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How to remove lead-based paint

Time to re-paint your home? 

We have the expertise and knowledge that we can share with you online, why not? We already provide you with the best microfibre paint rollers on the market so we decided to compliment them with relevant, useful information that you can access whenever you need it. One issue that you might come across on your home is lead-based paint. Should I strip the lead paint? And how am I going to do that?

The very first question you should ask yourself is:

How am I going to do it safely so my family, pets and neighbours are safe?

Lead paint  is extremely toxic and should be approached with extreme caution, especially if you have children and pets. Stripping it the wrong way can result in lead poisoning and unfortunately children are the most vulnerable as the lead poisoning can result in:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behaviour problems
  • Hearing and speech problems

All of above result in lower IQ, a decreased ability to pay attention at school and much more. We can’t stress enough that safety should be your priority when stripping lead paint and here at Two Fussy Blokes we will help you to do it safely and efficiently.

Preparation before Stripping

First of all you need to assess whether you have problem with lead paint or if it is simply paint failure from bad preparation of surfaces or wrong paint application.

The easiest way to check is to purchase a lead paint test kit. Visit your local paint stockist for lead paint test kits.

Lead-based paint becomes an issue when it starts to deteriorate.
Professional painters can spot the lead paint without testing the surface, however it is recommended to do the test to be absolutely sure.

Check the examples of what to look for:

Next you have to determine what you are going to do about it and which stripping technique will be most efficient and suitable for you .

Lead paint removal methods

There are three main methods to remove the lead paint (chemical, heat and mechanical stripping).  Your choice will greatly depend on what you are going to strip. Before we even start on this subject we would like to point out that stripping with a heat gun is the least preferred method as you expose yourself to toxic fumes and it is by far the slowest and least efficient way of removing lead-based paint. We will focus on the other two other methods first as both are equally important.

Mechanical stripping is the method that is primarily used on exteriors and the chemical method can be used on both interior and exterior.
Before you start check the list of things you will need to remove the lead paint from the desired surface safely and efficiently.

  1. Chemical stripper, heat gun or mechanical stripper (Choice is yours!!)
  2. Protective gear (disposable overalls, heavy duty mask (not disposable), eyewear protection and chemical resistant gloves).
  3. Mist bottle, pump sprayer
  4. Masking tape
  5. Heavy duty plastic sheeting (only for interior)
  6. Paint stripping collection tray (recommended for exterior)
  7. Heavy duty rubbish bags


There are several options to choose from when it comes to paint stripper products. We recommend to do the research before purchasing. First of all you should protect all surfaces in the area where you will be working to make sure there is no cross contamination. No dust settling on furniture, carpet, fittings etc. Most importantly as we can’t stress enough how important it is to have no kids, pregnant women or pets present during the process of stripping.

This method is recommended for areas where mechanical stripping is not suitable such as old furniture, window sills or areas with difficult access.


This method is ideal for larger areas such as weatherboards or large areas with easy access. There are several tools on the market (please also do your research first) but by far the easiest one is using Paintshaver Pro It is not the cheapest set up as you would spend around $2500 on hardware with a vacuum cleaner which is certified for use with HEPA filters. (just enter the code 2FBPS in the coupon area at checkout and $50 discount will be applied.) However it is still cheaper, and easier than using a chemical method. (The fastest way to strip paint) You won’t get burnt and you are not exposed to toxic fumes. You still require full protective gear as none of the methods can be used without the risk of exposure to the lead paint. We do own Paintshaver Pro and used it many times, and it never failed us therefore we recommend it.


This method is somehow very popular with DIY ‘ers but it is by far the least efficient and safe method. First of all you would spend significant amount of time stripping anything and expose yourself to lots of toxic fumes. Using this method you heat up small area and once the paint start to bubble you scrape it before it dries back onto the surface. Painfully slow with the risk of setting things on fire by accident. It is not recommended to use this method for stripping any kind of surface.

Follow the simple steps and you will achieve great results in no time.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful.