How Media Blasting Works for Automotive Restorations

How Media Blasting Works for Automotive Restorations

Whether restoring classic cars or removing rust from trailers, restoring vehicles to their former glory or even better can be a delicate and fine-tuned process. It’s easy to overdo it with excessive chemicals to remove paint or long back breaking hours attempting to sand and scrape paint off. Both of these methods are time consuming, labor intensive, and not guaranteed to be safe on your vehicle.

As a more efficient and safer way to remove paint, coatings, and rust from metal surfaces, media blasting has become the standard method. When working with professionals, like our team at Clean ‘N Seal, your vehicle can be fully prepped, cleaned, and ready for its new paint job in just hours. 

Here’s how we make media blasting work for automotive restoration.

Media Blasting Capabilities

Media blasting removes paint, coatings, primers, and rust from vehicle surfaces using high power blasting equipment. This equipment shoots granular pellets of various media depending on the hardness needed.

These pellets have angular and sharp edges which cut, shear, and lift paint and rust from the metal surface revealing clean metal ready for priming and painting. The clearer the surface, the better paint will bond to it.

The ability to use different types of media is necessary with vehicle restoration. The different hardness of the media allows all surfaces to be cleaned without warping or damaging the metal, regardless of if it’s steel, aluminum, or more.

Additional benefits of media blasting include efficiency, safety, and sustainability!


The efficiency of media blasting as opposed to other types of paint stripping is almost uncomparable. In one step, media blasting cleanly removes all unwanted particles and takes only a few hours to complete, even on entire vehicles. Other forms can take days and include numerous applications.


Media blasting is often seen as a safer alternative to the harsh chemicals used for paint removal or the limitless dust buildup that occurs when sanding. With media blasting, there’s no chance of inhaling fumes or dust and no risk of skin damage from chemical burns.

Environmentally Friendly

In addition to being safer for the user, media blasting is also safer for the environment. Quality, professional media blasting equipment reclaims the blasting material as it continues to break down into dust so it can be disposed of safely. Nothing intentionally or accidentally leaks into the ground or flies into the air.

When Using Media Blasting for Automotive Restoration

There are several components pros keep in mind when media blasting vehicles in order to protect the surface while still removing paint and rust effectively. Keeping these aspects in control allows for a perfect restoration process.

Media Type

Media types range in hardness from soft plastics and fiberglass to solid steel. Using granules that are too hard can damage your vehicle surface, but ones that are too soft may not adequately remove paint. Finding the right hardness is essential.

For vehicles, glass grit or beads are commonly used for their effectiveness and ability to be recycled multiple times. Plastic media are also popular, especially for stripping from vehicles made of composites, delicate metals, plastics, and combinations of multiple materials.

Air Pressure

Psi is important to consider when media blasting. Too high of a psi will cause damage, and too low will be ineffective.

Most glass beads are used with around 90 psi, but for more delicate parts of vehicles, like hoods, roofs, and doors, changing the distance you stand from the surface helps to be gentler on these more vulnerable surfaces and increases the spread pattern.

Plastic media shoot at a much lower pressure, only 14 - 40 psi. This lower pressure still removes paint and rust particles but ensures surfaces aren’t marred, scratched, or damaged.  

Wet or Dry Blasting

Regardless of the media, blasting can be performed either wet or dry. Wet blasting uses water and can help reduce friction and heat which keeps metal surfaces from warping. It is best used on exteriors that might need a more delicate touch.

Dry blasting can be used as a more powerful removal agent, easily reaching into crevices and notches. This makes it most effective on automotive frames, bottoms, and interiors.

Restore Vehicles With Media Blasting at Clean ‘N Seal

Let our Carver, MN based media blasting experts handle even the most rusty or most delicate automotive restorations. With over ten years of experience restoring concrete, pressure washing homes, and performing restorative media blasting, our team is ready to tackle any vehicle challenge you have!

Contact us online or call at 952.393.9588 for a free estimate on your project!