How to Apply Paint to Fire and Smoke Damage

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Many amateur do-it-yourselfers struggle to cover smoke damage no matter how many coats of paint they apply. No type of paint is capable of blocking smoke damage. Even most heavy-duty primers fail to permanently seal smoke stains. If you want to apply paint to fire and smoke damage, seal the surface with a special type of stain-blocking primer before application. This oil-based primer is capable of permanently sealing smoke damage and is formulated for compatibility with water-based latex topcoats.

Things You'll Need

  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric dropcloths
  • Kilz oil-based stain-blocking primer
  • Roller frame
  • 2 nap roller covers
  • Roller extension pole
  • 2- to 4-inch oil-based paintbrush
  • Latex paint
  • 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Cover all areas you do not want painted with painter's tape. Protect flooring with fabric dropcloths.

  • Apply Kilz oil-based primer to the smoke damage, using a roller frame and nap cover. Apply Kilz to areas inaccessible to the roller with a paintbrush manufactured for use with oil-based coatings. Wait four hours for the primed areas to dry.

  • Wash Kilz from the painting tools with mineral spirits.

  • Apply latex paint to the primed areas, using the clean roller, equipped with a new nap cover. Apply paint to areas inaccessible to the roller, using a paintbrush manufactured for use with water-based coatings. Wait two hours for the primed areas to dry. Add another coat if you have poor coverage.

  • Wash paint from the painting tools with plain tap water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Kilz oil-based stain blocking primer is formulated for compatibility with water-based latex topcoats. If you choose a different brand of stain-blocking primer, read the label to ensure it possesses this quality.
  • Never apply paint directly over smoke damage, or the stain will bleed through.
  • Do not use a standard acrylic latex or oil-based primer to cover smoke damage, or the stain will bleed through.

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  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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