How To Prepare A Painting Kit

A typical painting kit includes patching paste, a putty knife, a drop cloth, plastic gloves, paint thinner, primer and a paint-can opener. Note: Do not open a paint can with a flat-head screwdriver, as this can damage the lid.

Be sure to purchase plenty of painter’s masking tape, assorted paintbrushes and a paint roller and roller cover. It would also be helpful to add an extension bar to your kit. It will help you reach the ceiling and will allow you to stand away from the wall to prevent spatters of paint on your clothes. 

The paint kit should include a paint pot and a roller tray with a disposable liner. If you plan to paint a large area, include a 5-gallon bucket with a screen grid for removing excess paint from the roller.

No paint kit would be complete without a multipurpose paint tool, which can be used to clean caulk, pull nails, clean roller covers, apply putty or glaze, scrape paint and drive nails. Finally, be sure the kit includes safety glasses to prevent paint spatters from getting in your eyes.

When selecting paintbrushes, choose nylon- or synthetic-bristle brushes for use with latex paint and natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints, stains and varnishes. Paint-roller covers come in different naps and textures. Unless you plan to apply texture to the wall, use shorter naps for smooth surfaces and longer naps for textured surfaces.

Instead of dipping the paintbrush directly into the paint can, use a paint pot, which is wider than a standard paint can. When loading the brush, dip half the length of its bristles into the paint. Slap the brush against the side of the pot to remove excess paint, and remove the brush. Hold the brush up at an angle to hold the paint. As you apply the paint to the wall, the friction will draw paint from the brush.

Drill holes in the paint stick to help mix paint more thoroughly. To keep paint from drying in a half-empty can, fill any air space by dropping old golf balls into the can. A common problem known as “hatbanding” occurs when painters use a paintbrush for cutting in and a roller to apply the rest of the paint, thus producing a different texture along the ceiling and trim. To prevent hatbanding, roll the paint as close to the cut-in areas as possible.

Source: DIY Network

DIY Painting Tips, Tricks, And A Step-By-Step Guide


  • Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle, wait for it to dry, and then lightly sand the patches. If you have a crack, you must first widen it slightly before spackling or the spackle will just sit on top.
  • Scape away any peeling, cracked paint, then sand the area smooth.
  • Clean the walls if they may be dirty (especially in a kitchen or bathroom), and always take a damp cloth to clean the dust off of trim and the tops of doorways.
  • Use paintable caulk to fill any gaps between the walls and trim before painting the trim. Fill any dings and divits in the wood with wood putty, wait for it to dry, then sand smooth.
  • When in doubt, prime. Using a primer can hide dark colors, block stains, and help your new paint job last longer. It’s also a must when painting exposed woodwork, and there are many primers that adhere to glossy surfaces (allowing you to skip sanding first).
  • Stir your paint before you begin, and don’t paint straight from the can. Obviously you would pour the paint into a roller tray if you were about to use a roller, but consider using a small bowl when painting with a brush. Its easier to hold, and decanting paint will keep the can free of the impurities (dust, wood particles, etc.) that your brush may pick up as you work.
  • If you want to use tape, buy painter’s tape (it’s usually blue or green, and marked as such). Apply it in short, overlapping strips, and press down firmly along the edge to ensure a crisp line.


  • You will need the following tools to prep for a typical room: Spackle, putty knife, fine grit sandpaper, and a damp lint-free rag. You may also need paintable caulk and wood putty if you’re working on the trim. 
  • Tools to paint a typical room: Paint, a tool to open the paint can, stir stick, angled paint brush, small bowl (I don’t recommend painting straight from the can), roller, roller cover, roller tray, and a roller extension pole (if you have high ceilings). Painter’s tape is optional, and a drop cloth to protect the floor is a good idea. You don’t need any funny little gadgets to paint edges.
  • 5-in-1 tool is a painter’s best friend. You can use it open the paint can, open cracks in the wall for repair, spread spackle (takes the place of a dedicated putty knife), scrape loose paint, and clean rollers.
  • Use a good quality brush. I like a 2.5″ angle brush for most projects (painting trim, doors, cutting in), and a 2″ sash brush for windows.
  • Use a good quality roller cover. Cheap ones leave a messy edge and can shed little fuzzies all over. I use a fresh cover for each paint job, but they can be cleaned. A 3/8″ or 1/2″ nap is good for most walls.


  • I’ve tried many brands and I’ve been happiest with Benjamin Moore, though Behr impressed me as well. If you find a color you like from another line, a paint store can match it for you in the brand you like.
  • Choose a finish that is appropriate for the room and application. I like semi-gloss for trim, eggshell for kitchens and bathrooms, and flat for all other rooms. Glossy finishes are the most durable, but flat finishes help to hide imperfections. Most paint finishes now, even flat, will hold up to a little cleaning. Porch paint is the most durable option for painting wood floors.
  • Oil or latex? I always use latex (water-based) paint. It dries quickly, there are less fumes, and it cleans up with water. You can still choose latex if you are painting over oil paint, but you must prime first with an oil-based primer. You can test what kind of paint you have by rubbing it with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. If the paint comes off, it’s latex.
  • Get a low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint if you’re concerned about paint fumes (in a nursery, for example). Many brands offer a low or no VOC option, including Mythic, Benjamin Moore, and Behr. Consumer Reports ratings are available to CR subscribers.


