Nicotine Stained Walls – Preparing for Paint

nicotine walls from smoking

Before painting surfaces that are stained from nicotine smoke, some prep work is highly recommended. To paint over surfaces without the proper preparation, will likely cause the nicotine to bleed through the final paint, AND the smell will remain. If you are going to paint, spend the time now to prepare the surface correctly.

First, clean up the surfaces with TSP or equivalent cleaner. Follow the instructions, usually wipe surfaces then rinse. Were trying to get a lot of the surface stuff off here. Start getting ready for the next step while allowing surfaces to dry. Let’s prime!

Priming the walls and ceilings correctly will do two important things. First, the primer will block the nicotine from rising to the surface. In the picture above, those squares where pictures once hung will still be seen. Blocking the nicotine allows for a clean, uniform, final surface paint. Second, a good primer will seal in the smell. There is nothing worse than a smoke smelling room. (It reminds me of a cheap hotel.) Which primer do I use? Good question!

I would recommend using a product called Kilz. It is available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and most paint stores. It is available in both oil and water base. Masterchem Industries, the maker of Kilz, has an excellent home page that will help answer a lot of questions.

After the Kilz has dried, you are ready to paint. Good luck with your project!


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