How to Fix Smoke Damage

So you just got a great deal on a new home but the bad news is, the last people to live there were heavy smokers and the walls look as though they are dripping nicotine. Now what do you do? Well I am glad you asked because we have the answers that will get those walls looking like new. It is also helpful to note that this process will also work for damage from small fires. So let's get started.

Preparation

The very first thing you're going to need to do is wash those walls thoroughly. Be sure to mask the electrical outlets as you'll be using a good deal of water and we don't want you to have a shocking experience. The walls will need to be washed at least twice with a big sponge and a product we recommend called Krud Kutter. This is a very strong product so be sure to use rubber gloves. Depending on how bad the smoke damage is you may want to mix it a little more strongly than it recommends but no more than a one to one solution. As we said wash the walls at least twice and then rinse them to be sure you've gotten all that nasty nicotine and cleaner off the walls.

Prime

Now you need to prime all of the surfaces in the home. We recommend you use BIN alcohol based primer. This has a very strong smell but it dries very quickly and that is key to locking down that nicotine smell. You may want to invest in a disposable respirator for the priming process. They are not that expensive and it will save you that nasty headache you get working around a strong smelling primer. Using water-based primer is not a great option. Even though they promise to block out the stains, the smell may not get locked in as well. Once you have primed everything one time let it dry thoroughly and repeat the process of priming. This ensures that smell and stains are locked down completely. This may not be necessary when using the alcohol based primer but it is critical if you have chosen to use the less smelly water-based primer. At this point you are ready to proceed like a normal paint job.

[twentytwenty]

[/twentytwenty]
Some other things you will want to keep in mind that aren't necessarily related to the painting but will help you in this recovery from the smoke damage are…

  • having the ductwork cleaned
  • changing out all vents in bathrooms
  • removing the carpet and
  • replacing window coverings

If you have acoustic ceilings we strongly recommend removing those, they really suck up that smoke smell and will leave it lingering even after painting the walls.

Materials and Tools

B-I-N Shellac Base Primer & Sealer Stain Killer 00904 (1 Quart) Krud Kutter KK01 Clear Original Concentrated Cleaner Degreaser/Stain Remover with No Odor, 1 Gallon