Paint Smell in Toddler's Room

Updated on April 07, 2009
J.C. asks from Lake Orion, MI
5 answers

Hello Moms,
I painted my two year olds bedroom on Saturday. I have left the windows open a lot, put vinegar in a bowl in the closet, and put onions in water in a bowl to try and remove the smell (tricks I read about online). Unfortunately, the room still has an odor, so I haven't let him sleep in there yet. Does anyone know if the room is still dangerous if you can smell the paint even though the walls are dry? How long do I have to keep him out? Also, do you have any tricks to quickly remove the odor now that the painting is finished?

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answers from Detroit on

J. - I can't help too much with the current problem, just shut the door and open the windows (when the snow stops), but for future painting projects I would suggest you buy low VOC paint. The VOC's (volatile organic compounds) create the smell and they are regulated by the epa (printing companies have to keep records of how many VOC's they are releasing in the air). Home Depot advertizes low VOC paint and I know that Lowes carries some (their staff just isn't aware of it) you just have to read the labels. We painted our living/dining room with low VOC and had no odor at all (sorry I can't remember which brand - but it wasn't any more expensive).

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jackson on

Good Morning J.!

These are good questions and concerns. Do you know if you used the low VOC paint? Paint can take weeks to cure. Warm dry air helps it cure faster...unfortunately the opposite of "open the windows" It's frustrating.

I've found an air purifier that takes out the VOCs. Let me know if you want to borrow it for a couple of days.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

Have you tried fans in the room to circulate the air? I have done that and then I took the fans out and put baking soda on the carpet, which is also a good carpet deorderizer. I left that there for about a day then I vaccumed it up. I ran the fans again for 1/2 day then it was good to go. I did this in my little ones room over a weekend and she was good to go by Tuesday. I made sure the smell was out before putting her back in because I was afraid of the damage the smell would cause. She had a riot not sleeping in her room though and asked to do it again sometime...she got to sleep in a tent in the living room :)



answers from Detroit on

I'm with Dawn low or no VOC is best. Some paints have chemicals that can off gas for many years, and have a range of effects. I won't scare you with all the details but will sugest a book called the safe shoppers bible. Ask your library to order it if they dont have it. Unfortunatly we have to do the leg work to protect ourselves with very little info to go on till you dig it up. Other countries have stronger laws about chemicals in household products.
Good luck, A. H



answers from Saginaw on

Hi J., Open the windows and turn a fan on in the room. Keep the door closed and just allow it to air out for a while. Good luck.

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