facebook pixel

Lead Paint Removal Cost

Lead Paint Removal Cost

National average
$8,000 - $15,000
(using the removal method)
Low: $6,000

(using encapsulation to seal off the lead-based paint)

High: $25,500

(using the chemical stripping method to reveal a clean, lead-free surface)

Cost to do lead paint removal varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from hazardous materials contractors in your city.

The average cost to remove lead paint is $8,000-$15,000​.

In this guide

Lead Paint Removal Cost Per Sq.ft.
Lead Based Paint Removal Cost
Cost Factors of Lead Paint Abatement
When Was Lead Paint Banned?
Lead Paint Test Cost
How to Get Rid of Lead Paint
Paint Inspection vs. Risk Assessment
Lead Paint Removal Prep Work Cost
Exterior vs. Interior Lead Paint Removal
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Do Lead Paint Removal?

Lead 1 compounds have been added to paint for centuries to make different colors. Certain varieties like lead (II) carbonate create a white or cream color, and lead 1 tetroxide will make a brilliant red hue. The use of lead in the paint also helps it dry faster and makes the surface more durable/moisture resistant.

The average cost to do lead paint removal ranges from $8,000-$15,000, with the average homeowner spending around $12,000 to remove lead paint from a 1,500 sq.ft. house.

Lead Abatement Cost

Lead 1 paint removal costs
National average cost$12,000
Average range$8,000 - $15,000
Minimum cost$6,000
Maximum cost$25,500

Lead Paint Removal Cost Per Sq.ft.

Removal of lead paint is typically priced by the square foot, and varies depending on the removal system used. Prices range from $4 to $17 per sq.ft.

Lead paint removal cost per sq.ft.

Lead paint removal cost

Square footageLead 1 paint removal cost
200 sq.ft. room$800-$3,400
1,500 sq.ft. home$6,000-$25,500
2,000 sq.ft. home$8,000-$34,000
3,000 sq.ft. home$12,000-$50,000


Lead Based Paint Removal Cost

A lead 1 paint professional is trained in how to safely remove lead paint. In addition, they have the tools needed, such as HEPA vacuums, chemical stripping, and professional-grade compounds. Moreover, they are familiar with local ordinances and the required disposal methods. Lead paint abatement professionals typically charge by the square foot. Depending on the size of the job, it can take one person or an entire crew to remove the paint, depending on the size of the job. Prices range from $4-$17 per sq.ft. depending on the method used.

Cost Factors of Lead Paint Abatement

Lead paint abatement methods and costs vary depending on the types of lead products (dark-hued paint may require additional coats of encapsulants), surface types, and accessibility. If the lead-covered area is located in a hard to reach area then there then there might be added costs. Also, it is harder to scrape or encapsulate lead paint that has been painted over a rough surface so the cost could go up due to the extra time involved.

When Was Lead Paint Banned?

Lead paint was used to add pigment to paint and also for the durability it rendered on the paint’s finish. In 1978, the U.S. banned the use of lead in household paints because the heavy metal was found to cause health problems such as convulsions, delayed learning, coma, impaired brain function, anemia, poisoning, hearing problems, infertility, blood cell disorders, kidney malfunction, and death. Lead also builds up in the human body, which leads children to suffer from problems with mental and physical development. However, lead paint remains in many older homes.


Peeling paint on a wall


Lead Paint Test Cost

Many homeowners are unsure if their houses contain toxic lead-based paint. Lead inspection and testing average $350-$500. An inspector tests both the interior and exterior painted surfaces of the home using an x-ray fluorescence analyzer to determine if there is lead 1 in the paint. Any time you buy a house, you can request a lead inspection in the contract. The inspection will provide you with a determination of the possibility of exposure to the lead paint.

A lead risk assessment investigates the potential problems of the lead paint removal and outlines strategies needed to remove the problem. Usually, a lead risk assessment is ordered if someone in the house is sick from lead exposure or if medical testing has revealed high levels of lead. A lead risk assessment will cost from $800-$2,000.

How to Get Rid of Lead Paint

There are numerous ways to get rid of lead paint.

  • Encapsulation involves placing a lead paint encapsulation formula over the existing lead paint. You’ll encounter three types of encapsulation compounds: cement type material with added polymers, chemical compounds/polymers, and polyurethane /epoxy. The use of the cement form of encapsulation does require troweling, which is why it costs slightly more than the other types due to the added time it takes to apply. Chemical compounds/polymers and polyurethane/epoxy are applied using a spray gun, rollers, or brushes, which is faster.
  • Enclosure refers to hanging up new drywall 2 or some other wall surface to enclose the existing lead paint area.
  • Removal involves a variety of methods, for example, wet sanding 3 the lead paint using an electric sander or hand scraping it and using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter vacuum to catch the dust and debris. A heat gun can also lift away the lead paint in a similar fashion to the sander.
  • Chemical stripping includes using a special chemical to lift away the lead paint and then it is vacuumed up.
  • Replacement involves removing the entire painted surface from the home and disposing of it. However, you will then be faced with installing a new surface to replace the contaminated area.

Lead paint removal cost by type

How to get rid of lead paint

MethodProsCons

Encapsulation

($4-$8/sq.ft.)

Noninvasive

Contains toxic dust to prevent the spread

Affordable

Can harm aesthetics

May damage friction surfaces

Not permanent

Peeling

Enclosure

($9-$10/sq.ft.)

