How do you guys deal with the smell?

During the winter is when I can really sit down and paint but my "studio" is in my room and the whole second floor of my house will smell. I would like to open a window but it's freezing 🥶. Are there any ways to help reduce the oily smell? I heard coffee beans help. I don't think air purifiers will do the trick though.


  • Is it definitely the oils? Are you using solvents? Clove oil also smells very strongly.

    If you are only using pure oil paints then I've found linseed oil smells more strongly than walnut or safflower.
  • I use walnut oil.  No solvents. No smell.  I do use some clove oil.  But not so much it overwhelms me.
  • I don't use solvents just Geneva Paints. GTO do you just put a drop of Walnut oil on your mixes in the Geneva Paints or are you using a different brand?
  • It's probably the clove oil that is causing the strong smell. I hate the smell of it. You could try installing an extraction fan. Or try a brand of paint that doesn't have clove oil in it. I just use walnut oil and no solvent and the smell is minimal - a slight nutty smell that is not unpleasant like clove oil and which is only faintly detectable in the studio itself. The clove oil is just to slow down drying but walnut oil dries slower than linseed oil so the absence of clove oil is not a problem. 
  • edited December 2021
    I love that "smell."   There is something solid about it, the smell of progress, of things happening.  Wouldn't it be awful if bakers couldn't stand the smell of cinnamon rolls, and the general air of yeast flowing though the bakery. 
  • I have an air purifier that I can roll into the painting room . It helps a lot .
    It takes care of the VOC’s and scents .
  • If you can't install an extractor fan you could just put a dead rat under the mat and after while you won't notice the smell of painting.  ;)

  • I don't mind the scent of linseed oil in my studio, it occassionally gets a rancid scent that is unpleasant. I keep a super clean studio and do a complete washdown regularly with bleach, lemon adds a fresh scent.
     I always change my clothing when I step out of the studio into the other life, for this is where much of the rancid scent comes from in my case.
     Btw, I no longer like the scent of clove oil throughout my environment, only under the closed cover over my palette.
  • @misael71 I had been using graham oil paint (the use walnut oil in that paint) the medium I use is walnut oil with a small amount of clove.
    I just started using Geneva paint so I do t need to add medium.  Though I noticed the yellow, whit and umber are a bit thick so I do add some walnut oil to those colors when I need to.  
    I don’t mind the smell of Clove. The walnut oil does not smell as long as you don’t let it go rancid.  
  • I'm gonna suggest something that will sound heretic.
    **"Water Soluble Oil Paints***
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