We have lead paint on some of the floors in our old home..what would be the best paint to paint over it? When wiped with a rag the paint comes off on a rag , though it isn’t peeling. I am trying to figure out a safe way to cover it up without sanding. I don’t want to cover it with carpet or vinyl.
The best floor paint, in my opinion, is oil based porch and deck paint (aka alkyd porch and deck, polyurethane porch and deck, etc.). You could use an acrylic , water based, paint but you should prime first when an acrylic is going over an old oil base paint. The oil based porch and deck will smell strong and remain a little soft for a couple of days, but it will stick good.
Since your floors aren't peeling this will be easy to paint. Here is what you need to do;
Clean and clean and…. Use TSP, trisodium phosphate, or similar cleaner to remove the dusty powdery paint residue. This will also etch the surface. You can use a shop vac to vacuum up the excess water.
Allow it to dry for a day. Running a fan could help also open up the windows. Normally I would recommend wiping the floor down with a solvent like Paso, but this stuff really stinks and you will have the paint smell to deal with. If you do a good job with the washing then further cleaning isn't necessary.
Now for the painting. This will be a two coat process. The first coat can be thinned a little, up to 25%. The second coat needs to be full strength. Painting is very simple. Cut in the edges then use a 1/4" or 3/8" roller. Just roll on the paint as a heavy coat and work it with the roller until it looks good. (Be careful, don't paint yourself into a corner.)
The nice thing about paint is you could use a neutral color for the background then paint patterns with an accent color. Adding another dimension to a rooms decor.