I just can’t stick to my shopping list at the hardware store. I stopped in to get some polyurethane for a stepstool I’m finishing for my son and I picked up a home test for lead paint on impulse.
The test was probably a good impulse because it was cheap and the paint chips in my window sills have me a bit nervous for my family’s health. The test was easy to use: just crush two chemical containers in the handle of a small brush and wipe the brush over the the painted area in question. If lead is present, the chemical on the brush will turn red. It turns out my fears were justified– there is loose lead paint within the reach of my two-year-old.
This photo of the area I tested shows the flaking paint and the pinkish residue from the test indicating the presence of lead:
Now I’ve got to research the best ways to get the lead out. Unless others have ideas, I’m planning to vacuum up the paint chips and then strip and repaint the sashes and sills as soon as possible next spring.