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Can't sand peeling paint. how do i make it look smooth?

What product can I use to fix a window that has very thick peeling paint (1/10th of a centimeter). Underneath is wood. It's in a windowsill. I cannot sand it because it may have lead in it. I know i can buy a test kit, and i have. But i'm afraid even if it comes back negative that it could be a false negative and i don't want to take a chance as i have four children, the youngest being 18 months. So i don't want to sand it, but i've got to paint over it because if it has lead and it's peeling, obviously that's dangerous too. I bought Dap "DryDex" spackling, but on the back it says, "Do not use as a skim coat", so i called the number on it to ask what a "skim coat" is and they said a very thin coat. They said it will crack. They said Phenopatch "Flexall" would work great. Found it on your site, but the reviews said it was terrible and never dried. Do you think that was cause they put it on too thick? But the label says you cando it thick, so i'm not sure what's up. What do you recommend i use? Some are larger sections, over an inch in diameter, maybe 2 or 3 inches in width. Thanks.

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Posted 2013-01-15T15:30:40+0000  by squidshugtoo squidshugtoo





During my paint contracting years, I preferred to patch with DuraBond EasySand 20. This is a "hot mud" drywall compound which comes in a powder form . It must be mixed with water to form the consistency of normal drywall compound. It comes in different speeds of drying, The "20" means that it sets chemically in 20 minutes. Although it sets in 20 minutes, it only sands easily after all the water has evaporated after about an hour. Easy Sand does indeed sand easily and feathers out beautifully. It has very good adhesion to even slick surfaces.


After sanding, the patch should be spot primed. After dry, it is a good idea to then prime the entire area to be painted. The primer and paint can be either oil or water based.


Hope this has helped.

Best Answer

Posted 2013-01-15T18:20:34+0000  by ordjen

But I can't sand because of the possibility of lead. R U saying to put a thick enough coat of that stuff so i can sand without it going deep enough to reach the paint?

Posted 2013-01-16T18:05:32+0000  by squidshugtoo




I don't know how old your house is, but I can tell yo that it was illegal to manufacture lead paint after 1973 and illegal to sell it after 1978. That immediately lessens the odds that you would have lead paint, certainly in the top layers of paint.


I would say that if your paint is latex, it is even more unlikely that there is lead in it. this is because the popularity of latex kind of increased during this time period.It was the old lead paint which was the big culprit. If you rub your existing paint with denatured alcohol and it immediatelyh starts to soften, you probably have latex/acrylic paint.


However, the only way to be absolutely sure is to TEST IT! Test swabs are available in the paint department at Home Depot and will give immediate results.


As to my suggested spackling meathod: you will do very minimal disturbance of the underlying paint. Even if some lead were present, it would only be minimally disturbed. Even the new Federal lead regulations will allow 6 square feet of surface to b e disturbed before the more extreme lead protection rules kick in.


Lead is most of concern to young children. I can tell you that back in the 50's and 60's I applied hundreds of gallons of lead paint. I subsequently sanded hundreds of square feet of lead paint. In retrospect, perhaps foolishly, given what we now know, but I am still here and kickin" ! I KNOW that I inhaled lead, yet I never tested abnormal for lead by my doctor.


Take reasonable precautions. Wear a dust mask rated for lead. Wipe up the dust with a damped paper towels, or vacumn it if you have a HEPA rated filter in your vacumn . Hoover sells HEPA rated aftermarket bags for its vacs. I assume that other makers do also..


Hope this has helped.


Posted 2013-01-16T23:37:42+0000  by ordjen

Wo, I'm glad you're ok. Thanks for all your advice. It was very helpful. It is an older house, maybe built in 1969. Is there anything wrong with using putty? I was kinda hoping for something i didn't have to sand. Isn't there anything that comes out smooth; if not, what's the smoothest thing i can use that won't crack. Keep in mind, i'm more concerned about the lead thing than looks, so if i have to sacrifice looks for it, it's ok. Thank YOU :)

Posted 2013-01-17T14:14:11+0000  by squidshugtoo

Putty is an oil based product which is not used for patching, but rather for small hole filling. It will eventually dry out and crack out.  Further, latex paint will not want to stick to its oil base.


If you are dead set against sanding (needlessly in my opinion) try using the hot mud, but rather than sand, use a dampened kitchen sponge to smooth the surface. Good drywallers, when doing the final coat of mud on smooth drywall, will often us a wet sponge to smooth the dried edge of the mud.


Obviously, you should lay the mud out as smoothly as possible with the spackle knife. The smoother the initial mud, the less will be neccessary to smooth with the sponge.


Hope this has helped

Posted 2013-01-17T17:26:34+0000  by ordjen

Oh, thank you so much! Thanks for answering so thoroughly. That really was crazy about you inhaling so much of it. With some things i'm not so careful, but with lead i'm so serious. you should have seen me removing some lead paint from the outside of the house. You would have laughed your head off.  I had the full body protective suit you can buy at home depot, goggles, nose mask thing, and used socks for "booties". Anyway, my husband sure got a laugh. I was a little embarrassed, but i just can't seem to not take it seriously. But again, so glad you were ok. I guess i would have been too. I know when you're older it's different. But it's my babies, you know? Thanks for humoring me and telling me the best way to do it w/in the confines of how i wanted it done! Thanks for answering all my many questions so quickly too. My baby keeps playing in that window, so i'm in a little bit of a rush to get it done. THANKS!

Posted 2013-01-17T20:19:25+0000  by squidshugtoo
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