How to Avoid Sanding Lead Based Paint
There are three ways to avoid sanding lead based paint and the obvious danger it poses. In many cases, you can use one of these methods. Which method is the best choice depends on the situation.
1- Use paint stripper to remove all of the lead based paint, although time consuming this is the best way to get rid of the old paint once and for all. Be careful as most non-toxic, environmentally friendly, paint strippers will not remove old lead based paint. Most likely you will need to use a caustic paint stripper.
Paint stripping is best used on trim, doors and cabinets. This isn’t a good choice for large areas like walls. For these areas use one of the other choices.
2- Encapsulants are another option. are special acrylic coatings you paint on. An encapsulant surrounds and seals the paint, bonding with all the layers to prevent further contamination.
These special coatings require minimal worker protection and tend to be durable. This makes them attractive to use. Yet, it is important to remember that most encapsulants are difficult to remove. If you think you may want to completely remove the lead paint later, this may not be the best option.
Other things may interfere with a wall liner which would make encapsulating a more attractive option. It could be the wise choice however, if the wall contains permanent features that add to the character or functional use of the home such as built-in shelving. If your home contains historic features like classic moldings, wainscoting and trim, you can preserve them by using an encapsulant or stripping off the paint.
3- A wall liner, often referred to as bridging material, can be placed over the contaminated wall. This keeps the lead paint trapped on the other side. This can be a temporary or permanent solution depending on your situation. A liner can be removed later, and the lead paint will still be there.
Drywall is commonly used to build a liner. This could be the best option if there are no more complete renovation plans for the house. Using drywall may not work though if the wall has windows, or other structural things which may need to be accessed like plumbing.