Home Repair

Stripping paint

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Hi Guru-

Well our building plans feel through due to high costs- so now we're looking at purchasing a victorian home.

This leads me to my question- is it safe to remove unknown aged paint from woodwork in the home? I know that it is possible that lead based paints could have been used in any home that is that old- so I'm planning on treating all painted surfaces as suspect.

I love old woodwork, and would get rid of the paint on everything, and restain.

Rather than sanding, if I use a stripper that removes all of the paint- is it safe? How would I get rid of the yuck from the old paint? I know you're not supposed to sand off lead based paints- as that can release lead particles into the air...

Any help would be appreciated!

Karen Smile
First off I would get a lead paint test kit. Such as:
LEAD ALERT( TM) Wipe/Sanding Test Kit

They cost between $10 and $30 for 8 - 12 samplers.

Then you would know what your dealing with. If it IS lead then go to a lead abaitment company and ask them what is a safe way to do it yourself.

In an older house that I remodeled, it was cheaper and easier to just replace the trim with new that was the exact same profile.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks! One of the houses we've looked at has great stair banisters and a beautiful newel post- except for the fact that it is covered in red and green paint... eeewwww!!!! Stuff like that just makes me sad Sad Hopefully it'll end up being non-lead, so I can remove it safely! (if we go with that property!)

Karen Smile
Painted wood may not have been painted a long time ago and may not be lead paint. It may have been done only a few years ago! So keep your fingers crossed!


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