Sunday, 28 September 2008 18:07

How To Clean Nicotine Off Walls

Nicotine from smoking sticks to walls and can be very hard to clean.  It can turn walls a yellow color, which needs to be cleaned prior to painting.


Items Needed



TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) either powdered or liquid version

Bucket of water

Empty bucket




  1. Mix TSP with water according to the package instructions.  Use the "heavy cleaning" formula if available.
  2. Thoroughly clean the wall using a sponge instead of a rag.  Sponges lift off the nicotine rather than push it into the wall like a rag or towel would.
  3. After washing a section of the wall, rinse the sponge out in a clean bucket of water. 
  4. Repeat this process until the nicotine is off of the wall


If this does not remove all of the years of built up nicotine you can prime over the stained walls using Bin primer made by Zinsser.  This is a shellac-based primer that will seal in both the stains and the odor from the nicotine. 

Published in Walls
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 09:00

Which Primer Should I Use?



With so many primers to choose from, which one should you use for your job?  The easiest way to find out which primer you need is to know exactly what you expect the primer to do for you.  Too often people use the wrong primer for the wrong project and end up watching their hours of preparation and work peel off like a bad sunburn. 


Simply click on what you are priming and our site will direct you to which primer you should be using.


What are you painting?


                       New drywall     Oil-base Paint     Pet Stains     Water Stains     Tile     Glass     Floor     Nicotine Stains


                       Peeling Paint     Formica     Steel     Copper     Masonite     Stucco     Aluminum     Vinyl     Wood Knots


                      Cedar Wood     Pressure Treated Wood     PVC     T 1-11     Fiberglass            




PVA Primer (poly-vinyl acetate)


     Product:  Many manufacturers make PVA primers, you won't notice a difference unless you use it everyday.


     Uses:  PVA primer is for priming over newly textured surfaces and bare drywall.


     Clean-up:  Soap and water can be used to clean out your equipment.


Shellac-based primer


     Product:  Bin made by Zinsser



                    •  Interior & exterior spot priming to seal stains (grease, mildew, marker, gasoline) before painting.

                    •  Bin primer will also seal in the odor casued by fire damage.

                    •  Can be applied to floors prior to painting or carpeting to seal in smells from pet accidents

                    •  Shellac-based primers can technically be used on almost any interior surface.  For exterior stains it is only 

                             recommended to spot prime problem areas.


     Clean-up:  Use denatured alcohol to clean your brushes, rollers and tools.



Water-based Primer


     Product: 1-2-3 Primer by Zinsser



                   •  New drywall, plaster, over oil-based paint, new or old wood, concrete, tile.

                   •  1-2-3 primer has excellent adhesion and does not require sanding prior to priming.  If you have a similiar 

                           interior/exterior primer check the label to see if any prep work is required before priming.   


     Clean-up:  Clean brushes and tools with warm soapy water



Oil-based Primer


Product:  Cover Stain by Zinsser

Published in Painting
Tuesday, 27 January 2009 15:22

How To Clean Painted Walls



Over time your walls are bound to get something on them.  Whether it is dirt, grease or nicotine you should be able to clean it off of your wall.  The ease of cleaning will depend on several factors, including; the quality of the paint on the wall, how shiny the paint is, what you got on the wall, how long it has been there and what you use to clean it off.



Household Cleaners For Washing Painted Walls


  • One part liquid dish soap to two parts of warm water works very well as a cleaner and degreaser.  This can be used to wash down walls prior to painting or to wash down kitchen cabinets.

Store Bought Cleaners For Washing Painted Walls

  • TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) is a great wall cleaner.  If you buy the powdered version of TSP you will have to rinse your walls down after cleaning them to remove the phosphate residue.  If you use liquid tsp concentrate, you can simply rinse the walls down and they will be clean and ready for painting.
Published in Walls