Lead paint worry - please help!

Discussion in 'Painters' Talk' started by chris8899, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. chris8899

    chris8899 New Member

    Hi everyone. Decided to do lead paint testing in our house and three doorframes and architraves came back positive upstairs and slight traces on front window frame downstairs.

    We have arranged a builder to come round in a couple of weeks to replace all doorframes and architraves upstairs and getting a quote for upvc window for the downstairs one (trace here was inbetween old window and current frame) which will rip out all the woodwork there too. Plus a new front door as the wood round it showed traces too.

    we have lived here several years and the main bedroom architrave has looked like the pic since we moved in. We haven’t sanded it or touched it really.

    My concerns are - when the builder comes in to remove is it going to create a storm of toxic lead dust everywhere (albeit we will ensure dust sheets etc) and how long is that an issue for?

    have we been exposed already to lead from its very existence?

    we are trying for a baby so should we stop until this is sorted or is that being over the top?

    Lastly the test goes red even on the bare wood on this pic. Would this mean lead paint was there previously and seaped into the wood? Is that better?! Not sure if the tiny bits of dark red paint you can see are the actual lead ones as being red paint could they also turn the swab red anyway?!

    any help much appreciated as driving myself a little insane.


  2. chris8899

    chris8899 New Member

    Pic attached! The white paint doesn’t come up as lead just some of the wood and the red sections.

    Attached Files:

  3. chris8899

    chris8899 New Member

    Frame 3 and frame 2 shown here and round front door

    Attached Files:

  4. teabreak

    teabreak Screwfix Select

    Worry not, most of the panic stuff you read on the net comes from the US where they go way over the top! A lot you will find is linked to "Ambulance Chaser" lawyers or removal companies.
    Sure it is a bad idea to sand old lead paint to produce lots of fine dust and even worse to burn it and inhale the fumes. Not something you do day to day.
    True children were at risk when their cot or toys were painted with it and they chewed the paint off, causing sickness and some concerns about brain development, but while still present it was greatly reduced around the 1960's.
    Lead primer was common which has outlasted modern paints by decades but has not been sold for many years.
    I suspect the test wipes tend to be a trifle over sensitive to err on the safe side.
    Flaking paint unless you eat it poses no risk, ripping out the old frames should not cause any contamination just clean dust sheets and a normal clean up after and you should be good to go!
    To add to the lead question, I played with lead soldiers which my dad cast in a pan on the kitchen stove, set lead type at school, breathed fumes from leaded petrol, worked with lead pipe as a gas fitter and ate my lunch with black hands I will be 72 this month still drinking water from lead water pipes and while I don't claim to be any Einstein the old brain still seems to work pretty well! ;);)
    Jord86 likes this.
  5. Okoak

    Okoak Active Member

    Oh good God almighty, just stop worrying! "release a toxic storm of Lead"??? "have we been exposed to lead due to its very existence?"
    It's a bit of old paint not a weekend wild camping in Chernobyl.
    Jord86 and teabreak like this.
  6. GS63

    GS63 Member

    You have to be careful with lead but I don't think you have anything to worry about in your situation.

    I've been working with lead since the early 90's ( architectural stained glass design, manufacture & repair ). Apart from one period a few years ago my lead levels have been OK. ( The raised lead levels were caused by soldering fumes - we moved workshop like & idiot I didn't sort ventilation / extraction out well enough ).

    As tea break says be careful about sanding old paint. If you have to, get a P3 dust mask & wipe down with damp cloths or blue roll. Chuck the cloths away afterwards.

    If you're happy with the function & appearance of your door frames / architraves I'd keep them. They're probably made of better quality timber than the ones you'll be replacing them with.
  7. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Take it easy ! There was more lead in the air between 50’s to 80’s when petrol was leaded to improve octane rating and reduce knock. Worse, the lead was in the form of an organic compound, possibly the most dangerous form. Most of us who lived through this decades are still here.

    take all care and precautions as needed but do not panic.
  8. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Even a weekend in the forests around Chernobyl is unlikely to kill you. People have been living there for the last twenty odd years, drinking local water and eating local produce ! There are even organised tours, taking sensible precautions of course! :D
  9. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Sand over it all using wet and dry paper then you will have zero problem. Apply a coat of Bullseye 123 then undercoat followed by 2 top coats (Use water base paint)

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