What is a Heat Gun?
Is this perhaps a futuristic weapon? Actually, a heat gun is a powerful tool like a hairdryer. It is handy to repair your home, soften or strip old paint, remove or shrink tubes, and solder objects. Even, people also use it for adhesive removing.
The weight is approximately a couple of pounds. The design is corded or cordless. For the price, it is affordable, ranging $40 – $200. If compared to other heat-producing tools, heat guns are flameless. Instead of creating flames (the cause of the damaged surfaces), this tool only has an effect on the surface with the hot air.
With a safer heat source, it is suitable for home improvement projects. Most of the heat guns provide the sufficient-hot heat (7500F) and allow you to adjust easily the temperature. Beyond that, there are the attachments such as a stand to rest your heat gun when not using it or a part to direct the airflow.
With that being said, the heat guns enable loosening the paint quickly. Use the heat to blister the paint layer so that you can easily scrap later.
Don’t stop! The heat guns are useful for:
- Removing glazing putty. The heat guns will soften it before you use hand to remove that glazing putty. It is more convenient than a chisel because the risk of damaging the surface will not occur.
- Applying veneer tape/ plastic laminate to the edges.
- Loosening the old vinyl tiles without affecting things around.
- Thawing frozen locks, drying damp surfaces, defrosting freezers, as well as warming frosted copper pipes.
Types of Heat Gun in Detailed
The heat guns do not only include one type to use. In fact, there is a variety of the heat guns and you firstly need to determine the one you want.
Electric Heat Guns
The main fuel source is electricity. These heat guns have the corded or cordless design. But, most of them have attached a power cord. Depending on the manufacturer, the size and temperature range are various.
They are an ideal option for industrial needs, household, and crafts. With the smaller projects, you just need to use a short electric heat gun.
Frequently, the larger the heat gun, the larger the horsepower will be. They suit for sizable projects, removing big areas of paints, for example.
Gas Power Heat Guns
Butane and propane are two common gases used for the gas power heat guns. Based on the size and model, they provide different temperature capacities to the users. Those who do heavy-duty projects like manufacturing industry often prioritize to select these heat guns because their power is large. The speed and time of the operation are quicker and less.
In comparison with an electric heat gun, the gas-powered one is cheaper. You do not have to think about the electricity bill. To avoid the risk of fires while using at home, however, you should check the wires.
Infrared Heat Guns
Not using hot air, these heat guns work with infrared heat. Their temperature is low – 400 to 600 degrees. Correspondingly, they are appropriate to the small projects.
Similar to the gas-powered heat guns, the gas-powered heat guns are cheap. You can own one only with few dollars.
Industrial Heat Guns
The name says it all, there are heat guns used in the industries. It means that you can utilize them to do heavy-duty jobs like mass retail, engineering, automotive repair, building, or packaging.
With the different size and power, the industrial heat guns will provide the non-similar temperature capabilities. In general, the industrial heat guns may be gas-powered or electric heat guns. It would be best to consider your demand to decide the right kind of heat gun.
How a Heat Gun Operates
The operation of heat guns is similar to hair dryers.
In particular, the heat guns have a fan, which contributes to delivering cool air into the major component of the tool. That cool air quickly crosses a heating part and then heat it before shoving it out via a nozzle.
Finally, it drives the heated air to the surface that you are working on.
How to Strip Paint with a Heat Gun
By what means can you strip paint with your heat gun? How must you use a heat gun for paint stripping proper?
Don’t have to ask the same questions. The whole instruction is here:
Step #1: Test Lead-Based Paint or Not
It is very vital. With old houses or painted antiques, they can contain lead. The health risk is large when you strip. The bottom line:
After you have determined the object or area you need to strip, you remove 3 inches of paint with a knife. Is there more than one layer of paint? So, make sure the taken section included the innermost layer. Now, use a lead test kit to test the paint.
Scrape an area of paint ~ a tablespoon and place into a plastic bag. Seal that bag and don’t forget to label it with a marker. Point out the position of where you took this paint section, window, bedroom, or door. Hence, send it to a laboratory to test.
In case you plant to strip paint from your older house, the best plan would be to establish an appointment with the state-certified assessor. He/she will test that sample and give you a specific report related to the lead-based and hazardous level later.
