Monday, June 13

Renovation realities - sealing tobacco stains pre wallpaper

I wanted to share this information with my followers who are deep in renovations dealing with plaster walls and tobacco stains!  In this old house project we didn't have the time or budget to replace all the plaster walls so we ended up taking down the drop ceiling, replacing with drywall and then patching the plaster walls to get them ready for new wallpaper.

There were 3 layers of wallpaper over plaster, I would say the oldest dated back to the 60's.  We patched/primed the walls and noticed some browning/yellowing spots as you can see in the pics.  Now the question is how do I seal those tobacco stains so they don't bleed through my paint or in this case our white wall paper?  Previously I've been advised by experienced painters and paint retail stores to use the following products, which for the record DID NOT work to seal pine knot bleed through:

-Stix Primer
-Bulls Eye 123

I had both of these products left over from other renovations so I gave them another whirl.  After coating the wall with both Stix and Bulls Eye 123 the yellow bleed through was STILL showing up - that's how I was certain it was nicotine stains. It's nasty and hard to seal!  Don't waste your dollar on these products if your dealing with tobacco stains or pine knots!

The hunt was on for a better product.  I asked some furniture paint experts at Homestead House and they suggested oil based Zinsser Cover Stain.  And I finally found my go-to product!  Cover Stain sealed the tobacco and I've since tested it on other projects including pine knots.  That yellowing bleed through will haunt you if you don't prep with this product!

The floors were since finished and the birch tree wall paper is hung, with no bleed through, hooray!! 

Happy renovating,


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