What is Sandblasting?
The sandblasting technique uses finely grated material shot at high speeds to strip or resurface the exterior of an object. You can use this technique to strip paint off of a house or car, smooth your concrete patio, or even remove unsightly graffiti from your office building or school. Common materials used for sandblasting include ground walnut shells, glass, plastic beads, and of course sand. The material being sandblasted greatly affects the medium you choose to blast with.
Why Sandblast Wood?
If you need to strip paint off wood, there are several options available to you. First, heat works well at lifting paint, but costs the wood of its moisture, not to mention increases fire risk. The loss of moisture can cause warping or in fact shrink the wood. If your project relies on exact dimensions, this option is risky. Second, chemical stripping can make finishing the wood more complicated due to the acids and bases used. You will have to check the compatibility of the finish with the chemicals used. Last, sandblasting the wood will remove the hurdles listed above and leave the surface prepared the way you want it to finish your project.
Dos and Don’ts When Sandblasting Wood
Before starting any project, you’ll want to ensure you have the proper equipment and protective gear. Wear either thick material or a body suit, covering any bare skin with gloves, a mask, and goggles. Also, take care of the materials you use since some can be health hazards, such as silica sand. Area prep is important for avoiding damage to surrounding objects and preventing sand from getting in inconvenient locations.
Sandblasting wood takes refined skill and not a simple project for an amateur sandblaster. Since wood is fairly delicate, you will want to start with low pressure and a soft medium, such as walnuts. Test a small area of your object before finishing the remainder. If the test area does not provide the results you are looking for, you can switch to a coarser medium and test again. The key to creating a flawless piece is a constant and uniform blast. Keep the pressure even and the motion steady, moving the hose back and forth at a constant rate. If not enough material is being removed, slow your rate of motion. If too much material is blasting off, increase your rate of motion.
Check your work often to ensure the surface is how you want it and there are no major divots or bumps. After your wood project is complete, a good seal is immediately required to protect it from water damage. If you’re unsure about your sandblasting skill or want it done right the first time, Illinois based company Kelly and Sons Sandblasting uses top experts in sandblasting and techniques that will leave your projects looking flawless. They are committed to their craft and will travel cities and even states away to assist you in your sandblasting needs. Projects big or small, call them the next time you need professional wood sandblasting.