Sandblasting tips provided by: Island Quick Strip Ltd. of Victoria, BC
The old adage is true… “That you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Sandblasted wooden signs are in a class of their own. They stand out above and beyond other signs because they present an air of ever-lasting quality with classic heritage charm.
Most sandblasted signs are produced with raised lettering giving them an attractive 3D effect. But, if you chose to do the reverse, with engraved lettering, you can produce a sign equally as effective.
We find the best wood to use for sign making and sandblasting is Western Red Cedar because of it’s, light weight, warm earth-tone look, and ease of handling.
To sandblast your own sign you’ll first need the proper equipment... a reliable
compressor capable of at least 80 psi, a sanding pot, and hose and nozzle. Once you’ve
completed the design and layout you’re ready to start.
Before starting on your actual project, work on a sample piece as a test to get the “feel”
of sandblasting. This reduces the chance of costly mistakes and having to start all over.
If working indoors ensure the area is extremely well ventilated and always wear protective
safety gear such as respirator, eye protection and gloves... Sandblasting creates lots
Turn on your compressor, set to about 80 psi and test your capabilities on your sample piece
to ensure everything is in proper working order. Use a sweeping motion back and forth being
sure not to hold the nozzle in one place for to long. Cedar is a soft wood and you want
to maintain a consistent cutting depth. Hold the nozzle at about 10 to 12 inches from your
test piece moving it in and out, as you sweep across the sign and watch carefully as the sand
eats away at the soft gain of the wood.
Once you’ve become comfortable with your results, start on your project. Use a
uniform sweeping motion and move the blasting nozzle around the edges to achieve the
desired depth of cut, (1/4 to 3/8 depth is all that is required). Then move in toward the
artwork, letting the sand blast away the soft grain. Move the wand quickly between the
letters, being careful not to remove any of the definition of the artwork or letters. When
finished, the sign should have the appearance like that of a weathered piece of driftwood.
If you don’t have the proper equipment or appropriate area to work in we would be more
than happy to do your blasting for you. Just give us a call at 1-250-655-2055 or e-mail us