How To Remove Lead Based Paint

Dated: 11/08/2017

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If your home was built prior to 1978, then there's a chance it may contain lead-based paint. This is something you'd know going into the purchase of the home because the state of California requires the seller provide a lead-based paint disclosure to the buyer. That being said, many sellers may not have any knowledge of lead-based paint in the home so, if you're the buyer, you too may have no knowledge of it. After all, the seller has to disclose only what they know about the property. Even if you didn't buy recently, you may still have an issue if you live anywhere in Orange County with 1960s home builds and haven't repainted: Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Orange, the list goes on. So how do you get rid of lead-based paint? While we recommend hiring a licensed professional to remove and repaint, if you're looking to DIY, Bob Vila has the answers.

Step 1: Remove furniture, rugs, and all personal items in the room you're working on. It's good to start with one room at a time to reduce the risk of spreading hazardous dust.

Step 2: Spread 6 mm plastic sheeting over the entire floor using duct tape to secure the edges.

Step 3: Turn off your HVAC system and use plastic sheeting to cover any heating/air vents, ducts, etc.

Step 4: Fill a large plastic bucket halfway with warm water and bring sponges and wash rags

Step 5: Protect yourself. This is the most important step. If you're doing this yourself, don't be fooled that this hazardous stuff can't get to you. Be sure to come prepared with a lead-rated respirator mask fitted with an approved HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, NOT a dust mask. Goggles and rubber gloves will also be necessary. 

Step 6: Spray chipped or peeling paint with a spray bottle of water. The key to removing lead-based paint is working wet.

Step 7: Scrape away loosened bits of paint with a hand scraper.

Step 8: Spray the area again and sand with sanding sponges. The key here is keeping the area wet while you're working.

Step 9: Clean the area with a dampened sponge as you go, removing any residual debris.

Step 10: Clean up the work area when your done. Do a thorough vacuum and deep clean. Vacuum over the plastic first before removing the plastic to prevent any hazardous dust from spreading.


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Kurt Galitski DRE 01348644