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Waterblasting vs Sandblasting: Which do you pick?

One of the most important factors affecting the quality, performance, and service life of a paint job is the surface preparation. To achieve optimal results, surfaces must be completely free of dust, dirt, and grease and prepared correctly to ensure good coating adhesion to the substrate. Two common surface preparation methods used by industrial painters today are waterblasting and sandblasting.

Here is a guide to decide which is right for your next project!


Waterblasting provides an efficient, economic, safe, and eco-friendly way to clean and maintain different surfaces. Read on for the most important benefits:

  • Waterblasting allows you to clean and prepare a wide variety of exterior painted surfaces without chemicals and without the risk of releasing unsafe contaminants into the air.

  • Unlike chemical-based cleaning, waterblasting leaves no residue behind, which means that no rinsing is required.

  • Waterblasting equipment allows users to adjust the pressure and switch between different fan nozzles, according to each job. For instance, you can easily reduce the pressure to wash away dust, cobwebs, and contaminants, and increase it to remove adhesive and multi-layered coating systems, expose and clean out cracks so that appropriate repairs can be made, and open surface pores to deliver suitable profiles for the application of new protective coating systems.

  • Waterblasting leaves surfaces clean, chemical free, and ready for re-use (after they dry out completely).


Though sandblasting is one of the most common surface preparation methods for metal, it can be successfully and safely used to remove dust, dirt, and old paint from different surfaces. Read on for the most important benefits:

  • Compared to water blasting, sandblasting provides a better, easier, and faster way to clean and prepare different surfaces for painting.

  • The degree of sandblasting can be adjusted to perform a wide variety of operations, from light cleaning, such as removing dust, dirt, grit, rust and old paint, to deep cutting, including shaping, roughening, and smoothing surfaces.

  • Sandblasting is more powerful than sandpapering, allowing professionals to prepare surfaces in hours instead of days.

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