One Way to Reduce Paint Fumes

I like to use oil-based paint on moulding, cabinets and doors. It just wears better. But, boy, is it stinky stuff! We used Benjamin Moore's oil-based paint for the closet/built-in portion of the girls' bedroom walls. Luckily the weather has been nicer this week, so we've kept the windows open quite a bit for ventilation. But did you know that burning a candle can reduce paint fumes? I've been (very carefully) burning a candle up on a high shelf while the paint dries, and I've noticed a HUGE difference in the smell situation.


Just a little Tuesday night tip from me to you. :)

Do you have any other tips for reducing paint fumes/smells? I've heard leaving out a quartered onion works. But that seems weird. Like it would only add to the smell factor, right?

27 comments:

travelkate said...

Great tip! I had never heard of that before!

Sock Monkey Girl said...

Use low (or ideally no) VOC paint - fewer fumes, healthier for you and yours. I'm not sure that oil based paints come in low VOC versions yet, but latex based versions definitely do.

Anonymous said...

benjamin moore has a new paint that is water based low voc and actually dries very slick looking like an oil based paint. i've used it and i love it. it's called ADVANCE waterborne interior paint.

Yolanda said...

I will try that next time! I love oil based paint too, but the fumes are hard to deal with in an apartment with few windows. Thank you!

Tamara said...

I've never tried this before, but a friend swears by it. Buy lipton tea bags (cheapest bulkiest you can find) place them around the room. The tea absorbs the fumes.

Paige said...

No tips for paint fumes, but the lit candle works when you're chopping onions, too. No more tears!

Anonymous said...

Truth: add just a few drops of vanilla in the paint and there is NO odor!! (1tsp of extract per gallon...does not change the color) might be safer than a candle.

Anonymous said...

Oil-based paint is so toxic. I really hope you're keeping everyone out of that room.

Ashley @ A {Blonde's} DIY Life said...

I've put a few drops of vanilla in my paint.... and that usually helps!

Abby said...

I read your blog daily and have never contributed until now. I didn't think I was cool enough...

I have a tip!!! I actually do!!

I recently used oil-based paint in my living room redo and used http://www.naturesairsponge.com/.

It worked like a charm. There wasn't an odor left in my house. It even made it bearable while working! I will always use this product! It is awesome!!!

Lexanne said...

I have put a couple drops of vanilla extract in paint to help with the smell. I'm not sure where I heard to do it but it definitely helps!

Lexanne said...

I have put a few drops of vanilla extract in paint before and it seems to help mask the smell.

Renee said...

Can you tint an oil based paint and color match exactly? I've got a couple of projects I'd like to take on, but very specific colors in mind!

alison@MLHP said...

Wonder if setting out a cup of vinegar might help - seems to help clear the air in the kitchen after something's been fried.
*Think the vanilla idea would be a better scent substitution, though!

Andrea said...

wow, great tip. I agree, oil based paint is way to go with woodwork and cabinetry. I'm a bit weird and kind of like the smell!

Laurie said...

Great tip - will try this one next time.

Lilly said...

Paint fumes make my husband super sick, but I love changing up color so I almost exclusively use Anna Sova food paints. They paint beautifully in one coat and are made entirely from food products so there is genuinely nothing toxic about them. My mom painted with this brand close to 10 years ago and her walls still look phenomenal!

Lilly
pancakesandbeetjuice.blogspot.com

Dani said...

Perfect timing--I'm starting my first oil based project this morning!

Rosie1925 said...

OMG OMG OMG!!! When I was a kid, there were all sorts of public service commercials about flames and oil paints and fumes and keeping old rags, brushes,and paints in metal containers to limit the fire when it starts!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, the onion trick has actually worked for me. Looking forward to the pics of your daughters space ;)

Cammee said...

I am in the middle of refinishing my staircase. I am lighting a candle right tis minute, I think I've been high for 3 days!

Spanglish Chic said...

Thank you for all the tips! It kind of makes me want to try painting my kitchen cabinets in the middle of winter! I know boiling cinnamon sticks will get rid of almost any smell but I guess that would only work for the kitchen and near rooms.

Mould Treatment said...

You can also turn off or block the openings so fumes from the work room so fumes aren’t pulled into the system to circulate to other areas in the home.

Brooke {Slow Your Home} said...

A couple of bowls of white vinegar around the room will def help. I've also heard that putting a slice of bread in the vinegar makes it mire effective but haven't tried it myself.

Coincidentally I just started painting our trim yesterday with a waterbased gloss paint because I couldn't deal with the fumes/toxicity of the oil paints. It's def not as glossy but I was really pleased with how well it went on and will be interested to see if it wears nearly as well as the oil paint..

Tiffany said...

Hey Jenny, I've been following you for a LONG time. I love you!!! I finally just made my first ever foam board pelmet box and I'm so proud...thanks for the money saving idea. Anyway, I was searching on KSL today and saw this add and thought of you. A grand paino for your dollhouse...how cool would that be? Thanks for all the inspiration!

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=18006970&cat=&lpid=3&search=wood%20bench

Anonymous said...

Let's be scientific - presumably the candle is burning off whatever gas is coming off the paint? Therefore, an onion is unlikely to work the same way, unless it also chemically reacts with the gas? Anyone know?

That velvet headboard was SO beautifully done. Very inspiring.

JWK said...

THANKS!! Burning a candle right this second!!

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