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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