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Smokers stains on the walls

I am looking at buying a house and I need to know how much work it would take to get all the smokers stains off all of the walls. do you pressure wash the walls, then prime, then paint? and then the ceilings are all popcorn, so how much time does that take to fix?

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Posted 2011-01-14T17:20:43+0000  by kate kate

Hello Kate and welcome to The Community!  Congratulations in advance on buying a house.  Stains from smoking are particularly challenging.  You cannot “remove” the stains, but you can cover them with Behr Primer #75.


75_01_d.jpgPREMIUM PLUS® Interior Enamel Undercoater Primer & Sealer No. 75


 It is an enamel undercoater primer that is great for smoker stains as well as other stains you may encounter.  It provides the maximum stain resistance by locking in stains. This 100% styrene acrylic latex primer creates a uniform finish with improved hiding, adhesion, flow and leveling.  It is also mildew-resistant.


Once the walls are primed, simply paint with your favorite color.


As for the popcorn ceiling: if you want to keep the popcorn look, prime and paint as above.  If you do not like the popcorn look, this would be a great time to scrape it off.   


This link discusses what you need to know about painting the ceiling. 


Best wishes and please tell us how your project is progressing.  We love before and after photos, too!

Posted 2011-01-14T18:11:39+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL

Hello Kate,


This is Christine and I work in the paint department at The Home Depot. To follow up to designingwoman’s post I would like to add a few more points.


You will want to wipe down the walls before you prime. This will not remove the stain, but it will make the area more suitable for painting. Smoke stains usually leave a bit of grime behind, and cleaning the wall will at least remove that. Using either of these products will work well for you: 




If the smoke stains are dark and still have an odor I would recommend either shellac or oil based primer, such as one of these below:




These primers will block both the stain and the smell associated with smoke stains.


Don’t worry; you will be able to paint on top of these primers with water-based paint without any problem!


Happy painting!



Posted 2011-01-15T15:41:41+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL
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