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Painting Advice Needed

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I am painting before the holidays. I painted in the spring and old nicotine stains from a previous resident of our home came through the paint. How can I keep this from happening again?

By Melinda


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By laurie (Guest Post)12/01/2008

Hi, I have a problem, I chose a grey color Benjamin Moore paint color #hc169 conventary grey and the paint just put on second coat and it looks blue! i went to B.Moore store and spoke with a specialist and was told this paint didn't have a blue cast. Anyway Now I don't know what to do - Do you have any recommendations?

By Billy (Guest Post)08/26/2008

I parked my old car over some wood siding and oil dripped down on the siding . I washed the siding and can still see some of the oil still left. Will kilz water based primer cover up this oil stain so water based top coat paint will not bleed through?

By guest (Guest Post)11/13/2007

The problem will never stop until a high quality primer is used. Since you already painted the table, you will need to scuff up the paint with a fine sandpaper. I would use an oil based primer since it will hold up better on a table finish. Tables and cabinets should be painted with an oil base finish to ensure maximum durability.

By Cyinda [214]04/02/2007

Yes, I had the same exact thing happen. What a mess! I made 2 mistakes, #1 Using cheep paint, #2 not using a stain blocking primer first!

---> I would recommend either a shellac in alcohol based stain blocking primer like Zinsser B-I-N. This is a fairly nontoxic primer recommended for schools, hospitals & places where food is served because it's alcohol based & the smell dissipates within 2 days! It's also one of the least expensive & frequently goes on sale. Advertised to "Seal in tough stains, pet, smoke and fire odors". (this is a good primer to use in homes where someone has alergies or asthma)

---> Or Zinsser 123, this is more expensive because it's indoor & outdoor. This primer is great in covering mold too! This primer can be tinted to a light color of your choice & if you want a flat paint look, you might not even need to paint over it (on ceilings only) & one coat will probably do! (Tough Acrylic water based formula) Hardly any nasty smell.

*** We had a house fire & the pros used oil based "Kills", but OH! what a nasty toxic horrible lingering smell it has! <*YUCK!*> The smell last's for days... If you use this: Open the windows & wear a good respirator for sure! If you're set on using Kills, you may want to buy their new low odor or their latex based primer.
Another down side to using the kills brands is you can't tint it. (there's not enough room in the can)

By Ken (Guest Post)01/06/2006

Use a good sealer - Kilz original oil based works great

By Louise [3]08/16/2004

You really ought to clean the surfaces before you paint with some sugar-soap. (No it's not just sugar and soap!) It gets all the dirt off so there's none to come through afterwards. It even removes soot from accidental fires. A friend of mine was unfortunate enough to find out some years back.

It's 'sugar-soap' in the UK, I don't know what it'd be elsewhere. Try looking in your local decorating supplies store.


I recommend going to the paint store or Kmart and get Kilz it is a stain blocker it comes in cans and also spray cans (if you only need to cover small areas.)

Once some threw pie dough up in the air and stuck on the ceiling no matter how many times we painted the stain would come through, the Kilz worked, no more ghostly pie dough stain.

Liz acraftycat


The use of a primer called B I N primer sealer will seal all the nicotine stains in. Before you paint walls you should wash with TSP and rinse very well. Then paint but if there are water stains, new drywall, or nicotine stains, B I N primer solvent base is the answer, no more bleed thru.
- Barb


There is a product called Kilz that you can paint on as a base coat, then use regular paint over it after it dries. This stuff is unreal -- it covers
water damage, grease stains, just about anything -- I'm sure it would keep nicotine stains from resurfacing! It's sold on the paint aisle. It smells
AWFUL, though, so have adequate ventilation when you use it!
- Becki in Indiana

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