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  QUESTION: How to wet sand or wet scrape prior to repainting inside, 07 Apr 2006, Queensland Australia

I need some advice please. I want to paint over existing interior paint that contains up to .3% lead. Some areas are glossy others, matte. It probably requires a light sand before I place an undercoat or primer over the top and some scraped areas require more sanding than others to smooth the surface. It may be best to use a sealer. How would you recommend I approach this job? Do I need to sand it or is there another way? How do I wet sand, is there a special type of sand paper that doesn't disintegrate for this purpose? I have a 6 month old baby and he is fully breastfed. I am organising professional removal of some paint that is flaking, but the whole interior requires repainting and wall paper removal. I just don't know how to begin. Any advice on products and techniques would be very helpful.
ANSWER: 02 Aug 2006

Dear Madam,
your baby is undoubtedly crawling by now and possibly even walking! I'm so sorry your email was overlooked in our overcrowded inbox all this time. It's good that you are so aware of what's required to do a lead-safe job of repainting and hopefully it's all done by now.
The first step is to clear the area of every movable item and lay down plastic sheeting and tape it round the edges. Yes, wet-sanding requires the (ridiculously named) wet-and-dry sandpaper or a good sanding sponge that's designed to be used wet eg Sandmaster. You use a water spray bottle in one hand and the sanding paper or sponge in the other and you water spray a small area of paint before wet-sanding it. Follow this with sugar soaping and rinsing using a sponge or cloth with fresh water in a bucket. For those areas requiring wet-scraping, again, use or ask the contractor to use the water spray bottle in one hand and a scraper in the other and spray a small area with water before scraping so that the paint falls direct to the plastic sheeting without wafting out the window etc. You'll find all the techniques in "
The Six Step Guide To Painting Your Home" This is an excellent time for your son to have a blood lead test which the doctor can organise. By the sounds of it, you have been very careful to prevent lead poisoning but a test would provide excellent feedback on your success and a low result is worth going out and celebrating!
All the best
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

See: Lead and Your Health, Lead in House Paint

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