Lead Paint Removal?

We would like to strip off the paint on the wood trim inside our home and we purchased a Silent Paint Remover, which worked with somewhat mixed results. The major problem is, the previous owners have painted over the lead paint w/a latex paint (an UGLY dark turquoise - which is partly the impetus for our "project") and under the latex paint is old varnish or shellac (not sure which - probably shellac if we had to guess - the house is nearly 150 years old). Our other concern is since it's heating the different types of paint to different levels, we wind up scraping a lot of it after removing the lion's share and we're afraid we're causing a lot of lead particles to be released into the air and on surfaces, etc. (We have no children, but are thinking of trying to start a family sometime next year - yet another reason to remove the lead paint - and based upon that plan, we don't want to build up the lead levels in our bodies either.)
Anyway, we were looking on-line at the many chemical (and supposedly non-toxic) strippers - figuring it would at least encapsulate the lead paint more than scraping it dry. Has anyone tried any of the following?
Removall 310 Peel-Away Soy-Gel
Or anything else you could recommend? Again, this is our INTERIOR pine trim (and LOTS of it - the whole 3-story house in fact - windows and all!) - and we would like to get to the bare wood so we can stain it to match the staircase. I must say the Silent Paint Remover *does* get to the bare wood, but it also requires scraping off the shellac or varnish once it's cooled and doesn't get into the corners/edges very well, so those will have to be sanded if we continue w/this method - creating a LOT of lead dust. It seemed like an economical solution at the time - w/a one-time investment instead of a lot of chemicals that had to be purchased, but we're thinking it may not have been the wisest choice for our health.
Thank you in advance for your responses - any and all suggestions would be appreciated! Nicole
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The home improvement show with Norm Abrams did a good test of these products a while back..
If you can do some PBS tape/program library searches, I'm sure you will find them and get some good direction..
BTW. It is my understanding that the effects of lead would be on you and your wifes brain, but wouldn't be passed on or cause birth defects. However if you are going to have children and will be raising them in this house, you should remove or cover this paint so it won't be flake or ablate. Normally these concerns are confined to the interior of older house while the exteriors are repainted to encapsulate the lead based paint.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, I saw that comparison show - and have the This Old House magazine for that particular episode (which has them pictured w/out even using so much as a dust mask).......just wondered if anyone in the newsgroup has tried any of these methods first-hand themselves though.......(and that's the very reason we chose the Silent Paint Remover in the first place). And for those that are curious, you can still find the article (w/pictures) archived at the This Old House website - it's the Winchester project.
When we really looked at how the Silent Paint Remover is working, it *is* doing an excellent job softening the paint - both the latex layer and what we assume to be the lead layer - but it's not touching the shellac, which is what we're scraping. So, having said that, I'm thinkin' we're pretty safe b/c the paint is coming off in rubbery globs. It's the shellac we're struggling with - although it may be a *good* thing there's shellac between the lead layer and the wood b/c then when we sand the wood before staining, there shouldn't really be any lead in the surface of the wood. So I guess my subject line should've been - "removing shellac?"
And I failed to mention, we are using 3M's respirator masks specifically designed for Lead Paint Abatement - Model # 8233.
Thanks, Nicole

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've never done what you are trying to do, but the issue of lead paint came up for me recently and I ended up doing a lot of internet reading and searching on the topic.
One thing I found that may be of interest to you is an inexpensive do-it-yourself lead paint test kit. The website about this is at: http://www.leadinspector.com / I bought the 100 Test Pack for $29.95 plus shipping, but haven't tried it yet.
The reason that I mention this is that it might make sense for you to find out which areas of your house have lead paint and which do not.
I think the issue of sanding could be problematic because it will tend to spread the lead-based particles everywhere in the house. I think that I read that the solution to lead paint on interior would trim is either to paint and encapsulate, or remove and replace all of the painted wood trim, windows, etc. If you are planning on having children soon, you might want to re-think whether it is worth the risk to try to strip and remove all of the old paint since that might create a greater hazard than just painting and encapsulating what's already there.
There is also the issue of lead on the exterior paint and, as a result, in the ground around your house. So, you might want to check that too.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I looked into this some time ago since my house has some lead paint. I think the danger is overblown for non-pregnant adults. Particles like you describe basically pass through the body. If you drink enough water, any lead that gets into the bloodstream gets flushed out before it can do any harm (lead is, after all, a perfectly natural substance in trace amounts). If you look at the amount of lead that adults need to ingest before showing symptoms of poisoning, it is quite a large amount over a substantial period of time.
You are right, of course, to want to remove the lead before having children. But I wouldn't let immediate health concerns interfere with completing your work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.