View Full Version : Paint question

11th Nov 2013, 20:31
Once the wallpaper is removed in my Victorian house the walls are red, does anyone know if the paint might have arsenic or cyanide in it? Just heard something which said it might contain one of these chemicals.

Super VC-10
11th Nov 2013, 20:39
Another possibility is lead.

tony draper
11th Nov 2013, 20:41
We need more data, lick it and tell us what it tastes like.:rolleyes:
Something to be going on with,apparently the really deadly stuff was green.:uhoh:
Found in wallpapers, dresses and even libido pills: Arsenic, the Victorian Viagra that poisoned Britain | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1245809/Found-wallpapers-dresses-libido-pills-Arsenic-Victorian-Viagra-poisoned-Britain.html)

11th Nov 2013, 20:43
Don't know where you are located, but yes, in Victorian, the paint may be old enough to have harmful things in it.

The community where I live in the Eastern U.S. has homes from the 1700s and up. When folks do these kinds of renos and uncover things, the city seems willing to come out and run a test on the paint or whatnot as part of their normal city environmental department offerings.

It's specialized work, but our city knows if they did not offer this and pay for it, alot of dangerous stuff would end up in tips in front of the houses in historic areas.

Might your community have such a service you could call for a free test?

11th Nov 2013, 20:46
Possibly Pb or Hg. Both were used in paints in the past. Don't know if Cinnabar was used, but it is red, as is red lead.

11th Nov 2013, 20:50
Mrs OFSO, an expert in restoration, says the paint will have lead in it.

She adds that hand-blocked Victorian wallpaper with shades of green contains arsenic.

11th Nov 2013, 20:54
The red stuff is most probably dried blood. The Victorians were heavy into those kinds of actvities. A bit of blood letting here and there was considered good for the constitution :)

tony draper
11th Nov 2013, 20:57
I lived for years quite happily on ships painted in red lead from one end to tother with no apparent harm.:)
There is a theory that Napoleon died from arsnic poisoning due to the wallpapering in his accommodation,personally I think we would have just bunged it in his drink.

11th Nov 2013, 22:53
Thanks Tony, unfortunately the best candidate for a lick test mother-in-law is incapacitated at the moment.

baggersup, I don't think our local council here in the north east of England would have anyone with the skills to say what the paint is, might try and ask.

I wonder about dried blood that might be a possible.

The walls in the bathroom were green sounds a good job that they are tiled over.

12th Nov 2013, 00:08
In Australia, you can buy lead test kits from hardware stores.

12th Nov 2013, 05:33
Yes, 3M do test kits.

3MLeadCheck (http://leadcheck.com/)

12th Nov 2013, 08:45
I would consider contacting 'English Heritage' they have experts in this field on their books or would know where such experts are in your area.

cockney steve
12th Nov 2013, 15:30
Isn't it a bit late to be panicking?:8
After all, the property has been built and inhabited for ~a century....unless you can trace a history of occupants snuffing it through chewing the woodwork and licking the walls, I really wouldn't worry.

A wet rub down with a "scotchbrite" pad and sugar-soap will see the paint prepped....coat the walls with a PVA solution...that'll seal the lime-plaster,even out the suction where it's been patched with Gypsum and strengthen any crumbly bits.

If you're intending to strip back to bare wood, a blowlamp /hot air gun will soften the paint and a scraper will produce largish bits....sensible precautions when sweeping-up, rub-down wet, tack-rag when dry......all logical, simple stuff.....
Unfortunately, the @Elf and safety have worked their spell the same as "airport security" Yes there's a risk,

but it's miniscule just carry on as normal!

Plenty of us grew up with "toxic" paint, lead piping throughout the house, proper lead soldiers, fishing-weights and slug-gun pellets......
still living in a house with a lead feed from the water-main....maybe20 metres of it...and i'm still here (and arguably Compos Mentis :} )

G&T ice n slice
12th Nov 2013, 16:21
I've renovated a Georgian house.

there was heavy thick paint on all the woodwork, layers of wallpaper on the walls, some of which were overpainted in greens & reds and blues.

I canacan say that I've've've notnot beeen affected atata alllll by anyay of this stufff and it'sss al perfectly safe

OOOO look pink spiders, hello spiders

Lightning Mate
12th Nov 2013, 16:22
I canacan say that I've've've notnot beeen affected atata alllll by anyay of
this stufff and it'sss al perfectly safe

OOOO look pink spiders, hello

Half a bottle of Scotch does the same for me.

tony draper
12th Nov 2013, 16:30
Could have been worse could have been 57 layers of wallpaper to remove,Victorian wallpaper just laughs at those steam thingies and magic scrapers.

Lightning Mate
12th Nov 2013, 16:34
Spessy when it's on lathe and plaster.

12th Nov 2013, 17:47
could have been 57 layers of wallpaper to remove

Or even Artex http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif

G&T ice n slice
12th Nov 2013, 23:22
Ahhh... Artex

mate of mine bought a house where the previous owner had generously artexed the walls up one side of the staircase but finished it with a sponge. Very trendy and would take all the skin off any part of the body coming into contact.

we eventually had to take it all back to bare brick & completely replaster.

oh what fun

13th Nov 2013, 12:47
A form of Uranium mineral crushes to dust that makes a marvelous orange-red pigment somewhere between pumpkin and sienna. Was used some places for paint of all sorts, and for glaze on pottery and dinnerware, into the mid-1950's. Very stylish & possibly a collectors item for certain oddly inspired people.

13th Nov 2013, 21:36
First house was an end of terrace in London. Twelve foot ceilings with a cornice around about eight inches onto wall and ceiling. Started cleaning it and found there was about an inch of paint on it. Spent every evening for six months standing on a ladder with a spatula, wet sponge and toothbrush cleaning it off.

Looked great afterwards.

13th Nov 2013, 22:33
Spent every evening for six months standing on a ladder with a spatula

Doesn't that belong in the Modern Houdini thread?