Nervous in Newcastle: could this be lead paint?

Discussion in 'Painters' Talk' started by bubbagump, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. bubbagump

    bubbagump New Member

    Hi all :)

    Having just bought our first home I'm v new to this whole DIY thing so apologies if these Qs are daft.

    Started painting my landing the other day and long story short it bubbled - clearly there was wallpaper underneath. The first few strips (under where I'd painted) came off dead easy, but the rest of it has been a chore. My partner and I set about it yesterday - we have masks and goggles but we took the masks off after a bit as it was sweltering and it wasn't too dusty. Underneath the paper there are a couple layers of paint, and some mostly ok plaster. We bought a wallpaper steamer but it was broken, so we were just using elbow grease and metal strippers.

    We've managed to get a couple bits up (smaller patches pictured, larger patches came off more easily downstairs), but as I was falling asleep last night I had the horrid thought it could be lead paint under the paper. I've ordered a testing kit which is coming soon (hopefully today).

    The house was built in 1912 - I know the majority of houses built in the first half of the 20thc are basically guaranteed to have *some* lead paint, however I'm now freaking out I've poisoned my partner and our cats. If the test is positive, do I have to get us tested, or will the exposure be minimal?

    Also, is there a safe way to remove the wallpaper if the paint underneath is lead? When we get a working steamer, will this be safe to use on it? Or should we just cut our losses and get some pros in?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  2. teabreak

    teabreak Screwfix Select

    Very unusual to find lead paint on a wall, lead is mostly gloss or undercoat on woodwork. Normally water based on walls very often old wall paint pre 1950 is distemper if so a steamer will shift it as will scrubbing with sugar soap, a nasty messy job. if it is not at all chalky chances are it is just emulsion not a worry but very hard to strip as it soaks in to the plaster.
    bubbagump likes this.
  3. bubbagump

    bubbagump New Member

    Thanks @teabreak :) that's really reassuring!
    teabreak likes this.

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