Sandblasting is one of the best ways to remove paint, rust, graffiti and other surface impurities, blasting them away with finely divided abrasive grains of sand. The grains are propelled against the surface by compressed air that comes from an air compressor mounted on a truck. Of course, since sand can be very abrasive, it can cause damage to surfaces if it's not done properly. Here are four common mistakes people make during sandblasting projects (and how to avoid them).

1. Using the wrong particles 

Not all sand particles are the same, and they shouldn't be used interchangeably. Coarse grains are better for scouring and removing heavy rust or paint on surfaces. On the other hand, fine grains are better for delicately sandblasting to ensure a uniform finish. If you're not sure of the particle to use on your surface, it's best to ask your supplier to recommend one specifically for your needs. This way, you won't have to worry about leaving scratches behind (or failing to remove enough impurities to begin with). 

2. The wrong blaster size

It's a mistake to assume that one sandblaster is the right size for all jobs. The nozzle opening size and the distance from the gun to the surface will impact how your project goes. A smaller gun with a larger nozzle opening can sandblast through more material faster than vice versa, for example. Again, a professional can recommend the best sandblaster size for your surface if you're unsure which to choose.

3.  Using too much pressure

Sufficient pressure is crucial to have when sandblasting because it helps to ensure that the abrasive grains blast through the surface evenly. The problem with using too much pressure, however, is that it can damage the surface you're blasting beyond repair. It's hard to regulate pressure when you're blasting at great speeds, so you should always pre-calibrate your sandblaster and plan how much pressure to use before beginning the job. 

4. Ignoring the safety precautions 

Whether you're experienced at sandblasting or a complete newbie, it's crucial that you follow the safety precautions to make sure that you don't damage your eyes or any other part of your body during the sandblasting process. You should wear goggles to protect your eyes from fine grains that can travel at high speeds towards your eyes. If you're spraying paint or other contaminants, you also need to wear a mask and protective clothing to prevent any of the particles from damaging your body.