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Moving into a nicotine stained house

(26 Posts)
misdee Wed 18-Mar-15 17:41:54

We are moving over Easter into a house that previously had heavy smokers in it. I picked up the keys today.

Please give me any tips to rid the house of 40+ years of smoking smells and staining. We are hoping to be in after the long bank holiday.

Here's a pic for the full effect. Be thankful the smell won't get you as well

MoonlightandMusic Wed 18-Mar-15 19:21:12

We spent a lot of time stripping wall-paper/washing walls. You'll probably also want to rip out any lino or carpets and ditch any curtains left behind.

There is something oddly satisfying though when the washing water finally changes from yellow to clear! And hopefully you only have the smoke marks to contend with - there were lovely grease 'halos' where the previous owners of our first house had obviously rested their heads against the wallpaper when in bed. envy

Congratulations on the new purchase too. grin

gamerchick Wed 18-Mar-15 19:25:37

Sugar soap.

scurryfunge Wed 18-Mar-15 19:28:47

Yes, sugar soap is your friend. Replace any plastic fittings like light fittings, etc as the plastic retains the stain and odour. Strip back any wallpaper and if you can get the walls skimmed it will help. Get rid of anything soft like carpets.

Holepunch Wed 18-Mar-15 19:38:01

I wouldn't do it again - it would be a deal breaker on the house purchase, knowing what I know now (sorry)

The woodwork is doomed, no matter how often you paint over it, it quickly goes yellow again. In the end, we used that stain block paint, designed to cover damp patches, as an undercoat. Horrible stuff to use, but it did do the job. Walls were all re-skimmed (but that needed doing anyway)

Professional cleaning of carpets did a petty good job though.

Devora Wed 18-Mar-15 21:48:48

Just to cheer you up after Holepunch's post, I didn't find this too much of a problem. We moved into a house where, the previous owners cheerfully told us, they had deliberately painted the ceilings yellow so the nicotine wouldn't show. The house was also filthy, so we cleaned everywhere and repainted. We didn't change the carpets, except for ripping them up in the living room. I don't remember the smell lingering.

blueberrypie0112 Thu 19-Mar-15 07:05:42

The previous owner of my house was a heavy cigar smoker. Black smoke everywhere. I would just paint over.

RedButtonhole Thu 19-Mar-15 07:11:38

You can get special paint that is specifically for covering nicotine stains and prevents them from coming back through whatever you redecorate with.

Draylon Thu 19-Mar-15 19:16:07

I'm facing the same thing.

I have to say, and to my amazement- my mum smoked heavily indoors in this house for 40 years. Ironically she gave up (cold turkey) 6 months before her sudden death, aged 81, of a stroke.

But, in that 6 months, the house stopped smelling like an ashtray pretty quickly. I have a finely attuned nose to the smell of smoking but it actually isn't that bad.

I posted on Good Housekeeping about de-nicotining wallpaper and was told to strip the lot shock! I plan on trying sugar soap first as I know the next owner will strip the lot down, extend by half again and get a modern, exec family home out of mum's smallish 3 bedder. Like every other house on the road...

I shall get an accredited carpet cleaner in; take down as many curtains as I can, 'mag' the hallways, and scrub her bedroom wallpaper to see if I can avoid the pain, time and expense of repapering (old house, painting not an option!).

DH suggested we pressure wash the entire interior.... grin

VeryPunny Thu 19-Mar-15 19:37:10

Previous owners smoked and had dogs. Took total redecoration - binning all carpets, curtains, wallpaper and replastering to be honest.

misdee Mon 30-Mar-15 20:15:08

Well we have progress. After 10 coats of various sealants and paints we have a white ceiling. And brighter walls. Dh and FIL have been fitting flooring today.
Can't afford to replace radiators, however sugar soap and jet washing has transformed them.

Before and after so far.

Smell is not as bad. I have hopes for a fresh house by next week.

Devora Tue 31-Mar-15 01:22:14

Your daughter is so cute! And what a fabulous big window.

StaceyAndTracey Tue 31-Mar-15 11:36:25

Well done

Love the shiny blue butterflies, very pretty and springlike

misdee Thu 02-Apr-15 19:09:08

Both ends of the lounge/diner.

I am exhausted. Carpets left to do upstairs, and then moving in on Tuesday. Removals booked.

Will be 36 weeks pregnant on Monday, please will this little one to stay put til at least 38 weeks and not follow one of her sisters and arrive at 37 weeks lol.

QueenBean Thu 02-Apr-15 19:16:46

That looks lovely OP! The ceiling was such a hideous stained yellow!

Daughter is a real cutie too

misdee Thu 02-Apr-15 19:59:43

Thank you smile she is rather cute and also very excitable smile

misdee Thu 02-Apr-15 20:05:08

This was after the first stage of cleaning the ceiling.

When we downsize when all the children have left home, new build all the way for me lol

BumWad Thu 02-Apr-15 20:07:51

I think you've done a really good job so far tbusmile

lostscot Thu 02-Apr-15 20:20:51

Been there, done that and coming out the other side! We used neat g101 on every surface. Every room has been stripped back to bare walls, lots of layers of wallpaper, carpets, Lino ripped up basically back to plaster in every room! We got keys in sep and lived in caravan in garden for 2 weeks till we got bedrooms done and now have everything done except kitchen which we are waiting to extend. Best of luck I wouldn't change ours for anything now!

Pics are ds bedroom window, 70s kitchen and the views that sold if to me!

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Thu 02-Apr-15 20:24:17

Just to warn you. After you've cleaned and painted this- when you put the heating on for the first few times you'll still get nicotine extracting out of your walls.
(We had it running off the kitchen ceiling. Horrendous!)

If there's insulation in the loft strip it all out and replace because it really holds smells.

Took 6 months for it all to settle for us. Don't regret it as now have a fabulous house that I couldn't have otherwise afforded.

misdee Thu 02-Apr-15 20:38:55

Thank you for the tip about the heating Troll, and the insulation, will bear that in mind and will look into getting that replaced at some point as well.

Lostcot, that is some staining. Makes ours look minimal.

This house is the ideal location for us, in a lovely area, so it will be worth it once it's done

lostscot Thu 02-Apr-15 21:11:57

Enjoy your new home, hope you get the chance to put your feet up for a bit!

misdee Mon 06-Apr-15 21:53:56

It's tomorrow. Bedrooms decorated and carpets in. Living room done. The rest will be done later.

sassytheFIRST Mon 06-Apr-15 21:58:35

Good luck in the new home, misdee. I love reading your updates - sat "with you waiting for the new heart and cheered with the rest of mn when the pink updates began. And another baby shock is that no6?7? Congrats to both of you.

misdee Tue 07-Apr-15 14:17:26

Number 7 smile baby girl number 6 if scans are correct.

We are in !!

All I can smell is fresh paint and carpets, and a little woody smell where FIL has been shaving the bottom of the doors smile it feels so light and airy here even with boxes everywhere.

Just getting beds up and making it safer and then getting the children from in-laws.

Had a fantastic removals team, all I had to do was point to where I wanted things and put the kettle on. If you are moving in the Herts area, then apple removals are excellent.

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