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Can I Use Heat Gun To Dry Paint?-That 1 Burning Question

Do you enjoy painting and ever have thought to use Heat gun to dry paint as I do? If so, then you are in the right place. I paint often and I enjoy doing it. But sometimes I face some challenges that kill my mood, and one of them is cold weather. If you have painted for some time you will agree that at low temperature paint will not cure and that is a disaster. Today I will talk about how you can use a Heat Gun to Dry Paint. Making it possible to paint in cold weather or low temperatures.

Painting in Cold Weather/Low temperatures

Paint is important, it adds aesthetic value to the things you are painting. It can be a house, a table, a chair, car, among others. Everywhere in the world painting is used for various reasons and not only because it makes things look good.

When painting in low temperatures, the manufacturers’ recommendations always come in handy. Most traditional paint is likely not to dry/cure at low temperatures. Technically temperature range below 15 degrees Celsius make it hard for paint to cure.

Painting in such conditions leads to various catastrophic results. Like for instance; the paint may appear cloudy or milky, the paint may change in color, the paint may drip/run and finally lose its glossiness completely or in patches.

Despite the temperature differences around the world, it is important to keep in mind that the temperature will drop at night and the paint is likely to form dew.

If the paint is not dry before the temperature drops at night, the paint will stop curing and when the dew forms on the paint, moisture sips into the paint. At this point, the following can happen; mildew growth, paint adhesion will be affected and the paint lifespan will be reduced.

While some paints may take up to 2 days to completely dry, latex-based and alkyd-based paints require up to 4 hours to cure. Afterward, It is okay if moisture falls on the paint surface. On the other hand, you can stop painting a few hours before the sun goes down so that the paint can dry before temperatures fall.

Another helpful tip is to warm the surface you’re painting before starting and store the paint in a warm place before you start painting.

Some situations cannot be avoided, and you find that you must paint in cold weather, well some “designer” paints can be used in low temperatures. Additionally, using a heat gun can be used to dry the paint.

It is a tedious operation because you have to paint a small area and dry it as you go. But even before we continue it is important to understand that a hairdryer cannot substitute a heat gun. Most people have assumed that a hairdryer can substitute and that is not the case. Please avoid it!!

How to use the Heat Gun to Dry paint

At this moment, you’re probably want to know about this method because you are painting in low temperatures. As a DIYer, I know that you will like to learn a new concept that will come in handy.

While heat guns can be used to remove paint from surfaces when set in high temperatures. In a low-temperature setting, the same heat gun can be used to dry paint on particular surfaces.

Using a heat gun does not guarantee a smooth painting experience, it only helps the paint to dry faster. Therefore, if you decided that the heat gun is the way to go, it is important to adhere to safety precautions to avoid any accidents.

Step 1: After plugging the heat gun, the Temperature should be set at 450-730 degrees Fahrenheit or 230-400 degrees Celsius

Turn on the heat gun and use the present mechanism to decrease the temperature. Start using the lower range temperature and gradually work to the latter. Avoided using it with a temperature more than 400 degrees Celsius. Your paint might boil or peel.

Tip: *Your heat gun manual can direct you better on how to operate it*

Step 2: Hold the gun at least 5 cm /2 inches away from the paint when using it.

If the heat gun is too close to the surface then the paint might peel off. The distance should be maintained throughout, because if the gun is too far then the paint will take time to dry or not dry at all. (remember this is a low-temperature setting)

Step 3: The Gun Nozzle should be aimed and move around continuously at the surface.

It is similar to how you move a hairdryer, but in this case, your head is the surface that has wet paint. The gun should be moving at times so that the heat is not concentrated in one area.

Tip: *When working on a large surface, work one section at a time*

Step 4: Blow hot air onto the paint until it dries.

Different types of paint require a different amount of time to dry. The surface area and the thickness of your painting are important considerations.  Ask Anna, posits that a surface area of paint that is 1ft (0.3m) by 2ft (0.6m) takes around 10 min to dry. You can work with these dimensions.

The heat gun can be used to speed up the drying, you can use it to dry paint until it cures and thereafter air drying can finish the curing process. It is highly applicable when you don’t have the time and energy to fully dry the paint.

Safety Precautions To Use a Heat Gun

It is just like any other tool has some safety precautions because it can cause accidents if not used properly. While this is general knowledge on Heat gun safety, it is important to follow manufacturers’ manual on safety.

  • Ensure you don’t have flammable materials where you are working because the hot air from the gun can set off flammable materials like gasoline, aerosol canisters, paint thinner among other flammable materials.
  • You will need proper safety gear like; gloves and safety google to protect your hands and eyes respectively. Also, loose-fitting clothes can be a hazard as they can be caught by the nozzle.
  • Avoid contact between the gun nozzle and the paint surface, as the paint will peel off and the surface will be damaged. The peeled paint can block the heat gun’s airflow.
  • You should not aim the heat gun in your direction and never touch the nozzle.
  • When you are done with the drying, ensure the heat is turned off before setting it down.

For a visual presentation please click the link below and it will help in your comprehension.

YouTube Video: How to use a heat gun?

The Best Heat Gun Brand

There are different brands of Heat Guns, visit your nearest hardware store to get one. Alternatively, department stores have the same, you will get it at Home Depot and  Walmart.

The most popular brands are; DEWALT, Milwaukee, Wagner Furno, and Black+Decker.

The Buying Guide below helps choose the best heat gun that fits your needs.

Heat Gun: Best Heat Guns (Buying Guide)


FAQs about Drying Paint using a Heat Gun

1. What is the maximum temperature that a Heat Gun can have?

Based on the use, either commercial or home use, it achieves a temperature of about 49 degrees Celsius/120 degrees Fahrenheit and the maximum temperature of 593 degrees Celsius/1100 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher.

2. What is the Price Range for Heat Guns?

The price range of a quality gun is $20 to $100.

3. Can you dry your paint with a Blow Dryer?

A blow dryer or hairdryer is not the same as a heat gun, so it will not be as efficient as a gun. The best thing is to stick to the Gun.

4. Can I use a Heat Gun to harden Spray Paint?

Yes, following the steps mentioned before a heat gun will work effectively while drying spray paint.

5. Is a Gun useful when it comes to stripping paint?

It works both ways, it can strip paint and dry it. The difference is that higher temperatures are used when stripping paint.

6. Can I use a heat gun on Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a new technology in paint manufacture. It does not evaporate and requires heat to cure. Professional heat guns can be used as a heat source to melt the thermoplastic powders so that they can be cured.

7. If I want to strip of cure paint, what are the best surfaces to use?

Regular surfaces such as wood, metal, or bricks can handle a heat gun treatment. Surfaces with a lower melting point cannot suffice a heat gun.

8. What is the Best Heat Gun for Drying Paint?

It is hard to tell as different models of heat guns have their unique perks. Visit online stores like Amazon and refer to the product review to establish the best heat gun to have your heat source.

9. Where can I buy a Heat Gun?

You can find a Basic heat gun at any super shop or departmental stores like IKEA, Home Depot, and Walmart. Also, you can buy it from any online store like amazon.

10. Can I use a Heat Gun for Industrial projects?

Yes, there are industrial and home heat guns. Buy the right type of heat gun.


At this point, I have provided you with enough information that answers most of your questions, but let us get back to the reason why we are having this discussion in the first place. You asked me if you can use a heat gun to dry paint.

Yes, you can use it as long you adhere to the safety precautions.

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