How to Use A Heat Gun To Remove Paint From Wood

Removing paint from wood can be a tedious task, but with the help of a heat gun, the process goes much faster and more smoothly. Heat guns also work for removing old varnishes and other finishes. Often times, heat guns work better than chemical strippers and other products giving you the desired look you were wanting.

If you’ve been following along you know that I have been busy at work removing a billion layers of paint from our upstairs woodwork in our new to us, 1886 Victorian home! First I began by testing for lead based paint, then I stripped multiple layers of paint with a product that is safe, effective and has zero VOC. While I was able to get down probably 8-10 layers of paint with the stripper, I needed to bust out the heat gun to finish off the remaining million layers. I’ve put the entire process together in my free guide to proper paint removal. 

When To Use A Heat Gun

Heat guns are great for projects that are indoors or have multiple layers of paint or varnish built up on them. It is ideal for woodwork around doors, windows and baseboards.

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Before Using A Heat Gun

Before using a heat gun, always test the paint that you are removing for lead. Follow these instructions here for my step-by-step tutorial on testing for lead based paint.

Heat Gun Safety

Heat guns resemble hair dryers, however they reach much higher temperatures than a hair dryer and need to be used with utmost caution. Many heat guns reach temperatures of over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Never touch the tip of your heat gun until it has fully cooled. Also, never lay your heat gun down on a surface until it has fully cooled.

Step-By-Step Video Tutorial

This instructional video teaches how to safely and properly remove paint from wood surfaces while using a heat gun and paint scraper. Before removing paint in a home or building built before 1978 be sure to test for lead first.

YouTube video

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Products Used In This Video

1) Wagner Furno 750 Heat Gun

2) Paint scrapers

3) Safety goggles

4) 3M Medium Mold and Lead Paint Removal Respirator Mask

5) Safety gloves

6) Old clothes or paint suit

7) Plastic drop cloth

8) 3M Sanding block


Snag my free guide to proper paint removal to learn how to remove lead based paint and more!


  1. I have no idea how old this post is, but THANK YOU! We purchased a farm with 92 acres and a 200-2 years old stone house. Let the renovations begin! We have the heat registers in the floor, AND lots of paint to be removed. I am just assuming it is all lead based without testing as there are LAYERS UPON LAYERS of paint. One room (the purple room) had no less than 8 layers of paint and wall paper! HEY! Where can I find 1.75″ hardwood flooring? Like you, it is next to impossible to track down salvaged OLD flooring! THANX again! If you reply, DOUBLE thank you!

    1. Oh my gosh Arlene!! That is awesome! Thank you so much for this compliment! I posted this 4 years ago – and it’s still something I’m working on (kind of…fortunately / unfortunately, hahaha, our house was struck by lightning and caught fire 3 months after moving in and most of the woodwork in those bedrooms in the video were replaced)…but I’m still working on stripping the window frames (ugh!!!!)

      Thin flooring = salvage yards, facebook marketplace, antique shops, etsy…those are my best suggestions!! It’s so hard to find! Good luck!

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