Soda blasted refinishing project

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Project by cstrang posted 721 days ago 1637 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


1699 posts in 2327 days

#1 posted 721 days ago

Nice one Chris.
Came out great.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View DIYaholic's profile


12884 posts in 1272 days

#2 posted 721 days ago

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 procratination a bad thing?

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 846 days

#3 posted 721 days ago

Looks great!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2270 days

#4 posted 721 days ago

Looks good!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View grizzman's profile


6774 posts in 1900 days

#5 posted 721 days ago

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


9938 posts in 2352 days

#6 posted 721 days ago

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


12951 posts in 1290 days

#7 posted 721 days ago

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


1769 posts in 1765 days

#8 posted 721 days ago

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


3233 posts in 1159 days

#9 posted 721 days ago


-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View stefang's profile (online now)


12556 posts in 1931 days

#10 posted 721 days ago


-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 815 days

#11 posted 720 days ago

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


3251 posts in 2532 days

#12 posted 720 days ago

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


244 posts in 2041 days

#13 posted 717 days ago

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


19313 posts in 2448 days

#14 posted 709 days ago

Well done.

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

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