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Anyone Recommend A Good, Working Lead Testing Kit??

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joko | 20:08 Thu 16th May 2024 | How it Works
15 Answers

Hi, my house is old, over 100 at least, & had been unoccupied since the 1950-60s.
The wallpaper in the hall started to peel, & ive been really ill for years, & it peeled more every time i passed it.
i was too ill to care, so just left, let it peel.

Once i pulled on it & a whole lot came off - about six strips or so.

Underneath is a deep rich green paint.

i like green so pulled more off.

then i remembered about a certain green paint from many years ago being lead based.
it was very popular & used in many homes, but caused people to get ill.

So im now wondering if thats what i have on my walls!

It'd explain a lot regarding my health!

Ive been searching online for a decent lead testing kid, but also read various negative reviews claiming theyre fake or useless, & people saying theyve tested some kits up against definite pro-tests & theyve failed.

Some just dont react at all, & others just say everything is lead!

so before i lose the will to live & go licking my walls to finish me off, can anyone recommend a kit that truly works?

Preferably one that doesnt cost loads, but im more interested in one that i can feel certain to get a real reading?

I want to do it myself with a kit rather than get anyone in to test it to begin with.

Thanks! :)






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Don't know about kits, but my gut feeling is that making a poor health connection with the paint is as likely to be right as reading a medical book and thinking you have all the symptoms.

Good luck finding a kit, but it doesn't sound like you've had sufficient contact/proximity for any serious symptoms to me.


What condition is the green paint in? 



Lead poisoning is very possible as lead based paint was widely used. I would try to find a professional testing company to do the test for you. Maybe The Builder will see your post and advise

Are the " signs of lead paint" in this link any good !!,residue%20when%20it%20rubs%20off.

Lead paint was dangerous as it was used in cots and toys - and babies chew and suck everything they come in to contact with.

Lead paint on walls isn't really a problem unless it has become powdery, dusty or is flaking. 

If it looks sound it can be painted over with special paint.

Everyone over 55 probably grew up with lead paint, lead soldiers and lead water pipes. Father sanding down the woodwork every few years.

Question Author

thanks all

when the paper came off, there was a powdery residue, but it seemed more like it was from the wallpaper paste to me, but i dont know.
I put on a mask & wiped it all down with a floor sponge mop.

But, im sure i read somewhere that the appearance goes like alligator skin - well thats what this looks like!

I love green so i liked it, so removed more of the paper, so it wasnt scraps of paper left showing, so it was like a section of painted wall.

Id put that down to a fire = as there is evidence of a fire around the door frames - which looks like that kind of criss-cross effect fire has on planks of wood, & i thought, they'd just glossed painted over it instead of repairing it etc & it was still a bit visible in places.
but now im thinking that could have been lead painted over too!

The area the paper came off, is a main bit of the hallway, where theres most traffic,
also, the halls are thin - only the width of a door really, so the walls are brushed past really easily.

also on the corner, some of the plaster etc has come loose over time, people brushing past etc. it has a metal corner guard, & because ive been unwell, i just ignored it & let it crumble more over time,
& always 'meaning to sort it' when im better.
so there is about 1-2 inches, either side on the metal corner piece, that has crumbled, about 1cm deep.

its more like white or being plaster & stone etc that has fallen off, but obvs the paint did too.

anyone know where i can find out how lead paint would look under old wallpaper?

Thanks :)



Question Author

most of the pics of lead paint ive seen are like flaking off, but the paint on my wall is totally not flaky, if scraped off, itd be more like thick green chalk powder i think, definitely no flakes or peeling
could it just be green plasterwork?

or been painted with thick powdery paint with a matte finish?


Regarding the powdery residue, we were the second owners of our 1960s house.  Every wall had been wallpapered and it was clear when we stripped it that the walls had never been painted but there was white powder on every single wall which was the very devil to clean off.  To this day I have no idea what it was.  Still, we have had no ill effects (so far) so I suspect it could be paste as you suggest.

Have you seen this?  You might find it useful

If you are really concerned about it, consider getting the expert in with his 'gun' that will tell you instantly if any paint or varnish is lead.  You could try asking your council if they can recommend somebody.

Question Author

it looks a bit like the green paint in these images, same colour - but without all the & beige patches, but that may be left over wallpaper, rather than patchy paint showing plaster underneath.

on the thread underneath someone says they found "The Testing Lords easy to use"

- what does that mean?
googling just brought a load of cricket stuff!

Lord knows!  I assume it is some sort of typo - the letters kit are very close to lord on a keyboard.

If I were in your shoes and had no young children or pregnant ladies to worry about, I would strip all the wallpaper off after damping it and seal it in tough rubbish bags.

I would scrub all the paint and other stuff off the plaster by damping it down and using wire wool.  I would wear a mask and have the rooms well ventilated.  I would make good any plaster and then seal the whole lot with plaster sealant.  The ready mixed is cheap enough and easy to use.  

Then I'd decorate. Long hard job but worth it for peace of mind.

Then I'd forget all about it for the rest of my life. 

The 'alligator' effect often suggests lead primer. Here, the green colour always makes me think arsenic. Copper Arsenate (amongst others) were often used at the time.

You may have both. No matter, it just needs isolating. With a good quality face mask, pull off the paper, and use something like  'Zinsser Bullseye.' Paint or paper over.

You can happily forget about it then Joko  🙂 

Yes - I thought arsdenic compounds were used to produce green paints & wallpaper - wasn't that supposed to have killed Napoleon on St. Helena?

Question Author

thanks all

davebro - i think its both, i know arsenic was using in makeup, so a lot of people ended up with rotting skin etc

i was thinking i migh just paint over the green thats showing with a thick layer of paint or some relevant sealant & make sure its well sealed under the paper thats left up.
Im not interested in what it looks like at the moment, go too many other jobs to do.

Anyone know if there is anywhere you can send a sample to get tested? I was thinking i could scrape i little bit off into a sample kit or somethign



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