How to Start a Sandblasting Business

A man blasts a pipe with a sandblaster

Sandblasting or abrasive blasting companies specialize in removing corrosion, rust, paints, and coatings from durable materials such as metal, composites, and wood. It’s a profitable business, provided you follow the proper steps and acquire the most appropriate equipment and materials before you set up shop. You can increase your business’s profit margins by differentiating yourself from competitors and marketing yourself effectively to your local community.

Below, we break down everything you need to know to start a successful sandblasting business.

What Does a Sandblasting Business Do?

Sandblasting businesses use specialized blasting machines, air compressors, abrasive materials, and safety gear to clean and restore different structures and objects. These techniques are applicable for removing rust, corrosion, paint, powder coating, graffiti, and contaminants to restore and prepare a variety of surfaces for coating, painting, engraving, or etching.00

Businesses in the manufacturing, construction, military, automotive, and aerospace industries often require sandblasting services. Investing in innovative equipment, high-quality abrasive materials, and well-trained employees will give you a competitive edge and improve your chances of succeeding.

Choosing a Sandblasting Specialty

As you set up your business, consider what specific services you can offer clients. This way, you can establish your company based on these specialties and invest in the right equipment. While there are many sandblasting applications, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Automotive sandblasting: Sandblasting services are required for restoring vehicles, preparing them for a new paint job and removing chrome or powder coatings from the wheels.
  • Stone sandblasting: Sandblasters help improve the appearance and longevity of buildings and structures made of stone, bricks, and concrete.
  • Firearm sandblasting: You could specialize in smoothing, shining, and polishing different firearm parts and accessories, including pins, bolts, fasteners, frames, chambers, and barrels.
  • Wood sandblasting: Sandblasting wood surfaces is an effective method of cleaning wood materials by removing dirt, dust, residue, oil, and paint.
A man sandblasts off rust

What You Need to Start Your Sandblasting Business

Here is a breakdown of everything you will need when setting up your sandblasting business.

1. Blasting Equipment

Every sandblasting company needs an array of equipment to complete jobs. Research your options beforehand to ensure you get equipment that’s suitable for your sandblasting services and the size of your anticipated projects. The most essential sandblasting equipment for all your projects include:

  • Blasting rig: This equipment allows you to shoot a stream of abrasive media at the surface of a part at high speed under pressure. 
  • Abrasive hose: Blast hoses and nozzles are necessary to direct the high-pressure abrasive stream to the surface you’re preparing or cleaning.
  • Air compressor: An air compressor and dryer are required to power the sandblasting machine and expel the abrasive media onto the surface.
  • Reclaiming system: You may need a vacuum system and/or a dust collector to collect the dust and debris produced during the sandblasting process.
  • Blasting cabinet or booth: An abrasive media blasting cabinet or booth may be necessary to ensure safety and efficiency, especially if you’ll be taking on in-house projects.

2. Safety Equipment

Sandblasting is a hazardous occupational activity because operators often interact with harmful materials, use high-pressure equipment, and often perform work in industrial settings. OSHA offers a set of guidelines to inform employers and employees about abrasive blasting hazards. Operators must be informed of all potential hazards and provided with necessary personal protection equipment.

Some of the safety equipment and protective gear necessary for a sandblasting startup business include:

  • Sandblasting hood 
  • Hearing and eye protection
  • Leather gloves that protect to full forearm
  • Helmet
  • Safety shoes or boots

Other safety measures may include appropriate employee training and various engineering controls.

3. Abrasive Media

Abrasive media is the material needed to clean or prepare a surface when sandblasting. There are different types of abrasive media made of different materials, with a variety of physical properties and capabilities.

10X Engineered Materials manufactures superior blasting media in a range that’s suitable for many blasting applications. Our abrasives:

  • Provide a higher quality finish.
  • Produce significantly less dust.
  • Are cost-effective. 
  • Are biosoluble and safe.

4. A Business Name

Before starting a sandblasting business, you need to pick a name that clearly communicates what your company does. Before settling for a name, research your business name options and verify availability by confirming from federal and state trademark records, your state’s business records, and social media platforms. Be sure to check the web domain availability of your business name and secure it before someone else does.

5. Proper Business Licenses and Paperwork

Setting up a sandblasting company requires you to meet certain country, state, and federal regulations. These regulations often cover safety, environmental compliance, reporting requirements, and hazardous material handling and disposal. Zoning laws and restrictions dictate the locations where sandblasting operations can be set up, which are often away from residential and sensitive areas.

Local ordinances also exist to regulate operating hours and noise levels for sandblasting businesses to minimize disruption to neighboring businesses and residents. In areas where you need a permit, be prepared to file paperwork, share essential information about your business, and pay potential registration fees.

6. Business Insurance

Business insurance is a necessity for any sandblasting company. Insurance protects your business against financial loss caused by property damage, employee injuries, or liability claims. The best insurance for your sandblasting startup business takes into account the type and amount of risk your business expects. A business owner policy (BOP) is something to consider because it contains three of the most important coverage types for start-up businesses:

  • General liability insurance: This covers claims resulting from property damage to other people’s belongings or personal injury and injury to other people.
  • Commercial property insurance: This covers the equipment and property you use to operate your business — whether owned or rented — against theft, fire, or vandalism.
  • Business interruption insurance: This covers the costs of running your business when your operations are affected by issues covered by your BOP policy.

Workers’ compensation insurance is also essential when running a sandblasting business because of the hazardous nature of the occupation. This insurance will help cover medical bills and lost wages of employees in case of a work-related injury or accident.

7. An Online Presence 

Establishing an online presence for your business involves creating a website and social media profiles. These allow you to promote your services, reach potential customers, and build your brand online. A website also helps boost your credibility and authority in the industry by offering potential clients information about your business and services. Consider localizing your website to increase traffic and reach from customers in your area.

8. A Business Phone Number

Having a separate phone number for your company helps clearly separate your personal life and business life. It also makes your business legitimate and provides clients with a more reliable and direct way to contact you. With an exclusive business phone number, you can enjoy advanced features like call forwarding, custom greetings, and incoming call screening. 

9. A Business Bank Account

Set up dedicated banking and credit accounts for your business. This step also legitimizes your business and increases your personal liability protection. Tax filing and accounting are also simplified when you have a separate business account. Additionally, it gives you a clear understanding of your business’s financial performance and helps you build your company’s credit history, too.

Set Your Business Up for Success With 10X Engineered Materials 

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to set up your sandblasting business — and your equipment and abrasive material choices will determine your long-term success by ensuring you satisfy your client’s needs.

At 10X Engineered Materials, we’re committed to helping you impress your clients with our versatile and superior-quality abrasives. To learn more about our high-tech abrasive products, contact us today

Contact 10X Engineered Materials