Leading On Lead Paint Project

As well as the restoration of all types of metal windows, ASWS can deal with those coated in lead paint – as was the case in carrying out a refurbishment of 35 Dover Street in London.

Associated Steel Window Services was contracted by Collins Construction. The painstaking work required multiple applications of a non-toxic poultice stripping agent.

ASWS’s operatives were involved across four of the five storeys to the former Empress Club and office building, striping and restoring a total of 36 large steel windows and screens.



The use of lead paint was banned 30 years ago, which means its presence is almost always masked by later coats of modern gloss paint; but trying to remove the build up by sanding or heat risks exposing workers to inhaling the harmful heavy metal. ASWS can offer other methods of paint removal but chemical stripping was the best option for Dover Street to take the frames back to bear metal for repairs to commence.

Director of ASWS, Kris Bennell, says: “The options for on-site paint removal are limited. They do include grit blasting which can be noisy, has to be tented and requires the provision of cleaning and changing facilities allocated just to the operatives involved. The second alternative is using hand-held chipping and scraping tools, which still generate significant vibration and dust hazards; or there is the poultice chemical removal.”

“At Dover Street we applied between five and seven coats of the epoxy paste to the windows – some of which were quite large – and this has to remain for 24 to 72 hours before being scraped off.  Not only is the paint retained within the poultice’, the lead is neutralised and converted into a manageable form, which is bagged and removed by an approved waste management company.

“The actual repairs involved replacing broken hinges and some corroded frame sections and the overhaul and the fitting of new single glazing into the very shallow, 3mm, upstands. We also undertook the full redecoration of the windows.”  



Picture: ASWS has to address lead paint issues during a Dover Street steel window refurbishment contract.



Article written by Cathryn Ellis
14th November 2023


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