Shabby chic decor, with its informal style and pastel tones, lends itself well to children's rooms.
But its signature chippy-paint look can be hazardous if those long-ago layers are made up of lead paint.
To be safe, don't take any chances on surfaces that babies or children might put in their mouths, such as crib rails: Buy new.
For out-of-the-way items, make sure there are no loose paint chips that can be dislodged. If you have doubts about an item's age or composition, invest in a lead-paint test kit available at most hardware stores.
We encapsulated our medicine-cabinet display piece with several coats of satin-finish polyurethane, just to be sure.
And remember that lead isn't just a problem with painted furniture: Some vintage pottery, such as Fiestaware, has the toxic substance in its glaze and should be used only for displaying, not dining.
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