Beautiful wrought iron patio furniture, elegant cabinetry and charming headboards can hide for decades under layers of rust and paint. The challenge of uncovering long-forgotten beauty may seem daunting. But restoration efforts gain a significant boost with micro-abrasive blasting for furniture refinishing.
Abrasive blasting offers a number of key benefits over other methods of removing paint and rust, from speed to environmental impact. As it cleans, it texturizes the surface to enhance adhesion when painting. And when operators choose blasting media wisely and adjust blast pressure appropriately, blasting can present an effective option for both metals and wood.
Safely and Quickly Remove Paint and Rust
Picture yourself spending hours upon hours removing old paint with a wire brush and a sander. Nooks and crannies prove stubborn opponents, and wire brushes can leave an uneven surface. Chemical strippers harm the environment and still require a wire brush once the stripper has done its work.
In contrast, abrasive blasting allows you to rapidly clean down to bare metal or wood. A biodegradable blasting powder such as sodium bicarbonate (soda) preserves the environment and the health of the operator. At the same time, the abrasive blasting process requires a fraction of the time that it would take to sand by hand.
Ensure Longevity with Surface Preparation
Too many hobbyists lovingly clean and repaint old furniture, only to have the paint bubble and rust spots re-emerge. Any leftover rust or paint can leave the piece looking amateur and require additional refinishing after just a season in sun and rain.
On the other hand, using abrasive blasting for furniture refinishing ensures that subsequent paint or powder coating bonds with the substrate. The resulting smooth surface creates an elegant look, with no hidden rust spots to mar the effect.
Special Considerations for Wood Furniture
In addition to environmental concerns, heat and chemical strippers can both upset the delicate moisture balance in wood. Using abrasive blasting for furniture restoration offers an alternative that preserves moisture and the ecosystem. It can also render a rustic, weathered look to the wood or prepare the surface for further painting.
Keep in mind, however, that blasting wood requires a steady hand and careful preparation to protect the soft surface. Two of the main factors to consider when blasting wood include the type of blasting media and the amount of air pressure used.
Choose a gentle blasting media when working with wood. Popular options include soda, corn cobs, walnut shells and pumice. Soda blasting, in particular, produces less friction than more abrasive media and will not scratch the underlying surface.
Even with a gentle media, be sure to start with a low blasting pressure to preserve the soft surface of the wood. For example, start with 40 psi and slowly increase pressure in increments until the paint lifts without affecting the substrate. Because the hardness of wood can vary widely, even within the same piece of furniture, practice your technique in advance.
Quality Tools Spell Success with Blasting for Furniture Refinishing
When it comes to micro-abrasive blasting for furniture refinishing or other applications, the right equipment and media make all the difference. For over 65 years, Airbrasive has delivered solutions for both professionals and hobbyists. With a wide selection of abrasive powders, nozzles and blast cabinets, we can set you on the road to success.