Safety precautions when repainting and renovating your home

Before you start renovating, read the six step guide to painting your home (PDF 856KB) and watch the video below for a basic overview and description of the methods for removing lead paint safely.

Take precautions to protect yourself and your family from lead exposure if repainting or renovating.

Plan ahead

  • Testing it is important to find out if lead-based paint is present in your home.
  • Consider using a professional painter who is trained in lead-paint management and removal, particularly for large areas.
  • Consider covering lead-based paint with lead-free paint instead of removing it, but only if it is in good condition (for example, not flaking or chalking). This is only a temporary solution as lead-based paint can be exposed if the covering paint is chipped.
  • Relocate children and pregnant women out of the house for the duration of the renovation and clean-up. Do not carry out renovations that may expose you to lead-based paint or other lead fixtures if you are pregnant.


  • Consider using a professional painter who is trained. Find an experienced contractor:
  • Seal off the work area to stop contamination moving to other areas of the house.
  • Remove all furnishings, curtains, rugs and other household items. Carpets and larger furniture items should be covered with plastic.
  • Cover the floor or ground with plastic sheeting to catch and contain debris.

Protect yourself and others

Lead safe renovation practices

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and wash clothing separately from other items after use.
  • Do not use renovation methods that create dust or fumes such as grinding, blasting, using torches and heat-guns, scraping and dry sanding. Wet scraping, wet sanding and chemical stripping help reduce the amount of airborne dust.
  • Prevent ingestion of paint particles by not eating, drinking or smoking in the work area.
  • Keep pets out of the renovation area for their own safety and to prevent transfer of dust and debris throughout the house
  • Prevent soil and garden contamination when working on the outside of your home or disposing of renovation waste.
  • Inform neighbours of your activities so they can take appropriate action.

Clean up

  • Clean using a HEPA filter equipped vacuum and wet mopping.
  • Dispose of contaminated waste material safely. Prevent contamination of your garden and drains. Contact your local council for local requirements for waste disposal.
  • Test the work area after clean-up to make sure it has been done correctly.

Video: How to Remove Lead Paint Safely

Video by Painters Institute