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  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Default making lead paint safe with out removing it

    Hi - I would like to make a table out of an old door. The problem is that the door has lead paint. I would like to keep the paint intact for artistic reasons --so is there a way to seal it with something clear so that it is safe?? thanks

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    While "encasement" is a valid means of dealing with lead based paints, I would NOT recommend such a thing for something that is as high traffic as a table. Every time you touch it, this will put wear on the finish, and you will wear through the finish, which will expose you to the lead paint.

    What I would do is strip the door, then repaint it with non-lead based paints in a manner to simulate the old and tattered look the door currently has. If this isn't something that you can do, then consult with an artist or a theater technical director on how to go about it.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    Thanks for your advice.... I was thinking I would put a glass top on the table... what if I "encase" the top and repaint the sides and bottom? Is there such thing as a clear encasement??

  4. #4
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    Quote Originally Posted by toolmom View Post
    Thanks for your advice.... I was thinking I would put a glass top on the table... what if I "encase" the top and repaint the sides and bottom? Is there such thing as a clear encasement??
    while everything that spruce said is correct, what you just said here would work. just keep in mind that it's not 100% ok. technically the lead paint would NOT be encased but in the real world as long as nobody can touch the lead surface nothing would happen. there aren't lead paint police driving door to door checking on tables so if i wanted to do what you're planning, i would just do it and make it as safe as possible. i understand what you mean by trying to keep the look of the door intact. removing the lead paint from the sides and the bottom where it could be touched or gnawed on by a child, i think you'll be ok.

    if anyone asks, you didn't hear any of this from me

  5. #5
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    I've never heard the terms "encase" or "encasement" when referring to lead paint abatement, but I have heard the terms "encapsulate" and "encapsulation."

    If you're looking for more information, you might try those extra terms as well.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Iowa
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    When chippy paint furniture was all the rage, I read of some people who covered it in Polycrylic (Miniwax brand). First, any loose paint would need to be removed because otherwise when the loose paint falls off, it will just take the Polycrylic with it - just like painting over chipped paint without sanding first. Eventually, the old and the new fall off.

    Personally I would go with Spruce's idea.” Original patina” is important for true antiques of fine craftsmanship, but people go way overboard with it. I was horrified about 10 years ago when I saw a major publication (not TOH) do a story about a home full of chippy paint type “vintage” furniture – even in the kitchen – right over a countertop, and one picture showed a toddler grabbing on to a chippy coffee table. No mention was made of making the furniture safe, just how wonderful the original patina was. I have kids with learning disorders (not caused by lead paint) and I wouldn’t wish their struggles on anyone. Sorry – I’ll get off my soapbox now

    Search Polycrylic and chippy paint or distressing furniture to get some ideas.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    I've never heard the terms "encase" or "encasement" when referring to lead paint abatement, but I have heard the terms "encapsulate" and "encapsulation."

    If you're looking for more information, you might try those extra terms as well.
    You're correct, it's encapsulation, not encasement, however the end result is the same.


    To the OP:

    A glass top over the door will certainly help, but personally, I wouldn't want the lead paint in my home, regardless of having kids.

    While it is your house and it is your life, you can do anything you want. What you won't find is info from the pros instructing you to do something that isn't particularly safe. IMHO, this is one such scenario.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    I agree with the superb advice from spruce and MLB. We offer no guarantees.

  9. #9
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Unhappy Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    OK, I will be the contrarian: If the paint on the door is otherwise tight and sound at the time the clear coat is applied, I would not be overly concerned. Paint does not spontaneously peel. An exterior door might peel because of rain and sun exposure. An interior door mght wear through due to physical rubbing, but if there is a glass top on it, that would be minimal.

    But then my advice might be influenced by a brain exposed to years of having applied lead paint, and then years of having sanded through it! Oh how I loved painting those exterior back porches on Chicago apartment buildings as a teen-ager in the 1950's with gray lead! From my perspective back then, I hated the pigeon do-do and the coal soot worse than the knowledge of lead paint I was applying.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: making lead paint safe with out removing it

    A method of encapsulation could be to put the door in a sealed box with a glass top. Use a piece of furniture-grade plywood for a base, trim around the edges with solid wood, and place tempered glass on top. Of course, you lose some of that antique/reclaimed feel when you treat it this way.

    For a tabletop, you must use tempered glass, and it must be at least 3/8" thick. It will resist shattering from having stuff dropped on it and having hot stuff placed on it. It will be a special order piece, as glass cannot be cut after tempering. Also, tempered glass is usually ordered with a tolerance specification, such as "width 30 inches +0/-0.125 inches" as getting an exact width can be very difficult. You will also need to specify an edge treatment such as polished or pencil grind.

    BUT: you still have lead paint and it will be up to you to ensure that it causes no harm. As I cannot supervise the encapsulation, I can't give you any guarantee of protection from lead poisoning.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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