Video: Soda Blasting A 1971 Corvette

If you’ve ever taken the opportunity to restore a vehicle from the group up, including fresh paint, you realize that getting the body straight and clean in anticipation of the new hue is of great importance. There are many different ways you can go about this task, including sanding it down with a dual-action sander, pouring chemical stripper, and blasting the shell with some sort of media to break down the paint and expose the clean (or sometimes hideously covered in Bondo and filler) body panels underneath.

Depending upon your skill level, one of these options may be for you, or you may choose to take your car to a body shop to have it performed for you. This enterprising soul decided to hire a mobile blasting company to perform the task in his driveway with soda media, negating the need for a trailer or other means of transportation, which can sometimes be difficult if you don’t own a trailer and the car’s not running. Although the original paint on this car doesn’t look awful, it’s clear that there are some upgrades in the future for this machine.

Soda media is made from sodium bicarbonate, and it is applied to the surface of the car through a pressure vessel and compressed air, leaving a mess in its wake, but stripping paint as if it was never there without damaging the surface underneath. The most famous use for soda blasting was perhaps the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in the late 1980’s. One caveat about blasting with soda is that the particles can be extremely painful if applied to bare skin, and the use of a respirator is also a wise idea, as you can see. What’s the Two Minute Man thinking?

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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