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Paint chips everywhere--how do we remove/process/deal with all this paint!  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
gardener
Posts: 1442
Location: Pacific Northwest
171
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur
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The previous owner of my house loved paint. He painted pretty much everything he could with Exterior Latex paint: The barn (a.k.a. "Fally Downy Building"), the "kennel," the woodfired cement hot tub, random pieces of lumber he chucked into the protected wetlands, the bridge that's falling apart over our pond, the cement patio, the outlet covers in our house, and even the bathtub. He painted it all the exact same shade of forest green exterior latex paint. In addition I painted various pots in my less eco-aware days with acylic paint that's peeling off. And, we have a glider that is also peeling paint.

We also have ducks. They eat most everything, and I'm pretty sure they've been finding paint chips to consume, too. They also haven't been laying like they should, despite being young and well-fed (separate thread about that, here: http://www.permies.com/t/56524/ducks/critters/Ducks-lay-days-stop-months#474749). I wonder if they've been poisoned by the paint.

My question to you is, how do we clean up and process all this dried paint? Does the stuff decompose? Do I chip it off this horrid painted patio? What do I do with all this wood that's been painted? Is there any permaculture way to process this, should I not worry about it, or should I just dump it in the dump?
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Lovely painted cement paver patio-thing...
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Close up of peeling paint
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"Totally Safe" painted bridge, about to fall into pond. Yay containments!...or not :P
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
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Hopefully the past owner did not paint over lead paint.
You can get a simple test kit if you wish to check your peeling paint.
 
Nicole Alderman
gardener
Posts: 1442
Location: Pacific Northwest
171
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur
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I wouldn't think he did, since he bought the property in 1998, and before that it was just used for logging. The manufactured home was built in 1999, so I can't imagine there would be any lead paint in it. Thankfully. I've got enough other toxins to clean up from him (he used to burn trash and I'm still finding piles of melted metal and plastics and who knows what else )
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
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Hi Nicole,
Unfortunately we come across this all the time in our restoration work. Luckily latex paint is digested by fungi. After removing the offending bridge or whatever, picki up as many as many chips as you can and cover the area with wood chips. Let the fungi go from there.
In order to remove peeling, flaking paint, use a vacuum scraper on a good shop vac.
As for the patio, I would pull it up and flip the pavers over after installing proper drainage and grade.

AllBlessings,
Bill
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6698
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I would burn any wood that I'm planning to dispose of. Then take the ashes to the dump.

Whenever scraping a vertical surface like a wall, use a tarp to capture paint chips. It is far less labor to lay out a tarp and gather the chips.

If held carefully, a Shop-Vac will get most of the chips laying on the surface of soil, without getting too much soil in the mix.
 
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