how to get rid of spray paint smell (1)
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How To Get Rid Of Spray Paint Smell In 6 Effective Ways?

Macarony David
Latest posts by Macarony David (see all)

Painting your house enhances the decoration and provides the wall sustainability. However, the smell of the paint can be a problem for someone. They are toxic and unhygienic and, therefore, most experts will advise you to wear a mask while painting.

Are you dealing with a DIY project at home? And are you concerned about how to get rid of spray paint smell? Last summer I painted my house, and I want to share my experience with you.

Dealing with the fumes of the paint might seem troublesome. They pose a high risk to the health of you and your family. But the methods I am going to tell you in this article will save you from this headache.

Hazardous effects of spray paints

how to get rid of spray paint smell
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There might be countless benefits of spray paint instead of regular paint with a brush. But you are vulnerable to the chemicals released into the air, which contain harmful substances.

Spray paint fumes in a confined area can affect you in various ways. Mostly they have short-term effects on your health, such as burn to the skin and eyes, irritation, headache, dizziness, and respiratory issues. And in the long run, you may have to suffer from allergies, asthma, and painter’s syndrome.

If you are not cautious enough, there are other cases where these elements cause life-threatening diseases. The side effect of paint fume inhalation can damage your brain and kidney and causes liver failure and lung cancer.

Also Know: How To Remove Spray Paint From Plastic?

Tools and methods to remove the smell of the spray paint 

You can follow different steps to get rid of the spray paint smell. You can use any particular one or combine two or more of them simultaneously to get a fast outcome.

You may need these tools such as, 

  • Box fan.
  • Lemon.
  • Activated charcoal.
  • Air purifier.
  • Baking soda, vinegar, or apple cider.
  • Coffee grounds.
  • Water.
  • Bowl.

Among various methods, you may use these for a quick solution,

  1. Use of low VOC spray paints.
  2. Using proper ventilation.
  3. Use of activated charcoal.
  4. Use lemon water, baking soda, and apple cider inside the room.
  5. Place coffee grounds in the corners.
  6. Invest in a good air purifier.

Tips to reduce the smell before using the spray paint 

how to get rid of spray paint smell
Image Credit: Paint Strategies

Now you know the tools you need and the methods you can follow. But you might want to know the whole procedure and wonder how to get rid of spray paint smell. But before going into the details, there are several things you can do to reduce the smell and the health risk before painting.

Perse, you may go for the spray paints, which are low or contains zero VOC. And if you are using oil paint, you can pick one with less odor.

You may follow the weather forecast to avoid the days with high humidity. The air delays the drying process, and the smell may last longer than usual at these times. If it takes much time to dry, then chances are that the materials will absorb the scent. 

You can apply light coating instead of heavy coating. If you must do the heavy coating, let each coat dry before applying the next layer. Be aware that a damp wall can absorb the fumes and hold the odor for long. 

Use of low VOC spray paints
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Use of low VOC spray paints

Prevention is a better option than cure; thus, you should pick a spray paint with less smell. Low VOC refers to volatile organic compounds which assist in off-gas and fumes when they dry. 

It saves you from unwanted smells and is better for your overall health.

Using Proper ventilation

The natural air ventilation process may be lengthy, but it is effective. Moreover, spray painting requires proper ventilation to ensure that the harmful fumes and unpleasant odor do not bother you and your family.

You need air to dry up the paint quickly, and fresh air also dilutes the fumes. You can keep the doors and the windows open for natural airflow. If that is not enough, you may invest in a good spray-painting booth.

Moreover, an air purifier or a box fan can enhance the airflow within the room. But for the long term, the booth or an outdoor structure is viable. You may find affordable and portable booths on online platforms like Amazon. 

Using baking soda

Many people use baking soda on their refrigerator and the laundry to remove the smell. Similarly, you may remove the spray paint smell from your room or any metal object.

