How to Sand Blast a Car

by Steve Smith
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sand ripples image by Greg Pickens from

Sandblasting is a powerful way to remove paint from virtually any car body part. With a sand blaster, paint, rust and primer is stripped clean, leaving a bare, metal surface that is ready for a coat of primer. For refinishing a car or getting that perfect factory match, it is one method to consider. However, the process must be completed in the proper manner to be effective.

Step 1

Assess the part you want to sand blast. It is important because this will affect your choice in sand. If it is an under body part, use washed and bleached beach sand. For surface parts like door panels, use a 36-grit silica sand, a dedicated sandblasting material.

Step 2

Remove the part from the car and remove the hardware from the part you intend to blast. This includes chrome door handles, panel strips, fenders, tail lights and any other part that is not going to be refinished. A sand blaster is not accurate and it will damage exposed parts. Simply taping over a part will not protect it from sandblasting.

Step 3

Set the part onto a saw horse or another stable support outside in an area away from your garage or home where you can easily dispose of the sand. Do not sand blast indoors.

Step 4

Load your blasting media (sand) into the sand blaster container. Then, set the appropriate PSI for your compressor. Attach the sand blaster gun to the air hose and aim the unit at the part. Move the gun from side to side, holding it about eight to 12 inches from the part and work quickly, spraying in short bursts to remove the paint.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4 as needed. Sand blasters work quickly and efficiently so a fast hand and a light touch is often required.

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