-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Monday, January 25, 2010

questions about lead paint

This is the third and last in a short series of posts, where I get my questions about painting answered.

Q3. How do you know if you have lead paint, and if so, how should you deal with it?

Nick Keigher's answer

Although you can be fairly sure on older houses that lead based paints may have been used at some stage in their life, to be really sure you are dealing with lead paint you can buy what is called a Lead Testing Kit.

Your local hardware store should stock Lead Testing Kits for a reasonable price. I just quoted a kit from Solver Paints here in Brisbane for around $23.50. To administer the test, just follow the directions on the pack.

If the paint you're going to be removing is lead based, I would definitely recommend putting plastic sheeting underneath the area where you intend to strip to minimise any contamination in the soil below. When you're done wrap up the plastic and tape it up (so bits and pieces don't fall out on the way to the garbage tip) and dispose of it safely.

If possible I don’t recommending any grinding of lead based paints. (I think by this he means sanding or scraping. Hmmm... that is exactly what I have been doing - oops!)

Instead use paint stripper.. it melts the paint and you just have to scrape it away which makes the job a lot easier and faster. You will need to wear all the safety equipment for paint stripper though - safety goggles, plastic gloves and even a long sleeved shirt to make sure you don't get any on your skin.


Nick Keigher runs Keigher Painting & Decorating, servicing the Brisbane Metro and surrounding areas.

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