Soda blasted refinishing project

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Project by cstrang posted 08-01-2012 10:04 PM 2496 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First things first, sorry for the no before picture, this is a mirror that was given to me by a neighbour some years ago, he had lots of Imperial Oil memorabilia as he worked for them his whole career, he passed some things onto me as he had noticed I liked them. This mirror was sitting in my shop office for a while as it wasn’t exactly top shelf, front room quality, it had been in his basement before I had got it and had been the victim of paint flecks, dings and scratches as well as general wear and tear.

I started sanding and realized that the finish was still holding on tight, I had heard about soda blasting on the show American Restoration and wanted to give it a shot. I researched it online and read a few reviews which said it was hard on wood, raising the grain and requiring a lot of sanding after the blasting. i decided to give it a shot anyway as my mind isnt usually put an idea to rest until I try it myself. I went down to Princess Auto and bought a 14 dollar hand held sand blaster and filled it up with baking soda and started at it.

To my pleasant surprise… It worked! And well at that. I used almost a box of baking soda by the time it was done (about $3.00 worth) and about 15 or 20 minuets of my time, all in all better than sanding. I was able to get the corners of the frame with ease as well. This is obviously a must do outdoor job with a mask and glasses on, by the time it was done my summers day looked like christmas eve with all the excess baking soda on the ground. Not too bad of a clean up though, a quick fick with the blow gun and a soft wind takes care of it.

I then brought it back inside, gave it a quick sanding (5 mins) and cleaned the dust and the soda off and straight into finishing, stain and lacquer and presto! A lovely new look for an old piece.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

14 comments so far

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3997 days

#1 posted 08-01-2012 10:40 PM

Nice one Chris.
Came out great.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View DIYaholic's profile


19766 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 08-01-2012 10:44 PM

I have a sandbalster I have not used yet. I’ve been waiting on the right “metal” project to use it on. This soda blasting is just what I need to strip my old dresser, prior to refinishing it. Thanks for the tip & motivation.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 2516 days

#3 posted 08-01-2012 11:01 PM

Looks great!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3940 days

#4 posted 08-01-2012 11:19 PM

Looks good!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3570 days

#5 posted 08-02-2012 01:02 AM

my oh my Chris, you did a great job with this, i to believe in trying things and seeing how they really go, and you have peaked my interest, i will acquire one of these guns myself , as i have quite a few things that need this, and i hope will do what i need…thanks for posting this and teaching an older dog a new trick…bravo

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View lew's profile


12552 posts in 4022 days

#6 posted 08-02-2012 01:18 AM

Thanks, Chris!
I often wondered about this and thought surely a rig would be more expensive than that. This may be something I’ll need to add to the shop.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2960 days

#7 posted 08-02-2012 01:35 AM

I’ve never used soda; thanks for the tip! Is that stuff going to kill your grass? Might be time for a blast cabinet;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3435 days

#8 posted 08-02-2012 01:43 AM

Hey Bertha, apparently all baking soda kills is crab grass and it works quick, some people say within 24 hours… Although I must admit i did not think about that when I was out there. Its been a few days and nothing yet, so fingers crossed i guess!

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2829 days

#9 posted 08-02-2012 04:01 AM


-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View stefang's profile


16366 posts in 3601 days

#10 posted 08-02-2012 10:59 AM


-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 2485 days

#11 posted 08-02-2012 02:40 PM

Very cool – I have been using sand in my sandblaster and never thought about using baking soda. I will definitely give it a try instead of sand next time.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View clieb91's profile


3552 posts in 4201 days

#12 posted 08-02-2012 10:50 PM

Really cool idea. Will have to keep it in mind.
Turned out looking really nice.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Gpops's profile


248 posts in 3711 days

#13 posted 08-05-2012 08:28 PM

Having a sand blaster is like having a pressure washer, you will find all sorts of things to use it on. What kind of finish was on your piece when you started? Don

View Grumpy's profile


24936 posts in 4118 days

#14 posted 08-14-2012 08:10 AM

Well done.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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