How to burn off paint with a paint burner

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 24, 2022
I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Burning off paint is done with a paint burner (hot air gun) and burning off with paint removes the entire layer of paint.
You can burn off paint for 2 reasons.

Either the surface to be painted is peeling off in certain places or there are many layers of paint on top of each other.

How to burn off paint with a paint burner

If the paint is peeling, remove the peeling paint until the paint adheres to the surface.

You can then smooth the transition from bare to painted with a sander.

I often experience that there are many layers of paint on top of each other and I always give the advice to remove all those layers and put them on again.

I see many layers of paint on old houses.

I do this because the “rack” is out of the paint.

The paint no longer shrinks and no longer expands with the various weather influences that we have here in the Netherlands.

The bottom line is that the paint is no longer elastic.

Burn off paint with a triangle paint scraper

Burn off paint with a triangle paint scraper and an electric hair dryer.

Use a hair dryer with 2 settings.

Always use the hair dryer on the second setting.

Always use a paint scraper with a wooden handle.

It fits well in the hand and does not rub on your skin.

Make sure your paint scraper is sharp and flat.

After this, turn on the hair dryer and immediately go back and forth with your scraper.

You should also keep the hair dryer moving non-stop and not keep it in the same place.

There is a good chance that you will get scorch marks in your wood.

The moment the paint starts to curl, scrape off the old paint layer with your scraper.

Be careful to stay within the edges with your scraper and stay about an inch away from the edges.

I have experienced this myself and if you do this you will pull splinters out of your surface with your scraper and that is not the intention of burning off the paint.

So a layer of paint will remain at the edges, which you can sand off later.

And so you work your entire surface, just as long as your surface is bare.

When you’re done burning, let the hair dryer work for a few minutes on setting 1 and then place the hair dryer on the ground or concrete.

This is because you know for sure that there is nothing under the hair dryer that could catch fire.

Another tip I want to give you

Especially if you use an incinerator indoors.

Then open a window for good ventilation.

After all, the old paint layers contain many harmful substances.

Also don’t forget to wear good work gloves, because the burnt-off paint is quite hot.

If you’re going to burn off paint, take your time!

You can comment under this blog or ask Piet directly

Thanks in advance.



I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.