The inside of your home reeks of the aroma of paint that has spread thoroughly throughout the interior of the air circulation, and further tainting the entire space. This may be caused by the application of paint that was applied to the walls of your home and has lingered for days beyond the initial start of the painting process in the environment. There are a variety of paint types that can be used on the interior walls and surfaces of a home – including oil-based paint, acrylic, water-based, satin paint, semi-gloss, and gloss paint. Each of these different types of paints that are applied to the walls in a home can contribute to the altering of the house’s smell due to the levels of VOCs that are present within the concentration of the specific paint.

After you paint you may try relentlessly to fight off the stagnant odors in the environment that are residual from the paint applications. This paint removal efforts may include a deep cleaning of the indoor environment, the use of odor removing products like air fresheners and candles, and even other alternative odor neutralization methods that are proven to expel the smell from the airspace of the interior.

In this article we are going to learn more about what causes paint smell and how long do paint fumes last in the environment, as well as the best methods on how to remove paint odor from inside a house or other interior environment.

Paint Smell in House

Paint Smell in HouseThe smell that is produced from fresh paint applications in a home can be caused by the complex composition of the paint – including chemicals, solvents, and other ingredients that are used to construct this building material item. As we discussed previously, different types of paint products such as epoxy urea-formaldehyde, latex, oil-based, and water-based paints will all vary in the levels of chemicals present within the paint mixture, especially VOCs (volatile organic compounds) levels that will significantly alter the smell throughout the environment. When wet paint is applied to the surfaces in an indoor environment and during the duration of time that the wet paint is drying, you will most likely experience stronger odors in the air and this is due to the chemicals in paint that are turning from a liquid to a gas in the environment, like VOCs.

Volatile organic compounds are solvents that get released into the air as the paint begins the drying process in the home or other indoor environment. These chemicals are found commonly in other solvent products like adhesives, cleaning supplies, and even home furnishings – and will work the same as the VOCs in paint, turning from a solid/liquid into a gaseous compound that will leave residual chemical smells in the air. These chemicals can eventually lead to health issues when people are exposed to these chemicals in large quantities and for a long duration of time.

How Long Do Paint Fumes Last?

The offensive fresh smell of paint can stay around inside of your home for what seems like forever, as it will leave its scented mark in every single corner of your home. There are several different factors involved in painting that can impact the strength and duration that paint fumes will last in the indoor air of a home or other indoor environment that has been exposed to the fresh paint smell. The paint type used, along with the amount that is applied in the environment, and the air flow and ventilation in the space will all effect the duration of paint fumes in the environment.

The types of paint, in particular, will definitely alter the amount of time the VOC paint odors will remain present in the air of an indoor environment. Regular paint will create an odor that will last for about 14 to 24 weeks, and the poor air flow and ventilation in the home will only prolong the paint odor in the space.

Is Paint Smell Harmful?

Is Paint Smell HarmfulA big concern when it comes to paint is the level of danger or hazards that are released into the environment that can affect both the health of humans exposed to these paint fumes and the indoor air quality that can be altered by the VOC concentrations in the paint. Traditional paints and paint products, like paint thinners or strippers, will emit chemicals into the environment that will taint the indoor air quality and even the potential health of those exposed. These chemicals found in paint, as we discussed earlier, are called VOCs and there are many different types of chemicals that fall into this chemical classification. The most prominent of these chemicals that are used in most paints includes toluene, xylene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, and glycol, according to the Winston Salem Journal.

There have been significant health risks associated with paint fumes that contain higher concentration levels of chemicals and thus other paint alternatives have been created to minimize the potential health effects. The production of ‘healthier’ paints has entered into the market that have lower levels of chemical ingredients, particularly VOC levels that are said to be better for your indoor environment. However, even these different alternative paints have faced scrutiny about the potential health issues that can be produced into the environments due to their slow emission levels over time. Below we are going to discuss the time durations that paint fumes may remain harmful in the environment, both regular traditional paints and alternative low VOC paints.

