LESLIE: Natalie in Louisiana, welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
NATALIE: Hello, my question is about removing cigarette smoke odor from a house before selling it.
NATALIE: In this economy, I think I need every advantage I can get.
TOM: Probably do. Do you have carpets?
NATALIE: Yeah, but I’m planning to replace them because they’re worn out.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Good. That’ll make a big difference.
NATALIE: (overlapping voices) So that takes care of that problem.
TOM: Yeah, that’ll make a difference. If you pull the carpets out –
LESLIE: And the padding.
TOM: – and the padding for sure – and if you clean the rooms that have the most tar and nicotine on the walls and then you prime everything with oil-based primer – don’t use water-based – that will do a really good job of sealing in whatever is left on the walls and probably eliminate most of that smoke odor.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know, Tom? There’s a company that makes a topcoat latex paint that puts perfume in it. (chuckles) You could go that extra level. And I believe that sort of scent in the perfume, it only lasts about six weeks but it could be enough to sort of make it very inviting.
TOM: And I know that Dutch Boy is coming out with a paint that actually has ARM & HAMMER in it and so that will actually help as well. But the base coat is really important here so choose KILZ and a nice, good-quality topcoat and you’ll be good to go.
NATALIE: OK. I’m also worried about the woodwork. I have stain-and-varnished cabinets and built-in bookshelves and I’m worried about the air conditioning ducts because I know nobody smokes in the walk-in closet in the bedroom but, boy, you can smell the smoke.
TOM: It’s probably from the clothes more than anything else. You could have the ducts cleaned. That might help a little bit. You’re also going to want to make sure that you replace the filters. And if you don’t have one, put in a good-quality electronic air cleaner and that’ll help with the odor situation as well.
LESLIE: And you know what? The name of that additive for the paint is called Paint Pourri – like potpourri but Paint Pourri – and it comes with a ton of different scent options. And if you Google search it, you’ll find that some people have been advising that it does help sell your home.
TOM: Natalie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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