Antique armoires, beautiful cabinetry, and elegant wrought iron furniture may languish for a lifetime in the attic under layers of rust and paint. The challenge of revealing long-neglected charm may seem overwhelming. But vintage furniture restoration can be accomplished much faster with micro-abrasive blasting.
Abrasive blasting offers significant benefits over other methods of removing paint and rust, including speed and reduced environmental impact. As it cleans the surface, it also texturizes to increase adhesion when applying paint. And considering the options for blasting media, nozzles, and blast pressure, blasting becomes an attractive alternative for refinishing both wood and metal.
Fast and Safe Rust and Paint Removal
Imaging spending countless hours removing multiple layers of paint with a wire brush and a sander. Corners and crevices don’t give up their age-hardened material easily, and wire brushes may leave an uneven surface. Chemical strippers create an environmental hazard and may still require brushing once the stripper has loosened the material.
On the other hand, abrasive blasting rapidly cleans down to bare metal or wood. And using a biodegradable blasting media such as sodium bicarbonate (soda) protects the environment and the operator’s health. When it comes down to it, the abrasive blasting process takes just a fraction of the time required to sand and brush the surface by hand.
Create Lasting Beauty with Professional-Grade Surface Preparation
Many aspiring hobbyists dutifully sand, clean, and repaint vintage furniture only to have the paint reveal an uneven surface or rust spots re-appear. Any unremoved paint or rust can render the piece looking unprofessional. Sadly, the furniture may require additional refinishing after a short time.
Using abrasive blasting for vintage furniture refinishing instead ensures that the paint or powder coating you apply will bond with the surface. The smooth finish that results produces a professional look, with no minor imperfections to spoil the appearance.
Be Careful with Wood Furniture
Besides environmental damage, heat and chemical strippers can both affect the delicate balance of moisture in wood. As an alternative, abrasive blasting for vintage furniture restoration preserves moisture and the environment. Also use it to produce a rustic, weathered look to the wood if desired.
Remember, however, that to protect the soft surface, blasting wood requires a steady hand and thoughtful preparation. Two things to consider when blasting wood include the air pressure setting and the type of blasting media to use.
Regardless of the media selected, start with a low blasting pressure to preserve the soft surface of the wood. For example, start with 40 psi and gradually increase pressure in small increments until the paint lifts without distressing the substrate. Practice your technique in advance because the hardness of wood can vary, even within the same piece of furniture.
For blasting media, choose something gentle when working with wood. Popular options include soda, walnut shells, corn cobs, and pumice. The safest choice of soda blasting will produce less friction than more abrasive media and does not damage the underlying surface.
Use the Best Equipment for Vintage Furniture Restoration
Using the right equipment and media can greatly reduce the time required to refinish vintage furniture or for other applications. For over 67 years, Airbrasive has delivered quality blasting solutions for both hobbyists and professionals. With a wide selection of abrasive powders, nozzles and blast cabinets, we’ll help you master the hardest part of the job.