I'm fixing up an old house that I'm planning on moving into. I removed some old (cheap) wood paneling from two of the bedrooms and there is flaking lead paint on plaster. The paint isn't flaking enough to get it all down, but a fraction of it would be able to be easily flaked off (while wearing proper gear, of course).
Should I flake off what can be easily flaked off and then just skim coat it to encapsulate the lead paint? Will the skim coat prevent further flaking of the paint underneath it? If skimming is a bad idea, what should I do instead?
Be very careful when you use that word, "lead". Some areas require that to be handled only by certified technicians, which can get very expensive. Even if you are not in one of those areas, you should work with a quality dust mask, and carefully vacuum up loose material. There are only two acceptable methods of dealing with lead paint, total removal or encapsulation, but do not sand or grind the paint. Get off all the loose as best as you can, then skim coat.