I'm currently stripping some horrible old anaglypta wallpaper and noticed that under the lining paper there is a bright yellow paint underneath. Some of it is coming away, most of it is not and I'm trying not to disturb it as much as possible.

Next I will use a steamer to get the rest of the lining off but it dawned on me that I might not be taking the necessary precautions. I've heard that it would be extremely unlikely given the age of my property in the UK that the paint would contain lead.

Does anyone know if that might not be the case?

  • Are you planning on eating your paint?
    – DMoore
    Feb 29, 2016 at 16:08
  • I did consider it but decided it wouldn't be the best idea. I'm also trying not to inhale it..
    – Steji
    Mar 1, 2016 at 9:53
  • Wear a mask. Lead is extremely heavy, The shavings aren't air born long.
    – DMoore
    Mar 1, 2016 at 15:12
  • Cheers, will do.
    – Steji
    Mar 1, 2016 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


Get a rub-stick lead test kit, they're very easy & cheap. My understanding is that you didn't ban lead paint until 1990 in the stores. Bright yellow is a clear indicator it's lead, that started out navy blue. I'm kidding of course.

But, lead paint's only bad if you swallow it so don't lick or eat any, though it's the color of cake frosting (icing, cream, schmootz) & wash your hands liberally with lots of soap & water, for once in your life, after actually handling it & anything that might have stuck to it for 40+ years. Looking at it doesn't require decontamination.

Secondly, just don't scrape it nor sand it. Yep, no scraping & no Sandpaper or Pricker Cloth or Dragon's Skin or Stubble Pads, whatever you might call it over there. It's fine to peel, pick & lift off with a putty knife (yeah, whatever). Paint Stripper (no that's not a "dancer") is also fine. But, most people pass it on to the next person & paint over it with a Lead Encapsulating Paint. You should go that way since you took the wallpaper down & did your part.

  • Haha thanks Iggy. I'm trying not to scrape it but it is getting scraped a bit with the putty knife but mostly I'm not going deep enough. I've been doing my best not to eat it too and I think I'll start wearing a dust mask! I managed to find a test kit for £20 on Amazon, but it has no reviews so I don't know if it's any good or not? amazon.co.uk/Premium-Lead-Test-Kit-Home/dp/B0142UB7AK/…
    – Steji
    Feb 28, 2016 at 14:04
  • Good luck, you'll be fine it just drops your IQ by 10-points for a few hours & therefore makes TV (the telly) much better.
    – Iggy
    Feb 28, 2016 at 14:09
  • All joking aside, of course, there are quite serious reasons why lead paint was banned. It's especially bad for pregnant women and their unborn children, and for babies and children, but it's no laughing matter for adults, either: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/basics/… Feb 28, 2016 at 17:38
  • Nope, that's all hype. Again, unless they're laying on the stuff, licking it & eating the chips/crisps as snacks...all real life situations that were the actual cause for the panic. Lead paint issues are from nothing but very deteriorated multi-layered lead paint. If it's in good condition you're only going to get a pencil lead, literally, type of "poisoning". ALL of the Baby Boomers (60+ years old) grew up with it & with pencils as the primary writing tool too, including lefthanders that had it ground-in & slathered on their hands from writing everyday in school & business.
    – Iggy
    Feb 28, 2016 at 18:19

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