How to Remove Cigarette and Smoke Smell from the Walls?

When we spend enough time in a place, we often become numb to its unique characteristics, including its smell. If you smoke inside your home (or if you used to smoke), you may have become desensitized to the odor over the years. But that smell has inevitably stuck to your walls, ceilings, drapes, furniture, and just about every other surface in your home. 

One day, after spending enough time away, you may suddenly notice the scent, or someone you know may point it out to you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to do something about it or not. But keep in mind that smoke smell can devalue your home and potentially harm your health. Plus, it isn’t a pleasant fragrance.

If you want to oust this odor once and for all, you might wonder where to begin. Your first thought might turn to interior painting. After all, paint often has a strong smell of its own, and its whole purpose (aside from enhancing your home’s appearance) is to seal surfaces and protect them from damage. It seems that painting over a surface would keep the smoke scent from escaping. So, the question remains: does painting a home get rid of smoke smell?

The Short Answer

No. Painting your home will not eliminate the stench from cigarette smoke.

The Longer Answer

To be fair, this isn’t what you or most homeowners want to hear. In a perfect world, you could hire a licensed interior painting service and the odor would disappear at the project’s conclusion. Unfortunately, smoke stench is potent and stubborn, and it takes a lot more than a couple coats of paint to truly get rid of it. A new coat of paint will certainly cover up this scent for a little while, but not forever. As the new paint fumes fade, the smoke smell will return, never having left.

But not all hope is lost. Just because house painting can’t get rid of smoke smell doesn’t mean this stench is unbeatable. In fact, paint plays a role in sealing the deal – but you have to address the odor itself first.

How Can You Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your Home?

In some ways, getting rid of smoke smell is like getting rid of any other smell, except much more effort is required. That’s because, as mentioned earlier, cigarette smoke actually clings to surfaces. 

This means all your interior surfaces, objects, and features must be thoroughly cleaned. Use a heavy-duty cleaner such as TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) or make a homemade mixture of ammonia or vinegar and water, and then scrub, scrub, scrub. 

Meanwhile, air out your interior by opening windows and vents and running fans so as you scrub away the grime and the odor lifts from the surfaces, it can easily exit your home.

Additionally, you might use a number of household items to absorb residual odors as you go. For instance, try placing bowls of charcoal, coffee grounds, vinegar, or halved apples around your home for a while. Also, you can sprinkle baking soda on your fabric items like rugs, furniture, and curtains to help extract the smell.

Only after you have thoroughly cleaned and aired out your interior should you hire home painters. Now, your painters will have clean, fresh surfaces to paint over, and you won’t have to worry about that smoke smell creeping through ever once more (unless you start smoking inside again, of course). Before painting, though, your licensed interior painting contractor will apply a coat of odor sealing primer as an extra precaution.

On its own, painting your home will not get rid of smoke smell. But applying a fresh coat of paint is an important final step after you’ve completely cleaned your interior and eliminated the stench. If you need more advice on wiping out unwanted smells, or if it’s time to paint your newly scent-free home, All American Painting Plus is here to help. To learn more about all that we can do for our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at (703)-620-5563!