Cigarette Smoke Removal

Old 04-13-19, 07:11 AM
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Cigarette Smoke Removal

Would appreciate any tips. My ex-wife's passing has left my children with getting a house ready for sale. She was a heavy smoker so the stench is bad.

I would like any recommendations on sealing walls prior to painting. Obviously, carpet and pad will all be replaced, but are there any other deep cleaning tricks? I think I stlll have an ozone generator, but if not, will acquire one.
Old 04-13-19, 09:19 AM
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While it can be cleaned [lots of scrubbing] it's usually easier to just coat the walls/ceiling with a solvent based primer and repaint. The solvent based primer will seal both the nicotine stain and odor.
Old 04-13-19, 09:53 AM
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To get the smell you really need to wash every surface in the house. Ceilings, walls, molding, windows... I use a solution of Purple Power or Simple Green in a spray bottle. Spritz it on the ceiling and walls and wipe off with a rag. Then prime with oil based stain blocker like Zinzer and top coat with a latex of your choice.

Any carpet and padding needs to be removed. If it's really bad you might even want to paint the subflooring with an oil based paint to seal in the smell.

If you still have a smell I have had luck using an ozone machine. And by ozone I mean high levels. I have a high output machine and will block off a room with the ozone machine inside and run it for 4-6 hours at the end of the day. Then when you come back the next day you may still have to ventilate before you can be in the space.
Old 04-13-19, 11:08 AM
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My husband and I both used to smoke, and I was a heavy smoker. After we quit, I got rid of the rugs, curtains, blinds, couches, chairs, mattresses, etc. We just painted the walls and ceilings, didn't use any primers, and the smell was gone. I didn't find I had to do any excess cleaning or scrubbing. I didn't find it got in the flooring or sub-flooring either.
You're gonna find once you get rid of the carpets, window treatments and furniture, that the smell will be a lot better already.
Old 04-13-19, 11:52 AM
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Ya, anything that can't be cleaned or sealed should be gotten rid of. If there is nicotine on the walls there is a good chance it will bleed thru latex paint, hence the primer. IMO it's easier to prime and paint than to scrub and scrub ..... but then I'm a painter, not a house keeper

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