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What Are the Best Tips for Sandblasting Paint?

A person sandblasting.
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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 13 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Sandblasting paint effectively requires a few key steps, including preparation of the surrounding non-painted surfaces, personal protection, and blasting technique. Power washing should also follow any blasting process. The treated surface should be free of all paint before any new paint is applied.

Most sandblasting paint projects are strictly exterior jobs. Fine sand, such as silica, courses through a blasting machine to strike against a targeted surface. These tiny sand granules effectively chip off small paint pieces until the surface below is revealed. All children and pets should be cleared from the immediate area to prevent any injuries from the high speed blasting machine.

Since sandblasting paint requires a strong force of projectile sand, any nearby wood surrounding the painted area should be covered with a tarp. For example, decorative wood protrusions surrounding a stucco wall should be covered or they may become damaged during the blasting process. Any other sensitive materials, like television cable wires, should be covered as well. The high powered sand can easily create dents and cracks in fragile materials.

Any project involving sandblasting paint should require the applicator to wear protective eyewear and gloves. The sand will be striking the targeted surface at high velocities; some of the sand and paint chips may ricochet off the surface toward the applicator. It is good practice to stay to the side of the targeted surface during application. The residual paint chips and sand may rebound in a different direction.

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A proper technique is imperative for sandblasting paint. The applicator should blast the surface at an angle; this will allow the sand granules to effectively peel the paint upward. Sandblasting paint in a head-on position will produce an indentation along the surface since all the blasting power is directed into one focal point; the surface may need repair if this improper technique is chosen.

The blasting process normally uses water along with the sand; however, a thorough power wash after the blasting will ensure that all the paint and sand have been removed from the surface. Any residual sand or paint shards can prevent the new paint from adhering to the surface, but a clean surface should accept the paint easily. Sandblasting paint will create a large mess. Since the paint is dry, it is legal to dispose of it within common household trash. It is good practice to make sure that all of the paint is disposed of properly so that animals, like pets, do not ingest the tiny chips.

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