OPP: DIY Lead Paint Test

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Today I am patching a ceiling in my bathroom and that involves some painting. (Yes, the Pope is in town and all the major roads are closed so I took a vacation day to spend on a ladder.) My house is pretty old so I had some folks asking me if I was worried about lead paint. I don’t have kids or pets, and I don’t make a habit of licking my walls, but its a legit question none-the-less.

This article, written by my Timothy Dahl, explains how to test for lead paint on your own before you start your reno project.  Pay special attention if your home was built prior to 1950.  You can get a kit for around $40 these days, sometimes cheaper. Check out Timothy’s article to see how to administer these tests without hiring a professional: How to Perform a DIY Lead Test

Have a great weekend,
❤ Roni


For those of you that are new around here, OPP stands for Other Peoples Projects. Be sure to check out some of the past week’s OPP’s while you visit.

Does this post make me a bad person?

These days, often shop at Big Orange. I mindlessly wander through the aisles picking up repeat-purchase items like joint compound and painters tape. Pretty boring stuff, really. Recently, I returned home from one of these Big Orange trips $40 poorer and lost in thought about what-in-the-world I should blog about next. As I wracked my brain, I decided to take a look through some older pictures from the house. Maybe I could come up with an idea that way? As I searched through, I happened across this image:
Joint compound Joint compound on a cart. Fancy! Big whoop, right?

Right.

I have been going through this stuff like crazy this year – but I never actually read the label. And by read, I mean never even looked at, not even once. Don’t worry – this isn’t a rant about carcinogens or anything depressing like that. Its all about making fun of what I see on said label. Now you may not agree, and I may be labeled a bad person, but I happen to believe this is funny and I’m willing to come clean and risk it! Take a good look for yourself:Funny joint compound label

Now, obviously I would never want anyone to get hurt, let alone a child! It’s just that this particular illustration sucks mightily and it makes me giggle. I can’t help myself. It’s REALLY funny. Come on, admit it, that cartoon child has got jazz hands and footy pajamas, people! Take a closer look:
Funny joint compound label
Don’t judge me, you know you think it’s funny, too.

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Masking Your Territory

I kept getting mad at myself for losing my masks all the time. How could I be so wasteful? Turns out, I wasn’t. My masks were being pilfered! Not so much on purpose, more like none of us can tell which one is ours so they are getting mixed up. This, apparently, makes my eyes red with anger:

20130501-231443.jpgI needed a plan….ah ha! Draw girly type things all up on there with a sharpie. Now the guys won’t want to wear it EVER! Mission accomplished AND my mask is pretty. That’s a win.

20130501-233246.jpg

Thanks for reading, please subscribe to this blog and help me out by sharing on Facebook and Twitter – use the buttons below. ❤ Roni

Strip Wallpaper from 1605? Yeah, I got this.

Supplies:
Scrapers & Blades (I used American Line 4″ Adjustable Scrapers)
Pump Sprayer (I used RL Flomaster’s 2 gallon Wood & Masonry Sprayer)
Fabric Softener
Trash Bags
Sponges
Tarps (I am getting rid of the rugs so I skipped this step.)
Paper Scorer (last resort only!!!!)

If you take your time up front – it is not that bad. Get yourself a good scraper and some blades – I got mine at Home Depot. I found mixing fabric softener with water in a pump/sprayer bottle worked best. Mixing in small batches, use: one part softener to 2 parts hot water. The small batches allow for super hot water which seemed to speed up the process slightly. For the record, I also tried steam and vinegar – no better.

