Abrasive Blasting vs. Power-Washing

abrasive blasting

Abrasive Blasting vs. Power-Washing

June 29, 2022

A crucial step of the painting or refinishing process is preparing your project’s surface. For best results, your surface must be smooth and free of dirt, dust or grease. Depending on your applications, a pressure washer or sandblaster can prime your project.

The two primary methods for achieving this are sandblasting and water blasting. Several key differences determine which process is best for your project.

Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting, also known as sandblasting, is a surface preparation method that uses a pressurized stream of abrasive media to clean surfaces. This process is ideal for metal surfaces, but you can also use sandblasting to clean other materials.

Sandblasters are efficient tools that remove existing paint from surfaces and create a profile on your surface. A profile will strengthen the bonding between your paint and the surface, improving the performance of your paint for a more professional finish.

There are two main types of sandblasting — wet and dry sandblasting:

  • Wet sandblasting: In this method, A high-pressure stream of water combines with pressurized media to create a hybrid of power-washing and abrasive blasting. This process avoids dust clouds while maintaining the strength and efficiency that comes from the media stream.
  • Dry sandblasting: This abrasive blasting process combines high-pressure air with a stream of media to clean surfaces.

Both of these methods are generally faster than water blasting.


Power-washing, or water blasting, is a surface cleaning method that uses a stream of pressurized water to remove excess dirt, grease or debris. Pressure washers are eco-friendly surface finishing solutions because they use no chemicals. Therefore, the process releases no chemicals into the air when the water makes contact with the surface.

Water blasting is typically the more budget-friendly option because water is less expensive than abrasive media. It is also more effective than sandblasting at removing contaminants such as grease or oil from surfaces.

Power-washing may be the best option when working with a delicate surface, as it will not change the object unless you use a high-pressure setting. This method also leaves no residue that may interfere with your project.

Contact Finishing Systems to Learn More

Finishing Systems is a top provider in the finishing solutions industry. We provide excellent customer service and offer custom solutions to meet your company’s specific needs. We have over 40 years of industry experience and know the ins and outs of the finishing process.

Contact our team today to get in touch with an expert.