Strip paint safely

Home Paint It - - ADVICE -

We live in an old farm­house and the door frames and wooden ceil­ings still have some of the orig­i­nal paint on them. I want to have them stripped but I’ve heard that bot­tom coats in old homes may con­tain lead; is this also ap­pli­ca­ble to wood­work? How do I have them safely cleaned? My son is two years old and I’m preg­nant – I don’t want to take any chances!

Glad­man Ma­phuma, a con­struc­tion spe­cial­ist, replies

It is pos­si­ble to have the lead paint safely re­moved, but since you’re preg­nant and there are kids around, you should rather va­cate your house for at least 24 hours dur­ing the process as you could be ex­posed to po­ten­tially harm­ful fumes and vapours.

The paint can be re­moved with a paint strip­per or a heat gun; if you choose to use a heat gun, it’s im­por­tant that the work is done by a pro­fes­sional as it’s quite easy to burn the wood­work. If you use paint strip­per, we sug­gest a wa­ter-based non-toxic op­tion.

If the wood­work is peel­ing, it needs to be scraped off and then cleaned with sugar soap be­fore you can ap­ply the new un­der­coat. As far as pos­si­ble, use wa­ter-based prod­ucts as tur­pen­tine or thin­ners will give off po­ten­tially harm­ful fumes. Which­ever method you choose, the per­son do­ing the work should al­ways wear a mask to pro­tect them from fumes or dust. Also, if you’re do­ing any sand­ing make sure the area is well-ven­ti­lated.

0860 995 250

The paint on wooden door frames can be safely re­moved, even if it’s lead-based, but it’s best to va­cate your home for 24 hours.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.