1. Arm yourself with the mixture above and spray a 4ft wide section then go do something else for 10 minutes – serial!
2. Re-spray the section plus the next 4ft wide section – wait another 10 minutes (Seriously, wait the ten minutes!)
3. Spray all 8ft yet again plus a bit more then go ahead and start scraping that very first 4ft section.
4. Leave any stuck bits behind and keep moving forward – don’t ruin your walls. If you waited the right amount of time this should come off pretty good. If not, you will pull all your hair out after one wall in frustration. (Unless you are bald or something then you will just yell a lot I suppose?)
5. Every 10 mins or so stop scraping and re-spray any stuck bits you left behind while keeping the next 4ft ahead of you sprayed and resprayed.
6. You will get a rhythm down for when to stop and spray/re-spray. If you have layers of paper, as I did, you need to re-saturate in entire sections as you get that first layer off. But if you don’t have layers of paper, you only will have a few stuck bits to go back to in each 4ft section (lucky!)
7. Only use scoring tools if you have plastic or vinyl paper as, obviously, the solution won’t penetrate plastic-y parts. Otherwise, stay away from that tool! It will only cause further damage to your walls under the paper. It may seem tempting on regular paper to get the solution under the paper faster – you are correct. It does just that – BUT – it shreds the regular paper so much that when you are scraping it off it tears into little bits that will quickly turn you into an aggravated lunatic that no one wants be around. Trust me.
8. When you are done go around with a sponge to get the rest of glue off. Your are ready to spackle soon!

Any-who, working in saturated sections like this in my house, MANY layers of paper and paint will came off literally like butter. I had to do a good bit of re-spraying near the corners and nail holes as there were at least 2 layers of paper and 1 layer of paint in every room of my house (so far). The only drama was with this one hall that had grey adhesive that was on top of a layer of paper. I needed the patience of the Dalai Lama for that layer. I think the actual devil sent that adhesive to test me.

Here are some images of what you are looking for when you make it to the wall board:

Here is what it will look like if you wait, here you can see the second layer of floral paper under the top layer of wallpaper (which was also painted over with blue paint!

Here is what it will look like if you wait the appropriate amount of time. Here you can see the second layer of floral paper under the top layer of wallpaper (which was also painted over with blue paint!

A closeup of that second layer of floral paper that was freshly re-sprayed since it was stuck.

A closeup of that second layer of floral paper that was freshly re-sprayed since it was stuck.

White bits = BAD. If you see the dark brown spots during your scraping travels, for the love of sanity, STOP. Go get your sprayer and spray baby, spray. You don't want gouge so badly to remove stuck bits that you get to the plaster-y part of the wallboard.

White bits = BAD. If you see the dark brown spots during your scraping travels, for the love of sanity, STOP. Go get your sprayer and spray, baby, spray! You don’t want gouge so badly to remove stuck bits that you get to the plaster-y part of the wallboard.

Waiting and doing your due diligence in the first 4ft section is what keeps you from going batty. For reals. Put the damn scraper down and go outside for a breather. Check these pics out as proof you need to hold your horses:

Here is a wall that I had 4 of us doing at once. We did not wait for the 20 minute ‘set up’ period and look at that damn wall. I don’t think they have a spackle knife large enough for those tears in the wall board. (Quick, go buy stock in Home Depot, they will be getting what money I have left after the home purchase for spackle and dry wall).

Here is a wall that I had 4 of us doing at once. We did not wait for the 20 minute ‘set up’ period and look at that damn wall. I don’t think they have a spackle knife large enough for those tears in the wall board. (Quick, go buy stock in Home Depot, they will be getting what money I left after the home purchase for spackle and dry wall).

Here is a room I did slowwww and steady. Barley any tears and the ones that are there were mostly from me loosing my balance on the ladder, lol.

Here is a room I did slowwww and steady. Barley any tears and the ones that are there were mostly from me loosing my balance on the ladder, lol.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Notice how clean the walls look in between the nail holes and seams here as opposed to that first image. I was able to do these two rooms in about the same time 4 people scraped the one messed up room. Yes, I did it in layers so I re-scraped the same spots two or three times after re-sprays but I waited for the softener to work its magic and it came of like nothin’! Take your time and you won’t be insane after you scrape your wall paper.

Thanks for reading, please subscribe to this blog and help me out by sharing on Facebook and Twitter – use the buttons below. ❤ Roni