, choosing paint with low VOCs, use of onions, candles, and many more.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Emulsion Paint Smell

How to get rid of bad emulsion paint smell

  1. Bamboo Charcoal

Bamboo charcoal is an excellent choice when you are trying to get rid of the bad emulsion paint smell. Charcoal is generally used as a great odor-absorber. It helps to eliminate the odor irrespective of the smell it is and generates fresh air.

You can make use of either the small pouches or the crushed formula. Purchase from the nearest market and place them in several bowls around the area you just painted so that they can absorb the bad paint smell.


2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is widely used when it comes to home cleaning and maintenance. Its amphoteric compound content means that it reacts with any strong molecules it comes in contact with. It neutralizes acidic or alkaline content, then releases CO2 and converts them into a different substance that will not produce the smell.

What you are required to do is to fill a number of bowls with baking soda and place them near the painted wall or surface and let them absorb the paint smell. The odor might not be fully eradicated, but it would significantly reduce it. For optimal effect, close the doors and windows to effectively trap the fumes in with the baking soda.


3. Vinegar solution

If you are going for the vinegar option to get rid of the bad emulsion paint smell, you should choose white vinegar. It contains up to 9 percent acetic acid which makes it effective at removing the epoxy paint smell. Despite its ability, it is one of the most affordable natural products that absorb paint smell.

Pour a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar into a bowl and mix. Place the containers you prepared the mixture near the painted surface. Even though white vinegar has its own odor, it goes away really quickly once you open windows.


4. Onions

Onions are known for their ability to absorb aromas and flavors from the air around them. You may have predicted right that using this method will make your room have a subtle onion smell when done.

Take two big onions and divide them into ¼ inch thick slices and place them in a single layer on a large cookie sheet.  Allow this pan to sit overnight in the painted room. By morning, you will discover that the paint has been eradicated completely. Though the room will have a residual onion smell for a few hours afterward.


5. Coffee Grounds

Has there ever been a case where you purchase fresh coffee grounds and place them near something perfumed or strong smelling and discovered they have an awful taste when you use them? The reason for this is that coffee grounds are great at absorbing odors. Its content including nitrogen and caffeine helps it achieve this.  Caffeine aids nitrogen’s ability to absorb sulfur and other unpleasant fumes in the air.

All you are required to do is to place coffee grounds in some bowls around the area you painted. You could also spread them on sheets of paper to speed up the odor-eating capability.


6. Essential Oils

The smell coming from essential oils can cover the bad smell from emulsion paint. To strengthen the effect, burn the essential oils since the smell will be more concentrated and strong.

If you are not sure about the essential oil to use, citrus smells are great at reducing nasty odors in the room. Vanilla and peppermint are also natural extracts that can remove the paint smell and refresh the air in your home. Put a few drops of the oil on cotton balls and place them in small bowls around the room to get rid of the paint smell.


7. Scented candles

Another fantastic solution is the use of scented candles. Place a couple of scented candles in the room to get rid of the emulsion paint smell.  It works especially well inside a bathroom, in case you just painted it ad wants to get rid of the odor.

Be aware that the candles are effective because the wax absorbs the odors, so scented candles are definitely a good choice if you want to use them.

When you get to the market or store, you can request candles specifically made to absorb unpleasant odors including emulsion paint smell. Avoid using paraffin-based candles since they release more toxins into the air. Instead of that, you can go for soy-based or natural beeswax candles that are not dangerous to breathe in.

Just ensure that the candles do not cause a fire hazard. You can avoid this by putting the candle in a bowl that is filled with a small amount of water.


8. Lemon with water

Cut a number of lemons into slices and drop them in a bowl filled with water, then place them in the newly painted room. Based on the size of the room, you may decide to prepare a few more bowls to absorb the nasty smell.

Adding salt to the filled bowl will increase the efficiency of the lemon to reduce the paint smell. If there are no lemon slices, you can use lemon juice if available.


9. Fan

Switching on a fan may be one of the easiest means to get rid of paint smell. Place the fan in an open window and ensure it is facing outside. Ideally, you will allow air to flow through various ventilation points including windows and doors.

This allows the paint fumes to dry faster and the smell will go away as well.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Emulsion Paint Smell

How long will it take for the paint smell to disappear?

Generally, the paint should be dried between 2 to 3 days.  But for the time required for paint smell to go away is dependent on the type of paint. A high-quality paint can require 14 to 24 days weeks before it completely disappears.

Oil-based products take up to 8 weeks to cure. That is why it is important to leverage several means of getting rid of the smell faster. It requires a few days to move back into a painted room.


Also Read: Top 5 Best paint gun for air compressor 

Are paint fumes toxic?

It is dangerous to expose yourself to paint fumes for too long. Some people may experience allergic reactions that include dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, headache, eye, and throat irritation. Water-based paints have low VOCs level so they have less risk of causing problems.

Pregnant women and children are at the greatest risk of experiencing serious health concerns if exposed for too long. Exposure for too long could even cause bigger health threats like asthma.

Conclusion: How To Get Rid Of Bad Emulsion Paint Smell

Every kind of paint contains chemicals be it interior emulsions, texture paints, or exterior paints. The concern that comes with paint smell is always more attached to newly painted homes. Allowing sufficient ventilation is enough to reduce emulsion smell. There are other amazing methods of getting rid of paint smell which has been covered above.

Now that you have learned how to get rid of bad emulsion paint smell, it is imperative to keep in stock any of the above materials before you start painting. Make sure to inform your elderly ones and children to stay away during the painting process for their safety. For your safety too, you may decide to put on a nose mask before starting your home project.