Another painting over nicotine question -what to try next.

khopewFebruary 7, 2012

Ok guys, I have learned tons here about painting, and its been awesome! But I think I need some advice on what to do next in my bathroom.

Here's the story: We bought a house in November that smokers lived in (I know, big mistake, but we got a deal we couldn't walk away from just over nicotine) The house is about ten years old, was probably smoked in the whole time and the master bath seems to be where all the chain smoking went on. Before we bought it the previous owners had new carpet put down and the whole house painted from top to bottom, BUT they didn't clean or primer the walls first.

So we are cleaning all the walls with TSP (but not getting much off because of the layer of new paint) rinsing them, then priming it with kilz oil based and then repainting. This seems to be working everywhere but the master bath (we haven't done the guest bath yet) I noticed today after taking a shower that I could see nicotine dripping through the new paint and primer, how disheartening!

I guess my next step is to clean the walls again with TSP, and try to BIN shellac, (which we almost bought the last time instead of kilz, but it's $40 a can and we have about 2000 sq feet to paint so we went with 5 gallon buckets of kilz oil, thinking that and the tsp cleaning would be enough) Then we'll repaint again. Also, we have upgraded the fan in that bath, so that's not adding to the issue.

Is there anything else I should do or try? I don't want to paint that bath more then twice!

Thanks so much!

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Ya know....
knowing what I know NOW after all these years...
I would've torn out the sheetrock!!

I KNOW it sounds drastic...BUT-
You MAY have been done with everything by now by just doing new 'rock.
With all the washing, rinsing, etc., etc., new 'rock may have been done in the same amount of time.

So, rinsing...WELL, and priming with maybe even TWO coats of BIN in this case, is what's called for now.
(I just wanted to plant the little seed in your head, "We could've just re-rocked this room by now...)

>>> I only mean that in a serious, but also humorous light!!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

One word BIN

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:10AM
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Are you sure this isn't surfactant bleed from the new paint, not nicotine? Wash the bathroom walls and sit back to see what happens.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Yea, sounds like surfactant leaching for sure. Nicotine will not really 'drip' through paint. It will just bleed through like a stain. Also, if this is something you noticed after taking a shower, then that says it all becausse the excess moisture is the exact thing that causes this problem. Let the paint dry for a few more days before exposing that uncured paint to mass amounts of moisture.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 3:59PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Faron79- My exact thought was replacing the sheetrock, but my husband doesn't share that thought, lol. I didn't mention, we also remodeled that bathroom when we cleaned and painted, we replaced the vanity, toilet, shower, tile, lighting, ect. So he's not too thrilled at the idea of starting over in there, yet.

As far as the surfactant bleed, I'm not sure. We gave the bathroom almost 4 weeks after painting to cure before moving back from the hall bath and running water/showers in there because my husband was plumbing/tiling in there only on his days off and it took 3-4 weeks. I sprayed a touch of windex all purpose cleaner (it was the closest cleaner I had) and wiped a large area with some clean paper towels it came off brown/yellow color, and the paint is a gray-purplish color. The reason I really noticed it in the shower was a bead of water that had a brown tint ran down from the paint above the shower.

Does this sound like nicotine or surfactant?

I can't re-paint in there for a couple of weeks anyway so I'll have time to see what it does.

Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Did you put the KILZ on the trim and ceiling too? Wondering if it is coming off the ceiling.

If not, you've got one red for the Bin, but I think I'd be inclined to replace the sheetrock since you are talking only about a bathroom or two. I've never had that issue and would have thought that new carpet and paint would do it, but sheetrock is not that expensive. If it is something you can DIY, it may be a short term pain for a long term gain. It's your home now -- make it right and start enjoying it.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Yes, we painted two coats of oil based kilz on everything, walls, trim and ceiling and that was after a light sanding and cleaning with TSP. Then we used two coats of statin paint, and semigloss for the trim.

Right now I'm leaning towards replacing the sheetrock, but my husband wants to give the BIN a try, only because we may expand that bath in 1-2 years to make it bigger and all the sheetrock would be replaced at that time. But that's just something we have toyed with doing its not a def plan.

I'll guess we'll see if it gets worse over the next couple of weeks and make a choice when we have the time to work on it.

thanks for all the advice :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 4:11PM
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