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 Post subject: Lead Paint??
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 1:51 pm 
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Does anyone know what the likelihood is of this being lead based/poisonous when removing with a heat gun? I've not seen anything like it before - it turns into a gooey mess when hot, then dries solid when cold. It's a Victorian house, so naturally, I'm nervous about what I'm unearthing.... Photo for hopeful identification of old paints. Thanks! :dunno:


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 Post subject: Re: Lead Paint??
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 2:06 pm 
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You can't tell by looking and the fact it is going gummy just indicates that there is oil based paint there. You can get tester kits for lead based paint which you might want to try.

Considering the age of the house I would say it is pretty much a certainty that there is lead based paint all over the place as it was ubiquitous at the time of construction (assuming there are still original features). Personally I would just always assume there is lead paint and work accordingly.


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 Post subject: Re: Lead Paint??
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 3:23 pm 
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It looks like the same I found on my son's stairs when I removed the top paint. It went tacky under heat gun but scraped off easily and I wiped the gloop off on kitchen roll as I worked. I think it was a coal tar varnish of some kind. I am not sure if it was dangerous but I am still here, just about. I was masked and gloved up but to be honest it did not give off anything more than a pong as it did not need much heat to go soft. I think these varnishes were popular in the 30's and it was a bi product of making town gas. Probably not a good idea to use heat and it might be better to use Peelaway.

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 Post subject: Re: Lead Paint??
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 4:36 pm 
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I removed the paint from my hallway and stairs when I lived in a victorian house in London using a heatgun. It took me bloody weeks. Looking back I didn't even give it a second thought about using PPE. It was the summer so shorts and t-shirt every day and no respirator :oops:

That was almost 30 years ago and still here :thumbright:



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 Post subject: Re: Lead Paint??
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Got something similar in our 1930's house, I assumed it was some sort of shellac sealer to seal the knots(no idea what shellac looks like though).


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 Post subject: Re: Lead Paint??
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 10:11 pm 
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The black gunky stuff, I believe was something known as 'black jap'...Japanese laquer..I dont think it had lead in it because lead carbonate was mostly used in paints, not stains (i may be wrong)

Either way, the safest way to remove old coatings is with paint stripper as heat, especially from a naked flame with release lead fumes.

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