What is Sandblasting?

What is sandblasting?
Sandblasting is the term for the process of smoothing, shaping and cleaning a hard surface by forcing solid particles across the surface at high speeds, similar to using sandpaper but with a more even finish. The appearance of the finished look is determined greatly by the type of media used and the experience of the operator. To this end sandblasting is not just an industrial task but an art. The artisan is creating a pattern on the surface of the blasted material. Much practice and experience is necessary for one to become a truly skilled sandblaster. We provide sandblasting services in all areas of residential sandblasting, industrial sandblasting and commercial sandblasting.

What is the media like?
There are different medias and sizes available depending on the job. The media may be slag, glass beads, sodium bicarbonate, ground walnut shells, etc. We match the right type to the job at hand. The material has been sieved to a uniform size to ensure an even look on the finished product. The most commonly used type looks very much like fine dirt.

Can I sandblast brick?
Yes. Perhaps another question that should be addressed is “What is brick?” Brick is artificial stone formed by clay which is burned in a kiln. It is essentially a baked loaf of mud. The “crust” of this loaf must be carefully blasted as the brick will ultimately fail if damage is done to reach its core. Historic brick is delicate, but can be blasted with an experienced and skilled hand. Modern brick can undergo sandblasting with the right media and a skilled operator. Sandblasted brick will need to be sealed to prevent the absorption of water. The correct sealer must be chosen to allow moisture as water vapor to escape from the brick. Kelly & Sons has lots of experience in working with brick and restoring buildings to their full beauty and potential. Take a look at our gallery for examples of sandblasting brick.

Can I sandblast wood?
Yes. There are various options for removing paint from wood. These options include sandblasting, heat stripping, and chemical strippers. Heat works well at stripping the paint but also dries out the wood. This may lead to shrinkage and warping. The danger of creating a fire is very real especially during warm summers. Chemical strippers involve using very strong acids and bases. Finishes may vary based on the amount of chemicals used. The balance of moisture in the wood is very important and harsh chemicals may upset the moisture content of your wood. Sandblasting wood is not something every sandblaster can do. It takes MUCH experience and more artistic skill than is necessary for other common surfaces as it is a very delicate operation. Only our most experienced operators are used for working on wood. Sandblasted wood will need to be sealed or finished and sealed soon after blasting to prevent water damage. Take a look at our gallery for examples of sandblasting wood.

Is there a big mess after the job is complete?
We clean up the the sand after every job. Some is left on the ground from the more common dirt-like types, leaving a near unnoticeable and natural look. Some clients even request it.

Do I need a permit?
Most residential areas do not require a permit for sandblasting. If one is necessary we as contractors will obtain it. The homeowner should never be responsible for obtaining the permit as it is the contractor’s role to take on legal responsibility for the job. We stand by our work. We will work to obtain the contract as required where applicable in residential, commercial and industrial situations.

Are you insured?
All of our workers are fully insured.

What does a typical job entail?
The standard job consists of the following:
Board up windows/doors/crevices/etc
Perform and evaluate a test blast on a small area
Blast the remaining surface
walk through and inspect the job
Collect excess media
Remove boards
Painting or treatment following the sandblast on request

How long does a typical job last?
This varies on the size of the surface and what is being done to it. Sometimes brick is painted on directly. Other times cement is applied to the brick, and then paint to the cement. We will provide you with as accurate an estimate as possible with our quote. A typical job takes about 3 days for a 4 man team.

Do you do sandblasting near me?
Kelly & Sons is based out of the greater Chicago area but services the 48 contiguous US states. From Chicago sandblasting and beyond, we will go anywhere from down the street to across the country. Kelly & Sons proudly assisted in the cleanup efforts of Hurricane Katrina. We bring everything needed to get the job done anywhere it is required.



Check out our amazing photo gallery and be sure to contact us for a free quote on our amazing work. Let us know the details of your project, we’d love to be a part of its success.