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Thread: Sandblasting finish off wood furniture?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Glen Mills, PA
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    440

    Sandblasting finish off wood furniture?

    Finishing is my least favorite job in woodworking but all the jobs I get for money are refinishing jobs. I have an antique cabinet Iím working on now with really crappy finish which is gonna have to be completely stripped. All the drawers have inset panels and thereís a lot of grooves so sanding by hand would take awhile. I was thinking of sandblasting which I havenít done on wood before. I use playground sand for blasting so itís a relatively fine media. I was thinking as long as I keep a good distance from the wood it shouldnít dig much, and I know it will make the wood fuzzy but I figure I can touch it up with sandpaper. My concerns are the sand roughing up the wood too much and making it a harder project or sand getting lodged in the wood. Any thoughts or experience? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,473
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Yadfar View Post
    Finishing is my least favorite job in woodworking but all the jobs I get for money are refinishing jobs. I have an antique cabinet Iím working on now with really crappy finish which is gonna have to be completely stripped. All the drawers have inset panels and thereís a lot of grooves so sanding by hand would take awhile. I was thinking of sandblasting which I havenít done on wood before. I use playground sand for blasting so itís a relatively fine media. I was thinking as long as I keep a good distance from the wood it shouldnít dig much, and I know it will make the wood fuzzy but I figure I can touch it up with sandpaper. My concerns are the sand roughing up the wood too much and making it a harder project or sand getting lodged in the wood. Any thoughts or experience? Thanks
    Depends on the wood. Sandblasting will remove softer areas of wood quicker than harder. Some softwoods, for example, have both soft and hard parts of each annual ring. I've seen pine used as blocking in sand blasting chambers that looked like driftwood.

    Some people "sand" blast with something other than sand, for example core cobs or some other soft organic media. You can search google for sand blasting media for wood.

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Yadfar View Post
    Finishing is my least favorite job in woodworking but all the jobs I get for money are refinishing jobs. I have an antique cabinet Iím working on now with really crappy finish which is gonna have to be completely stripped. All the drawers have inset panels and thereís a lot of grooves so sanding by hand would take awhile. I was thinking of sandblasting which I havenít done on wood before. I use playground sand for blasting so itís a relatively fine media. I was thinking as long as I keep a good distance from the wood it shouldnít dig much, and I know it will make the wood fuzzy but I figure I can touch it up with sandpaper. My concerns are the sand roughing up the wood too much and making it a harder project or sand getting lodged in the wood. Any thoughts or experience? Thanks
    You have seen what western cedar pickets look like on fences. That's about what the furniture will look like after sandblasting it. It's always been a bad job and is especially bad now that big brother has banned methylene chloride but a chemical paint stripper is what is needed. You might have to strip it a half dozen times before you get it all off. A brass brush and some coarse steel wool would help. Also if you have access to a power washer it would help rinse it better. You have to use one that is either 1200 psi or smaller or one that you can adjust. It needs to be low enough you could spray your hand without cutting you.

    A better option if you can find a furniture refinishing shop would be to have them strip the finish off for you. They can still get remover with methylene chloride. Just don't allow anyone to put the furniture in a "dip" tank. That is a lye solution that is very harmful to the wood and has to soak for hours. About the only wood it doesn't hurt is pine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
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    1,758
    I have tried a couple different blast medias and everything I have tried was a fail. Chemical stripper, then hand scraping is all I know. Picks, small scrapers, edges of tools, wire toothbrush, any thing you can find that fits into the crannies ... I got no shortcut tricks.

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