Sandblasting is the process of propelling abrasive particles at a high speed onto a surface. It is used to clean surfaces by freeing them from clinging particles. These particles are usually old paint or rust. Sandblasting is also used for etching. There are companies specializing in sandblasting or you can buy or rent a sandblast kit.

sandblasting
credit: hywit dimyadi/iStock/Getty Images
Sandblasters are often used to remove old paint.

Process

metal work
credit: Glen Jones/iStock/Getty Images
Sandblasting steel

A sandblasting setup has three parts. This includes an air compressor, a blaster nozzle and the abrasive. The abrasive most commonly used was once sand particles but, due to health concerns, other materials are now used such as steel grit, copper slag, aluminum oxide, or walnut or coconut shell particles.

Contractors

sandblasting
credit: shime02/iStock/Getty Images
Professionals do a great job

If you need sandblasting done, you can hire a company that specializes in sandblasting. The cost varies but it generally runs between $30 and $60 an hour (as of January 2011).

Do-It-Yourself

sandblasting
credit: shime02/iStock/Getty Images
Rent a Sandblaster

If you wish to do the sandblasting yourself, you will need a sandblasting kit. You can rent one for about $9 to $15 a day. You will also need to rent an air compressor if you do not have one which will cost roughly $15to $30 a day. You will need abrasive, which costs about $60 per 50 lbs. You can buy a new sandblast kit for about $18 and a new air compressor for $90 to $200. Smaller, light jobs,may cost about $100.