How to remove oil paint smell easily from room

Getting rid of the oil paint smell is not as easy as it seems to be. They contain Volatile Organic Compounds which cause a lot of smell in them. It could be dangerous due to the addition of hazardous hydrocarbons which can cause a variety of problems. Problems may include respiratory issues, headaches, nausea, damage to the liver, etc. In severe cases, it may even be life-threatening because some of the compounds are quite toxic.

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Why there is a need to get rid of the oil paint smell? When people usually shift from watercolor and other paints to oil paints then they feel a different smell than other paints. It is kind of something weird for them. That’s why artists don’t like the smell at the start but later on, they get used to it. But it could be dangerous to inhale so much of this smell.

Which health issues do oil paint smell cause?

When artists made a new painting, it takes a lot of time to dry. Wet paint always causes a strong smell which can last up to a few days until the upper layer gets dry. It can cause a lot of serious problems like

  • Headache
  • Nose irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • lung problems
  • Nausea
  • Coughing
  • Body pain

Why the smell of oil paint is hazardous? Are oil-based fumes harmful?

Oil paint contains hazardous fumes. They get mixed with particles in the air which get into your body through inhaling. This often happens when artists allow a painting to dry in a closed room. The continuous inhaling of these particles can lead to many serious health problems.

5 ways to get rid of oil paint smell

If you don’t do any precautions then oil paint could take up to several days or weeks depending on its drying time. But there are some ways which can help us to get rid of its bad smell instantly

1. Ventilate the room

In real life, we have noticed that those rooms having no ventilation or a path of sunlight always promote the smell of everything. Providing proper ventilation with a flow of fresh air in the room can give quick results. You can even use an exhaust fan to boost in time. If there are no spaces for ventilation then an exhaust fan must be preferred.

If there is a door in the room then you can create a flow by opening the door and window of the room. It is not just necessary to get rid of the smell but also for your health because oil paints contain some harmful chemicals which will flush. You can also turn on the fan for a whole day if there is no door or window.

2. Reduce humidity

Humidity can also affect oil paint smell in a negative way. It can increase due to cold environments or the presence of so much moisture. To keep it dry, always allow sunlight to enter the room. It will evaporate extra particles in the air resulting in reduced humidity.

3. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is popular for the removal of paint smell on walls. Wall paints also contain an amount of oil that causes the same smell problems as oil paints. Take some baking soda in a bowl. Pour some amount near the painting. Wait for a whole day and then remove it. I am sure you will see the paint smell will be removed near the painting. You can also place a bowl full of baking soda near the painting. It will also absorb oil painting smell from the air.

4. Use Low VOC paints

Oil paint contains Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which evaporate at room temperature and will make your room smell like an old warehouse for years. We recommend using oil paints having a lower VOC ratio. Check the paint scent before busying. Turpentine could affect your health. Avoid breathing turpentine fumes at all costs.

5. Use candle

A candle can be workable here if you can’t find something that works better, Take a candle and put it near the painting. Waite for a while and check if the oil paint smell is gone.


What does oil paint smells like?

It usually depends on the oil which is present in the paint. It could smell like tea or sometimes like salt when it gets dry. But when turpentine is added to paint, it causes an itchy smell.

How can we remove the smell of oil paints and turpentine in our house?

Ventilation is enough to get rid of this problem. Let fresh air come into the room through doors or windows or you may use an air purifier or exhaust to create a pathing for air to flow.


The amount of turpentine could be harmful but natural turpentine is not. The smell of turpentine in oil paint is harmful and can cause a lot of serious problems. Prefer to use lower VOCs and natural turpentine oil paints to avoid any risk of the origination of smell.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask. We will add your questions in Frequently asked questions. Know the reason and the ways to dry oil paint faster.

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