  • Choosing colors is a bit of an art, but here’s a “rule” that I think you can ignore: Don’t pick a color and then ask for a half-strength or lighter version. Some people swear by this, but I’d suggest choosing a lighter color instead if you feel like the one you’re considering will be too dark.
  • Most people prefer slightly muted (tinted with gray or brown) colors, as opposed to a pure or primary color.
  • Your ceiling does not need to be white! If the wall color is not too dark, I use it for the ceiling too. If you do choose a dark wall color it may be a little much to use everywhere, you can have fun choosing another color for the ceiling that will work with the rest of the room.
  • Most paint companies are offering sample sizes now, so it’s easy to try a few colors out before buying a gallon. If you don’t want to paint the samples directly onto your wall, paint each color on a board of foam-core (paint stores sell them).
  • Choosing a paint color should come at the end of the decorating process.
  • The worst thing that can happen if you hate the color you choose is that you’ll have to repaint. It would be unfortunate, but not catastrophic.


  • Keep a wet edge, and always paint from dry to wet. This will minimize brush strokes and roller marks.
  • Don’t stretch your paint. You don’t want to glop the paint on, but scrimping will leave you with a patchy, blotchy paint job.
  • Taping is optional, especially if you have a reasonably steady hand. Using an angle brush, start slightly away from the edge and then curve in to meet it. This will help you avoid leaving a big blob of paint where you begin.
  • Holding the brush the narrow way (not the way you would naturally hold it) makes it easier to get a crisp line when painting trim.
  • Painting a room is best accomplished by first cutting in (painting along the trim, ceiling, and corners) with a brush. After that has dried, you can go in with a roller for the walls.
  • I find that it doesn’t matter whether you paint the walls or the trim first. My preference is to paint the trim first because I find that I can get a cleaner line when I cut in to paint the walls. If you like to tape off your edges, you may find it easier to paint the trim last.
  • Wet your brush and then blot out most of the water before you begin. This will help to keep paint from creeping up into the ferrule (the metal part where the bristles are attached) and save your brush.
  • Only dip your brush about a half or quarter of an inch into the paint, then wipe off one side on the edge of the paint container. This will help you avoid paint runs (from using too much) and keep your brush in good condition.
  • Paint in long, continuous strokes. Not doing so is one of the most common mistakes.
  • When painting with a roller, aim for covering a three foot wide section at a time. I typically go from the ceiling to a midway point, load more paint, and then go from the midway point down to the floor. Then I move left or right to the next section, always remembering to keep a wet edge and working from dry to wet.
  • When painting with a brush, don’t dab the paint on or move in a short back and forth motion. You can paint with the brush left and right (or up and down) to get the paint on, but then take one long finishing stroke from the dry side and tapering off into the wet edge.
  • Put on a second coat. Your paint job may look OK after just one, but it will look better after two. If you’re using a dark or vivid color, you may even need three (or more) coats.
  • Let your paint fully dry between coats. The paint can should tell you how long to wait.


  • You can keep your brush or roller wet between coats by covering it tightly in plastic wrap or using a plastic bag. And don’t forget to put the lid back on the paint can right away.
  • I use a fresh roller for each paint job, but you can clean them with water and a 5-in-1 tool.
  • Remove painter’s tape as soon as the paint is dry.
  • If you taped off your room’s edges with painter’s tape and the paint is peeling as you remove it, score the edge lightly with a razor for a clean line.
  • If you notice a paint drip while it’s still wet, you can wipe it away with a damp cloth. If it has already dried, you will have to take more drastic measures.
  • Stop to clean your brush if you’ve been painting for more than an hour or so. Otherwise, the paint will start to dry towards the top, gumming up your paint job and ruining your brush.
  • Clean your brush with a little dish soap (assuming you’re using latex paint) and a brush comb until the water runs completely clear. A quality brush can hold a lot of paint, so give the bristles a little squeeze to wring out the excess water when you’re done and make sure there is no more paint in the brush. Smooth the brush into shape and then let it sit to dry completely.



  • Clear the room, gather all of your supplies, and lay out your drop cloth.
  • Scrape off any loose paint, if needed.
  • Remove any nails from the wall and spackle any holes or imperfections. Sand smooth.
  • Clean the walls and trim, if needed. Dust along the baseboards, windows, and doorways with a damp cloth.
  • Caulk along the trim, if needed.
  • Tape off the room if you like to use painter’s tape.


