Dealing with nicotine stains in a Victorian property


I am just in the process of buying an old property, previously lived in by heavy smokers.

What is the best way to clean and prime walls to prevent nicotine stain recurrence in a solid brick Victorian property?

I am concerned that the normally recommended primers might impair the ability of the walls to 'breathe' and cause problems with damp.

Best Answer

Ummm. Primer might be the least of your concerns. I have flipped a few houses in my life and many have had heavy smokers and/or animals. If you remove all soft surfaces - carpet, curtains, anything that can retain the smoke smell - then you can try to prime it if the odor isn't insane. So after everything is out let it air out a day or two or longer.

If the smell is coming from the walls then you can try to prime and paint but it might be a total waste of time and money. I have had to redrywall the living room areas of more than a few homes. There is a good chance the insulation is soaked with the smoke smell too so that may need to be replaced - and another reason why painting hardly ever helps the extreme cases.