If your home was built before 1970 it probably contains some lead paint somewhere.
Usually it’s found in glossy ‘trim’ paint work – doors, windows, skirting boards and picture rails. Although it can also be found in ceiling and wall paint, inside and out.
Loose lead is especially harmful to children, pregnant women and unborn babies. But the lead in paint is usually only a problem if it gets released into the environment – by sanding.
Hang on! Did you say sanding? Isn’t that what painters do before they re-paint glossy surfaces?
Well yes, a lot do.
But there are two other ways to make sure your new paint grips onto the old surface.
One is to ‘de-gloss’ the surface with a chemical solution which is pretty much diluted paint stripper. This method is effective but gives off some pretty smelly vapours.
A better way is to simply scrub the glossy trim with sugar soap and an abrasive pot scrubber (metal or plastic, it doesn’t matter). The Sugar soap cleans off most of the dirt and grease while the pot scrubber puts tiny scratches in the surface.
You end up with a clean and very slightly scratched surface that is ready for the next step …
Application of a primer designed specifically to grip. I use Taubmans 3 in 1 click here.
or Zinsser B.I.N click here.
Either of these primers grips onto the slightly roughened surface and give a low sheen surface for the top coat to stick to. They also seal in the old paint and the lead it might contain.
Your trim surface is now sealed and ready for the decorative top coat. But that’s another story…
I've been drawing and painting since I was a kid. I've studied art and design and have worked in visual areas my whole life. Now I'm a house painter!