Could that title be any more appealing?? I know it’s lovely… but it’s a fact of life for me right now. Coming home every night to the welcoming stank of cat pee. But, I am proud to say, no longer does our house reek! After some research, some manual labor, and an amazing product (Kilz Original), our house practically smells like a rosebush (ok, exaggeration, but you get the point). Let’s walk through the process together, shall we?
Rid Your House of the Cat Urine Smell
The very first night we got in the house, we ripped up almost all the carpets. The smell was so bad we could hardly breath (how did the previous owners do it??). These carpets were way too far gone to be salvageable so in the garage they went (which now reeks too).
Notice the plug-nose-with-shirt move going on up there. I told you all it was nasty…. We also ripped up all the padding since it was fairly well contaminated too.
Getting the rooms down to the subfloor helped immensely. And thanks to this (strangely) beautiful Chicago weather, we were able to air out the house for several weeks. Nevertheless, some odor remained as it had seeped into the subflooring. You can see some dark stained spots below, and they stunk real. bad.
After removing the carpet, we did our due diligence and pulled all the staples and nails, and gave the floors a good brooming. Then, we did some research on blocking odors. Specifically pet urine odors. While there are several options, we felt the best one for us would be a spot type treatment, by sealing in the odors in the rooms that needed it.
Turns out there are primer paints specifically designed for odor blocking that work well against pet odors as well as smoke smells. We read several reviews on different products and the consensus seems to be that you need to use an oil based primer. It just does it’s job infinitely better than latex. Even though it is definitely harder to work with as it doesn’t wash off with water, it is worth the extra work to ensure a stink-less house.
We heard great things about Kilz Original, so we decided to try it out. You can buy a gallon for around $30 and it will cover roughly 300 square feet. When we opened the can, it clearly needed some mixing. But a few minutes later the paint was looking nice and white and we were back in business.
Really, the whole process was very simple and went fairly fast. We rolled the primer onto the floor, taking special care to cover well on the trouble spots. Jake and I alternated rolling, man what an arm workout!
And yes, I paint in flip flops. What??
One hour later we had all cat urine subfloor covered in a coat of Kilz Original. Which smells very strong by the way (it is oil-based, after all). So all windows were opened, and we spent some time outside trying to to breathe all the fumes.
The first few days we couldn’t tell if the cat urine smell was gone or not because the paint smell was so overpowering. But we eventually determined that the odor was nearly gone, but still slightly detectable in the bad spots. So, we did a second coat on all urine-infected floors to be doubly sure to completely eliminate the odor.
And now, thanks to Kilz Original, we have a fresh smelling house! Next up, picking out some flooring 🙂
In other house news…
We’ve been doing a little yard work. One evening we went through the yard and pulled all the weeds and thistles that were growing around the fence and deck edges. I kid you not, some were as tall as me!! Then, we took some free mulch that was sitting a few houses down (our neighborhood is taking down all the dead ash trees, so sad!) and mulched around the trees and house. Just those little things made such a difference in the yard!
Also, we’re still working on a flooring decision. Who knew it would be so difficult?? Hopefully we’ll have a decision soon and more flooring posts on the horizon! Now that you all know how to get rid of that stinky cat urine smell, go get yourselves some Kilz Original and make your homes less stanky 🙂 Any other tips out there on odor elimination??
A Kilz Original Review
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