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Airbrush as Sandblaster

Hi. Does anyone know if an airbrush or a paint spray gun can be used
as a sandblaster? I have both and have not used them. If its
possible to convert either to a jewelry sand or bead blaster, I would
like to do so. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Jay

Hello Jay;

As far as I know,you can not use an airbrush for sand blasting.In
mater of fact you could but the very abrassive media will cut your
nozle mostly made out of steel in no time.Tath’s why proffesionals
are made out of titanium or fired ceramic. I’ve been there and tryed
it out,but maybe some other orchid members found something else to
prevend the wear out of the nozzle.

Regards Pedro

Jay: Paasche does make an “air eraser” The simple configurations
sells for about $90.00 and the more complex unit with a 1 quart media
reservoir is about $190.00. I don’t believe you can convert the
Paasche units to air eraser from a paint brush. Badger State has a
simple unit for $49.00. Lone Star distributes both units. Let us know
what you need.

Mike & Dale
Lone Star Technical Services
The ultrasonic repair guys
"If you don’t need us today, we’ll be here tomorrow.

Hi Jay:

I made my own sandblaster close to 20 years ago – and it’s still
going strong. Any sandblaster I have ever seen or used has had a
fairly robust “gun.” The gun is the handpiece that you use to aim the
jet of air/abrasive material and it usually incorporates a trigger so
that you can just point and shoot, so to speak. These handpieces also
have a way of sucking the abrasive agent into the high-pressure air as
it blasts through the gun, this is often accomplished by something as
simple as a piece of rubber hose going from the abrasive supply/hopper
and then into the guts of the gun. The gun, which is also called a
nozzle, is (in my experience) fairly robust and with a sizeable
orifice for the air/abrasive to leave through – which is NOT like a
paint spray gun and DEFINITELY NOT like an airbrush. Also, my
sandblast gun has, in its tip, a robust ceramic nozzle, through which
the abrasive travels under high pressure. The ceramic is used to cut
down on the heavy wear that would otherwise take place there, if the
air/abrasive mixture was flowing over just metal. (This wear would
take place every time you use the sandblaster, eventually damaging
your sandblast gun).

The Bad News: I’m sorry, Jay, but I don’t think you will find that a
paint spray gun or airbrush will work for such uses.

The Good News: You can easily make your own sandblast cabinet … just
look at some commercially available ones and you should, very quickly,
see how you can custom-make one to your own needs and size
requirements. Home-built jobs need not be elegant and are not
expensive. I built mine with basic Home Depot-type materials. The only
part that I could not fabricate was the sandblast gun, which I bought
from an industrial hardware store. Everything else was easy to
scrounge up.

Hope this helps…
Jeff Booth
Oakville, Ontario


I recently had the same idea, but after doing some research, I have
come to the conclusion that you are better off buying an inexpensive
small abrasive blaster like the Badger, which, although very similar
to an airbrush in appearance, has a slightly different mechanism. I
don’t think that you can use a conventional airbrush for sandblasting
as I believe the abrasive particles will both clog and probably damage
the existing smaller paint spray aperture. You will also need a
compressor with a tank attached to maintain a constant pressure in the
abrasive gun which appears to be more critical than the airbrush in
order to keep the finish consistent.

The Badger abrasive gun is very compact and ideal for small jewellery
jobs, but you have to be extremely careful when using it as the spent
particles rebound off the work surface and remain airborne for some
time - and you must wear protective eye gear and mask to prevent the
possibility of inhaling the carborundum or glass bead particles or
getting them in your eyes as they are very hazardous. It is
therefore better to work outside in the open air if possible.

Of the two options, carborundum and glass beads, in my opinion, using
the glass beads give a much better finish on all jewellery surfaces
(silver, white gold particularly) as you are left with a bright satin
finish, whereas the carborundum leaves a very dull finish which turns
silver and white gold grey and really only looks good as a contrast
on yellow gold.


Hi.  Does anyone know if an airbrush or a paint spray gun can be used
as a sandblaster?  I have both and have not used them.  If its
possible to convert either to a jewelry sand or bead blaster, I would
like to do so. Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Jay

I doubt that they will work and if they do, they will most likely
blast themselves to nothing. Pashaa (spelling) makes a bead blasting
airbrush that sells for about 80.00. If you want less control (blast
bigger areas) Harbor Freight or Post Tools (most any tool selling
catalog or store) have sand/bead blasting guns for about 20.00 (just
for the gun which is a suction type vs a pressure type).

Just my 2� worth.

John Dach
MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Cynthia Thomas Designs
Cynthia’s sculptures are at:

I thought I would just mention that, while this is all true, you can
have a lot of fun sandblasting glass for jewelry elements, or other
purposes, and the coarser media such as corundum actually can be used
to do 3-D designs in glass. Pebbles and softer stones can also be
decorated with sandblasting, but glass bead doesn’t have much effect
(not surprisingly).White glue or watercolor frisket make good resists
for detail work, and most varieties of tape for simpler
shapes–especially the expensive, two-way-stretch tape stonecutters
use. Electric tape is fine if you don’t need to be able to see through
it. Have fun! --Noel

Hope you dont mind, but I have a tip for Jay who ask about making a
sandblaster from an airbrush… Go to Harbor Freight tools They have a wonderful little thing
called a sandblast pen. Small like an airbrush, simple and works like
a champ… The best part is it only cost 9 dollars. Comes with hose
and sand as well. If its not listed on the website, call them and
ask for it, you might also want to order the catalog while your at it,
a great source of tools at great prices. As for a sandblasting
cabinet I made one from a tupperware tub, self stick rubber weather
stripping on a 12x6 inch piece of clear lexan. Drilled holes and
bolted it onto the lid for a view port. I then cut holes in the side
for my hands, used the spare 1/4 - 20 x 1/2 bolts to attach some
pieces of rubber sheet to cover the holes, then cut an X with a knife
in the rubber,large enough to fit my hands in. I wear dishwashing
gloves when I sand blast. Cost including the gloves was around 15
dollars. Daniel H St Louis

Hello Jay,

I already answered your question,but I would like to mention about
the fact that you could use your airbrush in an other way,meaning a
kind of sandblasting but without sand.I do not know what your
intentions are,but for really light blasting jobs,I filled up my
airbrush with a mixture of water and … “toothpaste”.Believe it or
not … it works for small scale blasting and it’s not effecting
your airbrush thatmuch.

Goodluck,hope that you can use this inexpensive idea. Regards Pedro