  • Prime. Pour your primer into a small bowl and cut in (paint the corners and edges of the room) with a brush first. If you’ll be painting the trim, you can prime it now too. Clean your brush when you’re done.
  • Grab your roller and a roller cover, and pour your primer into a paint tray. Prime the walls.
  • Paint. If you are painting the walls and the trim, decide which you will do first. Here, I’ll assume you’re doing the walls first. Again, cut in first with a brush and then paint the walls with a roller. Wrap your roller and paint tray in plastic and clean your brush and paint bowl while you wait for the room to dry, then do a second coat.
  • Clean your brush, bowl, tray, roller, and roller cover (if you plan to reuse it).
  • If you used painter’s tape, remove it as soon as the paint is dry to the touch.
  • Wait for your paint to be completely dry before taping off again for the trim. You may want to wait a day to be sure.
  • Apply two coats of paint to the trim, letting the paint dry in between. You can wrap your brush in plastic or clean it while you wait for the first coat to dry, then clean everything up when you’re done.
  • Again, if you used painter’s tape, remove it as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. If the paint begins to peel, score the edge lightly with a razor.
  • Clean up, put the room back together, and pat yourself on the back. You’re finished!

Source: Making It Lovely

Pressure Washing Before Painting a Home Exterior

Getting a great finish in an exterior paint job means starting with a good, clean surface. To do this, painting pros often turn to a pressure washing technique for removing dirt, mildew, and peeling paint found on the outside of the home. Yet, pressure washing a home before painting isn’t as simple as turning on the water and hoping it all comes out right. Care must be taken to pressure wash the home’s exterior without damage to the property and materials.

Here are some helpful tips that can help you get superior results when pressure washing before painting a home exterior.

Schedule Dry Time

You will not be able to pressure wash a home and paint it on the same day. Doing so will ruin the paint finish and create a mess. Instead, schedule at least one day to pressure wash the home, then follow by a full day of drying time. Return on the third day to start prepping and painting the home exterior. Consider weather factors into this time span too. If it’s muggy or raining, the home may need more time to dry fully before applying paint. If it’s dry and windy, the house may dry faster.

Inspect the Home Materials

Before pressure washing, using a professional painters’ pressure washing system, do a full walk around of the home and inspect the property materials and landscaping. Note any brick surfaces or wood that is rotting, as they can crumble under too much water pressure. Pay keen attention to home windows which can be fragile and crack when hit by water. If there are painted surfaces, check to see how delicate they are and if the pressure wash will remove this. Check with the homeowner to make sure they approve all removal of old paint.

Prepare the Home

Cover any open electrical outlets or pipes leading into the home with secure poly tarps so you do not flood it or get injured. Watch out for pets, plants, and children at all times. Pressure washing is a two-person job, therefore have a helper to hold any ladders securely, operate the compressor, and provide backup when you begin to get tired. Consider that you will want to take your time with your pressure wash to avoid any accidents or missing a section of the home.

Pressure Washing for Painting

Using a cleaner approved for exterior pressure washing, start by sweeping the water at a medium level at the top of each exterior wall of the home, paying careful attention to windows, doors, and outdoor household items. Work your way down the building with the pressure washing, and then move to the right until you are all the way around the home. Then follow with a rinse on a lower setting to reduce spots to windows and smooth surfaces. Remove any fallen debris from the property with a wide sweeping pattern into a nearby refuse pile or a contractor’s plastic garbage bag.

Now that the home is clean, let it dry and then return for your painting prep work.

Source: The Paint Store

About Commercial Painting Safety – Tips for Painting Pros

As a commercial painter, you may be aware that this occupation requires special painting equipment and tools in order to maintain quality. Yet, how much time do you take to consider the safety issues of commercial painting? A large part of what you do should include taking safety precautions at all times to reduce injury to you, your crew, and the properties you work on.

While the average person may think that anyone can paint a home or office, there are a whole gamut of skills and techniques that painting professionals use to end up with a superior look. No DIY person can produce the
kind of quality work that a pro can. However, it’s important to use safety at all times when engaged in commercial painting practices.

To help you remember this, here’s all about commercial painting safety.

Equipment Handling

A great deal of equipment used by commercial painters can be dangerous to an amateur. This is because an inexperienced DIY’er doesn’t have the training to handle many commercial painting items correctly. The results
end up being injury or illness caused by painting agents. Use certified painting contractors for any painting job, especially for an industrial space.

Personal Protective Wear

The chemicals and conditions of commercial painting necessitate the use of personal protective gear. This can include protective coveralls, respirators, goggles, gloves, shoe and face covers, and more. These materials should be
purchased from a reliable commercial painter supply store in order to maintain OSHA safety standards.

Ladders, Scaffolds, and Harnesses

Falls are the number one injury in many industrial professions, causing millions in dollars in workers’ compensation claims and property damage each year. The very nature of commercial painting that requires the use of ladders, scaffolds, harnesses and other elevation equipment can produce deadly mistakes when used improperly. Always use the best painting equipment from an authorized commercial painting dealer to improve safety.

Environmental Factors

Another safety factor to consider as a commercial painter is the use of best practices when dealing with disposal of paint chemicals and debris. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against allowing paint, paint thinners, and debris to get into soil and water around a paint job site. To do so could cause long term harm to the residents and wildlife of that area.

