Smoke Stains Removal from Walls and Ceilings

The build of nicotine, tar, water stains (Water damaged) and smoke stains leave apparent marks on walls and ceilings that are nearly impossible to remove with normal painting. Not only do bad smoke stains stain your walls and ceilings, but they smell dreadful and linger for years to come. They also release harmful chemicals into the air of the home. This is why getting rid of that nicotine and smoke smell will likely be a priority!

smoke stains remove from walls and ceilings

By properly sealing your wall and ceiling surfaces by applying a fresh coat of primer and paint, you can easily cover the water stains and smoke stains, and prevent them from contaminating your air.

How to Paint Over Smoke Stains and Cover Water damages

Step1: Make Sure the Surfaces are Properly Prepared

  • Prior to painting the wall and ceiling, it is extremely important that the surface is free of dust and debris to ensure the bond between the wall and ceiling paint is strong.
  • If there is wallpaper, you want to be sure this wallpaper is removed as well 
  • If the nicotine stain is exceptionally bad, wash the walls down with TSP with a scrub brush or scouring pad.
  • Apply plaster as well to make sure the walls are smooth if there are any holes.
  • To ensure a smooth surface, it is beneficial to sand down the walls once it has been plastered and filled. This will remove all imperfections that lie on the surfaces.

Step 2: Prime the Areas with a Low Odour Oil Based Prime

  • Once the wall is prepared for painting over smoke stains, it is time to paint the first coat using primer.
  • When covering smoke stains you need to either use a low odour oil based primer or a stain blocker primer. This is essential in order to prevent any chemicals from seeping through into the new layer of paint.
  • Avoid using water based primers as the water stains or smoke stains will leak through, and help new stains form on the surface.
  • The best primers to use are Oil based or shellac primers which are known to kill stains, and prevent any odoors from entering the next layer.
  • Kilz and Zinser both have good low odour primers that can be purchased at your local hardware/paint store or Home Depot.

Home Painters Toronto Tip:

  • In most cases, 1 coat of this low odour primer is sufficient. But in rare circumstances, if these areas are really badly stained, then 2 coats should do the trick.

Step 3: Apply the Paint over Stains

  • After applying primer, you can then do the final stage – apply the interior paint.
  • For heavy smoking areas, it is common to use a latex flat or eggshell paint depending on the area. Semigloss are used in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • 2 coats are definitely the standard here. But, again, if the areas were particularly bad, 3 coats have been known to take care of things.


  • After the application of a coat of special primer, then two to three coats of paint, your walls and ceilings should be free of smoke stains or Water stains! If you want to save some time and hassle, we can do this for you. With over 25 years of experience in home renovations in Toronto and the GTA, we are here to please. We are a top-rated painter on HomeStars.com, are regularly seen on City TV’s Breakfast Television CP24; and offer a 100% guaranteed satisfaction!
  • Please call us NOW at 416.494.9095, or email us at Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a free Smoke Stains removal or Painting over Water Stains estimate. At Home Painters Toronto, we are one of the Top Rated Interior Painting Companies in Toronto and GTA. We are especially dedicated to making your Interior house painting or removing Stains experience as pleasurable as possible.  All of our staff are Expert Interior Painters.   We only use High-end name-brand home Painting supplies such as Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Sherwin Williams.   We take our job very seriously and are committed to delivering the best Paint job for you in Toronto.

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.