In my cellar there’s a thin layer of crumbling paint directly on brick.

I am concerned that it might be lead based, and I need a better mask than a cheap dust mask. The house is old, Victorian (early 1900s by my estimate). The paint is slightly grey/green in some places, and whiter in others.

1 Answer 1


You can't tell by looks - get a lead testing kit.

If you knew for sure that the paint was 100 years old that would significantly increase the chances of it being lead-based. But it could be that the wall was originally bare brick and painted relatively recently.

  • 1
    Thanks, I'll probably grab one. This is the UK page for any future readers: amzn.to/2PFogGS.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 20:26
  • 1
    Agreed you can't tell by looking & test kits are cheap.+ anything Pryor to the 60's is probably lead based as that was the standard for long lasting paint back then, however it could be white wash I can't tell from the photo
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 20:40
  • Rather than spend the money on a test kit I decided to just buy the correct mask (FFP3) and some gloves. It was pretty much the same price anyway.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 9:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.