Source: The Paint Store

Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting uses mechanical energy to hurl particles at high speeds against metallic and non-metallic surfaces, removing paints and other organic coatings.

Air Pressure Equipment used for abrasive blasting
The common methods for the abrasive blasting process include air pressure and water pressure. These two methods simply use the force of compressed water or air to expel the media at the surface.

Water Pressure Equipment used for Abrasive blasting
The centrifugal wheel method is a less common technique. With this method centrifugal and inertial forces are used to give the media speed and energy.



Abrasive selection is key to a successful coating job. The surface effects produced with various abrasives can range from deep cutting to gentle scouring of the surface. Important factors to consider in selecting an abrasive include

  • Type of surface to be cleaned
  • Shape of the structure
  • Type of material to be removed
  • Profile, breakdown rate of the abrasive
  • Hazards associated with the use of the abrasive
  • Potential damage to equipment located in the repair area

Abrasives commonly used for stripping include steel grit, aluminum oxide, garnet, and glass beads. Steel grit creates a rough surface profile on the substrate that aids coating adhesion. Because it is so hard and durable, steel grit can be reused, and it generates the least amount of waste per unit of surface area stripped. To maximize the reuse of steel grit, companies must keep the blast media dry to avoid rusting. Aluminum oxides are considered to be a multipurpose material that is less aggressive and less durable than steel grit, and it results in a smoother surface profile and less removal of substrate material. Garnet and glass beads are the least aggressive abrasive and often are used in a single-pass operation (i.e., the abrasive is not recycled). Use of garnet and glass beads is most suitable for preparation of soft materials that are easily damaged, and for maintenance of the dimensional tolerance of the part.

Moh’s Hardness Scale for Abrasive Media
Walnut Shells 2.5-4.5
Clear-Cut 2.0-2.5
Polyester Type I 3
Urea Type II 5
Melamine Type III 4
Glass Beads 5.0-6.5
Silica Sand (Quartz) 8
Garnet 10
Zirconia 11
Aluminum Oxide 12
Silicon Carbide 13

Companies can use abrasive blasting to remove paint and corrosion products from larger metal structures in the field (field stripping) or from smaller metal structures in a hanger, booth, or blasting cabinet.

Outdoor blasting can be performed in an open area. Operators must wear self-contained breathing equipment in order to be protected from the stripping dust. After blasting, the used abrasive can be shoveled or vacuumed from the area and processed through the reclaimer. Some systems combine dust control and abrasive recovery by including a vacuum collection pickup device with the blasting nozzle. Abrasive blasting in cabinets is often performed using manual blast cabinets and automated blasting chambers to remove paint from parts. The abrasive is fed into the cabinet or chamber and directed against the part being stripped. Used abrasive and removed paint are then pneumatically conveyed to a reclaimer. Reusable abrasive is separated from the waste and fines (broken-down abrasives and paint chips) are collected in a dust collector.

Plastic Media Blasting 
Plastic media blasting (PMB) is an abrasive blasting process designed to replace chemical paint-stripping operations and conventional sand blasting. This process uses soft, angular plastic particles as the blasting medium. PMB is performed in ventilated enclosures such as small cabinets (a glove box), a walk-in booth, a large room, or airplane hangers. The PMB process blasts the plastic media at a much lower pressure (less than 40 psi) than conventional blasting. PMB is well suited for stripping paints, because the low pressure and relatively soft plastic medium have a minimal effect on the surfaces beneath the paint.

Plastic media are manufactured in 6 types and a variety of sizes and hardness. Military specifications (MIL-P-85891) have been developed for plastic media. The specifications provide general information on the types and characteristics of plastic media. The plastic media types are

  • Type I Polyester (Thermoset)
  • Type II Urea formaldehyde (Thermoset)
  • Type III Melamine formaldehyde (Thermoset)
  • Type IV Phenol formaldehyde/Clear Cut (Thermoset)
  • Type V Acrylic (Thermoplastic)
  • Type VI Polyallyl diglycol carbonate (Thermoset)

Facilities typically use a single type of plastic media for all of their PMB work. The majority of DOD PMB facilities use either Type II or Type V media. Type V media is not as hard as Type II media and is gentler on substrates. Type V media is more commonly used on aircraft.

After blasting, the PMB media is passed through a reclamation system that consists of a cyclone centrifuge, a dual adjustable air wash, multiple vibrating classifier screen decks, and a magnetic separator. In addition, some manufacturers provide dense particle separators as a reclamation system. The denser particles, such as paint chips, are separated from the reusable blast media, and the reusable media is returned to the blast pot. Typically, media can be recycled 10 to 12 times before becoming too small to remove paint effectively. Waste material consists of blasting media and paint chips. The waste material may be classified as a RCRA hazardous waste because of the presence of certain metals (primarily lead and chrome from paint pigments). An alternative solution to handling the potential hazardous waste is to recycle the media to recapture the metals. Reusing the plastic blasting media greatly reduces the volume of spent media generated as compared to that generated in sand blasting. When compared to chemical paint stripping, this technology eliminates the generation of waste solvent. PMB is also cheaper and quicker than chemical stripping. The U.S. Air Force and airlines have found PMB effective for field stripping of aircrafts, but PMB could also be used to strip vehicles, ships, and engine parts.

