My husband and I recently purchased a gorgeous 1918 Craftsman in Augusta. When we made plans to remodel our home, we discovered that all of the paint contains lead. We can't afford the cost of professional lead removal throughout the entire home. Is there an inexpensive way to remove lead paint?
Amanda R. ~ Augusta, Georgia
Hi Amanda, There are a couple of options for dealing with lead paint in an old house without removing it, but if you have young children or grandchildren, or expect any to come along in the future, I recommend removing the lead paint. It's just not worth the risk. That being said, I certainly understand budget constraints.
If the paint is not loose or chipping, it is possible to paint over it. This is a short term solution, as there is a good chance that the lead based paint will eventually begin to flake even when painted over. Another option is to cover the walls with new drywall, but if you have lead paint on your doors and trim, you will either have to replace them or paint over the lead.
It is possible for homeowners to remove the lead paint themselves, but I am not going to get into the methods for doing that, as I personally think there is just too much risk. It involves wearing respirators and disposable clothing, as any dust stirred up is toxic as well.
You should see if you can get some estimates for removing the lead paint. I would think there would be a number of contractors in Augusta, Georgia who would be qualified to remove it from an old house. There may even be enough contractors competing with each other that you might get a very good price, and you could be rid of the problem once and for all.