Asked on Mar 1, 2013

How can i clean the walls from smoke damage from a house fire, in order to paint and what do you suggest for a primer?

DeniseCarol FredetteKala Professional Restoration services


I was thinking Z-primer?
12 answers
  • Sherrie
    on Mar 1, 2013

    My Father's house caught on fire. They used a chemical sponge for smoke damage and used Kiltz as a primer. His house was taken down to studs. Because it was warm it also had tons of mold. This summer we decked and re roofed his house. We saw no mold.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Mar 2, 2013

    @Ellen S one question, was the fire bad enough for an insurance claim?? If so they usually have professionals to come in to do the job for you. Other wise here is a site that offers some advice @KMS Woodworks may have more information to offer. @Woodbridge Environmental may also have some information to add.

  • I assume you already have restored the walls? You said they took everything down to the studs, but saying you need to prime. Are you talking about the wood framing? IF that is the case, Ideally the framing should be soda blasted to remove the soot damage on the framing and to remove the odors. You can clean using products such as Then once clean you would use a product such as this Once that is done, you can insulate and rebuild. What state is the house located?

  • Ellen S
    on Mar 3, 2013

    Thanks for all your help and suggestions!! i appreciate it very much!!! The owner has house/renters insurance, but he won't use it or help in any way. He's not very efficient at fixing any of our problems, for the past 2 plus years. Our deck is falling apart, our roof has holes as big as half dollars and leaks, we have mold, our fridge broke ( he's not responsible), the sinks in our bathrooms are falling off the walls and more. So, I guess I shouldn't expect him to help. I paid for a new window, wall, outside trim and now I have to put in carpet and clean not just the bedroom, but the hallway and the other rooms from smoke damage. It's terrible, we live in a nice neighborhood and pay close to $2,000 a mos rent and were never late. Time to move!!!!

  • Use a shellac or oil base primer.Kilz Original (oil base) is an industry standard for sealing smoke damage. Agood shellac primer is Zinsser B-I-N. Make sure the surfaces are clean as possible and then fully primeeverything. Do not use water based productsto prime over smoke. Not sure where you live, but a local ProTect Paintersowner may be able to assist you. You cancheck if we have a location in your area at <?xml:namespace prefix = o />

  • Seidman Paperhanging
    on Mar 3, 2013

    Clean the surface best as you can. Apply Zinsser B I N a white pigmented shellac. That will stop the odor and give you a good surface, B I N is also a vapor barrier and shellac will even stop the odor of pet stains from wood.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 3, 2013

    I have been doing some work on a condo recently. While not in a "house fire" the previous owners had been smokers. The scent of smoke was not present as this unit had been empty for some many months, and we had the carpet removed (bed bugs...but that is a whole different story). As you can see from these pics there was smoke staining in the upper regions of the room. This was the bedroom, the problem is not as obvious in the rest of the unit. You can see the contrast from where we started priming. The Primer we are using is "problock" from Sherwin Williams.

    q how can i clean the walls from smoke damage from a house fire in order to paint and, cleaning tips, painting, Smoke staining along upper wallsq how can i clean the walls from smoke damage from a house fire in order to paint and, cleaning tips, painting, Smoke staining along upper walls same room closet area
  • The owner as a landlord has responsibility to you as renters to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment. If he or she is not doing this, I strongly suggest that you seek out the advice of a local attorney to get this resolved. No one should be living in squalor such as this particularity with rents that high.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Mar 3, 2013

    @Ellen S I am not sure where you are from, but most jurisdictions have tennant/landlord laws. Maybe check them out for where you live to investigate what a landlord is responsible for maintaining. There are laws for both the tennant and the landlord, find out what your rights are and where to report problems. For the mold issue I would contact your public health office to find out if they will inspect and order change - be prepared, you may have to evacuate the premises for a time until it is fixed. But that will be better for your health in the long run. Document all of your correspondence with the landlord. Good luck.

  • It is extremely critical when your house has been damaged byfire or smoke. Get Professional from certified company as they provide amazing restoration services. In my view, you should clean your surface first, although it is totally responsibility of your property owners. I am also in this trade provides PropertyDamage Restoration- Fire, Smoke, Flood/Water, Mold, Storm Damage services with faster turnaround time.

  • Carol Fredette
    on Aug 9, 2015

    Lowe's carries a degreaser call greased lighting super strength. Works great on soot and the smell diminishes as well. I had a kitchen fire in Jan and it worked wonders for me. Lot of elbow grease and room deodorizes helps too.

  • Denise
    on Aug 17, 2015

    If you rent, talk to the landlord. Do not spend money if you dont have to. If he takes care of it, he may also be on the hook for finding you a place to stay during cleanup and renovations. If its your own house, and you have fire insurance, the insurance company will usually pay for a place to stay, also. Dont try the clean up yourself, too time consuming, and stressful.

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