How to Paint a Nicotine Stained Room

Updated March 23, 2017

Nicotine stained walls are yellow and aesthetically unappealing. Removing nicotine from your walls can be difficult and sometimes impossible. However, by following a few cleaning tips and painting instructions you can give your walls a whole new look and have your nicotine stained walls be a thing of the past.

Clean your walls with a solution of hot water and trisodium phosphate (TSP). Use a sponge mop and scrub in a circular motion. You can also try a product like Krud Kutter to cleanse away the greasy nicotine stains. After cleaning, let the walls dry completely.

Paint the room using a stain blocker primer. Since nicotine stains are greasy and water soluble, meaning that they will "bleed" through subsequent coats of paint, you must use a stain blocker primer to prevent any remaining nicotine stains from leaking through. Oil-based and shellac stain blockers are recommended to use on water soluble stains.

Allow for good ventilation when applying the stain blocker and let it dry completely. Usually, one application of primer is sufficient.

Paint your wall with either a latex or oil-based paint of your desired colour.

Apply another coat of paint if necessary. Let it dry completely.


Provide good ventilation when painting to rid the house of fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Sponge mop
  • Krud Kutter cleanser
  • Stain block paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paint brush
  • Paint stirrer
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About the Author

Monica Sethi Datta has been writing health-related articles since 2007 and editing since 2008. She has been published by "The Raven," "Campus Connection," and "BIFOCAL," an American Bar Association journal. She holds a Juris Doctor and health law certificate from the University of Maryland School of Law.