How To Get Rid of Spray Paint Fumes (7 Actionable Steps)

  • By: Artistic Bees
  • Time to read: 6 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Spray painting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective types of painting. However, we all know how annoying it is to deal with spray paint fumes once your painting is complete. So, you might be wondering how to get rid of spray paint fumes. This article will help you in this regard.

Using low-VOC spray paint, keeping the area properly ventilated, placing activated charcoal or baking soda in the room, are a few steps to get rid of the spray paint fumes.

Well, you might need to follow several other steps to get rid of the fumes completely. So, in this article, I will go over seven actionable steps to get rid of spray paint fumes, along with some other information that you might find helpful.

Spray paints

How Long Does Spray Paint Smell Last?

Generally, the spray paint smell lasts for at least 24 hours or one day. However, the spray paint fumes would require a minimum of 3-4 days to dissipate entirely with sufficient ventilation.

Well, how long the spray paint smell will last depends on various circumstances. In a properly ventilated area, the odor might linger for a few days. But it will last considerably longer if you keep the room closed.

Moreover, the weather is also a crucial factor here. If you live in a hot climate, the paint will dry quickly. On the other hand, it may take a couple of weeks or more for the scent to go away in cold or rainy places.

7 Actionable Steps to Get Rid of Spray Paint Fumes

Without any further ado, let’s discuss the steps to get rid of spray paint fumes for your convenience:

Step 1: Use a Spray Paint with a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)

First of all, you will have to choose a low-VOC spray paint if you want to prevent excessive fumes. Well, several paints claim to be completely non-toxic. However, it is not simple to avoid using toxins when it comes to things such as spray paint. As a result, it is better to choose spray paints that have low, or perhaps no, VOCs.

Check the product labeling to find a product that emits fewer toxic fumes or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), for example, water-based paint. Low VOC paints are better for your general health and lessen the dangers of paint fumes.

Step 2: Make Sure the Area Is Well Ventilated

Open the window while use spray paint indoors

While dealing with spray paint, ventilation is crucial for keeping yourself and your family members secure from dangerous fumes and odors. So, the next most crucial step following purchasing low-VOC spray paint is to ensure that the space or walls getting painted are properly ventilated.

Leave all the windows and doors open when painting inside one room to ensure the odors escape into the air. To reduce the fumes, you need as much clean air in the space as possible. It is also a good idea to use box fans during the spray painting process to prevent off-gassing.

Furthermore, you can also utilize portable spray painting booths almost everywhere, ensuring that you do not have to go to great lengths to just paint a space. It also makes things simpler to clean and avoids prolonged exposure to paint fumes.

Step 3: In the room, Keep Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal

If you are having trouble getting rid of the paint fumes still, try putting pellets or bags of activated charcoal in buckets and placing them in the room’s center. This is no doubt an excellent way to remove the fumes quickly since the charcoal absorbs the odor and leaves your area feeling fresh.

Well, you must choose activated charcoal as it is more permeable once activated. It allows it to fully absorb the odors and pollutants around it. Well, some people also use crushed charcoal for this purpose. However, keep in mind that crushed charcoal is not as effective at removing paint fumes or odors as it lacks the same oxygen pockets to generate room for smell absorption.

Step 4: Put Coffee Grounds or Onions in the Room’s Corner

Coffee grounds

The coffee grounds work as a paint smell remover, which will come in handy if the fumes become too much. You can put the coffee grinds in the corner of the area to capture all the paint fumes and improve the odor.

Another option to decrease the smell is to use onions. It might appear strange to a few, yet it works miracles in the same way that coffee does. To complete this procedure, chop the white onions or perhaps yellow ones into slices and scatter them over the floor.

These will soon absorb the foul stench in the air. And, you may only have to keep the onion slices for one night.

These two odor-reduction solutions, which use onions and coffee grounds, are not only effective but also easily accessible and doable.

Step 5: Use Lemon Water, or Peppermint or Vanilla Extract

You can also use lemon water to get rid of spray paint fumes. Fill a bucket halfway with water and add salt and lemons to it. The lemons will create a fresh aroma as the mixture absorbs the solvents of the environment.

Peppermint or vanilla extract might also help in this regard. Add a few drops of peppermint or vanilla extract to cotton balls. Then place them in the room’s corner to absorb the smell of the fumes.

Step 6: Use Baking Soda

Baking soda

You can also consider putting baking soda jars in the room if you would like to combat the spray paint scent in several ways. In comparison to charcoal, baking soda is more accessible and less expensive. Simply fill small containers with it and place them inside the room.

Step 7: Use Air Purifiers

Last but not the least, using air purifiers will greatly help you get rid of paint fumes. I have already mentioned the necessity of ventilation, as well as how allowing air in is critical for removing hazardous pollutants.

However, using windows, fans, and natural air alone isn’t enough to get rid of paint fumes. It is smart to use an air purification system in the room.

Air purifiers are quite useful for eliminating paint odors and fumes after spray painting the interior. They are designed to eliminate impurities from the air, such as allergies, chemicals, and odors.

It may seem insignificant, but it is critical since paint fumes may quickly become a huge hassle if you don’t address them promptly.

Is It Harmful To Inhale Spray Paint Fumes?

Inhaling spray paint fumes for a long time can cause a lot of harm in the long run. However, the negative effects will differ between individuals. Also, it will be determined by exposure time, the quantity of spray paint fumes in the area, and the overall health condition of the individual who is exposed to such fumes.

Some of the short-term side-effects of inhaling spray paint fumes are:

  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Eyes and skin burning.
  • Contact dermatitis.
  • Throat and nose irritation.

On the other hand, a few possible long-term effects are:

Furthermore, long-time exposure to spray paint fumes can also cause brain damage, kidney damage, liver failure, and several other serious health issues.


Always wear a protective face mask

You must always make an effort to eliminate spray paint fumes ASAP for the sake of your and your family member’s health. By now, you should know how you can easily get rid of spray paint fumes.

Also do not forget to wear a protective face mask with charcoal filters that will not let you inhale the fumes while spraying.

I’ve also discussed some long-term and short-term health effects of inhaling it to help you understand the importance of getting rid of it. Thanks for reading through. Take care.