How to Use a Heat Gun How to Use a Heat Gun

What You'll Need
Heat gun
Paint scraper
Safety goggles
Dust mask
Chemical resistant gloves

A heat gun is a useful tool to have around the house, used to strip paint and for other applications. Like all tools, you must know how to use it properly or else risk your own safety. Follow the simple steps below to effectively use your heat gun.

Step 1 - Safety

Before you begin using a heat gun, it’s important that you know how to do so safely. You should always wear safety goggles gloves that are resistant to chemicals and a dust mask. You also need to be careful where you point a heat gun when using it. The heat can reach 1200 degrees Fahrenheit so it can easily burn you. Whereever possible, work outside if you can’t guarantee that the work area is well ventilated. It’s important that the work surface is clear of anything that could catch fire.

Step 2 - When Not to Use a Heat Gun

Although you can use a heat gun on a number of surfaces, there are several instances when you should not use one. Don’t use this tool on paint that is lead-based. If you suspect there’s lead in the paint, it’s better to be safe and not use the heat gun at all.

Also be careful around glass and tile because the heat can end up loosening the adhesive. You also need to be sure that you don’t hold the heat gun right up against the surface of the material. If you do this, the heat gun might malfunction.

Step 3 - Stripping Paint

To strip paint from a surface, you’re best using the heat setting on the gun that has been recommended by the manufacturer. Don’t keep the gun pointed at one spot. Instead, move it in a slow, circular motion. The paint will begin to bubble as it heats up. To remove it, start by using a paint scraper. Be aware that the heat gun alone won’t remove paint.

You can cover a large area with a heat gun and it doesn’t take long to heat the paint. Don’t expect to remove every last fragment of paint with a heat gun. Thisis especially true if you’re using it to remove many layers of paint. In this scenario, you might need to go over the area several times. If there is some intricate woodwork involved, don’t use your heat gun because it won’t be easy to scrape the paint away and you’ll end up just wasting your time. It’s much better, and much quicker, to use chemicals on this type of woodwork.

Step 4 - Drying Wood

As well as stripping paint, you can use a heat gun to dry out wood. This can be especially useful after a leak where you have to dry beams or joists. You should have your heat gun on a low setting to do this. Similarly, if you need to bend a piece of plastic, running the heat gun on a low setting will warm it enough for you to bend the plastic without breaking it.

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