How to Sand Blast

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Sand blasting is a quick and effective way to clean stone and masonry surfaces, especially for cleaning spilled and splashed mortar from a freshly laid brick wall. You can also sand blast stone sidewalks or patios. Another way to sand blast is to decorate metal or glass by applying a stencil and sand blasting the exposed areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand blaster
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective clothing
  • Plastic sheeting and heavy-duty sticky tape
  • Decide what gradation of particle size you will use. Type A gradation is used when the masonry or surface is lightly soiled or when a very light texturing of the surface is required or permitted. Type B gradation is for heavy cleaning, such as removing mortar stains from brickwork or where deeper texturing of the surface is required. These materials are available at a rock quarry or masonry supply service.

  • Tape off all areas that will not be sand blasted. Use plastic sheeting and extra-strength tape. Make sure all areas are covered completely and the tape is securely adhered to the surface to be protected.

  • If sand blasting a recently mortared brick wall, remove any large particles of mortar with hand tools before starting, by using a metal scraper hoe or the rough edge of a brick. This step is important because the brick would be damaged if chunks of mortar were to be removed by sand blasting alone.

  • Put on safety glasses and protective clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, gloves and a hood.

  • Load the abrasive material (sand) into its chamber of the sand blaster and fit the sand blaster with a nozzle that has an inside dimension of between 3/16 and 5/16 of an inch in diameter. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations to use the sand blaster. Begin with the machine set at supplying sand at a rate of 300 pounds per hour.

  • Clean a small area to test the sand blaster. Try the machine, sand blasting close to the wall and then at various distances from the wall. Choose a cleaning distance that best cleans the brick or other surface without damaging it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sand blaster machines can be rented at rental centers. Supplies for sand blasting are available at rock quarries or masonry supply companies. Do not sand blast a freshly laid brick wall; wait seven to 14 days for the mortar to dry and cure before cleaning with a sand blaster.

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