What is Sand Blasting, and How Can You Use It?

When it comes to home repairs and improvements, doing it yourself is often the most cost-effective option — not to mention the most fun. From talented and experienced DIYers to first-timers and hobbyists, DIY home repair and improvement has a little bit for everyone. Of course for some projects, it just makes more sense to call a professional. But just because you have your limits doesn’t mean that you can’t expand them. If you’re looking to add a technique to your arsenal of DIY tools and talents, sandblasting might be for your.

What is Sandblasting?

Sandblasting is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Also called “abrasive blasting,” sandblasting is the process of propelling an abrasive substance against a surface. The battering smooths out the surface, making sandblasting like a very powerful cousin of hand-sanding.

DIY sandblasting can be done affordably and safer with a blasting cabinet say the pros at Cyclone Manufacturing. The process always involves using some method to accelerate the substance, or media, doing the “blasting” so that it can hit the surface with the proper force.  Despite the name, never actually use sand when blasting, the health risks are incredibly high compared to alternative forms of blasting media. With a sandblasting cabinet, this process is combined with a reuptake system that allows the user to recycle the abrasive. There are also different systems at work in different types of sandblasting cabinets, meaning that DIYers have many options when considering a sandblasting purchase.

Ways to Use Sandblasting in Your DIY Project

Sandblasting is powerful, and DIYers have access to the tools and machines they’ll need thanks to sellers, rental companies, and used sandblasting equipment vendors. But why actually go out and get a sandblaster? What is it good for?

Smoothing surfaces quickly and powerfully can be a very useful thing, and there are no shortage of potential DIY projects that could have you putting a sandblaster to excellent use. Bricks and metal surfaces that have become uneven with age can be smoothed out quickly with a sandblaster, giving them a fresh and like-new appearance.

Sandblasters can be used to smooth out metal surfaces and other surfaces before a paint job. Small sand blasters can be used to clean out the threads of old screws and bolts, making your next reassembly project a little less frustrating.

It’s not just home improvement DIYers who can use sandblasters, as shade-tree mechanics may use them on car parts such as fenders. Owning a sandblaster can expand the number of auto body-related DIY projects you can tackle on your own. It can also be useful with engine parts that have become gunked up and need to be blasted clean.

You can even use smaller sandblasting tools to create etched glass and other crafts — more of an art than home-improvement project. These fine-detail projects show the versatility of sandblasting, which can be used in everything from massive, heavy-duty projects to tiny, fragile creations.

In short, there are a lot of uses for sandblasters of all sizes. Maybe it’s time to add a sandblaster to your collection of tools, or to rent a large-scale one for that major project you’ve been putting off. With a little practice, you’ll find that time spend using a sandblaster can expand your repertoire of home improvement skills and give you the power to tackle a larger and more diverse number of projects on your property and beyond.