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Colorado Springs Painting Contractors: Article About Removing Cigarette Smoke Stains and Odor

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Homes that have been occupied by smokers pose a unique problem for repainting. The nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke form a sticky yellow film that adheres to walls, making them difficult to paint without extensive prep work. Additionally, the smell of cigarette smoke is particularly stubborn and will bleed through all but the staunchest oil-based primers. Colorado Springs painting contractors are well versed in the ways and means of repainting homes that have been damaged by cigarette smoke.

The first step toward eliminating cigarette stains and odors is to use a dry cleaning sponge to remove the film that cigarettes leave behind. These sponges are excellent at removing the majority of the smoke film, and their design allows them to clean the walls without smearing or spreading the stain. Dry cleaning sponges, also known as chemical sponges, actually contain no chemicals, as the name suggests. They are made from a natural vulcanized rubber that absorbs the residue into its pores, making this part of painting the least toxic. To ensure that every part of the wall is cleaned, use parallel, overlapping strokes.

After dry cleaning the walls and ceiling, the walls must be washed with TSP, which is available in most home improvement and paint stores.

The painting contractors from Avalanche Roofing & Exteriors of Colorado Springs CO would be happy to answer any question about water damage restoration or attic insulation.

It comes in powdered form and must be diluted with water according to package directions. Care must be taken to protect the skin, eyes and nose when working with this chemical. Rubber gloves must be worn, preferably the blue chemical-rated ones. To achieve thoroughly clean walls, the same type of technique used with the dry sponges must be used at this stage as well. Finally, the walls must be rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry.

After the walls have been cleaned, an oil-based primer must be applied to seal the walls and prevent any odors from bleeding through the new paint. In this instance, using a water-based acrylic or latex primer will be a waste of money and effort. The best kind of primer for treating cigarette smoke damage is shellac primer. Although this kind of primer is reportedly difficult to use because of its runny consistency, it does an excellent job of eliminating odors of all kinds, and rarely requires more than one coat. Because shellac primer is oil-based, great care must be taken when using it. Adequate ventilation must be provided and respirators must be worn to protect painters from toxic VOCs that are released into the air by oil-based paints.

Once the primer has thoroughly dried, in 8 to 24 hours, the walls are ready to be painted. Either oil- or water-based paints can be applied over the shellac primer.

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