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Lead paint! how do i identify?

Good Afternoon,

I have recently bought a flat which was built in 1906, the flat is in desperate need of decoration but I am unsure if there is lead paint present.
The flat has a lot of painted surfaces Doors, skirting boors, dado and picture rails. It would be preferable to strip these back to the wood and re-paint.

Please could you advise me as to how I identify if lead paint has been used previously?

It is possible that lead paint has been covered with modern paint over the years.

The only advice I have received so far is lead test kits can be bought at DIY stores but I can't find them anywhere...

If Lead paint is present how do I get rid of it?

Many Thanks

4 Answers from MyBuilder Painters & Decorators

Best Answer

There is far more worst things in the air you breath all around you today than small lead content in old paints. If your really concerned pay for a local decorator to risk it ,at least you will live.

2012-06-27T14:05:01+01:00

Answered 27th Jun 2012

Hi, As a rule of thumb any property that is over 40 years old will have some lead based paint in it. I have copied the correct procedure on dealing with lead based paint from the HSE so that there is no misunderstanding of the correct way to deal with the situation- Hope this helps and good luck in your new home. - Jacqui and Trevor - TrueColours.
How to deal with lead paint safely

The easiest way to deal with lead paintwork, if it is in good condition, is to paint over it with a coat of modern paint. This will seal in the lead and prevent it from causing harm.

If you have to remove lead paint to redecorate, use methods that don’t create dust or fumes, for example:
•use a solvent-based or caustic paint stripper
•choose a water-based, solvent-free paint remover

•use a hot-air gun to soften the paint, but don’t let it get hot enough to burn it off (as this releases fumes)

If you are using a hot air gun, keep surfaces moist when removing paint, and make sure your gun is set to below 450 degrees Celsius.


If you use a solvent-based paint stripper, you should dispose of it responsibly at a household waste and recycling centre. Contact your local council to find out where there is one near you.

2012-07-02T17:45:01+01:00

Answered 2nd Jul 2012

There is a good chance that the paint used is lead based. If you are going to remove it, use a liquid paint stripper rather than burn it or sand off, the risk is in the dust which will have lead in it, so use gloves and dust masks

2012-06-30T15:10:02+01:00

Answered 30th Jun 2012

There is a high chance that the paint used is lead based.

If you are going to remove it I'd suggest a chemical remover rather than burn it or sand off.

It doesn't really pose that much of a risk when you consider all the risks you encounter every day !

It poses more risk removing it than painting over it so don't forget to wear your gloves and face mask and dispose of the waste correctly.

2012-06-27T14:05:01+01:00

Answered 27th Jun 2012

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