Media Blasting Cost
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    Media Blasting Cost

    Hey everyone.....

    I recently sent pictures of my GT to a local media blaster for a quote and available time slots. I talked to the guy on the phone prior and we discussed what media he would use, etc. This was going to be for a plastic bead blasting to remove the paint and then a glass bead blasting to remove any rust spots. The car is stripped and is sitting on stands at the moment, he has a cart to put it one while he's working on it.

    The quote I received was for $1400, which about knocked me over. Is this guy way off or am I the one that is out of touch? I expected somewhere in the $500-700 range.

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    for a thorough good job, that is accurate. you could find it cheaper, but will it be good? I had similiar quotes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Roy View Post
    Hey everyone.....

    I recently sent pictures of my GT to a local media blaster for a quote and available time slots. I talked to the guy on the phone prior and we discussed what media he would use, etc. This was going to be for a plastic bead blasting to remove the paint and then a glass bead blasting to remove any rust spots. The car is stripped and is sitting on stands at the moment, he has a cart to put it one while he's working on it.

    The quote I received was for $1400, which about knocked me over. Is this guy way off or am I the one that is out of touch? I expected somewhere in the $500-700 range.
    Does that include spraying it with a flash rust preventative afterwards?
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    Opeler JudokaJohn's Avatar
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    I received a quote of about 12-1300 with pickup for my Kadett. After much discussion with other forum members, I decided not to get my car blasted. Cons are: 1. can warp metal 2. cost 3. removing excess media 4. Need to prime right away to avoid surface rusting

    I realized that I don't need my car down to bare metal, the little rust i have, I will cut out or sand and then prime after repairing.
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    For the cost to have it blasted, I'd urge you to consider buying the needed equipment. Harbor Freight has media blasting equipment, in various sizes for very reasonable prices. Oh and they always have 20% off coupons for 1 item. You could buy a compressor, 100 lb media blaster, media, Tyvek suit, respirator, leather gloves, etc. for like $600-700. I'd recommend taking a look at products like Gibbs Brand to chemically remove rust, you're less likely to damage the car than using media to strip it away if we're talking about anything more than flash rusting of the steel. Gibbs Brand will also protect the metal while you wait to paint the vehicle. I found this stuff due to its use in cleaning up oxidation on magnesium. I haven't personally used it yet, but it looks promising from the research I've done and I plan to use it for my own restoration, whenever that happens.

    If you're not careful, media will shred a car and cause more damage that you want. Using it to strip rust won't be a good idea if there are fragile areas due to rust. This is where you want a chemical solution to remove the rust, it might leave enough metal behind to be used with other metal to reinforce an area rather than replace an area.
    Last edited by Autoholic; 03-29-2017 at 06:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudokaJohn View Post
    I remember that thread. I actually commented on it. Media blasting started to sound like a really good way to get the body back to square one and a heck of a lot easier than DA'ing. The price and the fact the metal needs primed right away is swaying my position back to hours of sanding and wire wheel-ing. It's the bottom I'm not too enthused about cleaning myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwschumm View Post
    Does that include spraying it with a flash rust preventative afterwards?
    Good question. I'll have to check on that.

    Edit: NO. Priming is an additional $950. Wowza!!!
    Last edited by T-Roy; 03-29-2017 at 07:33 PM.

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    Über Genius My location First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Get more quotes. If you have time to wait for an auto swap meet, find someone there. I've been quoted $900ish a few times for soda blasting.
    Opel GTs are not GM products
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    Troy, I'll share my whole plan for the stripping and repainting. Maybe it will be of help.

    Once I have the vehicle stripped of everything, so that only the body and doors and hood remain. I'm going to purchase 2 engine stands from either Amazon or Harbor Freight. The engine stands MUST be completely level, not canted backwards. I will then use these to build a body rotisserie that can easily be moved around and rotated. For most of the paint, I'm going to use a strong paint stripper to remove the paint. There are various brands out there, but they all work along the same lines. Apply it to an area, come back 10 to 15 minutes later and scrape the paint away. It should take the vehicle down to bare metal. I don't have to worry about sanding too much off the car or spending a lot of money on media and risk cutting through a fender.

