How to Remove Lead Paint from Wood

Paint brushes and cans of paint on wood
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Safety goggles
Respirator mask
Chemical stripper
Putty knife
Trash bag
Disposable body suit (optional)

Chemical stripping is a good way to remove lead paint. While you will use the same process of chemical stripping when removing lead paint as when using non-lead paint; it is essential that you take precautionary measures when using chemical striping to remove lead paint as it can be toxic when inhaled. To protect yourself during the process, use gloves, safety glasses, a respiratory mask, as well as a disposable body suit when removing lead paint. Below are the materials that you need as well as the step-by-step instructions on how to remove lead paint from wood.

Step 1 - Use Safety Gear

Wear the safety gear to protect you from the toxic chemicals, especially your respiratory mask. It is advised that you take your wood pieces outdoor when working on it. You should still wear your protective gear like the respiratory mask. If you are working on your wood pieces indoors, be sure to open the windows and turn on a fan for ventilation.

Step 2 - Remove Hardware

Be careful when removing all hardware found on your wood such as knobs, handles, and other hardware embossing. Use a screwdriver to remove the knobs and handles.

Step 3 - Brush On Chemical Stripper

Coat a paintbrush with your chemical stripper. Carefully brush on a thick layer of the chemical stripper on the wood piece. It is better that you apply the chemical stripper in smaller sections of the wood piece, especially if the wood you are working with is a large piece.

Step 4 - Allow Chemical Stripper to Take Effect

Leave the chemical stripper coating the wood piece for 20 minutes. In this span of time, you will start to see the chemical stripper take effect on the wood as the lead paint will experience cracking. The lead paint will then soften and will start to bubble on the area of wood where you applied the chemical stripper.

Step 5 - Scrape the Paint

After 20 minutes, you can easily scrape the lead paint off the wood using a putty or edging knife. Be careful to scrape only the paint off the wood, and not to scrape the wood itself.

Step 6 - Repeat the Process

Go to sections of the wood that still have paint and repeat the chemical stripping process until all of the paint has been removed. Sometimes, you may encounter several coats of paint on your wood piece. In this event, you can apply more than one coat of the lead paint remover to strip off all the paint.

Step 7 - Discard of All Paint Chips

Be sure to clean the area and throw away all of the lead chips you managed to scrape off the wood. Place these in a trash bin outside to keep safe and away from young children and animals as these paint scraps are poisonous and may pose as a threat to their health.