How do I paint over nicotine stained walls?
Karen from Fayetteville, TN
Wash them with a diluted ammonia solution. TWICE. Then paint as normal. Some would recommend painting with Kilz Primer first too.
We had to wash them with a strong bleach solution or a TSP solution (available in the hardware store) and then we painted with Kilz before painting.
Wash with TSP ( Trisodium phosphate) can be bought at a hardware store. or if you can't find any wash the walls with spic and span. If heavely stained you may have to wash again. When dry,paint.
Do not just paint them, the nicotine will bleed through. Wash them first, WELL!
TSP is Tri Sodium Phosphate and will dilute the nicotine and clean it before you paint. If you don't, it will bleed through just like they said.
It not only cleans nicotine, but grease, and oils, food stains and more.
Doing this extra step will keep you from painting, then doing this and painting again.
The walls were so soaked with nictoine in my house when I bought it that when I tried to wash them the rag wouldn't slide on the wall but rather kept rolling up on itself!
But I persevered and I'm sorry, but so will you have to. If you don't get them clean first, it will always bleed through.
I had the same problem on my porch and I tried BORAX. I bought a box for under $5 and divided it between 2 large empty jars (1 for the kitchen, 1 for the laundry room). I added some BORAX to a bucket of warm water and also put some DRY BORAX in a small container. Wet the sponge/cloth in the warm water dip it in the DRY BORAX and scrub. I swear it was like magic - the nicotine stains disappeared.
I've found that using microfiber cloths work beautifully using just plain water! Naturally, you'll need to change the water frequently, and do have more than a couple of cloths ready for the job. If you want, you can use them on a "Swiffer" handle. Just tuck the edge in as you would a wet Swiffer and you'll get plenty of power behind it. If you want, I remember a previous post which said that using "Scrubbing Bubbles" works great, so you can probably try that too.
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