Should You Sandblast Before Powder Coating?

March 1, 2022 5:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Powder coating has long been an industry standard for metalworkers around the globe. It gives you an extremely durable and resilient finish to any metal project, and it will leave you with a clean aesthetic that demonstrates that a project is truly completed. The process for powder coating leaves you with something that looks like a painted surface, but is actually quite different, so it’s important to understand how to get the look you’re after.

Part of any powder coating project is understanding how sandblasting could fit into the picture. Sandblasting could be exactly what you need to make sure your powder coating project is set up for success, so we’ve pulled together some thoughts on when and why it could be the fit you need.

What is sandblasting?

Sandblasting is using a tool powered by high-pressure air to shoot sand or some other type of media onto a surface to clean and scour it. This type of cleaning is extremely thorough (as you can probably imagine), and it can take off anything from paint to dirt to rust to myriad other contaminants. It will reduce surfaces to their original metal in no time at all, which will leave you with what amounts to a blank canvas.

Sandblasting services are a messy job, so the process is usually conducted inside special cabinets or outdoors (although this requires special types of nozzles). People working with sandblasting equipment should also always wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including a breathing apparatus and approved goggles.

Benefits of sandblasting

Sandblasting is a labor-intensive process that can cause quite a ruckus, but it will pay significant dividends. For starters, it’s a fast process; the intensity of the sand shooting out of the tool means that it makes quick work of any debris in its way. It will also get rid of contaminants that other cleaning methods can’t really touch, so say goodbye to things like grease, old oil and rust in no time at all.

Finally, it works on all different shapes and sizes of metals. Sandblasting can easily handle pieces that angle and curve, leaving you with a new surface no matter what the piece looked like originally.

Sandblasting and powder coating

Most folks in our industry will tell you that sandblasting before powder coating isn’t just a luxury but, rather, a necessity. Metal surfaces can accrue all sorts of debris just with the passage of time and with normal usage. These types of obstructions will only serve to make your life harder when it comes time to powder coat.

In fact, in many cases, they’ll make it an impossibility. The powder coating will have a significantly reduced life-span because it won’t adhere properly to the metal from the get-go, and it will also never quite look right—the risk of peeling, bubbling and crackling is simply too high if you haven’t sandblasted first.

If you’re in the market for sandblasting services, especially before a powder coating job, then it’s time to call the pros at N.W. Metal Fabricators, Inc. today.

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