As with any blasting operations, airborne dust is a safety and health concern with PMB. Proper precautions should be taken to ensure that personnel do not inhale dust and particulate matter. Additional protective measures should be taken when stripping lead chromate- or zinc chromate-based paints, as these compounds may be hazardous. Inhalation of lead and zinc compounds can irritate the respiratory tract, and other paint compounds are known to be carcinogenic. Inhalation of paint solvents can irritate the lungs and mucous membranes. Prolonged exposure can affect respiration and the central nervous system. Operators must wear continuous-flow airline respirators when blasting operations are in progress in accordance with OSHA requirements. PMB systems can range in cost from $7,000 for a small portable unit to $1,400,000 for a major facility for aircraft stripping.

Coal Slag Abrasives
Coal slag abrasives are an inexpensive media. It is one of the safer forms of abrasive media, containing less than 1% or no silica. Coal slag media also produces little dust, however, may release hazardous air pollutants (HAP) into the surrounding air.

Coal slag abrasives are made from crushed liquid coal slag from utility boilers. The abrasive contains iron (Fe), Aluminum (Al), Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca). The media comes in sharp angular grains ranging in many sizes including coarse, medium, fine and extra fine grained. The coarser grains can be used to remove heavy rust and provide a high degree of profile, good for coating attachment and bonding. The finer grains can be used for cleaning surfaces and for smoothing surfaces. The media is used on many applications including steel, buildings, railroads and bridges. Coal slag is a fast-cutting media with a hardness of 6-7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. The media is non-recyclable.

Copper Slag Abrasives
Copper slag abrasives are used with water jetting equipment to produce a fast cutting removal of surface contaminants. These abrasives provide a good surface profile when used with coarser grains. The finer grained copper slags will provide removal of lighter rust and mill scale. The material is used applications including steel, offshore oil rigs, power plants and tanks.

Copper slag abrasive material
These abrasives are formed from the smelting process using the by-product, iron silicate. The media comes in cubical form with sharp edges, ranging 6-7 on the Moh’s scale. Copper slag produces low dust and contains less than .1% silica.

Sponge Blasting 
Sponge blasting systems are a class of abrasive blasting that uses (1) grit-impregnated foam and (2) nonabrasive blasting media using foam without grit. These systems incorporate various grades of water-based urethane-foam cleaning media. Firms use the nonabrasive media grades to clean delicate substrates. The abrasive media grades are used to remove surface contaminants, paints, protective coatings, and rust from a variety of surfaces. In addition, the abrasive grades can be used to roughen concrete and metallic surfaces. A variety of grit types are used in abrasive media including aluminum oxide, steel, plastic, or garnet.

Sponge Media
The foam-cleaning medium is absorptive and can be used either dry or wet with various cleaning agents and surfactants to capture, absorb, and remove a variety of surface contaminants such as oils and greases. The capability of using the foam-cleaning medium in a wet form provides for dust control without excessive dampening of the surface being cleaned. The equipment consists of three transportable modules, which include the feed unit, the classifier unit, and the wash unit. The feed unit is pneumatically powered for propelling the foam-cleaning medium. The unit is portable and produced in several sizes. A hopper, mounted at the top of the unit, holds the foam medium.

Foam-cleaning unit
The medium is fed into a metering chamber that mixes the foam-cleaning medium with compressed airBy varying the feed-unit air pressure and type of cleaning medium used, sponge blasting can remove a range of coatings from soot on wallpaper to high-performance protective coatings on steel and concrete surfaces.

The classifier unit removes large debris and powdery residues from the foam medium after each use. The used medium is collected and placed into an electrically powered sifter. The vibrating sifter classifies the used medium with a stack of progressively finer screens. Coarse contaminants, such as paint flakes and rust particles, are collected on the coarse screens. The reusable foam medium is collected on the corresponding screen size. The dust and finer particles fall through the sifter and are collected for disposal. After classifying, the reclaimed foam medium can be reused immediately in the feed unit. The abrasive medium can be recycled approximately six times and the nonabrasive medium can be recycled approximately 12 times.

This system removes paint, surface coatings, and surface contaminants from a variety of surfaces. Waste streams produced from this system include: coarse contaminants, such as paint flakes and rust particles; dust and finer particles; and the concentrated residue from the bottom of the wash unit. Sponge blasting systems are compatible in most situations where other types of blasting media have been used.

As with any blasting operations, airborne dust is a safety and health concern. The key advantage to sponge blasting is the low/reduced generation of dust. Proper precautions should be taken to ensure that inhalation of dust and particulate matter is avoided. Additional protective measures should be taken when stripping lead chromate- or zinc chromate-based paints, as these compounds may be hazardous. Inhalation of lead and zinc compounds can irritate the respiratory tract, and some compounds are known to be carcinogenic. Proper personal protective equipment should be used.

