Stripping paint with heat?

I'm planning to restore some painted wood to a more natural state. A few years back, using heat to strip old finishes was commonplace and electric heat guns were flying off the shelves. I only see chemical methods mentioned now. Is there a good reason for this?
TIA
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they started fires if one wasn't careful. in today's lawsuit-happy age, the are probably discouraged.
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People who kill themselves with heat-sources die right then, and there's an easy path of causality for the lawyers to follow.
People who kill themselves with chemicals tend to die years later, which creates plausible deniability.
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Thanks for your insight -- it makes perfect sense -- but the question was "Is there a GOOD reason?" as in "does it work just as well?" And, can you still buy a heat gun without a background check?
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was
you
Maybe the chemical manufacturers are just better at marketing than the heat gun manufacturers. My Home Depot stocks heat guns.
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I've seen heat guns around, and a purchase doesn't involve the FBI, last I knew. But I'm with Doug Miller on this - I was underwhelmed with their performance.
You don't say what or how much wood you're stripping -- if it's a big job I'd try the chemicals.
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If it's a big job, I take 'er into town and let the guy with the stripping tank give 'er swim in the tank. Still some cleanup stripping to do, but it's worth every cent of the $50 he charges me.
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Hey
It's a GUN. You need a background check to buy any GUN. Apparently you have not purchased a caulking or staple gun lately. Anyone of any age can buy a hair dryer, because it's not called a "gun". But a heat gun requires you to be a legal adult and a FBI and local police investigation to determine if you are insane, deranged, belong to a street gang, abuse drugs, or you are a murderer. This is to protect unsuspecting American women and children from maniacs who run around the streets with a loaded heat or caulking gun.
If you have a police record, other than parking tickets, you should use the chemicals. Otherwise a heat gun is faster and less harmful to your health as long as you follow the instructions so you dont set your house on fire.
However, I am not sure what you are stripping, but do you really need to remove ALL the paint? Often a hand scraper and a sander disk on an electric drill is all you need to remove the loose paint spots, and leave the solid paint intact. Just use the drill sander to feather the edges of the scraped areas. If you use a heat gun, you still need to do this, unless you strip the whole house. If you suspect lead paint, be sure to wear a mask when you sand the paint, of course this is good practice no matter the type of paint.
Mark
--------

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few
electric
I can't comment on industry trends, but I bought a heat gun and stripped my front door. I laid it over saw horses, so any fires would be contained. It worked just fine.
I suppose lead paint could be a concern, and paint remover would keep lead suspended and contained, whereas a heat gun could generate airborne particles.
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Sure - it's because heat guns don't work worth a damn for stripping paint. The chemical strippers take about one-tenth the time and effort.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 21:02:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I found the exact opposite to be true when stripping a paneled door with several heavy coats.
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They work better on old oil paint not latex, latex actualy melts, oil bubbles and releases. They are still sold but stripping old oil that contains lead releases it poisoning you. Pick the right tool - product for the job.
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Bob wrote:

Chemical strippers are expensive, messy, but do a great job. Torch can be used outdoors, but run risk of burning/charring wood. Depends on the job, how much, etc. I've done both. I wouldn't use a torch on antique furniture, and I wouldn't use chemical stripper to do all the window frames on the outside of the house.
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Bob wrote:

My experience stripping molding and baseboards last year: the heat gun was quicker and a lot easier in removing about five layers of paint from flat surfaces. But not every speck of paint came off, and the heat gun had to be followed by chemical. Also, the chemical was better for grooves and carved sections.
Paul in San Francisco
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Paul MR wrote:

This has been my experience with our old house: heat gun for paint layers over old varnish (both come off), followed by chemical. But in some places I have had paint that the heat gun did not touch, and even chemical was slow and difficult. We are staining the wood, so a chem strip is necessary after the heat, followed by sanding to get the clean smooth surface. I am using a chemical stripper purchased from a place in Cleveland, 5-gallon or 1-gallon cans, good price and somewhat better than the Z... strip that can be bought in stores for $20 or more last time I checked. --Phil
--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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I cracked a window once using a heat gun.

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Bob writes:

Heat == slow.
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Thanks to all for your responses. It's not a big job - bunch of very basic kitchen cabinet doors painted over 25 years ago. I'm planning on taking threm down and doing the job outdoors, not sure whether I'll strip or paint over the cabinet frames.
Bob
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You should never strip in the cold. You could end up freezing your private parts.
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