    Then, once I've used a paint stripper to get everything I can off of the car, I will use a media blaster in targeted areas. I'll go to Harbor Freight to purchase the media blaster and probably Eastwood or Amazon for the media itself. Because I want to paint the car myself, I will purchase a good electric compressor. I want a unit that can go as high as 200 psi, for leak down checks. There is a difference between a leak down compression test and a compression tester. Leak down testers use compressed air, compression testers use the engine's compression. The difference is the maximum amount of pressure seen, a CIH won't likely reach 200 psi in a compression test for a street engine. I'm getting very nuanced here, but my goal would be to conduct both types of tests. I should see different numbers, even though they both serve the same purpose. If I let the engineer in me speak for a moment, a leak down tester using compressed air starts with a specific pressure, giving you a specific number to measure off of. An ordinary compression tester doesn't, it only allows you to compare cylinder to cylinder. It's like comparing a 1/4 mile time to a stoplight drag race. Anyways, back to what I was saying about painting the vehicle, my compressor will serve multiple uses. It will power the media blaster and the high volume low pressure (HVLP) paint guns.

    Once the car is stripped of paint as much as I can, both with chemicals and with soft media blasting, I will then use another chemical to remove flash rust and keep it off. I'm thinking of using Gibbs Brand for this job. It's a 1 micron penetrent, non-acidic, anti-rust lubricant similar however different from WD-40. Once I'm ready to paint, I'll use a paint appropriate solvent to clean the surfaces and then spray on a primer. I'll likely make sure the primer is weldable, in case I have to do anything last minute.

    So I'll need to purchase...
    -compressor
    -media blaster
    -media
    -2 engine stands
    -HVLP paint gun set
    -paint stripper
    -Gibbs Brand (5 gallon jug)
    -Paint chemicals (solvent, primer, 2 stage base, clear, Ceramic Pro)
    -Paint disposable supplies (measuring cups, plastic to create paint booth)
    -Paint sanding supplies (already have a buffing / polishing random orbital)
    -Undercarriage insulation (Lizard Skin is one product I'm looking at)
    -Any wood, metal and hardware required to complete the body rotisserie
    -Tyvek suit for blasting and painting
    -Respirator suitable for blasting and painting
    -Gloves for blasting and painting
    -Sizable fan to pull out particulates.

    All of that considered, it will probably cost like $2,500 - $3,500. Remember, that's allowing for a body rotisserie, media blasting equipment, painting equipment, chemicals, paint and needed clothing / safety items. If I actually complete everything this allows me to do, I will have repainted the vehicle from bare metal to better than OE conditions. That's hundreds of hours of work. That's why people who do this charge so much. If I was to drop the body off at a shop for them to do all this, I'd expect my bill to be north of $10,000, probably closer to $15,000.
    Last edited by Autoholic; 03-29-2017 at 10:53 PM.
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    I like your style, Joe. After the sticker shock of just the blasting, which would seriously impact the budget, I'm thinking along the same lines. I need a new compressor, so that is definitely on the table. I have a small media blaster, but it may need to be upgraded to a larger, more versatile one. I have paint guns and the room to paint, plus one spare engine stand sitting in the corner and a welder in the other.

    So, for the same $$, I can upgrade my tools and have the satisfaction of "doing it myself" rather than just having the cash to have it done. If it were $500 or so to have it blasted, it would have been a no-brainer. But, since I'm on a pretty strict budget, every dollar counts on this project.

    Thanks for all the info and advice everyone!