Source: Navel Surface Treatment Center

Abrasive Blasting: Is it the same as sand blasting?

Sandblasting, bead blasting or abrasive blasting…Is it really the same thing? The short answer is yes! For many years the term sandblasting was used simply because the abrasive choice was sand. Well times have changed! We do not recommend using sand in any of our blasters.

An abrasive blaster works on the principle of high pressure compressed air being used to force a mix of air and fine abrasive through a nozzle. The abrasive particles will quickly remove paint, rust, corrosion, dirt, and discoloration from many different types of surfaces. Just as there are many surfaces to be cleaned there are many different types of abrasive materials that can be used.

Although there are many reasons, we believe there are three important reasons why we do not recommend the use of sand. The first reason is a health and safety concern. Sand contains silica which can cause serious respiratory illnesses. The use of a proper respirator with most abrasives will reduce your health risks. The second reason is due to the high moisture content and the impurities in sand. It can cause equipment blockages and other moisture related problems that can cause premature failure of your blast equipment. The third reason is sand just does not work as well as other abrasives. Sand used once in a blaster turns into a powder and loses its abrasive capabilities. Using the correct abrasive can make the job go quicker and using the right abrasive can give you a more desirable finish to the item you are blasting. Remember, time is money!

When choosing the right abrasive for the job, the size, hardness, mass, sharpness break down rate and reclaim capabilities should be considered.

We have gone as far as taking the words “sand blasting” our of our catalogs and other printed materials. One could argue that sand is plentiful and easy to find. Many users do not know there are other options to sand so they have never invested the time looking for anything else. Larger cities have multiple suppliers of abrasive for blasters. If you open your local phone book and look under sand blasting supplies you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find. For the computer user, a Google search of “abrasive supplies” may be very informative.

The following are a few common types of abrasives with some general recommendations for uses.
Coal Slag

  • Used to remove rust, paint and scale from steel
  • Fast cutting and will not collect moisture
  • Economical

Steel Grit 

  • Used to remove rust, paint and scale from steel
  • Fast cutting
  • Leaves a smooth finish

Silicone Carbide

  • Used to remove paint and rust
  • Stays sharper longer
  • Popular for glass etching
  • Is generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets

Glass Bead

  • Used in general cleaning
  • A very fine materials
  • Is generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets
  • Leaves a satin or matte finish

Aluminum Oxide

  • Used in paint removal and general cleaning
  • Is sharper than glass bead and stays sharper longer
  • Is generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets
  • Used in glass etching

Walnut Shells

  • Used in cleaning and paint removal on delicate surfaces such as wood
  • Great for removing carbon or paint from aluminum
  • Leaves a very smooth finish
  • Is generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets

Plastic Grit

  • Used for removing paint without damaging soft surfaces such as fiberglass
  • Very low dust
  • Used on aircraft parts and boat parts
  • Is generally used in a reclaim system or blast cabinet

Corn Cob

  • Used in cleaning delicate surfaces
  • Popular with the wood crafter
  • Used in cleaning stone and glass

There are many additional abrasives available. Check with your local “sandblasting” or abrasive supplier for the best application.

Have a blast!

Source: S & H Industries

15 Painting Tips To Paint Like A Pro

Primer comes before paint.
Tempted to skip the primer? Primer not only provides a good surface for the paint, but it also brings out the paint’s true color.

Paint like a pro.
Painting is your chance to show off your skills. Use an edge pad for clean lines around doorframes, ceiling edges and corners so your walls look great — down to every last detail.

Create a sticky situation.
Paint won’t stick to the wall if you haven’t taken the time to prep. The surface must be clean, non-glossy and in good condition.

One gallon at a time.
How much paint will it take to cover your walls? The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.

Dry days make good painting days.
Moisture in the air keeps water-based paint from drying. Skip the humid afternoon paint project and slow drying walls won’t wreck the rest of your day.

Put your sandwich bags to work.
Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go. You’re so resourceful.

Out with the old.
If the old paint on your wall is flaking off, it’s a good idea to buy a paint scraper and get it out of the way. Once all the old paint is gone, sand the surface smooth, prime and your new paint will look great.

Clean finish.
If you’re looking for paint in high-traffic areas, semi-gloss is the way to go. Shiny and durable, semi-gloss is a parent’s best friend.

Give the walls a sponge bath.
Washing your walls from top to bottom is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.

Don’t look back.
Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and color streaks in the paint’s surface.

Polka dots look good on fabric—not floors.
Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a drop cloth. It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation.

Take away the shine.
Paint doesn’t always adhere to glossy surfaces. We recommend using a light grade sandpaper to take the gloss off the surface so your new paint sticks like it should.

Turn in the brush.
Small rooms can feel gigantic when it comes to painting. A roller will do a better job than a paint brush in less time.

Spare the wall plates.
Before you start, remove all wall plates and tape off light switches and electrical outlets. You’ll get high marks for professional-looking results.

Patience is a virtue.
You’ve completed your mission to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Now, make sure it’s dry. Then sand smooth, prime, and you’ll have a surface good enough for any pro.

