This group might be cool. 1921 craftsman home. All original. Ten layers of
paint, that tests positive for lead. Beautyful cedar bevel siding in great
shape. Lots of soffets, overhangs, posts, etc. Two and a half storys above
ground, half below. Any ideas on stripping down to bare wood, and starting
all over with quality paint job??
thanxs, mick (ima joker) D.
<< Any ideas on stripping down to bare wood, and starting
all over with quality paint job?? >>
Such a project will be incredibly time consuming. Better do a cost estimate as
best you can of strip/repaint vs. replace siding. No.1 red cedar is available
(be sitting down when you get the price quote). There are mechanical paint
strippers that will bag the residue, IIRC Porter-Cabler makes one. Beyond that
you will need chemical strippers and heat guns or strip heaters like the
www.silentpaintremover.com and scrapers on detail work. Plan on taking your
next long vacation in about 4 years if you get really involved. Good luck.
I own a vintage 1950 home. I am removing all the paint as the entire
house has wallpaper as a base coat with several layers of paint over
that. The wallpaper makes it easy to remove all the previous layers
of paint off the plaster. I wear a respirator whener I am using the
heat gun or sanding. Then again, I wear it when I am cutting wood or
doing anything else that creates dust (even sweeping sometimes). But
that's all I so. Anything more is overkill. I put lead paint dust in
the same category as second hand smoke, except that lead paint
probably isn't as harmful.
I didn't bother checking for lead paint either, as it's impossible to
check every layer of every type of paint used on the house. I just
assume that it all is and wear my respirator.
unless you like the thought of lead poisoning (adult can get it as well as
kids), make sure that you keep the surface you're sanding/grinding/scraping
wet. The hazard is the dust - as long as you keep it wet, it won't get
airborn and into your lungs. If you want to be up to code, you'll also need
to trap all of the slurry/mud and dispose of it in a hazmat site.
If you're really seriouse about doing a complete job, plan on taking down
all the lead painted wood (with lead precautions) and replacing it.
Now for the practical part:
Lead poisoning just means that you've got a lot of lead in your blood
stream. It plays hell with certain neural processes (competes with Calcium)
and can also cause problems in bonce. The bone problems are long term - if
you have high lead concentrations for along time, the lead will replace some
of the calcium in your bones, then when you get older and your bones
decalcify (happens to everyone - part of geting older) the lead is released
again, and you get a recurrence of the lead poisoning. Treatment for lead
poisoning (in adults) takes on of 3 paths, depending on the severity of the
1: stop the lead exposure and just wait for your system to get rid of it
2: stop the lead exposure, and take fairly high doses of iron. Causes
conostipation or diarhea depending on individual and formulation
3: chelation. This pretty much sucks rocks. Check into a hospital, get
pumped full of chemicals that chelate the lead, and spend a couple of weeks
puking your guts out, eating througha tube, and being about as miserable as
you can imagine. Follow up with #2.
Lead poisoning in little kids (under 5 is the federal limit now) causes
problems becuase their nervouse systems (brain in particular) are still
developing. The lead competes with Calcium and other metals, and screws up
the developmental processes. Effects can be anything from none to pretty
The most effective practical method I've used for lead abatement is to use a
good chemical jelly paint stripper (I like 5F5). The surface is always wet
(with stripper), and the paint comes off in a goopy sludge. It can be dumped
into a bucket and dealt with pretty easily, with very little real exposure.
The wood needs to be sealed after stripping (there's still lead int he wood,
so don't sand it). For stuff like baseboards and door trim, I just replace
it - its not worth the hassle of stripping unless its something really
Outside is tougher - the ground around the house is probably contaminated
(don't plant a vegetable or herb garden close to the house), but that
shouldn't matter unless you're planning to eat dirt..... If you're stripping
the outside and the EPA or OSHA finds out, be prepared for some major grief.
The town next to ours recently hada bit of fun. Some one hired a
fly-by-night painter to scrape and paint his house. He used power sanders to
do the stripping. The local code enforcement offixcer happened to notice,
and somehow the EPA got involved. They ended up shutting down (evacuating)
something like 5 blocks of residences and businesses while they went through
the whole area and did lead cleanup (basically you need to damp mop all of
the surfaces). I don't know who ended up footing the bill, but the painter
(uninsured) and the homeowner both took major ($100K+) financial hits.
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