How do I deal with my thrift store dresser that is positive for lead?


I bought a dresser at a thrift store and when i did the lead test, it was positive. I am terrified of lead paint. Should I through it away or cleaner and cover it with paint. If so how should I protect myself. Am I getting overly freaked out?Thank you,Mary

  5 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Feb 01, 2019

    Lead paint exposure builds up over time. Wear a mask and do not ingest the paint. You should be good to go then. If you clean it well with TSP, then use a good primer to "encapsulate" the lead paint it should be OK. I would not let the amount of lead paint on a dresser stop me from doing what I want with it. Just common sense and precautions.

  • Mary Campany Mary Campany on Feb 01, 2019

    Thanks you have calmed me down I bought this because it was small and would fit perfect

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 01, 2019

    You have to pretty much chew on it for a long time to get sick,or inhale the dust if you sand it down. Here's info. on refinishing(if you want paint gone-depending whether you plan to keep long term or if it's actually really nice antique/mid-century modern piece buried underneath) Safety info. Some methods of removing lead-based paint actually do more harm than good. ... Some methods, such as dry sanding, dry scraping, torching, or power sanding can create huge amounts of lead dust. Once the dust is released into the home, it can make occupants sick if it enters the body.The danger lies in ingesting paint chips and inhaling paint dust, not in touching, so chipping surfaces pose the greatest threat,so you do need to be careful, especially with small children or pets in the house that may chew on furniture. So if you only paint over need to consider this. Maybe just strip it down,really depends on how much time & money you want to invest in the piece.

  • Christine Millership Christine Millership on Feb 02, 2019

    Hi Mary, If you use Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint you won’t have to do any preparation to the piece, not even cleaning it. It’s so forgiving. Just paint it on from the tin and once dry your piece is covered. It’s up to you how many coats to apply. If you have detail like carving on the furniture you could consider watering the first coat down a little to thin it out to provide coverage and avoid thick build up over the detail area. If you like the idea of sanding it down to give an aged, shabby chic look, obviously this wouldn’t be a good idea with this piece but you could provide that effect by using a different colour paint and using a dry brush technique. It’s very easy....just dip your brush into the paint, wipe it off in the side of the tin, and then dry it in a cloth. Paint with this very dry brush on areas that would show wear and it will give the eff3ct if worn edges etc. You can look this up on YouTube for tips. Hope this helps!

  • Mary Campany Mary Campany on Feb 03, 2019

    Christine, do I have to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? I usually make my own. Thanks