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  •  Oh yes, bottom layers (at the very least) (5+ / 0-)

    are lead. And there are probably more than 3-4 layers. It's really thick in places, but that makes it much easier to chip off. That's also the reason that I am trying to scrape in chunks rather than sand, even with a mask. Chips are easier to deal with than dust!

    I'm not even sure I want to remove the original dark layers when I finally get there - maybe just even it up, and give it a rubbed finish or something like that. It's beautiful, at least to me; nice and old-rich looking. So much more in keeping with the style of the house.

    I use a torch on a regular basis (have several, from small to great-god-almighty) and I don't think I would even attempt to use one to remove paint. I'd burn the house down...

    Do like the steamer idea though. I'll look up the method. Thanks!

    Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul. -- Sam Mockbee ~~~For handmade silver jewelry, click here.~~~

    by Lorinda Pike on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:18:18 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  IR or steamer should work great then (5+ / 0-)

      The thing that you can't really get until you see these things in action is how damn easy paint stripping becomes. No digging into the wood, no chipping away- it just comes off wood like the skin off a big bowl of pudding. The older and crappier the paint, the easier it works (not milk based or varnish though).

      The investment in equipment is a couple of hundred bucks, but the time you save is incredible. And it cleans up easy, especially if you want to do it while the stuff is in place. You just have to NOT break glass with heat sources. Figure out how to shield your french doors before you start, but the steam method and IR can even soften up old window putty so you can re-do that too while you're at it.

      "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

      by histopresto on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:59:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is waaay late, but... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        histopresto, boatgeek

        My house is 100 years+. To re-sell (or even re-insure it) I need a lead-certification. Bought as a foreclosure, didn't get one when I bought it; currnet MA law says lead has to not only be fully removed up to 6 ft, but now fully gone period.

        Do you think an IR would be able to take off the ancient lead pain without disturbing horsehair plaster? It sounds like you have some experience with this one. If I ask for a lead-cert and doesn't pass, it could be literally thousands of dollars to rectify to State standards. If there is a way to bring a century-old house to modern code without breaking the bank, that would be best.

        Thanks in advance (if not late for this roll!).

        "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

        by DeathDlr73 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 04:55:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mass is not my state, so can't help too much (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But- I am betting that there's an interim degree of protection that can be used to meet the requirements. It's literally not possible to make a historic home lead free without gutting it and that's an extraordinary level of action to force a homeowner to take. More to the point, that level of action would tend to make more nasty stuff fly around the house than would occur by just leaving it in place with interim control measures.

          I have used the IR method on significant wood trim and windows/doors, but the more typical treatment for flat plaster surfaces is to either 1) use an approved lead encapsulant paint (for surface-intact plaster) or 2)to pull the trim/casings, enclose the wall with dry wall (because that's an interim measure that typically ensures the stability of the material) and then reattach the trim/casings.  The most critical areas to make close to lead free as possible are surfaces that experience friction in daily use- i.e. windows and doors, flooring, wood cabinets, etc. That's where lead dust and chips are the biggest hazard and should be as close to fully remediated as possible.

          In Ohio, the state health department actually publishes a list of approved lead encapsulant paints. This is something you're going to have to start calling around your own state about, because it sounds like a state policy measure that will have its own guidance and hopefully some friendly bureaucrats to help explain it.  Also- try calling the Massachusetts Historical Commission and ask for a staff member who works with residential rehabs. They may be able to give you some advice about dealing with this issue to meet your state codes while preserving your lovely plaster.

          Locally, you may also have historic preservation professionals in your community's government that can help, particularly if your home is located in a historic district. They would likely be reviewing your rehab under local architectural board of review or landmark commission regs anyway.

          Finally, take a look at the HUD residential lead safety guidance online. Their standards got upgraded recently and not too many states are going to go beyond that level of protection.

          "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

          by histopresto on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:18:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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