Several years ago, lead-based paints were the standard. If your house is more than thirty years old, there is a big chance that it has lead paint. Original owners of course know what paint your house has. But if there are former occupants of the house, you may want to have your home get a new touch of paint. Beware of the paint coating and know if it is toxic or not.
Lead paint is toxic paint. Lead can cause permanent harmful effects on organs and the brain. It is very harmful to the environment. You cannot just dispose of lead paint anywhere. It is disposed according to toxic waste disposal.
Remove a lead-based paint from a door through the following procedure.
- Prepare yourself by wearing a respirator, eye protection, gloves and clothing that can be dispose after the job.
- Remove the hinge pins of the door by lifting it off.
- Carry the door to an open workspace like a garage or a barn.
- Determine how many layers of paint you will be dealing with.
- Start removing paint with chemical strippers because it is much safer than sanding and scraping. Don't forget to use your safety gear: Safety goggles, rubber globes, respirators, and disposable paper coveralls.
- Use electric heat guns or infrared paint stripper to soften the paint for easy scraping and removal.
- A paste type stripper may also be used for the molding to cling. When the paint is soft, it bubbles and ready for scraping.
- Loose paint can now be scraped by the use a wide putty knife. Brushes are the best tools for removing loose paint.
- Remove the remaining layer by a different kind of stripper. Sometimes, even if you had already removed much paint, there are still remaining layers of paint to be removed.
- Paste alkaline stripper is stronger than the first chemical stripper. It is a paste form and doesn't have any fumes but you still have to protect your eyes and hands. Apply the alkaline stripper with a putty knife.
- Keep the alkaline stripper overnight. For this stripper to really work, it needs to be wet for 24 hours. Cover the stripper with a freezer paper firmly pressed on its top to avoid as much air as possible.
- Next morning, get a putty knife to remove the freezer paper and paint together. If there are still remaining strippers or paint that can't be scraped off, use sponge and water to wash them off.
- After removing all the paint, you can then stain and polish the door. You dry it, and sand it, then prime and repaint it.
- Attempt one last application of stripper if some more paints are not removed.
Indeed, lead paint is toxic paint. But if you know how to deal with it, you can repaint or re-varnish your door and even your house without leaving any harmful effect to you and to the environment.