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    A lot of things the pros do, can be learned as long as you take some time to research the topic and have the patience to do it yourself. Plan for some practice junk to get your compass pointed north and cautiously move ahead. I'm not saying the pros won't have valuable experience that helps justify their cost, because they certainly do. But, if you're mechanically inclined, willing to learn and are patient, do it yourself. I'm working towards a restoration of a GT that I will largely do myself over a considerable amount of time. Sure, it will probably be 25 years before a GT is ever worth what I sunk into it but I'm pursuing this project as a way to learn new skills. Oh and to scratch an itch that I just can't do with a newer car, which is why I just sold my 2014 Mustang GT yesterday.

    The internet is a powerful tool, so much of what used to require specialized training can be learned at home now by people who have the ability and patience to learn. So many forums and videos out there where the experts will happily share their knowledge, tips and tricks. I'm a member of the Classic Car Restoration Club, lots of useful information there.

    https://www.classiccarrestorationclub.com/

    The bulk of the cost of having a restoration, or parts of a restoration, done by somebody else is largely going to be labor. Whatever the cost of the parts are, multiply that by 2 to get a lower end idea on what someone would charge. If it is paint and body related, that might need to be several times larger. Labor for this hobby is damn expensive, and none of that cost goes into the value of the vehicle.
    Last edited by Autoholic; 03-30-2017 at 12:09 AM.
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    I really hate to burst your bubbles gentlemen, but there is NO compressor that you can buy from Harbor Freight, Sears, nor any other "hardware store" that will provide the necessary air VOLUME and pressure to media blast an entire car, even a small car like an Opel GT. I used to media blast and paint water towers for a living, so I know a thing or two about the subject. Yes you can buy a compressor that will make pressure, but the key is VOLUME. You need a BIG compressor, which is why media blasting costs what it costs. It isn't because they are gouging anyone. If you want to spend the next six months doing a little piece at a time, knock yourself out. Oh, and remember that you also need an AIR DRYER. If you don't use one, you will literally be causing flash rust AS you blast away the paint and whatever else because you will have water coming out of the hose and probably not much media as that will stick together and plug up the line from the water your compressor is spitting out. Better rethink things guys.

    Just my $1.25

    Here, a link for education
    http://www.mediablast.com/compressed-air-basics
    Last edited by Yellow73GT; 03-30-2017 at 05:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow73GT View Post
    I really hate to burst your bubbles gentlemen, but there is NO compressor that you can buy from Harbor Freight, Sears, nor any other "hardware store" that will provide the necessary air VOLUME and pressure to media blast an entire car, even a small car like an Opel GT. I used to media blast and paint water towers for a living, so I know a thing or two about the subject. Yes you can buy a compressor that will make pressure, but the key is VOLUME. You need a BIG compressor, which is why media blasting costs what it costs. It isn't because they are gouging anyone. If you want to spend the next six months doing a little piece at a time, knock yourself out. Oh, and remember that you also need an AIR DRYER. If you don't use one, you will literally be causing flash rust AS you blast away the paint and whatever else because you will have water coming out of the hose and probably not much media as that will stick together and plug up the line from the water your compressor is spitting out. Better rethink things guys.

    Just my $1.25

    Here, a link for education
    Compressed Air Basics by Media Blast & Abrasive
    I know. I used to sand blast for my uncle and we had a twin screw compressor on a trailer with an industrial sized pot. It was hot, nasty work, but it gave enough cash to buy my first car, a 1966 Mustang with a 289. Loved that car and it was a great job that taught me stick-to-it-ness. We did all sorts of things, stone buildings, antique steam radiators for the school, mail boxes, car parts, stock trailers......you name it.

    I realize it will take a bit of time & that's OK......

