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Step 1: Lead Paint

One of the first things you will want to think about when you choose to work with salvaged lumber is to check for lead paint. Any homes built before 1978 have the possibility of having lead paint in the materials. Test for lead paints by purchasing a lead paint tester kit from any home improvement store, they are very simple to use and very inexpensive.

Step 2: Notch

Take a Phillips screwdriver and make a V notch in a small area penetrating through all layers of paint.

Step 3: Test

Crush the swab from the kit in two places and a golden liquid will appear, shake a little and rub swab onto paint, if the gold color on the swab doesn't turn to red or pink there is no lead in your paint. If it is lead paint we recommend you contact an expert on how to remove it or dispose of it.

Step 4: Brush

Next, you will have to decide if you want to take the paint off or leave the paint on. For some, the look of chipped paint adds interest and character to the boards. If you decide to leave the paint on, use a wire brush to remove the loose paint.

Step 5: Sand

Lightly sand over the piece to smooth out any rough edges. Give your boards a couple coats of shellac for a nice finish.

Step 6: Remove Paint

If you decide you would like to remove the paint there are many ways you can do this. You can use a heat gun or power stripper.

Step 7: Heat Gun

Heat the paint up with the heat gun and as the paint softens, remove it with a scraper.

Step 8: Power Scraper

Using a power scraper is just as easy as hand scraping with a lot less work.

Step 9: Planer

To get those old boards looking like new you can run them through a wood planer. This will remove each layer of paint and leave you with a new looking piece of wood. Your boards need to be clean and free of any nails or hardware that could damage the blade. Run the boards through on each side.

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