DIY lead paint removal is dangerous if you don’t take the 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 remove lead paint on your own.
This blog talks about how to get lead paint off a wall. If your window trim or doors are painted with lead, you might want to replace them.
If not, follow the suggestions below:
How to Remove Lead Paint in a Safe Way
Before you start, you should check how the paint looks. Lead paint encapsulation is a safer and less expensive way to fix lead paint that is not peeling or chipping. If the tree needs to be taken down, buy the safety equipment first.
Tools for Getting Rid of Lead Paint
- 6-mil sheeting of plastic
- HEPA respirator
- Paint scraper
- There are many different kinds of paint scrapers. Look for one with replaceable blades that you pull toward you to remove paint. This is not the right way to scrape paint with a putty knife.
- Attachments for power tools that can sand or rub
- Chemicals that take off paint
- Water in a spray bottle
- Wet/dry shop vacuum with a HEPA air filter
- TSP Bucket Sponge is made of tri-sodium phosphate.
You need a HEPA respirator that can filter out lead paint dust. A dust mask won’t do. The best thing to have is a respirator that covers your whole face. Also, your vacuum must have a HEPA filter to get rid of the lead dust the right way.
Get the area ready for a cleanup
Everything in the room must be taken out or covered with two sheets of 6-mil plastic. To keep the germs from spreading to other rooms, you’ll need to use plastic sheeting to seal off the area. Use tape to hang two 6-mil plastic sheets in front of doorways or anywhere else dust could get into a nearby room. The floor should also be covered with two sheets of plastic and taped at the seams and edges to keep dust out. During the cleanup, you should also cover the HVAC ducts and turn off the system.
Start fixing it
The best way to get rid of lead paint is to get rid of as much dust as you can. This is done by keeping the area wet and sanding or scraping it while it is still wet. Use the spray bottle of water to mist the area you’re working on every so often.
As soon as you have the right safety gear on, you can start. Scraping is enough for smaller areas. For larger areas, the best way to remove paint is to use a mix of chemical strippers, power tools, and paint scrapers. If you’re not painting with an encapsulant, the goal is to get rid of all the lead paint. If you are painting with an encapsulant, the goal is to get rid of all the peeling and flaking paint so you can get the surface ready for encapsulation.
How to Get Rid of Lead Paint
- The tool you use will depend on how bad the paint is, how much money you have, how much experience you have, and how big the area is.
- Paint scrapers are cheap, but it takes a long time to get a big area covered. If you use one, buy extra blades and make sure it is always sharp.
- To take off paint, you can use an angle grinder, a cordless drill, a sander, or a tool made just for that. Just make sure you buy the right attachment so you don’t damage the wood underneath the paint. These tools can hurt people and damage walls. Avoid these if you haven’t used power tools before.
- Wet sanding and wet scraping is the safest and least expensive way to get rid of lead paint yourself.
- Taking a break or grabbing lunch? When you leave the room, you must take off your protective gear right away 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. It’s not worth the risk of lead paint contamination.
Use the vacuum to pick up dust and paint chips every so often as you work. The best thing is a wet/dry shop vacuum with a HEPA filter. This will help clean up, get rid of dangerous lead dust in the work area, and keep it from spreading to other parts of the room.
Stop fixing things
Don’t take your safety gear off just yet. Clean up the room by using a vacuum to get rid of any dust that might still be there. Wipe down the cleaned areas 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 so that the dust doesn’t spread. Use the water and TSP to clean the areas that were taped off. This will get rid of any dust that is still there.
After the area has been cleaned up, it’s best to test for lead to make sure none is left behind. You can buy a kit online or at a hardware store near you.
Services of Professional Painters
Contact the Bergen Rockland Painters location near you to find out if they offer services to remove lead paint. Once the problem has been fixed, All Bergen Rockland Painters can add a new coat of paint. After cleaning up, it’s a lot of work to paint the walls. Call us at (973) 846-5552 or fill out our online form to get a free quote for professional painting services.