I am using old wood from a 1932 schoolhouse for craft projects. It is not painted. How can I make sure that it is safe?

Asked by Louise Boney
Butler, AL

The wood is 2x6


Sean Lintow Sr

Answered by Sean Lintow Sr

Naperville, IL

SLS Construction & Building Solutions

March 22, 2013

Safe from what exactly???

If you are worried that it had lead paint on it before and it absorbed some, use a lead check swab. There are numerous other tests for all sorts of other chemicals it may have also been exposed to, which a lab will be glad to test for. 

Quite simply, wear the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) applicable when working on it.

  • This generally means safety glasses and gloves at all times; some even say long sleeve shirt.
  • And use a respirator when it comes time to sand, grind or saw it.


For more information:

Read "I'm interested in building kitchen cabinets out of reclaimed barn wood. Is this safe?" a Q&A answered by Ryan Flegal.

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