Things You'll Need
If you've just finished a piece of wood furniture, such as a crib, with lacquer, you'll be able to smell the solvents evaporating for a few days. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this, because the finish won't harden until this evaporation is complete. The good news is that off-gassing lasts only a short time, but the bad news is that you can't cover the wood with anything to abate the odor, or you'll damage the finish. If you must use the crib immediately after lacquering, you can spread one of several remedies near it to absorb the odors.
Crush pieces of wood charcoal into small pieces and spread them around the room in bowls. Charcoal is an effective air purifier that will control the odors.
Fill bowls with white vinegar and spread them around the room as an alternative to using charcoal. Another alternative is baking soda; simply open the box and leave it near the crib. You can also dust baking soda on the floor and furniture around the crib and vacuum it up in a few days, when the crib stops off-gassing.
Ventilate the room as much as possible, using fans if you have them. Air circulation increases the solvent evaporation rate and will make the smell go away more quickly.
Light candles in the room. They burn the VOCs in the room's air along with the oxygen they need to stay lit.
If possible, leave the crib outside for about three days after finishing it or bringing it home from the store. That's usually enough time for the solvents in the lacquer to evaporate. Keep the crib in a shaded, ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
Don't cover the wood with towels or anything else. This simply makes the smell linger longer. Also, refrain from waxing the wood, which will just add to the smell, or wiping it with vinegar, which will dull the finish.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.