Source: DIY Network

What Is Grit Blasting?

Abrasive grit blasting, or sand blast cleaning, is a surface treatment process widely used in a variety of different industries with many diverse purposes. Abrasive blasting is the process by which an abrasive media is accelerated through a blasting nozzle by means of compressed air. The abrasive used varies based on the surface treatment required. Common abrasives used include:

  • Steel shot
  • Steel grit
  • Glass bead
  • Crushed glass
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Silicon carbide
  • Plastic
  • Walnut shell
  • Corn cob
  • Baking soda
  • Ceramic grit
  • Copper slag

Media selection is a crucial decision in the engineering of abrasive blasting processes. The different media types have different hardness, shape, and density, and each is available in a wide range of particle sizes. Many times it is necessary for sample processing to take place to lock in the final media type and size. The equipment used to perform the sand blasting process varies through industry; there are hand cabinets, dedicated automatic high production models, and completely robotic systems with closed loop process controls. The type of machine utilized depends on the surface treatment applied as well as the end use of the component.

Traditionally abrasive grit blasting has been considered a “low tech” process, generically called sand blasting. Today, however, abrasive blast cleaning is a vital process used not only to remove rust, but to prepare surfaces for high performance coatings or to treat final products to give them the luster and surface texture desired by the retail consumer.

The range of uses for abrasive grit blasting are very broad and include:

  • surface preparation prior to painting, bonding or other coating operations
  • removal of rust, scale, sand, or paint from fabricated components
  • roughening of industrial gas turbine engine component surfaces in preparation for thermal spray coating
  • removal of burrs or edge profiling machined components
  • providing a matte cosmetic surface finish on consumer products
  • removal of mold flash from plastic components
  • surface texturing of tooling, and molds to alter the appearance of molded or stamped products

Source: Progressive Surface

Industrial Painting Techniques

Industrial painters apply paints with sprayers and other technology using a variety of techniques. The difference between industrial painting and regular painting is that painters will paint many surfaces with considerations not found in normal environments, such as the exteriors of homes and buildings. For example, industrial painters who apply paints to metal surfaces in factories must be highly concerned with the paint’s properties, such as flammability and performance under high temperatures.

Substrate Preparation

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the preparation for a surface that will be painted is called the substrate. Industrial painters must ensure that they properly clean the substrate. The North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance found that “as high as 80 percent or more of all coating adhesion failures can be directly attributed to improper surface preparation.” Readers can refer to the “Industrial Painting & Coating” document at the SBA website for more tips on complying with Environmental Protection Agency requirements for painting and preventing pollution.

Paint Thinning

Sometimes professional painters have to use a solvent to thin out paint or clean up a coat of paint. Painters have to choose the right type of solvent for the paint because “solvents differ in what they can dissolve, odor and flammability,”  according to Haas and Rohm’s Paint Quality Institute. For example, mineral spirits are the right solvent for most paints with an oil or alkyd base and for varnishes and primers.


Industrial painters choose the right type of spray gun or other spraying device based on the type of paint finish desired and on the type of paint and the type of substrate. Painters can choose from many types of sprayers. Modern technology allows painters to choose how much pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI) to apply to the paint sprayer. When paint is sprayed effectively, the painters achieve an even design on the substrate.


13 Painting Secrets the Pros Won’t Tell You

Professional painters are fast, efficient, and have mastered techniques that produce top-notch results while making painting look easy. Each painter has slightly different methods and preferences, but the pros all know the trade secrets.

Sand Away Flaws

You have to start with a perfectly smooth surface to end up with perfectly painted walls or woodwork. One pro tells PM that sander would be a more fitting job title than painter since he spends so much time pushing sandpaper. Sanding levels outs spackle or joint-compound patches and flattens ridges around nail holes. Sanding also removes burrs and rough spots in your trim.

Sand the walls from the baseboard to the ceiling with fine grit sanding paper on a sanding pole. Then sand horizontally along the baseboard and ceiling. Don’t put a lot of pressure on the sanding pole or the head can flip over and damage the wall. Sand woodwork with a sanding sponge to get into crevices.

Use Tinted Primer

Before the pros paint walls, they fill holes and patch cracks with joint compound. But if you paint directly over it, the compound will suck the moisture out of the paint, giving it a flat, dull look (a problem called “flashing”). Those spots will look noticeably different than the rest of the wall. To avoid that, pros prime the walls before painting.

Instead of using white primer, pros usually have it tinted gray or a color that’s similar to the finish paint. Tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint color than plain primer, so your finish coat will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats. This is especially true with colors like red or orange, which could require three or more coats without a primer.

Press Tape With a Putty Knife

Nothing is more discouraging when you’ve finished painting than to peel tape off the woodwork and discover the paint bled through. To avoid the pain-in-the-neck chore of scraping off the paint, do a thorough job of adhering the tape before you start. “Apply tape over the wood, then run a putty knife over the top to press down the tape for a good seal,” a painter with more than 16 years of experience says. “That’ll stop any paint bleeds.”

