Easy/Cheap way to remove (lead) paint?

Hi, my family has an old house and we just finished removing old sheetrock that was just horrible looking. I quite like the bead board (the real thing not that sheet of bead board stuff) underneath and am thinking about keeping it exposed (at least on the ceiling) but all of it is covered in lead paint and all the other woodwork (door/window frames etc) as well as the outside (which *really* needs to be stripped/repainted) is all covered in lead paint. This house is pretty much a "family retreat" now and my uncle is worried about the lead paint and his children and in truth I am not sure if I want to expose my kids to lead paint (not that I think they will be licking the walls or anything). So, I want to strip at least most of the paint off and repaint it but wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions i.e. machines, recommended masks, tools, methods, etc about how best to go about this. Someone had suggested sand blasting but while I like to think this house is fairly sturdy (old house) it is still made of mostly pine which strikes me as being a bit soft for something like sandblasting. I have tried chemicals in another project and that just doesn’t seem to be realistic for a 4k sq ft house. Any ideas would really be appreciated! Cheers -Gaiko

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Hankdog on Sep 14, 2014:

Lead-Out Paint Stripper or Franmar's paint stripper are the strippers I have used to remove lead paint. They work great. I haven't talked to their customer service, but the product really works great.

Anonymous on Oct 16, 2013:

Do not purchase "Lead Out" paint stipper.  It is super expensive and does not work.  They will tell you it does and you are the only one to complain and will not give you your money back.

Ty on Aug 30, 2013:

Kacey,  after applying the mineral spirits & linseed oil solution, how long shold I wait to apply the latex primer?  Thx....ty

Kacey on Apr 08, 2013:

I strip wood for a living and I am lead certified. Use a heat gun, do not put temp above 1100 degrees...most wont go above that. Get a good detail scraper..Hyde is what I found does the best. Be careful you don't burn wood, though you can lightly sand that if it happens. Lead is dangerous to pets, children under age 7 and pregnant women, so just clean up and use hepa filter in hepa sweeper...which is different then just hepa filter. Lay plastic down so clean up is easy, wipe down area after work is done and discard n trash bag...u will b fine. Wash hands and do not eat n same area u r workin n. I don't use chemicals ever, too messy! If restoring old wood, make sure and use 2x mineral spirit to 1x linseed oil to put moisture back into wood before priming then painting. Good luck!

lead lawyer on Oct 02, 2012:

Lead-Out Paint Stripper works much better than peel away and renders the lead non-hazardous.  check out the link.

Donnie B on Jun 01, 2012:

Use a Heat Gun and a scaper,..but 1st you must seal around the area that is being stripped. Most folks use a 1X2 wood and a roll plastic. Put the plastic on the ground and builda small room/work space around the area you want to remove the paint from and access inside the room. Once you have the area sealed make sure you wear protective gear including a respirator while inside the work area using the heat gun & scaper. The fumes from the lead paint can be very harmful to breathe. Use caution while using the heat gun on the paint, not to over heat it and cause it to burn. Once your all done stripping, take down the walls of your work space and then roll up all the particles inside the plastic and place that into a plastic bag. You will need to dispose of it properly so I recommend talking to the local county landfill folks for proper disposal procedures.   

Anonymous on May 25, 2012:

have a beautiful full window wooden door but it has lead paint i would lke to know of a inexpensive safe fast way to remove the paint with dmaging me an d the wood

Emily D on Jul 13, 2011:

I'm paying the price for trying to remove lead paint from the moldings of my 1926 bungalow. It's exhausting and cleanup is hell on earth. No joke. Clean up takes way longer than the stripping itself and the removal is SOOO dangerous. Lead paint really wants to stick, it's heavy, messy, flaky, NOTHING like regular paint. The stripper I used  (Peel Away 7) worked well, but is so corrosive that a paint scraper gouged the nice wood underneath.... but anything weaker wouldn't have worked. Continually misting down the project (to keep dust from spreading around) just makes the job 10X messier. YUCK. I'm 1000% confident it's safer to encapsulate the lead paint and cover. Lead paint isn't kryptonite. You have to ingest/inhale it for it to be neurotoxic. I strongly advise you look into safe ways to cover the lead paint. That's what I'll be doing the rest of the way. 

erinn on Jan 17, 2007:

I would definitely check your local zoning/building codes as Manzabar suggested for laws relative to lead-based paint abatement.  Definitely don't sandblast it.  That will creat the dust particles that can be easily injested.  As far as your children being exposed, the only way for them to be exposed if they injest dust particles or to eat paint flakes that have fallen off and they would have to eat a lot of it.  Your best bet is to scrape off everything that is loose, collect all the flakes, clean up with soap and water and then paint over it to seal in all the suspected lead.  This process obviously won't give you a totally smooth (or like-new) surface to paint over, but that's part of the charm of an old house.

gaikokujinkyofusho on Jan 16, 2007:

If anyone is interested i posted on to a few groups on Usenet as well and got a few responses:


or here http://tinyurl.com/y4t5nm

gaikokujinkyofusho on Jan 16, 2007:

Thanks for the suggestions; the "job for professionals" is not particularly encouraging since that would probably be kinda expensive (there are other high dollar things that need to be done to the house as well).

The stripper certainly sounds like the safer way to go but this is a large house with walls and bead board not just a few doorways.

I will check out the pricing on professional lead paint removal and go from there.

thanks all,


Senseless on Jan 15, 2007:

If you're going to use paint stripper a good trik is to lay a heavy coat on brushing just once in rows to get an even coat and cover it with some 6mil plastic.  Paint stripper makes a seal and the fumes get under and lift the paint so the longer it stays wet and the longer the fumes are held against the paint the more effective it is. 

 Strippper would be preferable to sanding and turning the lead into dust that you might inhale days later.

Manzabar on Jan 12, 2007:

Ron Hazelton (PBS home repair guy, think lower budget This Old House) has a page on his website talking about this subject: Remove Lead Paint

BungalowHome has some tips on doing this as well.

Lowes claims this is a job for professionals on their page about Lead-Based Paint.

The Childern's Health Environmental Coalition also says this is a job for a professional.

 I'd say you might want to check into the laws in your area to see if you're even allowed to do this sort of work yourself and then think very carefully about whether you want to expose yourself to these sorts of hazards (remember lead is highly toxic!).

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