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What Does Lead Paint Look Like?

By August 4, 2023Lead Paint
Lead paint is dangerous.

Lead paint is a common hazard found in many older homes, particularly those built before 1978. It poses serious health risks, especially to young children and pregnant women. It is important for you to know if you have this paint in your home. Wondering ‘what does lead paint look like?’ If your home was built before 1978 and you see paint peeling or cracking, you may have lead paint.

Let’s take a look.

What Is Lead Paint?

Lead paint is a type of paint that contains high levels of lead as an additive. It was widely used in homes and buildings before its residential use ban in 1978. The lead content in this paint can be extremely harmful when ingested or inhaled.

Workers remove lead paint as it is harmful to humans.

What Are the Health Risks of Lead Paint?

Exposure to lead paint can lead to various health issues, particularly for children and pregnant women. Children who are exposed to lead can experience developmental delays, learning difficulties, decreased IQ, and behavioral problems. Pregnant women exposed to lead may suffer from complications like premature birth or low birth weight. Even adults can experience health issues like high blood pressure, kidney damage, and reproductive problems.

How Do I Know If I Have Lead Paint In My Home?

If your home was built before 1978, there is a possibility that it contains lead paint. However, it is not always easy to identify visually. The only way to be certain is through testing. You can hire a professional inspector to collect samples from various surfaces in your home and send them to a lab for analysis. Testing kits are also available for purchase, but they may not provide accurate results.

Chipping paint can be a sign of lead paint.

Signs of Lead Paint

There are some signs that might indicate the presence of lead paint in your home. These include:

  1. Cracking, chipping, or peeling paint
  2. Paint that feels rough or uneven
  3. Paint with a sweet taste (even though most people don’t eat paint, something to note.)
  4. Sashes or window frames that have multiple layers of paint
  5. Dust or chips with a dull gray color

How to Remove Lead Paint

Removing lead paint can be hazardous and should follow specific guidelines to minimize exposure. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Get your home tested for lead before starting any renovation or remodeling projects.
  2. If the lead paint is in good condition, you can cover it with encapsulants, like special paint or sealant.
  3. If the lead paint is deteriorating or presents a high risk, you may need to hire a professional to safely remove it using methods such as wet scraping, chemical stripping, or heat guns.
  4. Always use proper personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, and disposable coveralls, when handling lead paint.
  5. Clean up thoroughly after removing lead paint, ensuring all dust and debris are properly disposed of.

Check out the video below of how professionals get rid of lead paint.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about lead paint in the home, let’s take a look at a few other areas of maintenance. One of those is whether you should caulk trim before or after painting. It should be done after using paint primer and the repairs are made so it looks more professional.

Another area is if you get a dent in the wall, how do you fix it? It can be fixed by looking at the tools and materials needed, as well as following the steps.

Lastly, while you are taking a look at the walls for lead paint, you may notice water damage. You can tell you have this if you have wet or dark spots, cracking, flaking, the smell of damp mold, or musty.

When Do I Call a Professional?

If your home was built before 1978 and you have concerns that there may be lead paint, It is advisable to call a professional. Other reasons may be that the area affected by lead paint is large or difficult to access. It also could be you are pregnant or have young children. Lastly, you lack the necessary skills or equipment to safely remove lead paint.


Lead paint is a serious health hazard that poses significant risks, particularly to children and pregnant women. If you suspect the presence of lead paint in your home, it is crucial to take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family. By following safe removal practices and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can effectively eliminate this dangerous substance from your living environment. Reach out to Atkinson Inspection Services for an inspection of your walls in the Orlando, Clermont, and Villages areas and a full home inspection.