Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2004

Sealing of Smoke Odors

Q. I am in the process of restoring a home from fire damage. I have removed all chared wood and removed all plaster and trim. What remains is a shell. What product could I spray on all exposed wood surfaces to seal in the smell of smoke. I want to be sure when reconstruction is complete that there is no smoke odor.

A. To remove smoke odors from wood, you first need to seal all the wood surfaces. This can be achieved by applying a coat of either high gloss or semi-gloss latex paint. Unlike flat wall paint that has a tendency to breathe, a gloss or semi-gloss paint will provide a continuous film over the wood surface. Also, there are deodorants available that can be added to latex paint for a pleasant odor.

I recall using a few drops of vanilla extract when a paint odor became offensive.

Another deodorizer is bicarbonate of soda, (baking soda). Dissolve a one pound box of baking soda into 2 to 3 gallons of hot water and use it as a prespray on the bare wood prior to the application of the latex paint.

A commercial product we use around the house for dog odor is "Febreeze". Not sure about smoke odors, but it works great for doggie BOO. This product is available at your super market.

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