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Old 06-30-2009, 04:43 PM   #1
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Painting Walls


Removing Smoke Smell

My wife and i are in the process of buying a home. The last owner was a smoker and the hole house is covered with nicotine.It's running down the bathroom walls. The house is a two bed two bath home with vaulted ceiling in living room, kitchen and dining room. Will have a contractor come in and remove the popcorn ceiling. What i want to know is how and what to use to clean the walls with.I have read a lot of post on what to use but would like your suggestion. One post said to use a hydrogen peroxide cleaner other said vinegar etc. Help!!!

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Old 06-30-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
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hi..

tri-sodium-phosphate (TSP) is recommended a lot around here for messed up walls.
then perhaps after cleaning/priming, using a 'baking soda' paint might help absorb odors even more?

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Old 06-30-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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no matter what you clean it with I would still prime with a solvent based primer. Zinsser Cover Stain - Zinsser Odorless, Even Zinsser's BIN would be fine and are easy to find - plus i don't think you'll find anyone to argue with the quality of Zinsser products (which is rare on these boards) It's always a good idea to wash the walls before painting, any type of cleaner that won't leave a residue like TSP is fine. In my experience however, I have never found a water based primer that works well in sealing in both the nicotine stains and odors.

good luck!
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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What about Kilz Pigmented Interior Oil-Base Sealer Primer-Stainblocker.
ron
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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I have never found a water based primer that works well in sealing in both the nicotine stains and odors.


That is because there are none.

Zinsser Cover Stain - Zinsser Odorless Oil, Even Zinsser's BIN


One of these three is a MUST! No exceptions or substitutions.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #6
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Kilz is a oil base primer not water
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy67
Removing Smoke Smell

...What i want to know is how and what to use to clean the walls with.I have read a lot of post on what to use but would like your suggestion. One post said to use a hydrogen peroxide cleaner other said vinegar etc. Help!!!
TSP, Spic & Span, Crud Cutter..just about anything will be helpful
But none will completely remove a decent contamination
Do the absolute best you can, and then seal the walls

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Originally Posted by chrisn
Zinsser Cover Stain - Zinsser Odorless Oil, Even Zinsser's BIN


One of these three is a MUST! No exceptions or substitutions.
Ayup...you'll need a solvent-based sealer
The oils might work if it's not too bad, or if you can remove most of the nic
The shellac (Zinsser's BIN) is the stinkiest and hardest to work with (watery, drippy...and you'll need a respirator or major fresh air) but it will work (not just stains...but smell)

You'll want to make a judgment call as to which to use after cleaning
It really depends on what's left

The "Fer Shure" bet, and the best (only) for bad contamination, is the BIN (or other shellac/alcohol-based sealers)
But being the "H-Bomb" of sealers, it's use should not be taken lightly
(at least for a whole house like this)
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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Nicotine is but one chemical compound in cigarette smoke - but what about the other 199 others there too? If only one compound were responsible for that smell, then it would be easy to solve. But I reckon that several compounds in cigarette smoke by themselves or in combination with others give us that characterisitic smell and that's why chemical means only won't get rid of it.

For example, hydrogen peroxide, an oxidising agent, will at the right concentration affect oxidisable compounds, altering them chemically. But what about compounds that aren't oxidisable? what about ones that aren't affected either by pH or by reducing agents? Or soluble in solvents?Those compounds will still be there, smelling away...

Hence the need to physically remove them, or contain them. That's what the shellac does. Alkyd-based paints do that too to an extent but we think the shellac is better.

Burnt, carbonised smelly compounds are tricky to remove...we're in the middle of a soot removal job and it's sheer uh...heck
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:36 AM   #9
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Kilz is a oil base primer not water

Yes it is,it just will not work as well in this case.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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Oil base Kilz will work just fine.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:25 PM   #11
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By the way Kilz has both oil-based and latex-based (water-based) primer. Just a quick FYI.

What confused me though, is that most professional painters seem to comment that for oil-based primer, it would kill the mildew/mold right away (without wash and rise it?). While on the official Kilz web site (FAQ page, see: http://www.kilz.com/pages/default.aspx?NavID=61), it mentioned that to block mold and mildew stains, you should use KILZ Exterior, KILZ2 Latex, and KILZ Premium primers (all of them are latex or water-based). So for mold and mildew prone or covered surfaces, which type of primer should I use, oil-based or latex-based? Thoughts or comments? Thanks!

Last edited by ohman; 07-01-2009 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:15 PM   #12
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Listen to those here talking about sealing the walls... I asked the same question (Smoke permeating walls) a couple months ago. I wish I had asked it before I moved in (like you) and sealed BEFORE painting walls. I sanded, scrubbed/cleaned walls before I put 2 coats of fresh paint on when I moved in, and the smell went (mostly) away. 6 months later, its back, now 15 months later, I'm embarking on a room by room sealing/repainting project, although now wiht all my stuff in the way.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviDIY View Post
I sanded, scrubbed/cleaned walls before I put 2 coats of fresh paint on when I moved in, and the smell went (mostly) away. 6 months later, its back, now 15 months later, I'm embarking on a room by room sealing/repainting project, although now wiht all my stuff in the way.
Hi LeviDIY, just curious, what type of top coat fresh paint did you put on? Was it latex-based or oil-based? What's the product name? Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:38 AM   #14
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Behr Satin Latex based (*gasp* I know... I know... never again, the paint job was obviously before I started reading DIY Chatroom).

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