How Long are Paint Fumes Harmful

When it comes to how long paint fumes are harmful, just like the length of time that paint fumes last, there are many different variables that will impact this paint issue. It is likely that most paints will take between two to three days to dry and for the strongest and most prominent fumes to subside. However, it is hard to determine exactly how long any presence of paint fumes will last in the environment and hang in the air, as it can take days to months to even years after the initial painting takes place in the space. Traditional paints work by off-gassing VOCs fairly rapidly, although the levels of these VOCs can be exuberantly high in many cases. Whereas those alternative paint options that contain “lower levels of VOC” will actually take a long period of time to emit those fumes from the walls and surfaces that paint was applied onto, but these levels will contain lower levels of VOCs in their concentration.

Generally, whenever you can smell a noticeable paint odor aroma in the environment, this can be a big indicator that VOC levels are high and that it may be potentially harmful to be exposed to in large quantities. Thus, it is optimal to avoid these indoor environments that you may potentially face health risks like a freshly painted home or room.

Inhaling Paint Fumes Side Effects

Inhaling Paint Fumes Side EffectsPaint is known to be an abrasive solvent that can lead to potential irritations when it makes its way onto your skin or if the fumes enter into your body through inhalation and/or ingestion. If you get paint onto your skin it is important to wash it away quickly from your skin with soap and water, and if you get paint into your eyes it is recommended to wash and rinse the eye out for about 15 to 20 minutes, according to Poison Control. However, what can you do if you inhaling paint fumes into your body? When this occurs, there will be more than likely an onset of symptoms that will begin to stir in the human body that will significantly alter human health depending on the amount of exposure and levels of chemical concentrations.

According to Healthline, some health effects than an individual may experience can include the following;

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Nausea
  • Trouble breathing
  • And potential damage to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys.

How to Remove Paint Smell in House

Once you have applied paint onto the surfaces of a home, the rush to impede the fast-spreading odors becomes most homeowners’ number one mission, as the odor can have several adverse effects in the environment. A go-to for most people is to open the windows and doors to allow for fresh air inflow into the space – this is believed to help swap out stagnant, tainted air with fresh air to limit pollutant exposure. Additionally, there may be the placement of fans into the space as well to increase air flow to help in this air exchange in the environment. What will really work to remove the paint smell from inside of a house, will fresh air do the trick, or do you need specifically designed air quality solutions to remediate the indoor space of this strong paint odor?

Air quality solutions like air purifiers and HVAC filters are the ideal solution to removing and neutralizing potent paint odors and fumes from the air of an indoor environment. These types of devices are designed to filter the indoor air of a broad spectrum of pollutants including VOCs, noxious and toxic chemicals and odors, and fine particulate matter that can directly affect indoor air quality and human health.

Paint Odor Eliminator Air Purifier

There are many different types of air purifiers that are used commonly in many households that all use specific technologies that allow for the air purifier to filter out certain pollutants in the air. When it comes to the removal of chemical odors, most individuals will lean towards a carbon air filter that captures and contains odors on a thick media filter. However, these types of air quality solutions are a short-term solution that will ultimately lead to the re-emission of these odorous chemical pollutants over time. Therefore, implementing a good air quality solution in indoor environments for paint odor elimination will be a necessary component to remediating the paint chemicals out of a home quickly,

Paint Odor Eliminator Air PurifierThe EnviroKlenz Air Purifier is a revolutionary air purification device that works using a proprietary earth mineral technology that captures, contains, and neutralizes a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from the airspace, as well as fine particulate matter with the use of a hospital-grade HEPA filter. The two-stage filtration process within the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier is the EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge with this patented earth mineral technology for noxious and toxic odor and chemical pollutants, and the second stage a hospital-grade HEPA filter for fine particulate removal larger than 0.3 microns in size. This combination of air filtration will swiftly, quickly, and safely remediate the indoor air of chemicals released from paint fumes and will restore the environment back to normal conditions and eliminate those dreaded paint odors from inside the air.

Article Sources:

  1. Winston Salem Journal: Silent Dangers: Traditional paints, solvents emit harmful toxic chemicals (link)
  2. Paints for Indoor Use: When Should I Be Worried? (link)
  3. Healthline: How Paint Fumes Affect Your Health and How to Prevent Exposure (link)

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