Everything You Need to Know About Sandblasting on Long Island

Jul 28, 2017

For a variety of reasons, you may find yourself in need sandblasting on Long Island. You might even to take advantage of this technique to prepare the metal surface of anything from your patio furniture to your vehicle for a new coat of paint or powder coating. When that happens, questions inevitably surface. Most importantly, what is sandblasting? How can it improve the surface of your metal belongings, and why is it more effective than other alternatives that seek to accomplish the same or similar goals? What types of sandblasting work for what types of surface, and where can you get your metal surfaces treated in this way?

sandblasting on long island

All of these questions deserve thorough answers. That is why we wrote the below article as your comprehensive tutorial on the subject. Here is everything you need to know about Sandblasting, and how to find the right professionals to do the job for you on Long Island.

What is Sandblasting?

Put simply, the term sandblasting refers to a way to prep your metal surface for the application of a new coat of paint or powder coating. Fine bits of material are pressure-propelled directly on the metal surface, either to etch it or to give it a deep clean. The high pressure involved in the process means that you can use this technique to either clean old finishes off the metal, or remove any impurities that the metal may have incurred over time.

As its name suggests, the core material used has traditionally been sand. However, in reality, other materials can be used as well. That is why you might here this process referred to as abrasive blasting, media blasting, or even soda blasting. At its core, though, all describe variations on the same general concept: high-pressure projection of small, granular materials that seek to grind down the metal back to its original state.

Understanding the Various Types of Sandblasting

To better understand the concept, it makes sense to break it down into the various alternatives mentioned above. Using sand can become dangerous, especially considering that inhaling small sand particles over an extended period can become a health hazard. With the right equipment, sand is still a valid option, but other alternatives do exist:

  • Wet abrasive blasting. Here, the moisture creates a natural lubricant that makes the fine materials shot onto the metal less abrasive.
  • Bead blasting, which consists of small glass beads instead of sand. This opportunity tends to work well when looking to avoid rust, which sand can promote.
  • Hydro blasting, which can only be effective if the application is supposed to be surface-level. Think of it as a more high-powered version of a pressure wash.
  • Shot blasting, which includes small metal shots and will be the most abrasive option – best for grinding down metal to remove deep-lying impurities.
  • Soda blasting, the least abrasive alternative of the above. Like hydro blasting, this option is best used for surface-level applications and cleaning opportunities.

Naturally, each of the above alternatives makes sense for different types of goals. Your best step to determine the ideal sandblasting method, then, is to understand the exact application and metal you need to clean and reform.

Potential Sandblasting Applications

Applications for sandblasting range far and wide. For instance, you might think about changing the color of your car or motorcycle. In that case, you will need to get rid of the old finish, which can only be done through the deep cleaning that this methodology includes.

The same is naturally true for any other metal surfaces. When you want to rid the metal of an old coat of paint or other types of finish, sandblasting tends to be your best opportunity to accomplish that goal. This can include anything from metal railings to any stainless steel surface.

In addition to removing existing finishes, sandblasting also makes sense if you want to prepare your metal for either a powder coating or metal plating finish. Each of these tends to be more effective and longer-lasting than regular paint, but does come with the requirement to prepare the metal before the application. Through sandblasting, you can fulfill that preparation requirement.

Of course, the possibilities do not end there. Even if your goal is not to remove an old coating but to remove impurities in the metal, to sandblast tends to be your best shot. Depending on the exact method you use, you can even minorly reshape the metal by applying targeted blasts with abrasive projectiles. It is important to mention that this is not a recommended application for larger surfaces, but it can be effective in a targeted fashion.

DIY or Professional Partnership?

The wide range of potential applications makes one thing clear: sandblasting can both improve and prepare a wide range of metal surfaces for a variety of reasons. However, should you work with professionals on a project like this, or try your own hands at it? Let’s examine that question in more detail.

DIY sandblasting is possible. If you find the right equipment and educate yourself about the process, you will find a variety of tutorials online that walk you through the process. In the short-term, this option can save you money. In the long-term, however, it might not be the best idea to get a high-quality application without endangering yourself or the metal surface you are looking to prepare.

First, equipment that you can buy or construct yourself is not always reliable. That, in turn, might result in ineffective applications. The potential danger of the application mentioned above, especially if you do not wear the right attire when using more abrasive projectiles, also means that working on it yourself could incur health damages in the process.

Also, consider the wide range of potential sandblasting types mentioned above. Do you have an effective way of knowing which of them will work best for your needs? If you do not, you risk either losing effectiveness in the application, or – worse – damaging the metal surface you are looking to improve.

Professionals, on the other hand, can help you through the entire process. While you might have to pay more, you will get a quality consultation that walks you through the process and recommends what your metal needs. It is an investment, rather than a cost; through professional sandblasting, your metal surfaces will be improved for years to come.

Finding the Best Sandblasting on Long Island

In the vast majority of use cases, professional sandblasting will be your best opportunity. Here are a few tips that can help you make sure that you find the right partner for these types of applications in Long Island.

  • Look for expertise in applications similar to the one you will need.
  • Find professionals who do not just offer to sandblast, but also powder coating and metal plating services, to ensure consistency throughout the process.
  • Try to get an initial quote or estimate of the services after the professionals have taken an initial look.

Given the wide range of potential benefits when it comes to sandblasting on Long Island, working with professionals makes sense. Contact TLC Metal Restoration to learn more about our services, and how we can help you both improve and prepare any metal surfaces, you need.