Painting in Partnership, Inc. a Barrington area house painting contractor, taught lead-safe painting practices to five students from Barrington High School this weekend.
It is well known that disturbing old lead paint, when scraping or sanding surfaces prior to painting, generates lead dust that is toxic to both the people exposed to it and the environment. Moreover, through its RRP rules, EPA has mandated that the painting work on pre-1978 housing be executed by painting contractors who have been certified by EPA as a “Lead-Safe Firm” and that the work be supervised by a “Certified Renovator”. The reason for this regulation is to ensure the safety of young children when renovation work goes on in a house, inside or out.
This past weekend, the Barrington Area Historical Society arranged to have a group of high school students affiliated with the Junior Kiwanis Club to come and do paint restoration on the exterior of the Society’ s one-room school house. The students’ work was supervised by Mario Guertin of Painting in Partnership of Palatine, which is certified by EPA, along with three of its employees to do paint restoration on surfaces where lead paint is present.
At 1PM, on a bright October Sunday, five students showed up on the grounds of the Historical Society, ready for action. Guertin first gave them a five-minute intro on the history of lead paint. He then proceeded to tell them about the ground covering material we were going to use and the spikes that were to hold it down. We then went over the N-100 respirator, protective coveralls and gloves they were to use on the project. I must report that the big hit were the coveralls. The kids wanted to keep the suits for Halloween!
After the safety instruction, the technical training started, first with scraping tools and techniques. Each were given two scrapers and sand paper, and coached on proper scraping methods. Three students took the lead on scraping while two others followed with tinted primers angular brushes and wet rags. Each of them was coached on how to properly hold the brush and move it to produce a good result. Everybody learned something new that day and everyone had a good time!
Mario Guertin believes that properly trained and knowledgeable painters are needed to produce safe and craftsman-level work. We are happy to partner with the Barrington Area Historical Society on this community training endeavor and other preservation projects.