You can keep a bowl of baking soda as a desiccant inside your room. It will absorb the foul smell and the fumes from the area.

how to get rid of spray paint smell Using natural extracts 
Image Credit: Architecturesideas

Using natural extracts 

Many natural elements consist of pleasing odor. Natural extracts such as peppermint and vanilla may be an excellent option to remove the smell of spray paint. Use a bowl and put cotton balls in it with a few drops of extract each.

This method is not going to absorb the fume but reduce the smell. Therefore, you have to make sure that the area gets proper ventilation.

Using lemon 

Another natural ingredient to get rid of the spray paint smell is lemon. It is more effective to absorb the fumes, and you can see the difference within one day. It is simply effective against any sort of smell along with the spray paint.

One of the best ways is to use the lemon in a water bowl and squeeze it. However, considering the size of the area, if it is large, you may simply slice the lemon in half and put that in the bowl. Additionally, you can place these bowls according to convenient places inside the area and get an effective outcome. 

Place coffee grounds in the corners

Coffee has a great fragrance, and it is also an excellent odor-absorbing agent. It is an old-fashioned way to use it as an air freshener.

You can use it in the corners of the room, which is well ventilated. The smell of coffee beans saves you from the strong odor of paint. 

Use of activated charcoal 

how to get rid of spray paint smell Use of activated charcoal 
Image Credit: Times Of India

You can put a bag or bucket of activated charcoals in the center to eliminate the spray paint smell. Activated charcoal can absorb the paint fumes quickly as they are porous.

You have to make sure that these are activated charcoals as the crushed charcoal does not fit the work. It is missing the oxygen pockets, which create space for odor absorption.

Frequently asked questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the spray paint smell.

Do spray paint fumes last for a long time?

There is no fixed answer, and it depends on the situation. Technically it should not last longer than two to three days.

The smell of spray paint usually goes away after a few days. However, paint fumes might remain for weeks. This usually occurs when the room is not adequately aired before and after spray painting.

Why does spray paint have such a bad smell?

Most paints generate a robust chemical odor due to the volatile organic components included inside the paint. Volatile organic compounds are carbon-containing chemicals that evaporate at ambient temperature and enter the environment.

They are released as the paint is sprayed from the container, and the paint continues to emit them while it dries and cures, a process known as off-gassing.

Is the smell of spray paint unsafe?

It is not the smell that is unsafe per se; however, the chemicals can be the reason. And a solid unwelcoming smell indicates the presence of a harmful object in the area. A room with no ventilation and recently painted fumes can make things uncomfortable.

While spraying the paint, you are exposing yourself to hazardous chemicals. It may have a serious impact on your health and body. Therefore, make sure you protect your eyes and skin as well as wear a mask while using the spray.  

How can I minimize the bad smell of the spray paint initially? 

Consider purchasing low-VOC options, which contain fewer toxic ingredients. Some manufacturers even claim that their paints are non-VOC, which means they contain no volatile organic compounds and are thus significantly safer to use inside.

What type of spray paint should I use?

Look for spray paint with low VOC levels wherever feasible. These paint cans typically bear the “Green Seal” mark. It suggests that they are ecologically friendly and contain few volatile ingredients.

Can I sleep in a freshly painted room?

You have to consider the type of paint to decide whether it is safe. The material of the paint is a significant factor here. 

It is safe to use a room after 3 to 4 hours if it is a water-based paint. Oil-based paints are safe to use after 24 to 30 hours. Lastly, it only takes half an hour for the zero VOC paints to use.


You can easily deal with the spray paint smell if you know the proper procedure. You need a product that can absorb the smell and fume and use products that can replace the smell, perhaps increasing the overall air quality.

You need proper ventilation and try to follow the guidelines in this article. You have to make sure not to breathe in toxic fumes. Fortunately, now you know how to get rid of spray paint smell, and you can enjoy a better environment.

You can apply these methods just with a small effort. You can get the ingredient easily, and it reduces the health risks and the discomfort of dealing with the bad odors. 

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