What Garnet Abrasive to Use for Wood

Although initially used for metals, over time sandblasting began to be used sometime later for wood due to its effectiveness at removing paint and varnish from older finished surfaces or for printing or etching various signs and surfaces with the help of templates.

The type of garnet blasting media needed for wood depends on the surface that you are preparing. Wood furniture, for example, requires a much finer abrasive than say wood beams used in construction. 

Sandblasting wood

Sandblasting wood is a process where you apply the force of abrasive materials such as garnet, sand or superoxalloy to remove the upper surface to prepare for a new finish. Choosing your abrasive will vary greatly from project to project and can be a daunting task. 

There are many different garnet blasting methods that you can use when it comes to removing wood. The type of technique will depend on what kind of surface your working with and the material in which is used for constructing your building or furniture pieces. When it comes to choosing a method, there are some basic things you should keep in mind before you choose your blast abrasive. If you are working with a surface that has been treated or coated, you will need something different than when working with wood.

  • A rough blast over wood usually makes a better appearance than one made with finely ground abrasives such as walnut shells, which may make it appear powdery at best and splotchy if too hard or coarse. As the size and hardness of the abrasive particles increase, so does your chance of damaging your surface making it less likely to take a new finish or to look as nice as you intend. 
  • A fine blast over wood will also give you a better appearance than one made with coarse abrasives such as sand. Fine metal particles will give the wood more of an aged, rustic look that is not too shiny or new-looking.
  • If you are working on untreated surfaces, there are other factors to consider like your finish and whether you want a matte or glossy surface.

Choosing your blast abrasive

In order to make the decision about what garnet blasting abrasive is best to use, first determine the type of material your work on and then consider some viable options. 

  • Walnut shells – Walnut shell grit is a hard fibrous product made from ground or crushed walnut shells. When used as a blasting media, walnut shell grit is extremely durable, angular and multi-faceted, yet is considered a ‘soft abrasive’. Walnut shell blasting grit is an excellent replacement for sand (free silica) to avoid inhalation health concerns.
  • Superoxalloy – Superoxalloy abrasives are a great alternative to garnet for wood when blasted at a lower PSI. This may not be as quick or efficient as when used to their full potential, but some projects—like wood projects—require a gentler approach to achieve the desired outcome, and the superoxalloy abrasives should still achieve the desired effect with less cost and less waste. 

KinetiX and EpiX are available from abrasive distributors around the US. If you don’t see a distributor near you, contact 10X and we will work with you to get you what you need. EpiX abrasive, which is best for precision applications such as powder coating and medical applications, is also available to purchase directly from the 10X Engineered Materials website