There are a number of ways to strip old paint. The most common methods include chemical paint stripper, dipping , mechanical sanding and abrasive blasting. The latter can be divided into sandblasting, soda blasting and media blasting. Which just leaves media blasting.
Today, the average vehicle is made up of more types of substrates than ever seen before, including steel, aluminum, plastics, composites and fiberglass. This makes the removal of coatings from any type of vehicle very difficult. In addition, paint systems are more complex than ever before. EPA regulations have stimulated a new breed of coatings for painters to learn to use. All of these new coatings, as well as the ones currently being used, behave questionably when applied over existing paint.
The operation uses pressurized air to shoot tiny pieces of material media out of a nozzle to strip off the surface of a target. It's like pressure washing, only at lower pressures and with projectiles that are a lot more abrasive than droplets of water. The most commonly used media include plastic beads, ground-up walnut shells, glass beads, and aluminum oxide. To media-blast at home, buy a blasting cabinet to contain the mess and to avoid covering your entire garage with a fine dusting of walnut shells.
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