How Much Does Lead Paint Removal Cost?

Typical Range:

$1,457 - $5,887

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 59 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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Updated October 3, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Lead paint removal costs can range between $1,457 and $5,887, with an average cost of $3,634. Older properties are prone to toxic heavy metals such as lead, so taking action against toxic materials in the home is critical to your and your family's health. Removing lead can also increase your home resale value by ensuring the success of a home inspection.

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National Average $3,634
Typical Range $1,457 - $5,887
Low End - High End $800 - $12,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 59 HomeAdvisor members.

Lead Abatement Costs by Method

How much is it to remove lead paint? Lead abatement can cost as little as $100 or as much as $20,000. Techniques range from mitigating methods, such as lowering exposure with low-risk, DIY spot treatments or encapsulation to total elimination such as professional paint stripping or demolition. 

Removal and replacement are expensive, but they can eliminate the danger. Encapsulation, enclosure, or management methods are more affordable but may only mitigate the toxin.


Lead-based paint removal costs an average of $8 to $17 per square foot. Removal is a permanent solution if you have lead in your home, but it's also more expensive. However, according to the National Association of Realtors, completely removing lead can increase the resale value of your home since homeowners must disclose the existence of lead-based paint when selling.

Demolition and Replacement

The cost of demolition is around $1,000 to $15,000 per project. Like lead removal, demolition and replacement can be expensive since it completely removes affected surfaces such as walls, windows, doors, or floors. Affected components sometimes require testing to determine whether the levels are high enough to require a special landfill. Pros replace affected surfaces with new, safe materials.


Encapsulation is where epoxy or cement-based polymers form a thick coating to further prevent lead from entering the environment. Lead paint encapsulation costs about $4 per square foot, making it a more affordable option. This method is less expensive, but it’s not a permanent solution and requires periodic maintenance. It’s also difficult to apply to detailed work such as molding, sometimes harming the aesthetic of your home.


Enclosure costs around $10 per square foot. Costs vary based on the materials and labor involved for each project. This method covers affected surfaces with new panels, drywall, or siding and only works on smoother surfaces. It isn't a permanent solution, but it'll limit exposure and keep toxic dust from spreading.

Lead Paint Removal Costs by Location

How much it costs to remove lead paint varies depending on where the lead paint is in your home. It may be more expensive to remove lead paint in areas that are less accessible.

Exterior Lead Paint Removal Cost

Stripping paint from siding and trim can cost approximately $8 to $17 per square foot. Labor, waste removal, and the cost of repainting the home exterior can run the project over$20,000. You may mitigate the problem at a lower price through enclosure or encapsulation, but this won't permanently remove the risk.

Interior Walls

It costs around $8 to $17 per square foot to remove lead paint from interior walls. Pros must take care to seal the home with proper containment products to prevent toxic particles from getting into the HVAC system and outside. The cost to repaint your home’s interior is about $2 to $6 per square foot.


Estimate about $8 to $17 per square foot to strip the paint from windows. Homeowners often cut out and replace affected windows. Removal and replacement may cost between $1,000 and $15,000. To estimate costs, consider the number of windows, the cost of installing new windows, and accessibility to the problem through layers of paint.

Apartment or Condo

Expect to spend between $10,000 and $20,000 to delead an entire 1,200-square-foot apartment of painted walls, windows, and doors. Some factors that affect the price include materials, labor, testing, and disposal of toxic waste.

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Lead Paint Removal Cost Factors

Some factors that affect lead paint removal costs include the price of inspecting and testing for lead and disposing contaminated material.

Older homes often contain lead in painted surfaces, plumbing, and even soil. Full removal involves stripping paint or removing and replacing affected areas such as walls, windows, pipes, and soil. Total elimination projects are expensive and rare. 

State laws may require property managers to eliminate the substance from subsidized housing properties. Homeowners often mitigate the problem by encapsulating, enclosing, or lowering lead exposure.


