Smoke Damage – Fixing and Painting the Front Entryway of My Home

Apr 21 2019
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Painting away smoke damage and smoke stains because there is no other way to fix it. This is not the first (and nor will it be my last) rant about what a wood stove did to my ceilings and walls throughout my home. Prepare yourselves, I am about to reveal the MOST horrible pictures I could possibly share of my house. I have reached a level of hate when it comes to my wood stove that has gone WAY beyond all reason.

If you’ve been following along than you know I am no longer heating with wood. You will also know that heating my entire home with a radiant wood stove in my kitchen was also not my idea.

Note: My ex husband did not properly vent or install the wood stove here which is why I have SO MUCH smoke damage. I was told I was very fortunate it didn’t burn my home down. So, anyway, I’m not actually bashing wood stoves its just that I had a truly horrible experience!

Feast your eyes on the horror of what wood smoke does to ceilings and walls and EVERYTHING.

Painting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stove

I increased the contrast and levels of those photos so you can REALLY see how bad it is and what it looks like in real life. Utterly HORRIFYING. And this isn’t even the room where the wood stove was!

At first I tried to keep up with keeping things as “clean” as I could but, eventually, I just gave up on that awful losing battle. So then, I waited until I had the time and the plan to REALLY fix this space entirely from top to bottom!

My mom helped me empty the room of furniture. (Fortunately I had enough room in my kitchen for most of it lol.) From there I did some MAJOR cleaning and gave my floors some TLC first before moving up.

(Yes, I literally wiped down every inch of my walls and my ceiling by hand and no I don’t want to talk about it or think about that job ever again because it really sucked.)

Minnesota is a state that has MAJOR fluctuations in the weather. We can easily go from over 100 degrees in the summer to down to minus 30 degrees in the winter. Or, ya know, minus 42 degrees that we hit this last winter during the polar vortex lol

What this means is major swings in humidity.

Made far worse by, you guessed it, a wood stove which creates the driest heat imaginable. (Don’t even ask me about the daily nose bleeds until I got a humidifier for my bedroom.)

So, all my trim warped, popped and simply went to hell. Even my bead board shifted across the ceilings and looks even worse than it actually is because the smoke stains settled in every little hill and dale.

I fixed it where I could with screws than just filled the screw holes in with wood putty. (Actually I tried this stuff by Elmers, it goes on neon purple and dries white. It was more like a caulk than a wood putty and it worked great.)

See those black dots on my walls? Those are my screw holes on the sheet rock. That teeny tiny difference that you couldn’t normally ever see created a place for the wood smoke and ash to settle in and stain.

My only possible course of action was to repaint my entire first floor after getting as much of it off by hand as possible. I started with this room and am working my way through.

I much prefer matte paint but after this I went with a semi gloss instead. (Even though I will NEVER burn another fire in this house again! Yes, I have a pellet stove but that’s literally like lighting a candle compared to the wood stove which was basically a bonfire in the middle of my kitchen.) My cousin Rachie came over and helped me paint all of the trim and ceilings which took a good two coats and up to even four in some places.

My ceiling and trim, less than four years ago, was painted as white as the paint we used. Its almost hard to believe lol. When I put that first roll of paint on the ceiling we both just stopped and shrieked.

ALL of my trim and ceilings in the whole house were stained so without a direct comparison to actual white even I didn’t realize just how bad it was.

OMG the difference!

Painting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stove

Painting the walls was the fun part because A: I don’t have a whole lot of wall space here and B: it was the final completion, the final fix, the final action that removed the horror of my wood stove from this part of my home.

And, I got to choose a new color!

You can see in the before pictures my line up of paint swatches and the light gray I had on the walls before. And, don’t me wrong, I LOVED it, but with so little actual wall space in here I thought I could be a bit more daring.

So, I went to Ace and grabbed the swatch of Sooty Lashes (by Valspar) that I have in my master bedroom as a jumping off point.

(This is a great tip actually. It really helps to have a swatch in hand of a paint you already have in your home for comparing to new paint swatches.)

Interesting tidbit: A lot of people think my master looks blue (including me) but its actually a gray (according to everyone else) – I find it amazing how we all seem to see colors just a little bit differently.

My old wall color for instance always looked a little too blue for my taste. And yet, I have several family members who swore to me it wasn’t blue AT ALL but VERY gray.

Anyway, my master is really blue to me and I adore it so I took what I knew about that to help me figure out what I wanted here. I wanted something dark but less blue and maybe more green or gray and BOOM I found “Fait Accompli” by Valspar.

I looked up Fait Accompli and I totally love the definition as well. It really fits here as it is defined as “A thing accomplished and irreversible” – such as my getting rid of my wood stove and removing its damage completely and irreversibly 🙂

I LOVE IT!

And no more living in a crematorium! I took the opportunity to take down my lights and thoroughly clean them as well. EVERYTHING was covered with black ash.

I put my two glass light shades and six chandelier shades in my dishwasher! It worked great!

I also took the opportunity to take my chandelier down and put my ceiling medallion up something I’ve been meaning to do for FOUR YEARS lol! I also turned my hinged closet doors (which I built a few years ago) into rolling closet doors.

Time to put my whole dining room/office/entryway back together again. I will be doing a full reveal here next week. You’ve already seen my office though not after this refresh.

In the meantime, I am thrilled to finally paint away the smoke stains of my past mistakes! Here’s a sneak peak of the reveal!

Before and after of my multi functional entry and dining room that is also now doubling as my office and mudroom too! See how I transformed this spacePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stovePainting the front entryway of my home - OMG the black smoke damage and stains. Not the last of my posts that will include a rant my horrible wood stove

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6 Comments

  1. April 21, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Looks great! Bummer about the poor install, safety first! Sometime you just need a professional who knows what they’re doing. I still want a woodstove, but I know it has to be done correctly. Love the white, very bright and airy!

    • April 22, 2019 at 9:05 am

      Hi Nancy, absolutely! I hate that I had such a bad experience because initially I loved the idea of a little wood stove as supplemental heat! My mom has one and she loves making a little fire after work in the winter time.

  2. Lace Faerie
    April 21, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Oh man! It’s a wonder you didn’t get CO2 poisoning! Or develop lung problems like asthma!
    The sneak peek is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it all!

    • April 22, 2019 at 9:09 am

      Thank you Lace! The worst it got I had every door in my house open and it was REALLY cold outside. Then I called in an professional and he “fixed” it so I get through the rest of that winter but then I was SO DONE lol I got that thing out of my house!

  3. April 22, 2019 at 4:23 am

    Love that new colour! And apart from the smoke damage to your house, what do you think it was doing to your lungs?! :o(

    • April 22, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Oh Susan, I know 🙁 I’m just so glad its gone now and hope I didn’t get any serious damage.

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