Use the blue painter’s tape instead of masking tape. Masking tape can leave behind a sticky residue that’s hard to clean off. Plus, paint can cause the tape to buckle or get wavy, which lets paint run underneath it. Painter’s tape can be left on for days (some up to two weeks) and still peel off cleanly. And it stops paint bleed without buckling.

Eliminate Brush and Lap Marks With Paint Extender

The secret to a finish that’s free of lap and brush marks is mixing a paint extender (also called a paint conditioner), such as Floetrol, into the paint. This does two things. First, it slows down the paint drying time, giving you a longer window to overlap just-painted areas without getting ugly lap marks that happen when you paint over dried paint and darken the color. Second, paint extender levels out the paint so brush strokes are virtually eliminated (or at least much less obvious). Pros use extenders when painting drywall, woodwork, cabinets and doors. Manufacturer’s directions tell you how much extender to add per gallon of paint.

Scrape a Ridge in Textured Ceilings

The problem with painting along the edge of textured ceilings is that it’s almost impossible to get a straight line along the top of the wall without getting paint on the ceiling bumps. Pros have a simple solution. They run a screwdriver along the perimeter of the ceiling to scrape off the texture. “This lets you cut in without getting paint on the ceiling texture,” one of our pros says. “The screwdriver creates a tiny ridge in the ceiling, so the tips of your paint bristles naturally go into it. And you’ll never even notice the missing texture.”

Use Canvas Drop Cloths

Pros don’t use bed sheets as drop cloths, and neither should you. Thin sheets won’t stop splatters and spills from seeping through to your flooring. And while plastic can contain spills, the paint stays wet for a long time. That wet paint can (and usually does) find the bottom of your shoes and get tracked through the house.

Use what the pros use—canvas drop cloths. They’re not slippery and they absorb splatters (but still wipe up large spills or they can bleed through). “Unless you’re painting a ceiling, you don’t need a jumbo-size cloth that fills the entire room,” a pro says. “A canvas cloth that’s just a few feet wide and runs the length of the wall is ideal for protecting your floor, and it’s easy to move.”

Finish One Wall Before Starting Another

It might seem easy to do all the corners and trim in a room, then go back to roll the walls, but don’t. Pros get a seamless look by cutting in one wall, then immediately rolling it before starting the next. This allows the brushed and the rolled paint to blend together better.

Cover your paint bucket, tray or container with a damp towel when switching between brushing and rolling to keep your paint and tools from drying out when not in use.

Scrape (Don’t Tape) Windows

Don’t bother taping windows when painting sashes—it takes a long time and paint usually ends up on the glass anyway. Go ahead and let paint get on the glass. Once it’s dry, simply scrape it off with a razor blade. The paint peels off in seconds. “Just be careful to not break the paint bond between the wood and the glass,” a pro cautions. “Otherwise, moisture can get on the wood and cause rot.”




Box Paint for Consistent Color

The “same” color of paint can vary between cans. “That difference can be glaringly obvious if you pop open a new gallon halfway through a wall,” a retired painter tells PM. To ensure color consistency from start to finish, pros mix their cans of paint in a 5 gallon bucket (a process called “boxing”).

Some pros then paint directly out of the bucket. This eliminates the need to pour paint into a roller tray, though the heavy bucket is harder to move.


Wash Roller Covers

Whether you buy cheap or expensive roller covers, washing them before their first use gets rid of the fuzz that inevitably comes off once you start painting. Wash them with water and a little bit of liquid soap, and run your hands up and down the covers to pull off any loose fibers (a practice called “preconditioning covers”). You can start using the roller covers right away—you don’t need to let them dry.


Clean Dirty Walls With Degreaser

Paint won’t bond to greasy or filthy surfaces, like kitchen walls above a stove, mudrooms where kids kick off their muddy boots and scuff the walls or the areas around light switches that get swatted at with dirty hands. “I always use a degreaser to clean grimy or greasy surfaces,” a pro tells PM. “It cuts through almost anything you have on walls for better paint adhesion.”

Be sure to read the label and follow directions—this stuff is potent. Rubber gloves and eye protection are required.




Start With a Loaded Brush

Pros take a “load and go” approach to painting. They load the bottom 1 1/2 inches of their brushes with paint, tap each side against the inside of their container to knock off the heavy drips, and then start painting. By contrast, homeowners often take a “load and dump” approach of dragging the loaded brush along the sides of their container and wiping off most of the paint. “It doesn’t do you any good to dunk your brush in paint, then immediately wipe it all off,” a 16-year veteran painter says.




Push Paint to Avoid Runs

When your brush is loaded with paint, it’s easy to create runs by applying too much paint in corners or along trim. To avoid that, start brushing about 1/2 inch away from the cut-in area to apply the paint. As the brush unloads, move over and slowly drag the brush along the trim or corner. Let the bristles gently push the paint against the cut-in area where the walls meet. You may have to do this a couple of times to get complete coverage, but it’ll avoid excess paint along woodwork and in corners.


Source: Popular Mechanics