Well, in our case it is… err… in our case it never even existed. Let me expand a bit. A few months ago I tried my hand at stripping, paint stripping that is. It was hard work and there wasn’t much instant gratification, which is what I like. After I had the pump house door about half-way stripped, I quit. Not for good, but for the time being. I asked you guys if I should keep stripping it or try another method. A few of you said that all of the hard work would pay off and I should finish stripping the door. Here’s a quick before and after.
Finishing the door is my plan; however, I want to take it off the hinges and lay it across saw horses so that I’m not fighting gravity. Even if I do use a different method to strip the paint, I still wondered if the paint was lead based or not. There’s no way of guessing, but there is a sure fire way to find out. I wouldn’t have know this unless I had read John and Sherry’s post over at Young House Love about testing their dining room built-ins for lead.
These bad boys are lead tests that you can buy at Home Depot for around $10 and you get two swabs per package.
You just “squeeze and crush” it at both ends, shake it up, and test your surface area. If it turns BRIGHT red/orange, then there is lead present.
It was easy, harmless, and took no more than 30 second for me to find out if the paint was lead paint. And the result is…… there is not any trace of lead paint; hence, “the lead is dead.”
That phrase actually couldn’t be any further from the truth. Once lead, always lead. That’s why I wanted to know for sure. So, what I’m trying to say is, if there was ever lead paint on this door, the test result would have shown up as red. It didn’t, so I figured everything was safe.
Then I started to panic just a little and wonder if I had done the test right. Don’t worry! There’s a way to find out.
So, I took my swab and rubbed it on one of the test dots and here are the results…
I did my test correctly AND there is no lead paint on that door, just as the test told me 🙂
Since I found out such good news, now I’m not dreading finishing this project as much as I was before. Want to know why? I can now sand the surface without worrying that I’m going to inhale lead dust. Yay! It was going to take me at least a million years to get all of the paint off with just the paint stripper. By being able to sand it, the project should be so much easier. To celebrate, I decided to smoke the lead test… it did look like a cigarette after all.
Ok, so I lied. I didn’t smoke that lead test nor do I smoke regular cigarettes. I just thought it would make for a funny picture and a happy ending. Please excuse my appearance. It was mid-day in SE Arkansas and I was about 100% melted from the sweltering heat.
So, what’s the moral of the story? If you are ever concerned about lead paint, surfaces, etc., go to Home Depot and buy one of these kits. It will be worth it and give you peace of mind. Plus, when you are done with the little stick, you can use them as fake cigarettes and totally freak your parents out when they read your blog 😉