Latest Discussions : Painting


10:32PM | 02/01/18
Hi all. I am a mom who is currently freaking out. We have a 4 and 1 1/2 year old and are currently renovating/fixing up a 1932 cape that we purchased. We do not currently live there but the kids have been there from time to time. Anyway, as I was painting the kids rooms I noticed the paint on the windowsills chipping heavily. I did an at Home lead test and it tested positive. We had a lead inspection company come in and test the entire house. All of our baseboard moldings, door jambs and doors, staircase, and window frame and sills tested positive. We are currently trying to figure out the best route for DIY abatement. While trying to figure this out I had a sickening feeling come over me. I realized that the staircase that we had professionally sanded was covered in lead paint!! The top of the staircase leads up to both kids rooms and their bathroom. This company obviously didn’t know there was lead present (neither did we at the time) and took no precautions. Now I am freaking out. Are there lead paint particles everywhere on my home now? In my kids rooms/bathrooms? We spent all of the money we saved on this house and now I’m sick to my stomach. I don’t want to put my kids in danger. Please help.

Glenda Taylor

04:14AM | 02/03/18
Member Since: 08/25/17
11 lifetime posts
I can certainly understand how upset you are -- all mothers want only the healthiest environments for their children. It's unfortunate that you already sanded the staircase, and it probably generated quite a bit of dust, but because it was a one-time event, it might not have caused the kind of health impact you're imagining. Not all lead paint needs to be removed from painted surfaces in order for your family to be safe. If the old paint isn't peeling, often the best way to deal with it is to just paint over it.

Just to be on the safe side, I'd check with your local health department and see if they loan out HEPA vacuums, and then vacuum every inch of your home. That would put your mind at ease. If your health department doesn't have one to loan for free, you can rent one from a local rental store. It should cost too much.

Then - paint over old lead paint. It won't harm your children to touch it or rub it -- you just don't want them chewing on paint chips (or inhaling the dust).

You can remove it if you need to -- and we've got an article here on about how to do that.

Keep in mind that the lead exposure health problem are related to continuous chewing of chips or inhaling of dust. Your family, having been exposed just the one time will probably be fine, and you can live very safely in your home. Virtually all homes built before 1970 contain lead-based paint. It doesn't take much to make them safe and beautiful. And, you can do a lot of it yourself -- no need to hire a lead abatement crew.

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