Iris writes: Why is a hair dryer used to assist drying acrylic paint rather than a heat gun?

This question is more fun with a story. Many years ago when I was teaching in Southern California, I had a lady who came to my class for about a month. While I don’t normally paint students in a negative light (most were actually awesome), this woman was an ongoing headache for me. No matter what I suggested, she argued. The worst part was that she brought her 12-year-old autistic son with her to class. This kid was awesome. He LOVED painting. He didn’t see the world as she did. He wanted orange fish to be blue, blue water to be purple and seaweed to be all the colors ever. He was having a blast and was a real joy to have in my class. His mom…not so much. She criticized everything he did. She argued with EVERYTHING I instructed on her own paintings as well. EVERYTHING.

One day she decided that a heat gun would be better than the hair dryer I instructed her to use. She would not listen to me. Remember, acrylic paint is essentially a type of plastic. The heat created from the heat gun is just too hot (as I had warned her). It caused the paint to bubble up and peel from the canvas. I was quite amused by this situation, to be honest. You can only warn someone so many times before you’re just like “ok fine, go ahead…do it!”.

In short…the heat gun gets too hot for the acrylic paint. 🙂