Q: My husband and I have recently purchased a house built in 1917. I decided before adding another layer of paint to the many layers, I would strip the old paint off first. We used a heat gun on one section and indoor paste stripper on another section. Both methods took awhile, with the stripping paste being the messiest. I also later did a home lead paint test and it came out positive. What is the safest, easiest and fastest way to get rid of the old paint? We would like to do all the rooms, but need to stick to our budget. Is it necessary to hire a professional to remove the paint since we know there are some layers of lead paint? – Tina, Lincolnton, North Carolina

A: Steve Thomas replies: Lead paint is only dangerous when it becomes detached from the wall and can be ingested by children, for whom it is extremely dangerous, and adults, for whom it is only slightly less dangerous. An amateur attempt at lead removal can contaminate your entire house and leave you with a Superfund site for which you are responsible. We recommend that you hire a professional to remove lead paint. I personally wouldn't touch it.
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