Safety of Sanding Off Old Paint?

Good Questions

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Q: My son and I picked up this whimsical cabinet at Goodwill for $5, and I thought it would be great as part of a play kitchen. I'd like to paint it, but I'm afraid to sand it, since I don't know whether lead paint was used. What is the best way to paint it without exposing my (pregnant) self to toxic stuff. Can I just put a zero VOC paint on top?

Sent by Clarity

Editor: What a great find! We're excited to see how the play kitchen turns out. Readers, can anyone help answer Clarity's question?

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As Apartment Therapy's Managing Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.