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    Über Genius My location First opel 1981's Avatar
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    FWIW, I know a few people have put multiple air compressors to the same air tank to obtain a higher volume of air. It often requires two or more electrical circuits. It's MUCH cheaper than a high volume air compressor. Yes, you still have to wait sometimes for the compressors to recover but for the home guy it's an alternative.
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    Senior Member My location tealcarver's Avatar
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    I did all the prep work and the paint job on my GT. Wet sanded all the original paint to bare metal. When sanding the "ripples" in the surface that you are wet sanding stay and the areas that are high get sanded down to bare metal. I was lucky enough to have a GT that had no rust, so I didn't have the rust problem. I shot it with primer as soon as the wet sanding was done to make sure that the body never had a chance to rust. I must have sprayed ten coats of primer on the body and wet sanded in between each coat. The reason is because the primer fills in the low spots on the body. This is not going to fix any dents, you have to make sure that the dents are all removed before you start priming the car. After a few coats of primer, I wet sanded with an "auto block" sand paper holder and used 400 grit wet and dry sand paper and carefully sanded every exterior surface including the areas on the inside of the doors. The hood and the doors were done separately so they could have all the surfaces primed correctly. It's a long process to get it ready to paint, but the results are well worth it.

    Since I was living in California at the time, I had to use a HVLP sprayer. Never used one before, but had experience with the regular sprayers. Found out that there isn't any noticeable difference between them. I use two air compressors that pressurized an ten gallon tank, then the spray gun was connected to the tank. The compressors ran most of the time, but never lost pressure or volume while painting. I used two stage polyurethane paint. First stage is color coat. The color coat dries almost instantly and requires two coats to ensure even coverage. After spray the color coat, you must spray the Clear coat within 24 hours or it will not work right. It is a catalyst clear coat so you have to mix the clear coat before shooting it. I did that and to my amazement, the clear coat went on smoothly with no runs, no orange peel and no problems. It took about 15 minutes for the clear coat to dry. After 48 hours, I took 2000 grit wet and dry with lots of water to the clear coat, then took 3M 6000 grit polishing compound to it and it really sparkled.

    It had been a long time since I shot motorcycle tanks, but handling the spray gun cam back real fast. The result? I have a great paint job, and have gotten many comments on it...all positive. Total cost for all the materials was about 800 dollars, including all the sandpaper, primer, paint, and the HVLP sprayer.. The paint was the most expensive part of it, but you never want to skimp on the paint. I was almost forced into painting the car myself and doing all the prep work because I was too tight to spend $7000 on a paint job. It was worth it. If you have never sprayed anything before, you can practice on a junker, just enough to make sure you don't have orange peel or runs in the paint. It was a lot of work, but I got to say it was the most satisfying thing I ever did to my GT. Also if you look at my garage, you can see the ghost flames that I put on the hood of the GT. I think they came out great. So if you feel adventuresome and have the confidence to prep and paint your own car, you can save a ton of money, you also have the confidence that it was done right, and the satisfaction of knowing you did it.

    Bob
    Last edited by tealcarver; 03-30-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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    YellowGT, I plan on getting a 15 gallon DeWalt 200 PSI 1.6 HP compressor, not from HF. It has a 5 SCFM at 100 PSI. Regulate that down to the needed 60 or 125 PSI with an air dryer as well. That will be sufficient for my needs. I'm also not planning on blasting the entire vehicle all in one go. I'm not worried about it, I've already checked on all specs. It's a $370 compressor, I'm not taking the cheap way out on this tool.
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    OpelGT.com Übermoderator My location kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autoholic View Post
    YellowGT, I plan on getting a 15 gallon DeWalt 200 PSI 1.6 HP compressor, not from HF. It has a 5 SCFM at 100 PSI. Regulate that down to the needed 60 or 125 PSI with an air dryer as well. That will be sufficient for my needs. I'm also not planning on blasting the entire vehicle all in one go. I'm not worried about it, I've already checked on all specs. It's a $370 compressor, I'm not taking the cheap way out on this tool.
    Wow. TWO posts today that YellowGT aka Chuck and I agree on...Must be a New Moon.

