Do Air Purifiers help with Paint Fumes?

Do air purifiers help with paint fumes? This question was raised by many people who were curious about whether or not using an air purifier would help them breathe better when working around paints. The short answer is yes. Yet, this answer is not valid for all air purifiers.

An air purifier for paint fumes is designed to remove toxic chemicals from the air. The best ones are very effective at doing this, including both permanent filters and replaceable filter types.

This question has come up in various paint forums in my experience, so I decided to write a post about it. There is some good information out there. I’ve tried to pull the best bits together in this article, along with my own research findings.

This post is specific to removing paint fumes (solvent vapors) from the air. If you’re looking instead for information on removing toxic chemicals like VOCs from water or soil, that’s a different topic, and here’s some good information on that topic.

For most topics related to painting fumes, I recommend checking out the Fume Events website for updates and recommendations. That’s my best source of current information on this topic. First, let’s see what they say about using an air purifier in a garage with paint fumes:

Do Air Purifiers Really help with Paint Fumes Work?

Yes! But, Only to a Point

The one thing that air purifiers won’t do is reduce the actual concentration of VOCs in the air. There’s no “scrubbing” taking place, nothing pulled out of the air and trapped by a filter. It’s simply not possible to do that at the concentrations of VOCs that might be found in a typical indoor location.

Now, that doesn’t mean that they don’t work at all. They do have the ability to reduce the concentration of paint fumes by diluting them with clean air from outside your house. So, the net effect is the same as if you opened a window and let a breeze come through, except that you still have to pay the power bill every month.

That’s not a perfect solution to paint fumes though. You can’t just leave the windows open all the time and be protected from paint fumes 24/7. Many people will want something more to protect them from those paint fumes at other times, while still allowed to do some painting indoors.

If you live in a rural area and only use your garage for occasional weekend painting, it’s likely not even worth worrying about. However, if you have frequent exposure to paint fumes during the week while working or otherwise spending time in your garage, then perhaps an air purifier is something you want to consider.

What Kind of Filtration is Needed?

The first thing you need to determine is how much filtration you’ll need to reduce the fumes or odors to an acceptable level for your situation. I recommend starting by finding out what the current guidelines are, and then working from there. Because chances are you won’t need the same filtration as someone in an industrial setting.

Here’s a handful of options:

Level I:

This is the bare minimum and may or may not be sufficient, depending on air quality and ventilation. The most common type of air purifier used for paint fumes is a “particulate filter.” A true HEPA filter is not required and may actually be counterproductive since you want to dilute the paint fumes into the air rather than “capture” them. Airborne dust and dirt particles might work against that goal.

Level II:

If level I don’t reduce the odors to an acceptable level, these types of filters are a little better at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). You’ll still end up with a weak solution, but it will be somewhat more effective.

Level III:

These filters are specifically designed for VOC removal and can remove things like benzene and formaldehyde from the air. They’re much better at removing paint fumes than level II filters, but they’re also quite a bit more expensive. The final air quality will still be diluted, but it will be better than using level I or II filters.

Level IV:

This is the type of filter to use if you’re in an industrial setting and working with large amounts of solvent vapours. You can pick up a unit that’s designed for that purpose for about $500.

Level V:

This is the type of filter for “toxic air” and it’s specifically designed to remove fumes like cyanide gas, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, etc. These filters are very expensive (in the thousands) and they’re not really needed unless you work with these chemicals on a regular basis.

Level IV and V filters are very overkilled for home applications. Under normal circumstances, you would be better off using level II or III filters, unless of course, the painter insists on opening windows every time he paints. (I always tell people to paint next to an open door rather than an open window.)

Okay, So What Filtering Level is Safe?

Particulate filters are basically just fine mesh screens that prevent larger dust particles from getting into your lungs. Inside the particles are usually some type of activated charcoal or other material specifically engineered for filtering gases, odors, and VOCs.

A lot of air purifiers designed for general room air cleaning (and sold on TV) are not particulate filters. And therefore, no matter how much money you spend, you’re still breathing unfiltered air. Since the primary purpose of an air purifier is to reduce airborne particles (e.g., dust, pollen, mold), it makes sense to choose one that actually does this job well.

What is the best air purifier for paint fumes?

The vornado ac350 is the best air purifier for paint fumes according to our research. It has a high-quality True HEPA Filter, it can capture up to 99% of particles 0.3 microns and is larger in size. On the other hand, the Activated Carbon Filter absorbs odors caused by pets, smoke and cooking.

It has a variable speed that can be used for different applications. You can buy this unit and configure your air purifier in a cross configuration for even better results. The vornado ac350 can clean your air of paint fumes in a radius of 220 ft.

How Long Are Paint Fumes Harmful?

When the paint is applied, the solvents in the paint evaporate and release fumes. People who breathe this air can suffer temporary symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, confusion and disorientation if a large amount of solvent-containing paint is used. The effects on people with chemical sensitivities may be even more severe. Long term or repeated exposure to these fumes can lead to permanent neurological damage.

Solvents in paint, thinners and other similar products evaporate quickly after application. Such substances are present only while the product is wet, drying out once the solvent has evaporated into the air. Paint that has not dried completely has a stronger odor than when it’s dry, but it does not release solvent fumes.

People who are exposed to paint solvents for long periods of time may be more likely than the average person to develop problems such as liver damage, kidney disease or cancer later in life. As of December 2010, some studies indicate that breathing in fumes from certain types of paint may also cause birth defects. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, however, says there is not enough evidence to draw definite conclusions about the dangers of breathing in fumes from paint or other solvents.

