How to Use a Heat Gun to Remove Paint: 4 Easy Steps

If you are intending to purchase the best heat gun, it’s important to know how to use it beforehand. Whether you are a professional painter or a DIYer, you already know how difficult it is to remove paint from a surface manually. Hence, to ease your struggle and do the painting removing job quickly, you can now use a heat gun.

Though a heat gun looks like a hairdryer with similar features, it produces extensive heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you need to operate the device with safety and caution. In this article, I will not only share the detailed process of how to use heat gun but also the types and uses for heat guns.

Types of Heat Gun

You may find heat guns with diverse features, but all heat guns can be categorized into four different types. The classification is based on their operational mechanism and such types are electrical, gas, industrial, and infrared heat guns.

Electric heat guns

Electric heat guns are one of the popular ones among other types. They come in corded and cordless forms and different sizes. Thus, the feature and temperature range also varies. Moreover, electric heat guns are more durable than battery-powered heat guns.

Gas heat gun

Gas heat guns are quite expensive among all other heat guns. These guns are operated using butane or propane gas. Thus, to use this gun, you need to refill gas which makes it expensive and less convenient. However, it’s very popular among professional painting or plumbing jobs.

Industrial heat gun

Such heat guns are designed and manufactured for mega construction-based projects. Thus, it comes with a high heat level and fan setting. If you are looking for heat guns for a factory job or automotive projects, then an industrial heat gun is what you are looking for.

Infrared guns

Infrared guns are an innovative design that comes with modern features and a budget-friendly price. These guns are suitable for small projects or casual use. Nevertheless, the temperature range is lesser than other types of heat guns.

What Can You Use a Heat Gun for?

Usually, heat is popularly known for paint stripping. However, heat gun uses extend to many other types of jobs. A heat gun can be used on various types of surfaces such as brick, wood, concrete, metal, and stone. Also, you can use it for plumbing jobs where you need to blend plastic pipes or drying materials using heavy temperature. Additionally, you can also use it for melting or breaking down adhesives, glues, or defrosting pipes.

No matter which purpose you use the device for, you need to maintain proper safety and caution every time. Since the device generates high temperatures, it can damage other parts like solder joints or scotch connectors.

How to Use a Heat Gun to Remove Paint?

Here you will find the detailed procedure on how to strip paint with a heat gun. As this device can raise the temperature to 649 °C, you can use it for removing paint, shrinking wrap, defrosting pipe, and so on. To deal with such extensive temperatures, you need to have some preparation and safety measures while operating the device.

Things you will need for safety purpose:

A heat gun, long gloves, long-sleeve shirt or clean work clothes, and additional protective items if needed such as goggles, powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), an organic vapor cartridge. fire extinguisher and a fire-retardant coat.

Step 1: Initiating the heat gun 

Once you are well equipped with all the material and wear protective items, you can now begin using the device. If you are using an electric heat gun, then you need to plug it into the wall socket. if you are using a gas heat gun, then make sure the gun is properly refilled with gas.

Step 2: Generating the gun temperature

Now, let the device generate temperature. At this stage, you need to make sure the device is away from all kinds of flammable materials such as paper, curtains, gas, or chemical solvents.

Since the device generates heat drawing air into the rear of the gun, you need to also make sure that the air inlets are properly open. Otherwise, it can overheat the gun and cause an accident. If the device is in your hand, be careful not to block the air inlet section with your hand.

Step 3: Removing the paint 

When the device is hot enough to use, it’s time to apply it to the targeted place. Now, to remove paint, attach a suitable nozzle on the top of the gun. This attachment will help you to apply proper heat to the painted spot.

If your device comes with a specific setting for paint removal, then set it to the designated heat option and use it. While using the device, keep it in 45 degrees angled position and at a distance to reduce the risk of damaging the work surface and your skin.

To be specific, make sure the nozzle of the device is around 2 inches distant from the work area. As the paint starts to come out, you can get the device a little closer but keep a consistent distance from the surface. To do that, start working in a small section and wait for the paint to bubble.

Once the paint bubbles up, move the device back and forth over the targeted spot. Now, use an angled scraper to remove the paint from the surface.

Step 4: Cooling down the device and storing

When you are done using the heat gun, make sure to turn off the switch. Even if you are taking a break in the middle of the work, always turn off the connection and set it down in a safer insulated place.

As you are done working with the heat gun, make sure to completely cool down. During this time, plug it off and keep it in a safer place out of everyone’s reach. Usually, it takes around half an hour to completely cool down.

Safety Tips

Below are some additional tips you can follow for your safety.

✦ For an electric heat gun, always remember to connect it to the wall socket.

✦ Refrain from using an adaptor that can cause electric shock.

✦ While the device is on, do not look into the barrel of the gun.

✦ Refrain from inserting anything inside the device.

✦ Keep it away from children.

Final Thought

Here is the simple procedure of how to use a heat gun to remove paint. Whether you purchase an electric or gas heat gun, the procedure will help you get prepared with safety measures. But, before you begin to use the device, make sure to read the instruction manual first.

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