Yep - botched about - that sounds about accurate!!! There are a few windows that have been painted shut, and the bottom colour seems to be a sandy/custardy colour. Hmmm - ok. Thanks so much for the tips. Wondering if I'm pleased I started the process...but guess I will be when I'm done
I'd use a paint stripping chemical. You can use a heat gun so the paint melts a bit - it's only a problem if it starts to burn - but it doesn't take much to cross the line.
How can you tell if the paint is old - it's more a matter of deduction. If the house has generally been botched about then there's a chance it might still have original paint on the windows (ie, if there's also layer upon layer of wallpaper when you strip walls etc), if the bottom colour isn't plain white - they tended to be a bit more adventurous until quite recently. If there are lots of layers of paint - so you can't really open the windows. That sort of thing.
Thanks lala - I have no idea how you tell how old the paint is, whether it is original or not. I'm the sort of person that doesn't normally worry about anything like this....but too much googling made me think maybe I should
Would it be wise do you think to strip the paint using something like nitromors then, rather than sanding that will produce dust or a heat gun with fumes.
The paint used in 1930s probably did contain lead but are you sure the paint on the windows was the same age as the house? I think your headache is caused by the weather/worry rather than lead - like most things, while what you did probably didn't do you much good, it is unlikely to have caused long-term harm. You can have a blood test that will measure your lead levels if you are really concerned but try not to get too wound up about it.
Mission decorating the front room is slowly in motion. So the window sills have obviously been just painted over and painted over time and time again. The last paint job was so dodgy, even if I wiped them with a damp cloth little bits would peel off. So while I had an hour before school pick up, I thought I'd start on one side and have a go with the mouse sander. Obviously not the best idea, but I didn't wear a mask, just kept hoovering up the dust. Anyway, even though it got quite smooth, I could still chip bits away so I had a go with the sharp stripping knife. Now in places it's down to the wood. So I'll obviously have to do the whole lot with paint stripper. So then I was googling to find out about heat guns vs nitromors type stuff and saw all this info about lead paint, and how you must never breath in the dust of lead paint, etc, you must never hoover the dust as you then spread the lead dust all over the house, you must wear overalls and strip off asap... Our house is 1930s...is this old enough to be worried about this. And if so, what on earth do I do now? I'm now wondering if I have a headache because I've poisoned myself or because it's so muggy out there!