Lead paint & Prep?

krycek1984March 17, 2013

Hello all! I am getting quotes for the exterior of our home to be prepped and painted. It involves taking down a layer of ugly shake shingles, then prepping the clapboard, and then painting it.

The first guy said he would powerwash, scrape, and then sand the surface of the clapboard to provide an appropriate surface for the new paint to adhere.

The second guy said he will powerwash, scrape three ways, and then paint. He said since the house was built before 1978 the paint is most likely lead and regulations don't allow sanding lead paint.

Is there any way aroudn this or any other method? We don't think that paying for a professional preparation for the wood will be worth it if it can't be sanded down appropriately...if we just scrape it, then it won't look as good and paint will start peeling again earlier. Unless I'm mistaken.

Does anyone know about this or have any ideas?

If it can't be sanded down in some way shape or form we may just put vinyl up because we aren't willing to pay good money just to have to paint in five years again when it peels right back up.


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How about a sander like a Festool Rotex 125 connected to a HEPA vac?
Of course you still have to put down plastic out ten feet from the building, suit up, wash down the work with TSP.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:24AM
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Look for a painting contractor who is certified in lead abatement, and then let them do what they do. That's what we did. It makes life much easier.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Hire the first guy.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:42AM
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lead regulations REGULATE sanding lead paint, they don't forbid it. the regulations say you can sand if you have a HEPA vac. both painters should have learned that if they have the certifications they are required to have to do their job (EPA lead safe renovator).

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:20AM
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I think there is something called a Paint Shaver that physically removes paint to bare wood.

I'm not sure I see the attraction of sanding. If the base paint is not adhered well to the wood, you can sand it till you're blue, but your new paint won't stick unless you remove anything remotely loose altogether.

You're looking for a guaranteed permanent result with paint on old clapboard. You won't get it. Paint peels. The trick is simply to minimize how often and how badly. But it's tricky - that will be why a PO put new shingles on. With new wood or a return to old wood and a stain, you'd maybe get an easier finish to maintain, but if there is a paint coating on that wood, especially over old paint, it will eventually somehow peel.

We've found that one key element of better adhesion, after good scraping (we've never sanded), is an oil-based primer. We've given up on latex primer, though we still use latex paint over it.

One other element of having paint on clapboard that I seem to remember reading about is to ensure that the coating is not continuous from board to board; so the wood can breathe behind the paint though the gaps between the boards.

In your situation, I would hire the second guy, and pay attention to what paint he uses and those gaps.

But maybe he'd use a Paint Shaver instead. And then you could stain rather than paint, or paint it all with a good primer to begin with.

Karin L

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Get the paint tested for lead.

1978 is pretty new to have lead paint (EPA scare tactics aside).

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 12:40PM
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