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Old 03-04-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


I need to repaint interior of the whole house in which people have been smoking for about 3 years. How do i go about it?
Do i wash everything first then prime it? Or can i just prime it without washing it, and which primer?

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


Clean the walls first, tsp works well for cleaning nicotine off of walls, then prime with a stain blocking primer, such as Sherwin Williams Problock, after cleaning and priming paint with a paint of your choice

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


yeah i smoke and i'm not happy about my next painting excursion. nasty habit (hackhack)
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:13 PM   #4
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


IMO, Bin is a requirement for going over nicotine stains,I do not think pro block or much of anything else is labeled for or will work as well as Bin.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


Look, many of the opinions you'll get here - including mine - are kinda 'idealisitic' because - in some cases, but not mine -they come from years and years of trial and error or represent thoretical answers given from our vantage point. Thus they may not be the best solution for your situation, your tastes and/or your budget.

So accept this as being from my personal preference: nicotine and all the hundreds of other organic compounds that are releaed into the air when a cigarette is burned are all carbonised oils and chemicals that may end up on your wall. Many are acidic. Some may head for the curtains, some too heavy to float around and end up in the carpet, some are water-soluble so they stick to moist surfaces - but all may or may not be on the walls you wish to paint.

Now, any foreign compound may interfere with the coalescing of individual paint monomers in a coat of fresh paint and therefore will give you a less-than-ideal paint job. Now is the amount noticeable? probably not...but some of us can't afford to take the chance that they are and end up giving us a botched job.

Ideally, you'd wash it off with TSP or something, (maybe) prime it and paint it. But maybe there's not enough to interfere with a good-enough-to-you paint job, so a good sealer application would be fine. Maybe even, a reallly good paint would give you acceptable results. We can't tell from here...

I have had jobs where I had to wash the walls twice, prime it with 'Fresh Start', then apply two coats of BM's best to get the results I felt were OK. But then again, I was paid for that result. Yet on others, BIN was needed and on others nothing was needed. The difference between these jobs? I went there did a bit of testing and came up with a recommendation that validated the expectations and the budget.

Just don't holler when wash+prime+paint is too much, nor when BIN isn't enough or when just paint does fine. It all depends...
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


Many years ago, I moved into an apartment that was freshly painted. I thought I was in the movie Amityville horror because about 2 or 3 weeks into my lease, the walls started bleeding. Not just here and there, it was everywhere. Come to find out that the walls were not cleaned and the owner simply painted over the heavily nicotined walls.
Moral of the story, lack of proper preparation will kill a paint job every time.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


First hand experience here. About a year ago my wife and I purchased a foreclosure that had been smoked in for 5-6 years. The smell was horrendous, I purchased the home sight unseen (my dad looked at it, as I was then in another state) he told me it had been smoked in and that the smell was pretty bad, boy was I surprised when I actually smelt the place. It was bad.

Nevertheless, it was a nice newly built home which we bought for a good price.

What we did was wash EVERYTHING (walls, ceilings, fixtures, molding, etc), with TSP, which worked great as you could see the orange nicotine streaming down the walls with the TSP. Then after letting the TSP sit for 15 minutes or so we went back and rinsed the walls with water. We used several cheap sponge mops and some buckets, which worked well.

Another thing we did is have the window shades up as much as possible as the UV will break down oders, and left windows open as well.

After all of this the, entire house, minus the molding, got painted with BIN, which is really caustic smelling, and just from the smell it seemed like I picked the right product. The stuff is GREAT, I wouldn't recommend anything else, because there is no reason to, as BIN took care of the smell.

Now in our house there is not even a hint of smoke smell, I even ask new people to my house if they can smell anything, just because I know people can get used to smells pretty quick. And everyone always answers no.

Good luck with your painting and do your own research, I'm sure you will find out the same things I did.

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IMO, Bin is a requirement for going over nicotine stains,I do not think pro block or much of anything else is labeled for or will work as well as Bin.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:47 PM   #8
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


SW Problock will effectively block solvent based stains, tar, grease and ink. It dries quickly, low odor and low voc and is a Stain Blocking Primer.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:39 PM   #9
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


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Originally Posted by housepaintingny View Post
SW Problock will effectively block solvent based stains, tar, grease and ink. It dries quickly, low odor and low voc and is a Stain Blocking Primer.

Yes, but is it labeled for nicotine? I don't think so,I could be wrong. I have never come across ANY oil based or latex primer that will cover nicotine satin . Bin is labeled for just that and most anything else.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:09 AM   #10
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintedSurface
I need to repaint interior of the whole house in which people have been smoking for about 3 years. How do i go about it?
Do i wash everything first then prime it? Or can i just prime it without washing it, and which primer?
Wash everything as best you can
The TSP mix is good for this

Then you'll need to seal what's left (and there will be stuff left), seal out the odor (that has permeated the surfaces), and give your future paint coats something to hold onto
The best product for this is Zinsser's BIN
It is a pigmented shellac
It is tricky to work with, and you'll need a VOC/odor respirator (<do not go cheap on this)
But it's the only thing that will work every time

If it was a very light contamination, and it cleaned up great, I might...might consider an oil-based sealer like Zinsser's Cover-Stain
But not really...it'd have to be a real reason I couldn't use BIN, like the H/O is bed-ridden and can't handle the smell or something

There's not one water-based sealer I can recommend for this
Yes, if it's not too bad, some might work
But that's "if" and "might"
And that's too much of a chance of an Amityville Horror re-make for me
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #11
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Wash everything as best you can
The TSP mix is good for this

Then you'll need to seal what's left (and there will be stuff left), seal out the odor (that has permeated the surfaces), and give your future paint coats something to hold onto
The best product for this is Zinsser's BIN
It is a pigmented shellac
It is tricky to work with, and you'll need a VOC/odor respirator (<do not go cheap on this)
But it's the only thing that will work every time

If it was a very light contamination, and it cleaned up great, I might...might consider an oil-based sealer like Zinsser's Cover-Stain
But not really...it'd have to be a real reason I couldn't use BIN, like the H/O is bed-ridden and can't handle the smell or something

There's not one water-based sealer I can recommend for this
Yes, if it's not too bad, some might work
But that's "if" and "might"
And that's too much of a chance of an Amityville Horror re-make for me

Now, that is what I was trying to say!
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:17 PM   #12
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


I know Zinsser's cover stain and I believe their odorless oil primer both list nicotine - usually we use the odorless if someone can't handle the smell - the odorless actually has a picture of painting over nicotine stains right on the front of the can. The bin, however, is the best for not only blocking the stain but blocking the odor. If you can deal with the smell of the bin - it's the best!
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:54 PM   #13
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


One more vote for BIN. I picked it based on slickshifts advice and it did not fail. I purchased a house that must have been smoked in for decades. Sellers painted the walls with a yellow tinged white to try to hide the bleed through. This meant that cleaning it off was not possible since it was already under a layer of latex paint.

We went through something like 50 gallons of BIN and applied two coats on every single surface (ceiling, wall, trim, doors, etc etc). Still have the pyramid of buckets. The house doesn't smell. The BIN did an astounding job at blocking and sealing in odors.

I would just echo the advice above that is DON'T skimp on the respirator. I used a 3m half face with an organic vapor cartridge. The other note, is that these cartridges will not last forever and you should replace them periodically.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:10 PM   #14
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


That is a LOT of Bin!
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:41 AM   #15
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Painting Over Cigarette Smoke


No Kidding, it was pretty crazy. I should go get an accurate count of the number of five gallon buckets I've got sitten around the house. Perhaps 50 was high, but I have something like 6-10 empty five gallon buckets sitting about, and an assortment of empty 1 gallon cans.

Has anyone ever sprayed BIN? I imagine it would be fantastic in that it would go on really fast. But I can't imagine the mess and how nasty it would be to do.

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