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I have some old stairs I'm trying to scrape off. The paint is basically just sitting on top of the wood but it's hard to scrap it off because it's weathered and not a very flat surface. I was thinking to use some stripping agent but the paint will still get pressed into the creases when scraping off. So I thought to then use power washer but that would be setting all sorts of lead into the ground even if used tarp underneath going to run off. Don't want to poison the groundwater... What's the best solution?

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  • Power washer probably overkill. Stripping agent, scrape off, some more stripping agent and a soft wash/wipe should do it. Use protective gear. Depending on the locals, might need to have professional lead removers do the job, you might not be allowed to do it yourself. Just need to remove the loose paint, not all of it, then paint over to cover.
    – crip659
    Aug 15, 2021 at 23:43
  • @crip659 This should be an answer. Type it up as one
    – JACK
    Aug 16, 2021 at 0:24
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    @JACK Okay done as requested. Please add on anything that should be there.
    – crip659
    Aug 16, 2021 at 0:28
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    Sanding is something you should not do, but said stairs are rough. Hoping someone here knows of coating that can smooth wooden stairs without sanding over lead paint.
    – crip659
    Aug 16, 2021 at 2:35

1 Answer 1

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Power washer probably overkill.

Stripping agent, scrape off, some more stripping agent and a soft wash/wipe should do it. Some stripping agents can be as bad or worst than lead paint for your health.

Use protective gear. Depending on the locals, might need to have professional lead removers do the job, you might not be allowed to do it yourself.

Just need to remove the loose paint, not all of it, then paint over to cover. Think there are paints made for covering lead paint, do not know if any exterior paints for this.

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    Keep in mind that lead paint covered up is not a danger. Loose paint is a problem because it gets into the environment and, worst case, into kids. Large parts of the US housing stock (probably the whole world) have many layers of lead paint but with the outer layers modern lead-free paint, because while you can strip paint off of wood & metal, you really can't strip paint off of drywall or plaster, so unless you are replacing the walls you just patch the bad spots and paint over it all. Aug 16, 2021 at 1:48

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