• Share:
Testing for Lead Paint

If you live in an older home, it's a good idea to check for lead paint, especially before remodeling. Start with an inexpensive DIY test, then move on to a professional evaluation.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Testing procedure

Most lead-based paint poisoning in children occurs by exposure to lead dust, and testing dust will determine if you have a lead hazard you have to deal with. The test kits, available at home centers and hardware stores, include step-by-step instructions for collecting the samples, bags for the samples, plastic gloves and an envelope to send the samples to an EPA-certified lab for analysis. Results, mailed back in about two weeks, will tell if the samples contained a potentially harmful level of lead dust. If you have a dust hazard, contact your local health department for remediation guidelines.

However, before remodeling or otherwise disturbing painted surfaces, it's best to have a professional lead inspection and risk assessment done. This will tell if your home has lead-based paint, where it's located and if it's hazardous. Keep in mind that lead paint itself is not necessarily hazardous, especially if the surface is in good condition and the paint isn't flaking or being worn down (along sliding windows, for example). Find certified inspection firms through your state health department or the Environmental Protection Agency.

Don't be discouraged if you have lead paint. You can handle it safely. Follow the guidelines online at epa.gov/lead or call your local health department.

Back to Top

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Lead test kit

Comments from DIY Community Members

No comments on the article have been posted yet. Be the first to add your comment!

You will be required to log in or create an account to post a comment.

closeX

Add Your Comment

Testing for Lead Paint

Please add your comment
closeX

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today
closeX

Report Abuse

Subject
Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us