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ANSWERED on Fri 2 Mar 2007 - 2:32 am UTC by John E

Question: Best interior paint for a smoker's home

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 1 Mar 2007 20:05 UTCThu 1 Mar 2007 - 8:05 pm UTC 

Is there an interior paint brand on the market that works best in a smoker's home? I mean, like one that is the easiest to clean and the toughest to stain? I'd love some suggestions for the type of paint as well as what anti-smoke showing color might work best.


John E 


 2 Mar 2007 02:32 UTCFri 2 Mar 2007 - 2:32 am UTC 

Hi yaygar...

As a smoker myself, I've kept my eyes and ears open on this topic.

Murray Gula's Home Improvement Team blog answers that question this way:

"Murray, I just recently moved into a home that a smoker lived in before me. What can I do to get rid of the nicotine stains on the walls?

The only thing I know that will work after you wash the walls down with T S P and water is to prime the entire surface with Graham’s Acryplex oil based stain-blocking primer. This is the only product that you want to use to block out smoke and nicotine to prepare a surface for painting. When you apply the blocker it is going to seem very blotchy, but that is perfectly fine. Allow to dry 24 hrs and than apply your finish coat of any of Graham’s interior finishes. One last thought, have your primer tinted to 50% of your topcoat for color for excellent coverage. - Murray"

T S P is Trisodium Phosphate, and is a VERY strong cleaner.

If you want to try a less toxic cleaner, vinegar in hot water is recommended:

Going to the Graham's paint site, they talk about using Acryplex #4 Oil Stain Sealer to seal kitchen cabinets that have been shellacked, on this page:

You can find PDF data sheets for this and other Graham's products here:

In contrast to Murray's assertion about using Acryplex for a primer, the Graham's paint site suggests another product, 100-00 Aqua Borne Ceramic™ Universal Stain Blocking Primer:

"It blocks most common stains such as tannins and stains caused by smoke."

It is recommended for use with the remarkable Aqua Borne Ceramic™ finish coats, which are unique in that they contain round ceramic spheres which make even the flat paint MUCH easier to clean than typical paints, as shown in the video on this page:

Here's their main page about what they call "absolutely the best paint you can buy!":

So, while with typical paints, an eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss are usually easier to clean, with Graham Aqua Borne Ceramic, you can clean flat just as easily, though you're free to use an eggshell if you wish.

Here's their flat:

...and their Satin and Gloss Enamels:

Here's a page that outlines caring for the finishes:

Here's a page with dealers in different locations:

Now, if you're unable to locate a dealer near you, or if you find their product a little pricey, I will make a recommendation based on a segment I recently saw on the Rachel Ray show. They compared several brands of eggshell style paint, the manufacturers of which all claimed "easy washup and stain removal". After marking and staining them all with a variety of horrible substances, they attempted to wipe them clean. Only ONE cleaned up without residual stains, in a fairly easy manner. The manufacturer? Behr paints.

So if Graham paint isn't an option, go for Behr.

As far as the color of paint which would best hide tobacco smoke stains, the stains themselves are a light brown, which aren't all that different from the color of accumulated dust, so I suppose the best way to hide them is to use a paint color that is identical, so when the stains are removed, the same color is underneath. Realistically, however, the color of the stains will darken the longer you go between removing them, so the stain will only precisely match the paint color at one point in time. So I think you're better off getting a paint which is the easiest to clean, and to wash the walls with some regularity. As noted in the care page:

"It is desirable to remove stains as soon as possible. The longer stains remain on the surface, the more time they have to 'set' and the harder they are to remove."

If anything is unclear, please feel free to post a Clarification.





 2 Mar 2007 16:22 UTCFri 2 Mar 2007 - 4:22 pm UTC 

You both could quit smoking. This way you can enjoy the pretty colors for many years, and we can enjoy you.




 3 Mar 2007 17:40 UTCSat 3 Mar 2007 - 5:40 pm UTC 

Thanks, Sublime. Since I'm a smoker and I plan to continue smoking, this info is of great assistance. It's good to know there are easy-to-clean paints out there.



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