Quick Painting Question


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Old 01-11-11, 02:12 PM
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Quick Painting Question

The house I am remodeling was smoked in for many years. The ceilings are dingy, and I have 3 coats of paint on the ceiling in the den. The yellow remnants STILL seem to show through. The door facings are the same...dingy yellow shows through every coat.

I know -now - that I need to prime everything, but can I get away with a latex primer? The walls don't stink or anything, I just can't keep the previous paint from showing through and I thought maybe it was tar from all the smoking. So, latex or oil?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-12-11, 01:00 AM
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JFS321:

The cigarette smoke is bleeding through the latex paint because the primary brown colourant in cigarette smoke (nicotine) is highly soluble in water.

You CAN use an oil based primer to prevent the nicotine from bleeding through the primer, but a more effective solution is to wash the walls with a dilute solution of bleach and water to remove the nicotine stain entirely. Typically, you would dilute bleach with 10 parts water and use that solution to clean the walls and ceilings. That solution will both remove the colour of the nicotine and the smell of nicotine from the walls and ceilings.

This is typically best done with a "garden sprayer" to spray the walls and ceilings. Then, a wet/dry vaccuum cleaner is used to remove the soiled wetness from the walls and ceilings. Then, that same garden sprayer is used to spray the walls and ceilings down with clean rinse water. The result is that the smell and staining typically caused by smoking can be completely removed from a house.
 
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Old 01-12-11, 03:27 AM
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I doubt cleaning the walls/ceilings would be effective since they have been painted over. There are a few latex stain sealing primers that claim they will seal the nicotine but I don't have a lot of confidence in them. Often the stains migrate thru the latex primer although it might take awhile. I'd use an oil base primer over your latex - I know it will stop the nicotine bleed.
 
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Old 01-12-11, 10:01 AM
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Yeah, we use an oil based sealing primer in these cases

Well, we used to before we banned all open flames in the units so no one can smoke in them any longer
 
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Old 01-12-11, 05:30 PM
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Thanks. I used Kilz Original all day today. I really like the thought of being able to wash the walls clean first, but I have too much to do to risk doing it and it not working.

So, Kilz oil-based over every wall and ceiling it is.
 
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Old 01-13-11, 12:15 AM
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JFS321:

So, Kilz oil-based over every wall and ceiling it is.
Why do I get the overwhelming feeling that someone who claimed to know a lot about paint recommended that you use KILZ oil based primer instead of any other ordinary alkyd primer? Paint is probably the least understood (or most misunderstood) technology in the entire home center, and lack of understanding is fertile ground for misconceptions and misunderstanding to pop into existance like energy in a vaccuum and then spread like wildfire. It's by this method of spontaneous generation and reproduction that you came to purchase KILZ to apply over nicotine.

DON'T get me wrong. KILZ WILL WORK. It will do what you want it to do. But it's kinda dumb to be using KILZ in a situation like this. Most people do in fact paint over cigarette smoke stained walls with KILZ, exactly what you're doing, but that's only because most people don't understand why what they're doing is kinda dumb.

You see, KILZ is a NORMAL ALKYD primer. The only reason it dries more rapidly than other alkyd primers is because it doesn't use mineral spirits as it's thinner. Instead, it uses a 60/40 solution of naptha and mineral spirits. (60% Naptha, 40% mineral spirits) The alkyd resins in KILZ are the same as you find in any other oil based primer. So, with KILZ, the difference is in what evaporates from the primer film, not what remains behind. What remains behind is identical to what any other oil based primer would leave behind, and so you're not going to get any better encapsulation of the nicotine with KILZ than you would with any one else's alkyd primer.

Naptha, as you might know, is camping fuel. In order for a Coleman camping stove to work properly, the naptha in it has to evaporate rapidly enough to sustain a good strong flame that won't get blown out by a slight breeze. In fact, naptha evaporates about 15 times as fast as mineral spirits. That's why KILZ is sold as a "stain killer". Anything that dissolves in either naptha or mineral spirits won't have sufficient time to diffuse through the wet primer film and discolour it's surface. It's really that high evaporation rate of the naptha that makes the primer thicken up fast enough to encapsulate any stain that would otherwise bleed all the way through an ordinary oil based primer to discolour it's surface, and then be seen as having "bled through" the primer.

But, do you actually need that rapid evaporation rate in your case?

Absolutely not.

The nicotine on your walls and ceilings isn't soluble in mineral spirits or naptha; it's only soluble in water. Since nicotine won't dissolve in mineral spirits, you can use an ordinary slow drying garden variety grey speckled alkyd primer, and it'll work as well as your KILZ will.

By using KILZ, you're getting no better encapsulation of that nicotine than you would if you'd used anyone's alkyd primer. But, because of the high evaporation rate of the KILZ, you're going to have more trouble using a brush to paint the KILZ on in areas where you can't get with a roller. That's because KILZ evaporates so fast, it's hard NOT to get brush strokes when applying it with a brush. And, because of naptha's high evaporation rate, that KILZ primer will be getting thicker and thicker all the time the lid is off the can or the KILZ is in the paint tray, making it progressively thicker and harder to spread smooth. And, of course, the faster the primer evaporates, the less time it has to self level, and the less smooth you can expect the dried primer coat to be.

