heat gun and lead paint

I am thinking about purchasing a heat gun to handle old paint in my house. I tested the paint, which I presumed for years was lead-based (and sealed under layers of modern paint, but the test came clean. I am no fool and there has to be SOME lead paint in my house though. I am thinking about purchasing a heat gun and was told by a friend that if I keep the heat at 450 degrees then I probably wouldn't have problems with it.
I have seen walls and molding with 5-7 layers of paint. Chemical peels were a total disaster. They never worked more than 90% of the time.
I have, basically 12-18 window and door frames to repaint, a staircase, a mantle, and 3 full rooms.
What's your advice on this one? Brand recommendations?
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The vapor pressure (and thus the hazard) of lead at 450 deg F is close to zero.
However, wholesale removal of paint with an electric heat gun is like painting with a toothbrush: painstakingly slow. They just don't produce much heat and little of what they do produce is transferred usefully to the work.
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The best stripper that I ever used was called Peel Away and in one application it removed decades of paint layers down to the bare wood. It is non-toxic and prevents the release of lead into the air. A painter recommended it to me several years ago. The stuff is a paste and is covered with a plastic sheet that is included and you just let it sit overnight and peel away the paint layers the next day. With many layers some scraping may be required. There was some areas that needed to be cleaned off with water and a scouring pad, but it did a fabulous job for me. Much better than any petroleum based product that I have used in the past.
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On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 18:25:37 -0500, "John Grabowski"

I suppose for the parts that need a scouring pad, the OP could try a heat gun. Then he would know firsthand how well it worked, and be grateful he hadn't tried to do the whole project with it.
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harbor freight has cheap heat guns, i use one of theirs infrequently at work. at least good enough quality for testing
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1. Don't chew the painted surfaces. 2. With 5-7 layers of paint, I'd expect maybe the first two or 3 to be lead-based and the rest not. In other words, nothing I'd worry about.
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I would think it'd be easier to just replace the window and door frames. Unless the moldings are historically significant. You don't state the age of your house.
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BT: Might be okay in a newer house, but a lot of work in an older one with 10" baseboards and lots of molding around the windows. I know. I tried this in one room. After that, the rest had the top 20-year-old layer of latex paint wet-scuffed with sandpaper, loose chips removed, the whole works washed with TSP and warm water, and recoated with good quality latex paint. In twenty years it will need recoating, and at that point I'll decide if I want to recoat it again with whatever space-age paint they are making, or what. AND that's probably the last time I'll ever have to make that decision.
These rooms had paint-grade pine moldings anyhow (or rather, what was paint-grade in 1908 and is now fine cabinet-grade. :) ) Downstairs has really nice hardwood under that paint (philistines) and I will have to consider that separately...stripping is a lot of work.
Removing and replacing all that wood is difficult, costly, and in the end I probably released more lead dust than I would have otherwise...I took every precaution to contain it, of course, giving some acquaintances cause to pass on stories about their paranoid freakazoid friend, but hey, my son's blood tests were normal and that's all I care about. These precautions also paid dividends in elevated spousal temper levels...they kept patching-plaster dust off the living room floor. Precautions were putting down a plastic dropcloth, wet-mopping with TSP instead of vacuuming, and changing clothes & shoes after working.
And even if you've got the time, there is still that money...6 panel doors and 10" baseboards...
A P
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Man up!
Lead paint won't hurt you.
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at least work in a well ventilated area, windows open fan blowing fumes away from you and out window.
replacement windows with new trim will save you long term.... better sealed windows for lower heating bills, and added home value at resale.
i once saw my neigbor strip and redo all his steel casement windows one summer ollie did a great job.
2 years later he replaced them all since they were so cold and still leaked...
he sadly wasted one summer of his life
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Wouldn't the heat cause the window glass to break? I know I broke a few using a paint heater, but it was the electric heating element variety. It was almost useless around windows because of this.
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On Feb 27, 4:45pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

See page 9 http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/library/lead/LeadSafetyFieldGuide.pdf
Better bet -- read the whole guide.
Best bet: Take a course. They are free. http://www.leadsafetraining.org / You'll run into other issues down the road so you might as well learn to solve them.
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Thanks for all the comments.
The house is roughly 90 years old now depending on what document to believe.
90% of what I want to clean is possibly replaceable. However 10% is irreplaceable ornate wood, so I may want to focus just on that.
I used PeelAway as a sample on one door and frame and it took me three weekends, $100+ worth of product, and I still never got more than 90% of the paint off- which means for a 7 ft door we had about 10 inches of paint left on. Then the glue that held the wood together dripped off and the panels started to warp. Peelaway basically didn't work even thought it worked the best of all the chemical peels.
I think I'm going to just buy a heat gun used and test it out.
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On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 13:45:42 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Back in the day (like 40 yrs ago), my brothers and I stripped a number of houses with blowtorches. Now, I use a heat gun, run at max temp. (The nameplate says 212-1000 deg, 1400 Watts.) IMO, you need serious heat. As someone said above, just don't eat the stuff.
(AFAICT, I don't have serious cognitive impairment. Of course, I'd be the last to know.)
George
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theres some evidence high exposure to lead, causes memory loss in old age............
you could get a old guy to do the stripping he will have nothing to lose.........
seriously just do it well ventilated
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