Follow this simple step-by-step guide to properly strip paint with a heat gun.
How To Strip Paint With A Heat Gun – Step-by-Step
Time needed: 1 hour
One of the best ways to strip old paint off a wall is with a heat gun if performed correctly. Performed incorrectly, it can do more harm than good.
- Gather Your Materials
For this process, you will need a heat gun, a paint scraper, and some heat-resistant work gloves.
The heat gun is not the same as a hairdryer. Heat guns deliver far more heat in a more concentrated area, so you cannot simply use a hairdryer instead of a heat gun.
You may also want some paint stripper to hit the places you have missed with the heat gun. However, this is a personal choice and you may prefer to simply scrape off any remaining paint at the end.
- Clean The Area
Though not strictly necessary, you may want to clean the wall from which you are stripping paint.
Any dust, dirt, or debris on the wall can burn under the high temperature of a heat gun. Take a sponge and some water to the wall before starting to remove contaminants.
If you elect not to clean the wall, be prepared for a burning smell any time you hit a dirty area of the wall.
- Heat A Small Area
Pick a starting point. A good-sized area to tackle in each go should be a few square inches, around the size of your palm.
Turn on the heat gun and set it to a lower temperature than you think it should be. You can always adjust upward if it is heating the paint too slowly. If you start too high you could damage the wall.
Hold the heat gun an inch or two from the surface of the paint and move it up and down over the area you chose. Do not keep the heat gun in one place as you can burn through the paint.
After three or four passes, the paint will begin to bubble. Move on to the next step once the whole area appears bubbled.
- Chip Off The Paint
Now, take your paint scraper and remove the bubbled area of paint. It should be soft and will come away quite easily.
If it does not feel soft or you have trouble getting it to come off, you need to go back over it with the heat gun.
Check out this video for a visual guide to this part of the process: https://youtu.be/8VIQbnzeq2Q
You are well-advised to have some kind of covering underneath the area from which you are chipping paint. Otherwise, you could spend quite a while cleaning up afterward.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have completed the whole wall.
If you need to take a break, make sure you put the heat gun down somewhere that it can cool without burning anything.
A metal tray is one good idea. The carpet would be a bad idea.
- Tidy Up!
Once you have finished the whole wall, inspect it for any remaining areas of paint. No matter how good you are, getting every last bit of paint off with a heat gun is a big ask.
Either scrape off the paint as you find it or apply some paint stripper to it.
If you use a paint stripper, you will need to clean the wall again before putting a new coat of paint or varnish onto it.
We hope this guide has helped you to strip paint with a heat gun. Now that you are free from the old paint, you are free to decorate the room exactly as you wish.
If you have any questions or comments about this guide or stripping paint in general, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.