Testing for lead-based paint

Paint can be tested using one of the following methods:

Colour-change test kits

Colour-change test kits are a simple way to identify if lead paint is present in your home. They are available from most hardware, paint or safety equipment supply stores.

These kits are relatively cheap and quick to use but are limited in their accuracy.

It is important to test all layers of paint, not just the top coat, which may require a cut be made through all layers of paint.

Video: How to do a lead paint test

Laboratory testing

Laboratory testing is the most reliable method of testing but it can be expensive. Samples need to be scraped off and each layer of paint may need to be tested.

You can collect and send off your own samples by following the laboratory’s instructions. Use a laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities to test for lead.

Portable x-ray fluorescence device

Portable x-ray fluorescence device does not damage the paint surface and gives an instant indication of the presence and level of lead. This service is not readily available to the public.