When the interior walls of a home are constantly exposed to cigarette smoke, this can stain them badly over time. Even the brightest white walls will become a dark, dingy yellow color if they are exposed to nicotine over long periods of time. Nicotine stains do not wash off of painted walls easily. To make your walls look fresh and clean again, a thorough cleaning and a few coats of paint will be necessary. These are the steps to covering nicotine stains on interiors walls.
You will need to make a special cleaning solution to remove the nicotine from your walls. Trisodium phosphate is one of the most commonly used mixtures that is strong enough to clean nicotine stained walls. This solution will fade the stain and dissolve any gum-like residue that has accumulated on the walls.
Mix 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate to two gallons of warm water. You can spray the solution on and scrub the walls thoroughly with a brush or sponge. However, this mixture can be very damaging to the skin and eyes. Be sure to wear gloves and protect your eyes when applying it.
Once the walls have been cleaned and allowed to air dry, you will want to paint the walls with a coat of good quality stain-blocking primer. This will ensure that any stains that could not be removed are covered and do not show through your final coat of paint. When the first coat has dried completely, add a second coat of primer.
After the second coat of stain-blocking primer has thoroughly dried, it is time to add your first coat of interior paint. If all the stains are covered completely, you can paint the interior walls with a white or light colored paint if you prefer.
However, if the primer has a darker tint after it dries than it did when you first applied it, it may be necessary to choose a dark colored interior paint instead. Allow the first coat to dry completely and add a second coat of interior paint.
Always apply both the primer and your interior paint with a paint roller. This helps prevent unwanted drips and lines from occurring that can be very noticeable on the surface of your walls. Using a satin finish interior paint works very well at covering stains because the slight shine of this finish makes stains that were not removed completely less noticeable.
For troublesome interior painting projects, consider contacting a local professional for help.