    Media blasting a car or anything substantial with a garage compressor is a waste of time. I have a 220 V 5 HP twin cylinder 13 cfm compressor which cost triple what Joseph is planning, and I can tell you that it nicely keeps up with my sandblasting cabinet gun. Which is fine for blasting small parts. Nothing bigger. I tried to do a set of wheels in it. Spent several hours and only got one side of one wheel cleaned. Took the wheels to my local DIY sandblasting place (Sandblasting Yard Calgary | D.I.Y. | Consolidated Compressor) and thought I would use their bigger booth. They said don't bother, even those booths supply way too low a volume of air and sand. So I used their outdoor blasting, which is a 2 inch air hose and probably 50 cfm, and an hour later I had four wheels clean as can be. I have since done another set, and that is the way to do it. Lots of local car restoration guys do their cars and frames there.

    I had my GT blasted by a portable blasting shop, but at their place (NaTech Industries). He did the hood and headlight buckets with soda, which worked very well and cost me a fortune (like $300). On his advice, I flapper-wheeled all the paint and filler off the body that I could, and then he blasted it with very fine sand and as low a pressure as he could. Terrific for getting rid of paint and filler and rust, but it warped the panels a bit, which took a number of hours to fix. No perfect answer, but I can tell you that sand blasting any portion of a car with a garage compressor is a waste of time.
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    Working on the bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT, and may have another GT to build next...

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    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    Keith, I appreciate the info. Let me redirect you and Chuck back to what I said originally. I plan to use a paint stripping agent to work the paint off. My use for media blasting on the car would be targeted areas. I'm not talking about an area the size of a fender. I'm talking about areas that solvent and sanding can't really address. Like the tail light support trim that holds the tail light assembly to the back panel. Or along the lip in the engine bay, where the weather seals stick. Stuff like that, possibly rims. However, the media blasters from HF need 6 CFM at 60 PSI if using the low pressure setting, which is within the operating specs of the compressor I am referring to, it provides 5 CFM at 100 PSI.

    Sure, if I was looking to blast the entire car, I would need a far more professional setup that requires a trailer to move around. That however was never my intention, a chemical solution will be a far cheaper option, it just requires some elbow grease and patience. The paint falls away from the body by itself. The below video, this is what I'm talking about. Metric tons cheaper than media blasting, not nearly as painful as sanding. Down to like-new metal. You could probably spray the paint off with a garden hose.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2zZ6lszG_Y
    nickincrete likes this.
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  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autoholic View Post
    Keith, I appreciate the info. Let me redirect you and Chuck back to what I said originally. I plan to use a paint stripping agent to work the paint off. My use for media blasting on the car would be targeted areas. I'm not talking about an area the size of a fender. I'm talking about areas that solvent and sanding can't really address. Like the tail light support trim that holds the tail light assembly to the back panel. Or along the lip in the engine bay, where the weather seals stick. Stuff like that, possibly rims. However, the media blasters from HF need 6 CFM at 60 PSI if using the low pressure setting, which is within the operating specs of the compressor I am referring to, it provides 5 CFM at 100 PSI.

    Sure, if I was looking to blast the entire car, I would need a far more professional setup that requires a trailer to move around. That however was never my intention, a chemical solution will be a far cheaper option, it just requires some elbow grease and patience. The paint falls away from the body by itself. The below video, this is what I'm talking about. Metric tons cheaper than media blasting, not nearly as painful as sanding. Down to like-new metal. You could probably spray the paint off with a garden hose.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2zZ6lszG_Y
    And thats all cool, I was just making sure you guys really understood what you were talking about. So long as you know what your up against, more power to you and I have the utmost respect for individuals who are DIY'ers. If I may make a suggestion/ask a question, do any of the places you have spoke with or looked into (either one of you) offer dry ice blasting? That is something I have heard supposedly wont warp the sheet metal AND does not leave the vehicle full of media that then needs to be cleaned out. I cant speak for the effectiveness of it as I have never actually seen it in action nor the results of such a form of media. Not that I think it would be hugely cheaper, but should be somewhat cheaper because the only mess to clean up is the material removed, the media itself just sublimates away and leaves no residue. Just a thought.
    Autoholic likes this.
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