What is the best way to paint over walls with cigarette smoke and grease stains?
Dukes Painting’s professional opinion:
This is a tough problem, and one that we deal with all the time. Smoke and grease stains are sinister because they soak into the paint and the substrate. Simply painting over stains like this will do nothing but frustrate you. The stains will seep right back through your new paint. There is a solution, however.
Before you paint, you must use a stain-blocking primer. Our favorite is Kilz Original, the oil-based version. There are several versions of this product, and they each work a little differently. If you want a one-coat fix to this problem, you must use Kilz Original or Kilz Odorless.
There are a couple of downsides to this product that you need to be aware of.
It is oil-based. Do not spill Kilz or get roller splatter on your floor. It is a pain to get off.
You must wear a respirator for application. And get some airflow as well. If you breathe the fumes from this product, it will make you sick. At first, you will feel like you’re just getting drunk, but very quickly the headache will set in. And then your whole day is ruined. Trust me.
Well, there you have it. If you have grease stains from the kitchen or smoke stains from years of cigarettes, just slap on a coat of Kilz before you paint, and your problem will be solved.