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Barn Siding

We have been given a large amount of very weathered barn siding. We would like to use it as wainscotting in our finished basement. We would like to preserve the old weathered finish. However, I am sure that it contains lead paint.

Is there any way to seal the boards as is.

Re: Barn Siding

The raw, weathered boards can certainly be encapsulated in a clear urethane or acrylic coating. A low sheen acrylic would be the less likely to alter the look of the wood, as it dries crystal clear. I would coat the boards before cutting and excessive handling. I would be reluctant to do any sanding or wire brushing to clean the wood. A scrub brush and water would be useful in cleaning off surface dirt without raising dust or disturbing the old patina of the wood.

If there is any concern about freeing up lead to the air, it would be during the cutting to adapted the boards to their new location. This could certainly be done in a remote location from the interior of the house, so as to not free up contaminated sawdust in the house.

Touching up of the new, raw cuts can be done with stain after the wood is up and then a final coat of clear coat given.

Wearing a lead rated dust mask and washing your work clothing separately from your regular wash would not be a bad idea through this project.

Re: Barn Siding

Why not test it & be sure. Lead test kits are cheap.

Re: Barn Siding

I'd be interested in buying the scrap cuts from you, pieces that are at least 16 inches. I can reuse the wood for our hand painted historic house sign plaques now that we are making 2-sided hanging signs. Please contact me if interested. Thanks and good luck.

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