Lead Paint - best way to deal with it?

We have a lovely old house from 1910s, it been maintained well, with many layers of paint, especially on wooden doors, trims, frames, architraves etc… The diagnostic at purchase indicated lead in the paint in these areas.

We are now renovating… what should we do with these items? We would like to keep the old features.

Should we get our plasterer/painter to take on this job (dealing with the removal of the lead paint)?

Send the doors out to be dip stripped? Cost of this? What is this called in french???

Strip it back with waterproof type sandpaper (avoiding dust) and all other recommended (but tedious) precautions… as per British Coating Federation etc.

Or just paint over it, knowing that it’s still there, and every layer of paint reduces the beauty and depth in the original woodwork (part of the houses charm!).

I might add… we have 2 kids under the age of 5 and would like to have another… sooner than later… so am thinking I would like to avoid the work myself… probably…

No doubt you will be inundated with various methods for removing or covering over the paint. As far as dipping is concerned the chemicals used were banned in Europe several years ago. The UK is possibly the only place now where the practice is still allowed. If your painter is happy to deal with it I would let him as long as he knows what he is dealing with.

Hi there

As you already have 2 kids under 5… I would suggest you have the lead removed rather than merely painted over…

Any good painter will know how to do this properly. So have it done, at least to the height’s to which the kids can reach/will be reaching. It is amazing to see what a small person will chew on… dig at… etc etc… and there’s no sense in leaving things to chance…

best of luck

Thanks, didn’t know that!


When we bought our Property… the Notaire highlighted the lengthy “lead” report and told us that, because of the dangers, we should show the report to anyone who was/would be working on the house…

No idea if your Notaire did that, but it is a good idea anyway… keeps everyone up-to-date and safe…:innocent:

Hello Jenifer,
I am a time served painter and decorator, with more certificates than you could shake a stick at. (A lot of studying, happy F@§Xing memories). Anyway, if there is a cheap way to get piece of the wood and paint tested, try that first, there might not be any lead and like Rik said a painter should know how to handle it. But, make sure you stipulated NO DRY SANDING in or around the house.
The method I would use is, Liquid paint remover, it’s messy but you won’t get dust in the air or on your skin. I was an apprentice in the 1970’s and the British had stopped using lead paint for woodwork at least a decade before that, I suspect the french did likewise. I have worked with lead paint for many years, but always on iron. Most lead paint used on woodwork was white or light in colour, although it was probable use in a lot of colours. If you can get the doors dipped then do so, then that’s half the problem taken care of.

If you do it yourself, Take the door out back and lie them flat, then apply the paint remover, You might have to put on 3 coats and leave it for hours, you don’t have to scrap off between coats, if you see it drying out put more on the dry areas. Try and understand the instructions, as there are various types, follow the instructions until you get the hang of it. As for the frames and windows, you will need lots of thick plastic or rubber sheets and masking tape, Test the paint remover on the sheets before you begin, the sheets might melt.
It’s a hell of a job, avoid doing it yourself unless you really want to give it go. Some people like doing this sort of thing, but then they’re usually accustomed to wearing thickly padded overalls