I would be glad to add a clear coating on the surfaces and then add a glass top too. Exactly what type of clear coating, that will seal the lead paint surfaces, does anyone recommend?? thanks!
I have seen this done but not done it myself - the Polycrylic by Miniwax. All loose paint has to be removed first or it will fall off even with the Polycrylic on - anything covering loose paint will fall off when the loose paint falls off. Some ladies in the home deco blog world do this to their chippy paint furniture finds. The blog world is fun for ideas - but the advice is not always expert - just one DIY to another, so keep that in mind.
They use Polyacrylic instead of polyurethane because it yellows less over time.
For example: http://missmustardseed.com/2011/01/top-coats/
Scroll down to where she talks about Polycrylic.
Thanks for all your advice everyone! I think that I will choose caution and not use my lead painted door for a kitchen table. I think I will try the Polyacrylic on it and find a place to display it. I will also remove it whenever my grandchildren come over :) Thanks much!
I don't think you need to put it away when the grandchildren are over - as long as they don't like to chew on furniture and as long as paint isn't falling off of it for a child or pet to crawl through. You are more likely to hurt yourself carring a large door around:)
My daughter and her husband purchased this beautiful old door that had been transformed into a dining table. It was perfect for their growing family. The door had been polyurethaned. This year a routine lead test during one of the children's appointments revealed the child had lead poisoning. Subsequent testing was done on the other three children and they all showed high levels of lead poisoning. The three youngest had dangerously high levels of lead poisoning.
The Health Department came in to isolate the source of the lead and it revealed that the old door, now table, was the source. As it turns out, the underside of the door was where the highest source of lead was found. The investigators explained to my daughter that the underside of the door sheds lead-laden dust and children will play under the table, eat food they have dropped under the table and therefore are exposed to the hazards that were there as well. As tempting as the old door is, it is probably best to forego the table especially if you have young kids. I am attaching a photo of my daughter's table to this post.