Home Selling Tips - Revitalizing Smoke Stained And Smelly Walls

If you are a smoker and you smoke in your home, then you have some work cut out for you if you want to sell your house. Research studies suggest that smoke smells in a home can cost you a great deal of money when it comes to a house sale. In fact, a smoky home can reduce residence value as much as 29%. If you want high offers on your house, then stop smoking inside today and follow the tips below to remove stains and odors from your painted walls.

Clean The Stains Away

The first thing you will need to do to clean your house is to scrub the ceilings, walls, windows, and any other large and flat surfaces around your house. All of these surfaces will have nicotine and tar stains on them, and these stains will smell. Nicotine stains are typically yellow. While nicotine is a colorless substance, it will turn yellow when it comes into contact with oxygen. The nicotine will absorb into any porous surface it comes into contact with. So will tar. Tar is the thick resinous material that is created when tobacco is burned, and it contains uncombusted tobacco particles.

To get rid of the smelly stains on the walls, you will need a cleaning product that can eat through the tar and nicotine so it can be removed completely. The acid in vinegar will eat through the stains and so will the acid in lemon juice. Place either one cup of vinegar or one cup of lemon juice in bucket with two cups of water. Use a sponge to wipe down the stained walls. Allow the acidic mixture to sit for 10 to 30 minutes. As the nicotine and tar start to dissolve, you will see the stains starting to run down the walls. Use your sponge to soak up the stains and remove them with the leftover cleaning mixture.

Reapply the vinegar mixture until the stains have faded. Afterwards, place a few squirts of dish soap in a bucket with warm water and scrub the walls. This will help to remove the tar and nicotine that have loosened but have not dissolved completely with the help of the acid solution. Once you are done cleaning, wet a clean cloth and wipe the walls down with water.

Paint The Walls

Removing the tar and nicotine will reduce the majority of the smoke odors coming from your home. However, they may not diminish completely. Also, your walls are likely to remain a dingy color, even after extensive cleaning. To help revitalize your home and to reduce lingering odors so it will sell quickly, paint the walls with an odor blocking primer before adding a colored paint to the walls. 

Normal water-based primers create a porous surface that smells can penetrate through. Odor blocking primers are oil-based paints that create a solid surface over a wall so that stains and odors cannot penetrate through the paint. Shellac primers and paints create a similar surface that is difficult for stains to move through.

When adding the oil-based primer to your walls, make sure the paint is able to stick properly. Run a piece of fine-grit sandpaper along the old paint to score it a small amount. This will give the primer a bit of texture to stick to. Once the primer dries for at least 24 hours, you can paint over the primer with a latex or oil-based paint. When choosing the color for the walls, make sure to choose neutral beige, cream, or tan colors. These paint tones will help to reduce distraction so that potential buyers can look at the attributes of the home and not the color of paint you have chosen for the walls. 

If you have asked yourself, "how can I sell my home?" then you might want to consider the above tips.