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Question about chipped paint on doors & trim.

I am helping a friend re-model a house built in 1920. After reading all the posts re: paint, I see mention of testing paint for lead. Can someone explain that? I called the gov't. # about lead base paint and they recommend replaceming the doors and trim in question. We want to remove old gloss paint (I am guessing it could be as old as the '50's) which is terribly chipped and re-paint, using primer and then latex semi-gloss. We have 2 doors in the room we are presently working on which can be worked on outside but the frames can only be done inside with ventilation.

What safety precautions and products/methods does anyone recomend?

Re: Question about chipped paint on doors & trim.

You can assume that a house of that age has lead paint in it. Lead was the white pigment used in good paints before being banned in the early 70's. If you are chemically stripping the cabintes, I would not be too concerned with the lead as you will not be creating dust. Most strippers create a heavy waste paste residue which is merely scrapped off and then rubbed down with fine steel wool and a solvent such as lacquer thinner. Again no dust is created. Normally, very little sanding of the newly bared wood is neccessary.
As to the new finish, you will get better end results with an oil based primer and finish coat. Oils level themselves better and result in a much harder , non-sticky surface. The only down side to oil is that whites tend to yellow with age.

Re: Question about chipped paint on doors & trim.

Thank you to ordjen for the reply. I have started on the part that can be done outside. Not my favorite project but will be nice when it is done.

I'd rather be quilting!


Re: Question about chipped paint on doors & trim.

I don't think you should assume it's lead based. My house was built in 1893 and the woodwork is covered in ugly pink paint and some other colors but I have discovered that there is beautiful wood underneath once I started on my first project, which is stripping the doors. I began this project by buying a paint lead test at Lowe's and testing the paint with a chip of it. No lead. I used all three tests in the kit jut to make sure. My conclusion....The previous owner put all this hideous paint on in the last 20 years or since however long it's been that paint hasn't had lead.
So before you assume that the paint has lead in it just because of the age of the house and go through all the trouble to specially dispose of it and all....test it. The tests aren't expensive. If I remember right, it was less than $5.
This is, of course, unless you've owned the house longer than non-lead paint has been in style.

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