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QUESTION: Cost & contractors for removal of lead paint from outside and inside an old building? 27/07/09 Queensland, Australia

I am contacting you on behalf of a school. We are undertaking a project that requires the removal of lead paint from outside and inside an old building.

Can you suggest who we can contact to carry out this work - and, if possible, give an indication of the cost involved?



EMAIL TWO Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 10:53 AM

Thank you for this information!

ANSWER: Jul 27 2009

Dear Amy,

it's wonderful that the decision has been made to remove the lead paint from inside and outside the building. Once it's safely removed, this will protect all the children who ever come in contact with the building and grounds for evermore.

You should check out our online factsheet Lead paint & ceiling dust management - how to do it lead-safely which includes:

To hire a painter with Lead Paint Management Training, please see Painters With Lead Paint Management Training - Australia

The company with the best lead-safety record that we know of in Australia, Let's Clean (in Sydney), I think quoted us (to remove lead paint from our 1894 office building - inside and out) $215 per square metre for their 7-step lead paint removal process, including the materials, machine hire and labour.

[Before they start you are advised to remove EVERYTHING that can be removed from the room or outside wall area and lay down plastic sheeting and tape it near the walls and weight down the outer edges of the sheeting outside with bricks etc. If you lay the plastic sheeting, you have the opportunity to transplant any plants that you care about rather than have them get trampled under plastic.]

The 7 steps Let's Clean have developed for their company (the only Australian company specialising in lead paint removal only) are:

  1. wet-scrape any peeling paint onto plastic sheeting ie water spray a small area using a handheld spray bottle, and in the other hand use a metal scraper to scrape the paint so that the flakes are contained on the plastic sheeting. Wrap up paint flakes in the plastic sheeting and place in a plastic bag and discard according to local waste rules.
  2. paint on Soy Gel (lead paint specific) paint stripper and apply see-through plastic laminate to enhance the action of the stripper and reduce the time it takes to dissolve the acrylic paint layers which are generally on top of leaded paint layers.
  3. the next day or so, peel off the plastic laminate, scrape off the Soy Gel and acrylic paint waste and collect the debris into buckets with well-fitting lids so that they can be transported without spillage.
  4. apply Heritage No. 1 (lead paint specific) paint stripper, with a trowel, to non-wood painted surfaces.
  5. the next day or so, scrape off the Heritage No. 1 and the leaded paint layers and collect the debris in buckets with well-fitting lids.
  6. if any paint remains after steps 4 and 5, repeat steps 4 and 5 on the remaining paint areas only. Use a Speedheater infrared heat stripper on paint on wooden surfaces.
  7. water-abrade the final residue of paint from the non-wood surfaces using a Blue Vac vacuum extraction machine and store the liquid waste in securely-lidded buckets until they can be removed.

Unfortunately, we do not know of any paint contractors in Queensland who use such a lead-safe process as Let's Clean so the best thing you can do is to get quotes from local contractors that you find in our list at - or you can try phoning the Master Painters Australia Queensland branch to ask them for your closest three lead certified painters. Phone 0733671544 or 1300660056 (callers outside of Brisbane).

Generally speaking, the cheaper the quote you get for lead paint removal, the less lead safe the job is likely to be, so it's a good idea, when seeking quotes, to use the "Checklist for getting quotes" of the federal environment department's "The Six Step Guide To Painting Your Home" in order to get several quotes so that you can then compare the quotes fairly. The Checklist starts on page 23/27

I hope this helps.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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