I know eating lead paint chips can
hurt kill you but until recently I didn’t know what limited exposure to lead paint could do to you. Google it and you will not want to come within 50 feet of the stuff. It’s kind of like using WebMD to search “headache” or “lower back pain”. Within 2 minutes, you’ve self diagnosed yourself with cancer and/or a brain tumor. All kidding aside, if you’re working with lead paint, definitely research it heavily and follow the EPA guidelines (which I think recommends hiring a professional)…says the DIYer
Why all the lead paint chatter, you may be thinking? I recently bought a very old (guessing early 1900′s) shutter from an antique shop and plan to strip it, paint it and turn it into wall art. The beauty in a good DIYer is that you can see the beauty in something even when people (or your husband) call it “junk”. Due to it’s age and appearance, I had a hunch this was lead paint but wanted to be certain, so I purchased a lead paint tester from Lowes for $26! Coming from the gal who will not spend over $30 for a DIY project, this was a lot.
As soon as I got home from Lowes, I suited up and tested this bad boy. Results were (drum roll please….) positive. whamp, whamp, whamp….
According to the instructions, if the swab on the tester or the paint chip turns pink or red then lead is present in the paint. This tester didn’t show the exact amount of lead present, but can one guess that pink is low and red is high? Any thoughts here? (As a disclaimer please do your own research/contact a professional for advice.)
So now that the truth was on the table (or in this case shutter), it was time to get down to business. The research that I did, advised against chipping the paint as this causes dust, so I bought one can of Jasco Paint Remover (thinking it would do the job…).
Wearing very thick protective gloves and a face mask, I sprayed the remover liberally all over the shutter. I watched and waited for about 10 minutes, geeking out a little at how it kicked the paint’s butt. Scrapping the paint off had a major cool factor to me because I was totally one of the kids that put glue all over her hands in second grade just to be able to slowly peel it off. (Come on, admit it, you know you did it too!) The not-so-cool part was that the paint remover only took off two layers. Little did I know there were three plus layers of lead paint underneath it.
Needless to say, I’ll be back at Lowe’s tomorrow for another can or 5.