Lead detection kits designed to detect the presence of lead in house paint are available in many hardware stores. The kit is useful to people removing paint (i.e., conservators restoring historic buildings, homeowners renovating apartments and houses) and in identifying areas where lead paint has been applied. A sodium sulfide solution is applied to a chip of paint and a color change indicates the presence of lead. The kit is reliable up to 2% lead by weight depending upon the thickness of the coat of lead paint. This level of reliability is acceptable in the detection of lead in house paints since most leaded house paints have high lead content.
Experts suggest that the paint chip be taken from as close to the wood as possible and the solution applied in many places on the paint chip in order to get the most accurate reading.