Heat Gun Paint Removal

A heat gun is the safest tool for removing old paint.
Sonia Nair Jan 22, 2019
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Removing old paint can be really daunting, especially, in case of multiple layers of paint. This task is unhealthy too, if the paint contains lead particles, which are considered toxic for the human body. However, old paint has to be removed, if you want to repaint the walls.
You may scrape the surfaces, or use paint strippers or paint removers, which are solvent mixtures meant for removing paint and other finishes. Heat gun paint removal is considered safe for removing old paint.

Heat Gun for Removing Paint

Heat guns are devices that emit hot air. This device resembles a hair dryer in shape, but can emit air of very high temperatures that range between 200 to 1000°F. Some models have the capacity to blow very hot air with a temperature of around 1400°F. It is used for plastic welding, thawing frozen pipes, drying damp wood, and softening adhesives.
However, it is commonly used for drying and removing paint. For paint removal, you have to make sure that the device emits air with a temperature that ranges between 400 to 600°F; so that the lead particles in the paint do not vaporize. It takes a temperature of around 1000°F for lead particles in the paint to vaporize.
This device can be used to remove old paint, varnish and other finishes, that too with much ease. Using heat gun to remove paint is very easy, as the paint softens when exposed to hot air, and bubbles up. This softened paint can be removed easily, with a metal scraper.

Step 1

Before using a heat gun, you have to ensure your safety by wearing full sleeves, gloves, safety glasses and a respirator mask that is specially designed to be used, while operating a heat gun. It is also recommended to keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Step 2

Prepare the surface by cleaning it with water, in order to remove dust and other residue. As you plug in the heat gun, make sure that the nozzle of the device is pointed towards the work surface only. You have to keep the nozzle at a safe distance from the work surface (at least two inches).

Step 3

Once you turn on the device, move it back and forth over the work surface, so that the paint starts to bubble and melt.

Step 4

Stop the heat gun, as the paint melts. Use a paint scraper to remove the melting paint. It is better to use flat scrapers for flat surfaces and triangular ones for carved surfaces. Special paint scrapers with angled blades are more effective for this task.

Step 5

Remove the remains of the paint, using the scraper, or else, you may use the heat gun once again. This may be needed for crevices and curves.
Using heat gun is safer than other methods of paint removal. However, personal safety is more important, so never forget to use proper safety gear.