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I have a section of wall in the kitchen near the window where several layers of paint are peeling off. It is an interior wall, most likely plaster over brick.

Using a paint/wall scraper will be hard work and will require a lot of effort to peel so many layers.

Using a chemical stripper will give off fumes.

Can I use a heat gun on my kitchen wall, or is it only for food?

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    "Is heat gun for interior kitchen walls or is only for food ?" What does that mean?
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 18 '20 at 19:10
  • I've never heard of a heat gun being used for that purpose. It may soften the paint enough to let you scrape it off, but I doubt you'll get all the way down.
    – isherwood
    Aug 18 '20 at 19:18
  • @isherwood - Heat gun paint removal. youtube.com/watch?v=alAaC46obZc
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 18 '20 at 19:22
  • When you say "heat gun", are you referring to a kitchen blow torch like is used for caramelizing the crust on a crème brûlée?
    – Niall C.
    Aug 19 '20 at 0:36
  • Before you apply heat to paint, you need to understand if any of the paint has lead in it. Buy a cheap test kit and proceed accordingly. (Hint: only temperature regulated heat guns are appropriate for lead paint.) Aug 19 '20 at 2:49
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If you have paint peeling/flaking off the wall, it might be a better option to scraping off loose paint and put on a skim coat of plaster/joint compound. I've used a heat gun to remove large areas of paint and its not fun. If you're determined to do it, be wary of holding the heat gun in one spot too long. Try and warm up 1 foot diameter area and then use as wide a putty knife as you can to scrape while heating up the wall in front of the knife edge.

You should be aware that if the paint has lead in it, a heat gun can vaporize it, which is as dangerous as any citrus strippers might be.

I would also take some time to figure out why its flaking in that area under the window. Is it from a leak around the window? Maybe the frame outside is not sealed or the caulk has dried up and cracked. It would be annoying to fix the wall, paint it and then have it reoccur a few months later.

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I have done this on multiple layers of old oil and latex paint.

The heat gun does work. If you are lucky, you'll soften a lower layer of paint and be able to lift off sheets with a scraper.

If you are unlucky, you'll burn the paint, creating nasty little blisters that have to be scraped and sanded carefully, and you'll burn yourself with the heat gun.

Fumes can be nasty, and the process is time consuming. But it won't raise the grain the way that chemical strippers do.

Buy an assortment of metal scrapers before starting -- nooks and crannies can be tough to get into.

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  • As noted in the OP, "most likely plaster over brick", so not much grain to raise. ;) Of course, "most likely" is a little disconcerting...
    – FreeMan
    Aug 19 '20 at 12:35
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Citrus based paint strippers work very well, and they smell like citrus.

When stripping paint, sometimes it is required to do it in stages, apply stripper, scrape and repeat (maybe several times).

On paint that is very difficult to remove sometimes using a heat gun will help soften the paint so it can be removed. Sometimes you need to employ both methods to achieve effective results.

I would use the citrus stripper and see how it goes.

Can I use a heat gun on my kitchen wall?

If, as you guess, the wall is plaster over brick then a heat gun used carefully will not damage the wall. If it is drywall (Sheetrock) then you need to be very careful. Drywall is gypsum sandwiched between two layers of paper so once you have removed most of the paint you could scorch the paper if not careful.

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