DIY lead paint removal is dangerous if you don’t take the right steps to keep lead dust and paint chips from getting into your body. But if you are patient and willing to put in the time and money for the safety gear you need, you can safely remove lead paint on your own.
This blog talks about how to get rid of lead paint from a wall. If your window trim or doors are painted with lead, you may want to replace them.
If not, follow the advice below:
How to Remove Lead Paint Safely
Before you start, you should look at how the paint is doing. Lead paint encapsulation is a safer and less expensive way to fix lead paint that is not flaking or peeling. If the tree needs to be taken down, buy the safety gear first.
Supplies for removing lead paint:
- 6-mil thick plastic
- HEPA respirator
- Paint scraper
- There are a lot of different kinds of paint scrapers. Look for one with replaceable blades that you pull towards you to remove paint. This kind of paint scraping can’t be done with a putty knife.
- Attachments for power tools that can sand or scratch
- Chemicals that remove paint
- Water in the spray bottle
- Wet-and-dry shop vacuum with HEPA filter
- TSP Bucket Sponge (trisodium phosphate)
You must use a HEPA respirator that is rated to filter lead paint dust. A dust mask is not enough. The best kind of respirator is one that covers your whole face. Also, your vacuum must have a HEPA filter to get rid of the dust properly.
Prep the Area
Everything in the room must be moved out or covered with two sheets of 6-mil plastic. To keep the germs from spreading to other rooms, you’ll need to put plastic sheeting around the area. Use tape to hang two 6-mil plastic sheets in front of doorways or anywhere else where dust could get into a nearby room. The floor should also be sealed off with two sheets of plastic that are taped together at the seams and edges to catch dust. During remediation, the HVAC system should also be turned off and the ducts should be covered.
Start Fixing Things
The best way to get rid of lead paint is to get rid of as much dust as possible. This is done by keeping the area wet and sanding or scraping it while it’s still wet. Use the spray bottle of water to mist the area you are working on every so often.
After putting on the right safety gear, you can start. Scraping is good enough for smaller areas. For larger areas, the best way to remove paint is to use a combination of chemical strippers, power tools, and paint scrapers. If you’re not using an encapsulant, the goal is to get rid of all the lead paint. If you are using an encapsulant, the goal is to get rid of all the peeling and flaking paint so you can get the surface ready for encapsulation.
Advice for Getting Rid of Lead Paint
- The tool you use will depend on how good the paint is, how much money you have, how much experience you have, and how big the area is.
- Paint scrapers aren’t expensive, but it takes a long time to cover a large area. If you use one, buy extra blades and keep your tool sharp at all times.
- To get rid of paint, you can use an angle grinder, a cordless drill, a sander, or a tool made just for that. Just make sure to buy the right attachment so you don’t damage the wood underneath the paint. These tools can hurt people and break walls. If you haven’t used power tools before, you should stay away from these.
- Wet sanding and wet scraping are the safest and least expensive ways to get rid of lead paint yourself.
- Taking a break or grabbing lunch? You have to take off your protective gear as soon as you leave the room and wash your hands and face well. Keep and wash these clothes separately from the rest of your clothes, or better yet, just throw them away. Getting lead paint on your clothes isn’t worth it.
Use the vacuum to pick up dust and paint chips every so often while you work. Perfect is a wet/dry shop vacuum with a HEPA filter. This will help clean up, get rid of harmful lead dust in the work area, and keep it from spreading to other parts of the room.
Finish Fixing Things
Do not take off your safety gear yet. Clean up the room by using the vacuum to get rid of any dust that is still there. Wipe down the areas that have been fixed with warm water, TSP, and a sponge. Next, take the protective plastic off any areas that were taped off during the cleanup and put it in a plastic trash bag. Then, gather the top of the bag, fold it over, and double-tape it to keep the dust from spreading. Use the water and TSP to get rid of any dust that is still in the areas that were taped off.
It’s best to test the area for the lead after cleaning it up to make sure none was left behind. You can buy a kit online or at a hardware store in your area.
Services for Professional Lead Removal
Get in touch with your local CCT Apex House Painting location to find out if they offer services to get rid of lead paint. After the problem has been fixed, All CCT Apex House Painting can add a new coat of paint. After remediation, painting the walls is a lot of work. For professional painting services, call us at (919) 646-5009 or ask for a free quote online.