I just bought a house and one of the rooms has nicotine stains all over the walls and the room smells like old cigarettes. Whats the best way to get rid of the stains and smell for good?
Hey there awalden,
Thanks for joining our community!~
Congratulations on the new home! = ) I hope that we can get this room straightened out and have you feeling "at-home" in no time at all. What is really going to help that room out, is a new coat of paint! Not just any kind of paint though-- I'll show you just what to use!
Your first concern will be with cleaning the walls and removing as much of the staining as possible. While I am going to recommend a product to you that will be amazing for covering stains, you still want to make sure that it has as clean a surface as possible to adhere to.
For the wall wash, I've found TSP to be great for heavily stained walls. It's concentrated degreaser that will help remove those heavy nicotine stains from the wall. I helped clean a friends apartment that was heavily stained, and you could literally see the stains running down the walls as we cleaned. Both gross and satisfying at the same time =)
Once your done with your scrub, let it sit for about 10 minutes and go back to wash it off with warm water, removing any excess chemical off the wall and leaving it clean and ready to be primed.
For your primer, I would suggest using Zinsser B-I-N. I has amazing stain blocking capabilities and it actually helps seal in any remnant odors as well! A word of advice when using it though, be sure to properly ventilate the room and be sure to use a respirator if possible as well. It is a shellac-based primer and as such, it has a cloyingly bitter odor which isn't very appealing, but it will definitely get the job done!
Once you have that set, the primer should cover most of whatever stains you have left on the walls. Afterwards, you can cover it with your choice of paint and enjoy the room stain and odor free! = ) (oh and for that added touch, you can put in some nifty Scented LED Candles to add a new, more inviting scent to the room)
I hope that helps answer your question and get you on your way to a cleaner home! If you have any questions on this or would like some additional help around the house, feel free to let us know in the future!~
I'm Travis, from The Home depot in Atlanta.
If your room still smells of smoke, try Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator.
This aerosol spray contains enzymes to eliminate the source of the odors.
It's available in store and on line.
Having had to deal with the same type of problem, I'll add further support to using BIN. The shellac primer is the only one that is truly going to block the odor. A tip for clean up is to use ammonia. Ammonia will immediately cut the shellac down. You can use denatured alcohol, but the alcohol just thins the shellac. You keep using it till you "thin" it so much it's not there. The ammonia is a much quicker method. The smell mentioned when using BIN is the alcohol used to make the shellac. It can be quite annoying. The more ventilation you have, the better. Once the alcohol has evaporated (rather quick), you'll notice the smell is greatly diminshed.
You will also want to caulk around any joint area, such as, baseboards to floors, around window and door trim where it meets the wall, etc. Remove any electrical plates, like light switches and electrical plugs, and seal around those as well. This, in combination with the BIN on the walls, will keep that smoke odor from getting to your nose.