How to Strip Years of Paint Off a House
Dealing With Lead
Stripping paint from any house built before 1978 raises the question of lead. Given the number of coats on the Winchester house, Clark had no doubt about the presence of the heavy metal. In the past, getting rid of lead required hiring a licensed—and costly—abatement contractor to remove and dispose of the lead-laced paint. But changed in Massachusetts in 2001, according to Jim Roberts, an environmental analyst with the state's Department of Environmental Protection: "Massachusetts adopted federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that reclassify lead paint residue from a residence as household waste. The idea is that if it is easier for homeowners to dispose of lead, they will be more likely to remove it from their homes." For Clark and crew, it meant that they could do the work—if they took the mandated safety precautions—and that all the paint they removed from the house could simply be bagged up and chucked into the trash.
How to Remove and Contain Lead Paint
with Lead paint abatement specialist Ron Pelk, This Old House television
Click the link for a 3 minute video.
8 to 12 hours for an average-size room
$500 to $2,000 for an average-size room
Difficulty: Hard requires special tools and equipment; this job is best left to a licensed pro
In this video, Lead paint abatement specialist Ron Pelk shows the safe, proper way to dispose of lead paint.
1. Use a paint scraper to remove the paint from the outside corners of baseboard.
2. Collect the lead-paint dust using a special HEPA vacuum.
3. Install new drywall over walls that contain lead.
4. Remove doors and mantelpieces and bring to a commercial refinisher who has a dip tank for chemically stripping off the old paint.
5. Use a hammer and pry bar to remove all moldings that will be replaced by new wood.
6. After removing the moldings, use a HEPA vacuum to collect lead-paint dust.
7. Insulate the voids around the windows and exterior doors prior to replacing the interior trim.
8. Once all the lead paint has been removed, wash all surfaces in the entire room with a TSP solution.