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell?

There are various ways of getting rid of paint smell. Some of them are mentioned below:

1. Masking Paint Smell:

Another option is to find ways to mask the smell of paint. As mentioned above, opening the windows is a good first step. But you can also try burning candles or incense to help mask paint smell

2. Venting out Paint Smell:

Another way to get rid of the paint smell is by venting it outside with a fan. In order to do this, make sure you hang a large trash bag from your window, open it wide and use a hose to suck the fumes from the room. This method is especially useful if you are unable to open the window.

3. Removing Paint Smell Using Baking Soda:

One of the most efficient and simple ways to get rid of paint smell is by using baking soda. All you need to do is mix one cup of water with three tablespoons of baking soda and then spray the mixture into the air. The smell of paint will disappear within a few minutes following this method.

4. Removing Paint Smell Using Vinegar:

You can also mix one part vinegar with three parts water, spray it in the room where you have been painting and leave it there for a little while. The vinegar should help get rid of the paint smell.

5. Removing Paint Smell Using a Citrus Fruit:

Chances are that you have a lemon or an orange fruit in your house. If you have one, just cut it in half and place it near the window. The natural scent from the citrus should help reduce the smell of paint.

6. Removing Paint Smell Using Fresh Air:

If you are dealing with low-VOCs paints, opening the windows should help get rid of the paint smell. Make sure you clean up properly so that there isn’t any residue left in your house.

7. Removing Paint Smell Using Borax:

This includes mixing equal parts of water and borax, spraying the mixture into the air, turning on fans to help mix it around, leaving it for about an hour and then cleaning up. The good thing about this method is that it will not only get rid of paint smell but also remove any other kind of odors that are present in your house.

8. Removing Paint Smell Using Coffee Grounds:

The last method to help you get rid of paint smell is by using coffee grounds. The best thing about it is that not only will it mask the smell of paint, but it will also make your home smell fresh and wonderful. All you need to do is take a jar, fill it with coffee grounds and then place it near the source of paint smell.

However, make sure you don’t leave any kind of candle burning during the process as this might lead to a fire hazard. Also, if you have a sensitive nose make sure you use a good dust mask because breathing in the scent of coffee will lead to severe irritation.

9. Grab a Bag of Charcoal:

Open a bag of charcoal and place it near the window. The idea behind this is that the charcoal will absorb the paint smell. This may not be an efficient solution if you’re dealing with strong paint smells, but it should be useful for thin layers of paint.

10. Air Purifiers Can Get Rid of Paint Smell:

If you want to get rid of strong paint odors, the best way is by using an air purifier. A powerful filter like this will remove all kinds of smells and particulates that could be in your house such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), toxic chemicals small particles from paints or other artists’ materials that may irritate the respiratory system.

You can use an air purifier to minimize the paint fumes that are released by you while painting. You will then continue running it as your project continues drying in order to trap any remaining chemicals and keep them from entering into our homes or surroundings where they may cause harm.

Air purifiers are an easy way to eliminate paint fumes from your house. They’re especially effective when you have a large space that needs redecorating, like the basement or upstairs bedroom-they will keep everyone living in close quarters safe while they work!


1. Is an air purifier effective against paint fumes?

Answer: Yes, an air purifier with a HEPA filter is effective at trapping paint fumes, especially when you are using oil-based paints. But it will not prevent you from inhaling the fumes in the air.

2. Is opening a window effective against paint fumes?

Answer: Yes, opening a window performs a similar function as an air purifier. It will provide a source of fresh air and reduce the concentration of paint fumes in the air.

3. How to prevent paint fumes from fresh paint?

Answer: If you paint indoors, make sure your ventilation system is adequate. Open a window as well as the door to your room and run an air purifier, preferably a HEPA air purifier, during the time you are painting to remove paint fumes from your room.

If you must paint indoors, use a mask specifically designed to prevent inhalation of paint fumes. Clean up any spills immediately and wash your hands before using the bathroom or eating.

4. What are the side effects of inhaling paint Fumes?

Answer: Inhalation of paint fumes can irritate your respiratory system and even damage your central nervous system. It is associated with long-term risks for certain types of cancers.

5. How long does it take to get rid of paint fumes?

Answer: The side effects of paint fumes can be experienced after just a few hours, so it is best to avoid exposure if at all possible. If you must paint, make sure to use the proper safety equipment and ventilate your room.

6. Are Paint Fumes Bad to Inhale in Your Home?

Answer: Yes, inhaling paint fumes for a long period of time can damage your respiratory system and central nervous system.

7. How long do paint fumes exist in the air?

Answer: Depending on how much paint you are using and the ventilation, paint fumes can last for a few hours to a few days. Make sure to ventilate your room as much as possible.

8. How long do paint fumes stay in a room?

Answer: Paint fumes will dissipate in the air over several hours if there is enough ventilation. Paint fumes can stay in a room for weeks or months if it is not properly ventilated.


Do Air Purifiers Help with Paint fumes? Yes, Air purifiers can help to remove paint fumes from the air. If you are painting your home or know someone who is, get an air purifier. Then you will not be sick from the paint fumes. There are many benefits of using a quality HEPA-filtered air purifier in your home. They remove pet dander, allergies, mold spores, dust mites, and other airborne particles that can make asthma worse or trigger allergic reactions like eczema. If you’re interested in purchasing one, we have reviews on our website and links to some great deals across Amazon!

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