Lead inspections cost between $220 and $410. During an inspection, pros will test the interior and exterior by scanning surfaces with an X-ray fluorescent analyzer. It’s your right to request an inspection when buying a home. An inspection can determine the possibility of exposure.

Lead risk assessments cost between $800 and $2,000. Assessors investigate problems and create strategies for abatement. Property owners usually request an evaluation if people have become sick from elevated levels in the blood.


Disposal is another factor that can affect costs. Disposal of dangerous materials sometimes requires special containers and landfills. Household lead paint doesn’t always require hazardous waste disposal, but some states and cities have stricter rules concerning lead paint disposal. When disposing of material contaminated with lead paint, make sure to eliminate dust and debris as much as possible.

Sources of Lead in a House

Before 1978, lead was used in many different applications around the home, including both exterior and interior paint, plaster tints, soil, plumbing, and pipes. Each requires a distinct form of testing.

Lead-Based Paint

Builders used lead-based paint in homes before 1978 because of its durability and easily washable surface. Now, the seller in real estate transactions must disclose the known presence of lead. Under the Federal Housing Administration loan program, real estate transactions require lead-based paint screenings during an inspection. 

Paint dust and flaking are two of the most common reasons for poisoning. A lab test can determine how much is in the paint in parts per million.


Soil can be contaminated by gasoline containing lead, flaking exterior paint, industrial sources, and contaminated Superfund sites, which are areas where hazardous waste has been improperly managed. You may want to hire a soil testing professional near you to determine the lead content. You can mitigate the risk by not tracking dirt into your home after being in yards or playgrounds and cleaning regularly.

Plumbing and Pipes

Some water service lines and pipes used lead before 1986. Corrosion can leach lead into the water, and the chemistry of the water can react with the substance in the pipes to contaminate the water, especially when hot.

Test your home's drinking water by hiring a pro or with a home kit sent to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved lab for analysis. A test can determine acidity levels and how the minerals act with water that has been sitting in the pipes for a long time.

Airborne Dust

Ingesting dust is the most common way that lead puts your family at risk. Contaminated dust can come from natural flaking, chipping, scraping, or sanding during home improvement projects or tracking in contaminated soil. 

Sweeping and vacuuming can disturb settled dust, which may get into HVAC systems and ducts. To mitigate the problem, clean regularly with wet rags and mops, and use certified home improvement pros when undertaking house projects.


Simple products in the home, such as painted toys and furniture, jewelry, cosmetics, and food containers, could contain the substance. Be aware of these products, and test them if you suspect anything.

DIY vs. Hiring a Lead Removal Pro

Whether you need to hire a local lead paint removal pro depends on whether you intend to mitigate or entirely remove the lead paint in your home. In some cases, it may be possible to take a DIY approach to lead encapsulation. 

In most cases, however, working with a professional is a good idea. Not only can they recommend the best course of action for your home, but they’re also experienced in safely and efficiently removing lead from homes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does lead-based paint have to be removed?

You don't need to remove lead-based paint if it's intact and not at risk of disturbance. Poisoning only comes from ingestion. Small children are especially susceptible through chewing and hand-to-mouth activities where lead dust exists, so it's imperative to understand lead-related dangers. Hire a local lead paint inspector to inspect and inform you of the risks in your home.

What happens if lead paint begins to peel?

If you have lead paint that begins to peel, it can bring infected dust particles into the home, leading to ingestion and poisoning. It's a good idea to hire a pro to inspect your home if you see paint deteriorating. You should consider abatement options and learn the best ways to reduce exposure.

Can the same company remove asbestos and lead paint?

Removing asbestos and lead paint are similar, and many specialists provide both services. Bundling inspections and abatement projects for both can be cost-effective, depending on the company. If you're interested in removing asbestos and lead at the same time, you should contact a pro for a quote.

How can you lower your exposure to lead in your home?

You can take a few steps to lower exposure to lead in the home for yourself and your family. These include avoiding tracking dirt into your home, cleaning your air ducts, washing children's hands and toys frequently, cleaning surfaces with a wet mop and rag often, and hiring pros to remove lead safely.