So, there's no advantage to using KILZ here, but there are potential disadvantages. And, of course, you could probably buy any ordinary alkyd primer for less than you'd pay for a gallon of KILZ.

So, in a case like this, you'd be a bit better off just using anyone's alkyd primer than KILZ, but using KILZ will work and do what you want. It's just not the optimum solution. Still, most people will use KILZ over smoke stained paint, but that's only because most people don't know enough about the subject matter to realized that they're no better off with KILZ than they are with any other ordinary alkyd primer.

Since KILZ uses ordinary alkyd resins, there won't be any problem either priming over KILZ with an ordinary alkyd primer or priming over an ordinary alkyd primer with KILZ. The two coats will crosslink with one another just like two coats of KILZ or two coats of ordinary alkyd primer. (In fact, even though I don't recommend you do so, you should even be able to mix that KILZ with an ordinary alkyd primer to get a primer that dries less quickly. Or, you could accomplish the same thing by thinning your KILZ with mineral spirits.)

I'd buy a small container of mineral spirits just to thin the KILZ to compensate for any depletion of naptha from it during the time you're priming your walls and ceilings. As the naptha evaporates from the KILZ in the can and in the paint tray, you may find it gets too thick to spread properly. Just add mineral spirits to thin that KILZ and make it easier to spread smooth.

You CAN use KILZ to do what you want, but there's no advantage in using KILZ here. Any alkyd primer would work equally well, and anyone knowledgeable about paint would know that. It's only people that aren't sufficiently knowledgeable that will parrot the advice to use KILZ over nicotine stained walls and ceilings. It's not bad advice, it's just not knowledgeable advice. It's wildfire.
 

Last edited by Nestor; 01-13-11 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 01-13-11, 10:08 PM
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Here ya go. I dug up an old MSDS for KILZ sealer (before they came out with all the other variations of KILZ and changed it's name to "KILZ Original".

http://www.azpartsmaster.com/images/msds/KILZ3.pdf

On a % by weight basis, it's contents are as follows:

Liquids:
15% mineral spirits
21% naptha

Solids:
15 to 25 percent alkyd resin
15 to 30 percent magnesium silicate
5 to 15 percent titanium dioxide.

Magnesium silicate is nothing more than talc or talcum powder. It's the addition of a coarse grind of talcum powder that makes the KILZ dry to a FLAT gloss. That increases the surface area of the primer so that there's better appparant adhesion of the top coat to the KILZ.

Titanium dioxide has been the standard white pigment used in paints and primers since lead carbonate was banned for use in house paints and primers. It's what makes the KILZ white in colour.

A normal alkyd primer would be thinned with ONLY mineral spirits. KILZ uses a mixture of naptha and mineral spirits instead of only mineral spirits. The result is that it dries much faster than a normal alkyd primer would. But, that's the only difference. It still uses normal alkyd resins just like any other alkyd primer.

So, ask yourself... Why should I be using KILZ Original in this application instead of any one elses ordinary alkyd primer?

If you can think of an answer, tell me cuz I can't see any advantage in using KILZ here.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 04:44 AM
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When Kilz 1st came I out - I was impressed, you no longer had to use a pigmented shellac to seal every stubborn stain. I think the main reasons it's still popular is from it's early reputation and it's continued availability. There are many primers that picked up where Kilz left off and IMO do a superior job..... but the original oil base kilz still works as intended.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 10:36 PM
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KILZ is a good product, but it dries faster than other alkyd primers and so there's the widespread misconception that it's chemistry is significantly different than other alkyd primers, and therefore works better in in certain situations than ordinary alkyd primers. People also use KILZ to seal over drywall walls and ceilings after a house fire, and that's another situation where I can't see the faster drying time afforded by the naptha providing any advantage.
 
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Old 01-15-11, 12:30 AM
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Nestor makes a lot of good and helpful points, but I don't totally agree with his conclusion.

The rapid dry is helpful for stain blocking, but probably not so in this case because the stains are water soluble.

Kilz (original) is designed to be a stain blocker, and forms a tighter film than an ordinary oil primer. That is one reason why it is not for exterior use, it won't allow moisture to escape through it very well. (Another reason is that it is somewhat brittle, and won't flex with temperature changes and expansion / contraction).

A tighter film can be achieved by using a finer pigment grind as well as by using different resins that are less permeable. "Alkyd" is a generic term. There are lots of different alkyds made from different oils. Each will have different film properties. There are also other mechanisms used for blocking stains (leafing pigments for example), that you won't necessarily note from the MSDS sheet reading. Proprietary "secrets" in terms of the paint formulation won't be revealed in the MSDS.

All paints are porous to a greater or lesser degree. Latex flats are very porous. oil primers less porous, oil enamels even less and stain blockers are even less porous as a rule, with the exception of perhaps the water based stain blockers.

The water based finish paint could still leach out some staining through a conventional oil primer. Also, humidity in the air could over time do the same. In my opinion it probably won't - but it could. If you really want to seal the surface use a stain blocker. Oil and shellac are the best, the water based stain blockers are not good for water soluble stains (like nicotine stains).

BIN (pigmented shellac) forms an even tighter film than the oil stain blockers. It is pretty close to a vapor barrier I believe in terms of moisture transferring through the film.

In any case, use the primer with good ventilation during and after priming, as they both have very strong odor.
 

Last edited by Slatz; 01-15-11 at 01:13 AM.
 

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