Lead paint could pose problems in texture coat removal

Lead paint could pose problems in texture coat removal

"My 2,200-square-foot house has a horrible texture coat all over it. I'm thinking about having the texture coat removed, and then painting the house. But I can't find anyone to remove the texture coat. One contractor said it couldn't be sandblasted because that would damage the underlying wood. Help!" — Susan Riess

Sanding off the texture coat should be no problem, depending on what it is, says Pete Fortune, owner of highly rated Fortune Restoration Painting & Masonry Co. in Lincolnwood, Ill.

"Based on her description, it sounds like she has a board-and-batt architectural style," Fortune says. "Those wood strips come off pretty easily and leave you with a flat surface to work with, so it'll be easier to grind that synthetic stuff off. A power grinder with medium to coarse sandpaper would be able to take it right off if it's just a texture paint."

Homeowners should also be aware of the new EPA lead-safety guidelines that regulate how paint and other materials are removed from homes built before 1978.

"If it's a texture paint, it's probably latex, which will come off easily, but you need to be careful around lead paint in older homes," Fortune says. "When you're dealing with lead paint, you have to treat it as hazardous waste, lay plastic around the area to make sure the paint dust and chips don't get around. We also need special suits and respirators to dispose of it."

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