Should You Add Lemon Essential Oil To Your Latex Paint To Reduce Its Smell?

While many people enjoy the look of a freshly painted room, not everyone can tolerate the smell. There is a theory circulating online that adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to your latex paint can help reduce the strong odor by introducing a pleasant, crisp, and citrusy fragrance. The idea is that the scent will neutralize any unpleasant fumes. Better yet, the method requires only a few basic materials: a gallon of paint, a pure lemon essential oil, and a stir stick.

While lemon is often recommended as one of the best essential oils to use, you can also try other fragrances that you find appealing, such as orange, lavender, or eucalyptus. Once you've opened your can of paint, add approximately 10 to 15 drops of your chosen essential oil directly to the paint. Then, using a clean stir stick, gently blend the oil and paint together. This is thought to disperse the aromatic compounds of the essential oil throughout the paint and neutralize the stench. But does this method really work?

The potential downsides of mixing lemon essential oil and latex paint

The idea of adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to cover up paint fumes might seem tempting, but it may not be an effective solution. Paint and essential oils often do not mix well and combining them can result in unpleasant smells, weird textures in your paint, and even staining on your walls from oils that are naturally tinted. On top of that, it could void the paint's warranty, leaving you out of luck if you need the assistance of the manufacturer for any reason.

Moreover, modern latex paints have been designed to emit fewer harsh fumes, and any residual smell typically fades away within a few hours. If you are impatient and can't tolerate the paint smell for an hour or two, then your safest option may be a natural method. Open as many windows as possible, grab a book, and read outside while your house airs out. Alternatively, you can place a few bowls of white vinegar or baking soda in strategic locations throughout the painted room to help absorb and neutralize the scent. 

Still, there are those who swear by adding lemon essential oil to their latex paint. Just make sure to weigh the pros and cons before forging ahead with any method for getting rid of paint smell.