If you want to remove rust from old metal before you paint it, sandblasting can be an effective way to do so. However, if you have not done it before, it can be easy to make mistakes along the way. Here are some mistakes to avoid, so that you can remove the rust without harming the metal and get the work done in a neat, relatively quick manner.

Not Expecting a Mess

When you rent a handheld sandblaster, you may imagine that there won't be much of a mess. However, that may not be the case. In fact, if you aren't careful, many of the abrasive particles you're sandblasting with can damage other things in their path.

Make sure that you aren't sandblasting surfaces that you don't intend to sandblast. Cover areas you aren't working on with a tarp or tape. That way, the only thing being sandblasted is the rust on the old metal you're working with.

Sandblasting Straight Onto the Rust

When you're using a handheld spray nozzle to sandblast the rust, it is a natural inclination to aim right at the rust. However, doing so can take a long time. To do a better job with sandblasting, attack the rust at a slight angle. This will allow the sand particles or whatever abrasive materials you're using, to get underneath the rust and strike it off of the metal.

Not Letting the Metal Cool Down

As you sandblast the metal, the abrasive materials you're using start to create friction. Ultimately, that creates heat, and the metal you're sandblasting will begin to become hot. If you hear a popping sound as you work, that's the reason. If the metal gets too hot, it can start to become warped. To avoid this problem, only spend a few seconds on each bit of metal as you work, and let the metal cool down for a few seconds before sandblasting the same bit again.

Not Cleaning the Air Line

You may not realize that humidity in the environment can have an effect on your sandblasting work, but if you do half the job and take a break without cleaning the air line in the sandblaster, the moisture in the air can cause the sandblasting particles to clump together, much like wet sand.

Therefore, before you take a break, make sure you clear the airline. To do this, separate the sandblasting tank from the air compressor and turn the tank on. Make sure the spray nozzle is open, so that any air and sand in the compressor and air line is pushed out.

Sandblasting your old metal to remove rust can be an easier job when you use the information laid out above. If you need to take the rust off a number of pieces, or have a large piece of old metal to work with, consider contacting sandblasting professionals in your local area.

For more information, contact APC Services or a similar company.