If your home was built before 1978, any contractor you hire is now required by federal law to be trained and certified in how to work safely around lead paint.
You're free as a homeowner to do your own work without any special training - but that doesn't mean you should ignore the basics of working safely around lead paint, including knowing how to test for its presence.
Klean-Strip's D-Lead paint test kits are inexpensive, readily available and easy to use. And they're recognized by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as providing valid results.
Contractors rely on these kits.
To use the kits, collect a paint sample using a tool that comes with the kit. Then you drop the sample into a lead-sensitive solution, wait 13 minutes, and compare the color of the solution to an enclosed color swatch. Just that quickly, you'll know for certain whether or not there's lead in the test sample.