Removing paint with a heat gun can be much quicker than chemical paint strippers or sanding, but care is needed as you could scorch and burn the wood - never mind yourself! Here's how to do it quickly, effectively and safely:


What you need

  • Heat gun
  • Metal scraper or putty knife
  • Rigger gloves or leather gardening gloves
  • Respirator face mask

How to use a heat gun to remove paint

Heat guns should be held at an angle of approximately 45 degrees from the work and never kept in one place for more than a few seconds. As the paint begins to bubble under the heat, move the gun and strip the paint with a metal scraper. The paint bubbles and blisters as the moisture and air trapped under the paint expand and force the paint to bubble. Make sure you don’t burn the paint, simply warm it until it blisters. The heat from the heat gun will have warmed the paint so that it is soft, so it can then be scraped away relatively easily.

In terms of safety, always wear a thick pair of gloves, such as some rigger gloves or leather gardening gloves. As you are passing the heat gun over the paint and scraping it you can easily pass the gun over your hand risking burns if you’re not concentrating, so make sure you’re well protected.

Heating paint can give off dangerous fumes, so always use a heat gun in a well ventilated space and use a suitable respirator face mask. There will be some paint that will be tricky to remove as it has not been warmed sufficiently or is trapped between the grain.

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Don’t risk burning or discolouring the wood by using the heat gun on these small areas. It’s best to use a paint stripper which will not damage the surface on these more intricate surfaces.

Four heat guns to remove paint with ease

DeWalt D26414-GB 2000W 240V LCD Premium Heat Gun

DeWalt D26414-GB 2000W 240V LCD Premium Heat Gun

This 240V heat gun from trusted US tools brand DeWalt includes features that will be helpful for a variety of tasks, including stripping paint. The temperature is set and adjusted via an easy-to-use digital LED display, and ranges from 50ºC - perfect for delicate jobs - all the way to a powerful 600ºC.

The set includes cone nozzle, fish-tail surface nozzle and steel paint scraper accessories so you can optimise the heat gun for the task at hand. Includes a one-year manufacturer's warranty for peace of mind.

VonHaus Heat Gun

VonHaus Heat Gun

If you're looking for a cheap heat gun from a reliable household name, VonHaus could be the answer! Their corded heat gun comes with two temperature settings - 350ºC and 550ºC - and four nozzle accessories (reflector, deflector, concentrator and paint scraper)

We like the flat base at the rear of the body, which allows you to safely stand the heat gun on end if you need to pause for a moment, carry out a hands-free task or simply to let the gun cool after use.

At the time of writing, it was priced at an ultra budget-friendly £24.99, and also includes a two-year warranty.

Einhell TE-HA 18 Li Power X-Change 18V Cordless Hot Air Gun

Einhell TE-HA 18 Li Power X-Change 18V Cordless Hot Air Gun

Corded heat guns are generally the most powerful, and can keep going as long as you need to complete the job. However, if you prefer the flexibility of a chargeable cordless device, Einhell's TE-HA cordless heat gun is among the best-reviewed on the market.

At the time of writing, a base kit was priced at £70, with the option to include a 2.5Ah battery pack and charger for £102.48 or a 4Ah battery pack and charger for £129.99. A 2Ah battery will last 11 minutes on a single charge, and a 4Ah battery will give you 17 minutes of operation time.

With two heat settings - 350°C and 550°C - this cordless heat gun a comes with reducer nozzle, wide jet nozzle and reflector nozzle to adapt it for a variety of tasks, including paint stripping.

Bosch Professional 18V System GHG 18V-50 cordless heat gun

Bosch Professional 18V System GHG 18V-50 cordless heat gun

For a top of the line cordless heat gun, look no further than leading brand Bosch. Although you pay a premium price for this addition to your toolbox, you can expect premium performance and features, from a six-second heating time to an integrated LED light to illuminate any tricky corners.


The GHG 18V-50 is geared towards professional use and remains effective in any environment, including outdoors. It comes with two built-in heat settings (300°C and 500°C) as well as reflector and reduction nozzle accessories. Compatible with all Bosch 18V rechargeable batteries.

Lead paint safety alert

If you suspect you have lead paint please make sure you follow expert safety advice as lead paint can be dangerous.

We have this guide to removing lead paint and the UK Goverment has this informative leaflet

Stay Safe!


Anna-Lisa De’Ath is a freelance magazine editor and journalist specialising in homes & interiors, gardening and crafts

Rebecca MessinaEditor,

Rebecca is the Digital Editor of Your Home and HomeStyle