How Much Does Sandblasting or Dustless Blasting Cost?

Typical Range:

$461 - $1,599

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 105 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated September 1, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

It costs an average of $992 to sandblast a home's exterior, with a typical price range of $461 and $1,599. In some cases, it may cost a little more than $200 to do the job, while a sizable sandblasting project could cost upwards of $10,000 or more.

Sandblasting is a method of cleaning home surfaces by propelling tiny bits of material to clean or even carve a surface at an extreme velocity. However, sand has fallen out of favor due to concerns about the lung disease silicosis, so pros use particles like steel grit, shells, and powdered abrasives instead.

This guide breaks down the cost of sandblasting a home’s exterior, how much you're likely to pay, and what factors affect the price.

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National Average $992
Typical Range $461 - $1,599
Low End - High End $120 - $3,800

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 105 HomeAdvisor members.

Sandblasting Costs by Square Foot

Contractors typically charge $1 to $5 per square foot for this service. As a result, the total project cost of sandblasting will heavily depend on how large of an area you want sandblasted. A small, 100-square-foot area may only cost a few hundred dollars, but if you're going to sandblast 2,000 square feet or more of your home’s exterior, expect to pay upwards of $10,000.

Sandblasting Costs per Hour

While a job is usually priced by area, some contractors choose to charge by the hour. This is common for jobs where the area is small, but requires careful, precision work that may take many hours. Typical hourly costs for sandblasting fall between $45 and $75 per hour, but can cost as much as $300 per hour

Included in this cost are surface preparation, job planning, the sandblasting itself, finishing, and the cleanup prices.

Sandblasting Costs by Method

Ranging from $1 to $5 per square foot, the price of sandblasting varies significantly based on the method you choose. A contractor can advise you of the best option for your particular project. For example, sandblasting a wheel rim requires a different type of sandblasting than the exterior of your home. And the interior needs a different method, too. Take a look at the most common sandblasting methods and how much they cost per square foot.

Method Range per Sq. Ft. (All-In) Average Cost per Sq. Ft. (All-In)
Hydro Blasting $1 – $2.50 $1.75
Wet Sandblasting $1.30 – $3.50 $2.40
Dustless Sandblasting $2 – $3 $2.50
Dry Sandblasting $2 – $4.50 $3.25
Dry Ice Sandblasting $3.50 – $5 $4.25

Hydro Blasting

Hydro blasting costs between $1 and $2.50 per square foot. This is the most affordable option because it doesn't use sand or other abrasives. Instead, it's the power of the clean water that cleans the surface it hits. 

While hydro blasting isn't suitable for the toughest jobs, it's perfect for the more delicate ones. The lack of abrasives means that the water stream is comparatively gentle, making it a good choice for surfaces prone to impact damage.

Wet Sandblasting

For wet sandblasting, expect to pay between $1.30 and $3.50 per square foot. Wet sandblasting uses wet sand to clean and rub the surface that needs attention. Mixing the sand with water prevents the sand from becoming airborne and speeds up the cleaning time, reducing how much you have to pay in labor costs. But unless a rust inhibitor is used, wet sandblasting isn't the best option for corrosive surfaces, as the water can accelerate corrosion.

Dustless Blasting

Dustless blasting prices range between $2 and $3 per square foot. This method combines water with a variety of abrasives to effectively clean a surface without huge amounts of dust getting in the air. This is a common choice for vehicle parts, with a wheel typically costing $40 and a standard car exterior costing around $1,000.

Dry Sandblasting

You'll pay between $2 and $4.50 for dry sandblasting. The higher cost compared to wet sandblasting is because dry sandblasting takes longer. Additionally, because more dust particles float around with this type of blasting, there's a greater risk factor to the workers, and they need more PPE to keep themselves safe. 

As the name implies, dry sandblasting doesn't involve water. Instead, the abrasives are forced out of the nozzle onto the surface. Because there's no liquid, this type of sandblasting is suitable for corrosive surfaces.

Dry Ice Blasting

For dry ice blasting, expect to pay between $3.50 and $5 per square foot. Solid CO2, or dry ice, is forced through the nozzle under pressure and sprayed onto the target surface. The pellets dislodge any contaminants as they make contact, releasing extreme heat to clean the surface as they dissipate. Dry ice should not be used inside of a room without adequate ventilation, as it can cause CO2 poisoning, which can be deadly.

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Sandblasting Cost Factors

Aside from the sandblasting method, the two biggest factors that influence the price of the job are the media or the abrasive you're using and the surface you're sandblasting. 

Media

The surface you're cleaning will limit your choice of media, as some surfaces require a lighter, more delicate touch, while others can withstand a tougher barrage of abrasives to dislodge more stubborn contaminants. Some delicate abrasives, such as corn cobs and silica, are readily available and cost under $2 per pound. At the other end of the price range are less common abrasives, including copper slag and silicone carbine, which cost up to $5 per pound.

Media Type Cost Range per Pound (Materials Only) Average Cost per Pound (Materials Only)
Corn Cobs $0.80 – $1 $0.90
Silica $1.50 – $1.80 $1.65
Soda $1.50 – $2.50 $2
Glass Bead $1.50 – $2.50 $2
Aluminum Oxide $2 – $2.50 $2.25
Steel Grit $2 – $2.50 $2.25
Walnut Hulls $2 – $3 $2.50
Pumice $2.50 – $3.50 $3
Silicone Carbide $4 – $4.50 $4.25
Acrylic $4 – $4.50 $4.25
Copper Slag $4 – $5 $4.50

Surface

The type of surface you’d like to clean dictates what kind of abrasive you should use. Some surfaces, like stucco or wood, are soft and easily damaged, requiring a lower pressure and a more delicate abrasive. 

On the other hand, wrought iron and concrete are tough and can withstand more abuse. However, wrought iron is the most costly surface to clean because it's the most time-consuming, thanks to all the fine detail and intricate shapes that make blasting more of a challenge.

Surface Price Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Tiles $1.50 – $3 $2.25
Stucco $1.50 – $3.50 $2.50
Wood $2 – $3 $2.50
Brick $2.50 – $3 $2.75
Concrete $2.50 – $3.50 $3
Wrought Iron $4 – $8 $6

DIY vs. Hire a Sandblasting Pro

You could save thousands of dollars by doing the job yourself, paying only for the sandblaster itself and the medium. However, there are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a professional.

  • A sandblasting contractor will get the job done right since sandblasting is a difficult project

  • You want someone with the proper know-how and equipment 

  • A pro will know what sandblasting material is best and be more efficient with the materials so that there's minimal waste

  • Sandblasting material is highly abrasive and can harm not only the lungs but the skin and sensitive areas like the eyes and nose; professionals have special protective equipment like full masks with respirators and bodysuits to protect themselves.

If you're thinking of doing the project on your own, contact a sandblasting service near you to at least get a consultation and a quote. Then, you'll be able to make an informed decision on whether this process is something you want to do on your own or leave to the professionals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s an alternative to sandblasting?

Laser cleaning is a good alternative to sandblasting if you want something that doesn't use abrasive materials and is cleaner and more precise. Laser cleaning can remove rust, grease, and paint without impacting the material underneath. It's a more environmentally friendly option and poses less of a risk to worker health, as there are no fine particulates at risk of being inhaled.

Does sandblasting make a mess?

Yes, you’ll create a mess with your sandblaster, which you’ll have to clean up after the project. The materials you blast onto the surface will collect on the ground, and the process will also spread a lot of debris in the air. It’s best to move items nearby that you don’t want damaged by debris.

Are sandblasters loud?

Yes, sandblasters are very loud, with sound power levels up to 115 to 125 decibels—that's louder than a chainsaw. It’s crucial that you or a pro wear earplugs when sandblasting. It’s also important to let your neighbors know that you’re having sandblasting work done so they can prepare for the loud noise.

Do I need a permit to use a sandblaster?

No federal laws restrict sandblasting as long as you aren’t doing it commercially. However, your state or local authorities may have their own restrictions or permits required for sandblasting, so check with them first. When hiring a local sandblasting company, make sure that they hold all the necessary permits or licenses applicable to your area.