Step #2: Prepare Before Stripping
Before you start stripping, it is necessary to move your stripped object to outdoors or a workspace, a garage, for instance. With a door, you can remove it from the hinges. In case you plan to strip the area in your home, the furniture and the flooring need to be protected. You must pull them out your work area and use drop cloths to protect the surface of the floor.
Continuously, protect yourself by equipping the safety gear such as the safety glasses, respirator mask especially used with heat guns, protective clothing, and work gloves. The final in the preparation step is to assemble your heat gun. The heat gun will only work well when attached the proper nozzle.
For the detailed, grooved, and narrow areas, use a conical nozzle. If there are flat surfaces, the best option will be a flared nozzle. What nozzle do you use? For the time being, plug in your heat gun and let it heat up.
Step #3: Strip
From the painted surface, hold your heat gun about three inches. If your left hand is holding the heat gun, your right-hand will hold a scraper. Prioritize to handle the detailed and grooved areas and then start on the flat area.
Don’t hurry! Slowly move your gun forth and back until you recognize that the paint appears bubble. Never hold the gun in one location for few seconds unless you want to create fumes or damage the surfaces. Continue using a triangular-blade scraper to eliminate the paint from the surfaces. With flat outwards, just need to utilize a putty knife to remove the paint from the wood. Be careful! Don’t gouge the wood.
After removing on one area, you continue moving to the next areas. Repeat and check if all surfaces have been removed. Facing to the stubborn paint flecks, recommend to using a regular paint scraper to take out them. Leave the surfaces cool and use a clean rag with mineral spirits to wipe.
Safety Tips on Using Heat Guns
To make sure the safety while using heat guns, you ought to keep following tips in mind:
- First of all, you do not absolutely utilize use a heat gun on the surfaces containing lead paint. Toxic fumes released can affect your respiratory glands.
- Don’t forget to wear the protection applications such as glasses, mask, gloves,… before using the heat gun.
- Try to maintain a 45-degree angle when you are using a heat gun for your project.
- If you are applying a heat gun on the soldered surfaces, you must absolutely concentrate to avoid weakening the pipes or loosening the solder.
- Next, you should avoid directing your heat gun on objects a couple of seconds longer. That can cause scorching.
- Pregnant moms, children, and pets are not allowed closing the working area since the fume released from the material while working might make their respiratory glands hurt.
- Require you to have to focus 100% when you are utilizing a heat gun. Once you lose your concentration, it can cause damage to the surface working. Or worse, you can burn yourself. Be careful!
- Certainly, you must follow the manufacturer’s instruction when using the heat gun. Like that, you will not worry about overheating the surfaces working on.
- The last one, you never utilize your heat gun for roasting things, coffee beans, for instance.
Considerations & Warnings
- Not all heat guns can use for stripping paint. Some are limited, only including one heat. So, you must consider choosing the right heat gun. When purchasing, it ensures that you have familiarized with the heat requirements that use for paint stripping.
- Heat guns having at least two settings of the power will provide you with better airflow speeds.
- You want to use the heat gun comfortably and safely, don’t you? Well, it is better to take the size and shape of this tool into consideration. These features affect safety and comfort.
- The hot airflow from your heat gun is safer than many other heat-creating tools, but it can still make other things catch fire or crack. Consequently, you must follow the safety tips to avoid damaging the furniture and yourself.
- Similar to the equipment of the crimpers and blowers, the designs and constructions of the electric heat guns are good enough for you to use. Pay attention to the master appliance when choosing to buy.
On the Whole
It’s high time to practice paint stripping heat gun. We believe that you have known how to use a heat gun for paint stripping effectively. We mention all essential instructions, from the types of the heat gun, the operation of the heat gun, the way to use, to the safety tips to use. Everything is clear.
Your task is to try to read and memorize in turn. Obviously, there are only 3 steps for paint removing with a heat gun. It is not difficult or requires complicated skills. Nevertheless, to avoid the risks, we advise you to concentrate when doing and pocket the tips as well as considerations and warning.
Because of a safe stripping process, you do not ignore any detail in this article. Success to you!
I am a licensed architect who is passionate about all things home improvement industries, I have been doing DIY painting projects and have developed lots of experience around home improvement over the 10 years.