Effective when done in sections

Prevents toxic dust from spreading

Can monitor for damage

Affordable

Limited only to smooth surfaces

Not permanent

Removal

($10-$17/sq.ft.)

Permanent

Typically raises the resale value

Expensive

Invasive

Risk of harmful dust

Replacement

($10-17/sq.ft.)

*This price does not include the replacement of the removed lead-covered surfaces

Typically increases the resale value

Permanent

Invasive

Risk of harmful dust

Expensive

You must replace the walls or ceiling that are removed with new materials

Chemical stripping

($10-$17/sq.ft.)

Permanent removal

Typically increases the resale value

Harmful chemicals

Fumes

Excessive scraping


Paint Inspection vs. Risk Assessment

With an inspection, the painted surface is investigated to determine if lead paint was used. Certified inspectors and risk assessors are both able to perform a lead paint inspection. A risk assessment involves an investigation to not only determine if lead paint is present, but also the type, severity, and exact location of the lead hazard. Such an assessment can include lead found in paint, dust, or soil around the residence. It will also provide suggestions on how to control the lead. Risk assessments must be performed by a certified risk assessor.

Lead Paint Removal Prep Work Cost

Interior

When removing lead paint from an interior room, you’ll need to prepare the area. Use plastic sheeting to protect the entrance area into the work area. The plastic sheeting helps to contain the dust. Remove all furnishings, drapes, rugs, and other household items. If there are objects in the room that cannot be moved then cover them using heavy plastic and tape to protect the surfaces from dust accumulation. Prepare a spray bottle with water and a tiny amount of detergent to wet all of the surfaces in the room to successfully contain the dust during every step of the removal process. When you hire a professional lead abatement team, the interior prep work is included in the cost.

Exterior

Lay down drop sheets to catch all of the paint scrapings so they do not fall into the soil and contaminate the surrounding dirt or vegetation. Avoid performing the task on windy days. Cover all of the windows and doors on the exterior of the structure with plastic and tape. When hiring a professional lead abatement team, the cost of site prep is included.

Exterior vs. Interior Lead Paint Removal

The cost of interior or exterior paint removal remains the same. Also, the same methods are used to remove heavy metal contamination. However, during exterior lead paint removal, protection is laid down on the ground to avoid soil contamination.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Houses that are older or in poor condition may require additional carpentry and restoration work. The cost of a carpenter averages $70-$95 per hour.
  • All residential lead paint abatement projects must have EPA or state certification.
  • Spray down all surfaces with a light mist of water during lead paint removal to keep the spread of harmful dust down. Vacuuming with a HEPA fitted vacuum is also important to remove any dust in the home during the abatement process.
  • Encapsulation and enclosure methods are often performed as a DIY project. However, you should leave removal, replacement, and chemical stripping to the professionals due to the danger of the lead paint dust becoming airborne.

FAQ

  • Can you just paint over lead-based paint?

Yes, if you use a lead paint encapsulation formula.

  • How bad is lead paint really?

Lead 1 paint leads to a wide variety of health problems and can even cause death.

  • How do you remove lead paint from windows?

The surface is moistened and scraped. It can also be heated and vacuumed using a special vacuum with a HEPA filter. Chemical removers are also effective.

  • How do you remove lead-based exterior paint?

Exterior lead-based paint is removed using the same methods as interior lead-based paint. However, ground protection is laid down to prevent soil contamination.

  • How harmful is lead paint?

Lead 1 paint may cause a variety of health conditions such as convulsions, delayed learning, infertility, blood cell disorders, kidney malfunction, coma, impaired brain development, anemia, poisoning, hearing problems, infertility, kidney malfunction, and death.

  • How much does it cost to do lead paint abatement?

It depends on the method you choose. Prices range from $4-$17 per sq.ft. for removal.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover lead paint removal?

Some homeowners’ insurance policies might cover it, but others will have clauses excluding lead paint abatement.

  • Do home inspectors check for lead paint?

Some home inspectors check for lead paint, but others do not. Always ask before hiring the home inspector if they check for lead paint during their inspection.

  • Do landlords have to disclose lead paint?

Landlords are required to disclose lead paint by law, but they are not required to remove it.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Lead 1 Lead: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications
glossary term picture Sheetrock 2 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
glossary term picture Sanding 3 Sanding: Process of removing the top surface of a material, such as wood, using sandpaper and/or a specialized sanding machine (for large surface areas)

Cost to do lead paint removal varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Lead Based Paint Peeling off Old Metal

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Auburn, WA
-1%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bouckville, NY
-32%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Canton, MI
+16%
Cary, NC
-5%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Compton, CA
+9%
Davenport, IA
-4%
Denver, CO
+1%
Everett, WA
-14%
Fletcher, NC
-21%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gainesville, FL
-12%
Garden Grove, CA
+20%
Harlingen, TX
-33%
Hartsville, TN
-60%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Hyde Park, MA
+38%
Iowa City, IA
0%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Kent, WA
+9%
Lansing, MI
+8%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Naperville, IL
+47%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
Oakland, ME
-24%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pennington, NJ
+28%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pleasanton, CA
+35%
Portland, OR
+11%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Rialto, CA
-1%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Diego, CA
+11%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources