Rock and Stone Sandblasting

There is a lot more interesting things you can do with your sandblaster that some people don’t even think about.  I have been sandblasting for years and I didn’t discover the idea of blasting and sandcarving rock or stone till later on.

This involves the process of creating designs into stone.  What you do is cut out a stencil from a resistant rubber or vinyl material and blast the area until it cuts a desired depth.  Have you ever seen those large rocks in people front yards with their address marked in it?

Well, this is all done by blasting the rock and is better known as sandcarving.  I talk a little bit about this in the sandblaster plans, tips, and information manual that I wrote up.  The top thing that you need to know is that a pressure pot sandblaster is required to carve the stone because it has high pressures that is needed to get the job down.

Shown below is an small example of a stone that I found in a nearby river.

A stone that was sandblasted with a process known as sandcarving.

What I did was just cut out a stencil and blasted over the stencil on the rock with about 90 psi (from what I remember).  After that, you can spray paint the carvings to highlight the deep markings like I did.  I used a black spray paint but you can use your creativity with different vibrate colors.

Please leave any comments below or any questions.  Thanks and hopefully I can get some more information up soon.

77 responses to “Rock and Stone Sandblasting”

  1. Dale from Cherry Hill

    Hi Eric,
    I’m considering building the pressure pot that you have designed. How do you rate your unit next to one of the cheaper Harbor Freight units. I’m just starting out and will probably use the pot for general rust cleaning. Love your site. Thanks

  2. Eric R. W.

    Not sure if you got my plans, but as stated there- I like the home made one better. It seems to work better and I think its because the inside of the tank is smooth unlike the HF model.

    The only problem with my blaster/ plans is it doesn’t have a safety plug. Thanks!

  3. Josh

    Lots if great timely info, interested in learning as much as i can about sand carving and glass etching. And the stencils to use with them. Thanks for your emails with helpful info so far.

  4. dave

    just wondering if you use the vinyl mask and if so how do you get it to stick well to varying stones.? My brother has a giant sandblasting booth we intend to try this with but have no experience except with wood, any tips or suggestions? Thank you, DAVE

  5. tom

    i am gonna be sandblasting granite benches and bluestone is the 100lb eastwood tank with aluminum oxide a good choice if not any recomendations?

  6. jay

    How do I even get started and what tools do I need and what kind of media and what kind of material to draw the stencil on?

  7. Megan

    i was wondering what kind of sand or material thats the best for granite?

  8. Jim

    What equipment would I need to sandblast rock (sand carving)? I mostly would like to do river rocks and possibly bone. I am a beginner.

  9. Eric R. W.

    Hi Jim, the most essential thing is a pressure pot sandblaster. Then just need some thick sandblast resists to make stencils.

  10. Stacey

    I would like to sandblast river rock for wedding favors. Can you recommend the necessary tools I would need please. Just writing letters on river rock for 100 guests. Thanks so much !

  11. Sylvan

    What size compressor is needed to fill a pressure pot sandblaster? Also will a Roland 24 be good enough to cut the stencils?
    Thank you in advance for the information.

  12. Dan Conklin

    I have a siphon blaster, not a pot. Is it still possible to carve stone with it? I tried it with my compressor at 150 psi and my vinyl stencil didn’t hold up for an instant. Does anyone know how thick a material I need for a vinyl stencil?

    I bonded the stencil to the uneven rock with drywall corner adhesive. since the PSA on the vinyl wasn’t strong enough to h0ld it in place. Could that have been part of the reason the stencil didn’t hold up?

  13. samson

    The Carving was really wonderful. Keep it up.

  14. bcpotter

    Sources for vinyl without having to order the expensive stuff on line ?

  15. karen

    I have the sandblasting system and would like to due stones. Just basic like names and addresses on smaller nothing to large to handle by hand. My issue is were to find the stenciling precut or reasonable pricing stencil to cut by hand. what is the best can not afford the 1000 plus dollar printers that i find.

  16. Elaine

    Great comments and questions! I would love to know the answers. I am just starting out with this medium and am anxious to learn all I can.

  17. Joanne Keaton

    What is used to keep the stencil on rock to sandblast

  18. Joanne Keaton

    I have the stencil 15 mil that recommended but do I need ahesive to help it stay on the river rock to sandblast so it want come off

  19. Ben

    Hi Eric

    You real reminded me the job did of writing school name on concrete it was on September 9th-10th 2010 at Rushey Green School Culverley Road London SE6 2LA using blasting machine grit and metal plate that was written the school name was able to write the name which will be there forever this is my testimony to what you said.

  20. Matt

    Hi Eric

    Firstly thanks for your site. Some really useful information.

    My wife wants to frost glass, in particular jam jars. She has a business and would like to
    offer the jars with candles in to use in the garden. Frosting spray is useless in the inclement weather. So I thought of sandblasting them. Is something I could do? If so what equipment would you suggest?

    Best wishes
    Matt (U.K)

  21. Eric R. W.

    @ Matt, if she just wants to etch the surface, any sandblaster would do. Just use a good abrasive that you can reuse like aluminum oxide.

  22. Wesley

    I am interested in the scm sandblaster by David Horn. Why are you selling. Just curious. Is there any problems with the dust getting out. I read where one person complain about dust clouds it was on the better business burea. I was wondering if you experience anything like that.

  23. SQ

    What’s the safest media to use? I am also a beginner.

  24. SQ

    Super information. Haven’t tried sandblasting rocks yet, but am gearing up to do so. Have media ready and waiting, and have a nice collection of river rocks from a local river. Sandblasting is just amazing. Can’t believe how clean, crisp, and deep the designs are. I’m a novice and already seriously hooked. :)


  25. Wesley

    I am interested in blasting rocks later. Once I get the equipment. What type of media. On another site they recommend silica but I am concern of the safety of the silica . What do you think. I was going to use some sort of grit or like aluminum oxide.

  26. austin

    dont even bother with cheap sand… aside from it being bad for ur health, it is soft and wont carve near as fast as aluminum oxide. actually alum oxide barely even does anything to most hard rock. alum oxide is much more expensive so u will need to contain it. i portioned off a section of my garage with plastic to make a blast room. sweep your floor clean before you blast and you will be able to use ur grit over and over again. or use a blast cabinet if possible. use 80 or 150 grit. also you will need a tungsten carbide nozzle 1/8 inch. forget the cheap ceramic nozzles. they last about an hour.

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