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Anyone shot paint off of plaster walls?

10683 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  rlaird
I have a job to shoot paint off of plaster walls. I have already told them they will have to re-do the plaster after I am done. There is 14000 sq ft of walls and ceilings. These are all interior, probably built in the 30's. Seems to be very solid. Any body have any input on media, or experience with plaster?

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Wow, 14,000 s.f. Will you be doing this your self? I think it would take me about a month. Lots of clean up too. How did you price it My choice of media might be walnut. I find it has very little dust for an indoor job and is gentle on the plaster. Cheaper would be a 40/70 crushed glass. I have a very good supplier for that if you don't know of one oyu may e mail me about it [email protected]
Thanks for the reply.
Just Myself and a helper will do the work. I have a nice compressed air venturi vacuum so the cleanup isn't bad. We will knock off every day an hour early and clean up daily so its not such a hassle at the end. I priced it at 2.00 a square foot, only problem is I have never shot plaster before and it is pretty thick paint. Couldn't get in to do a test spot before having to turn in a bid. I know that's a no-no but I did it anyway. Cant afford to pick and choose right now. Just hope I can get the paint off without totally destroying the walls. I dont think cob will be hard enough, I think I'm gonna try fine slag. If anyone has done this some input may make me sleep better until next week when I start.

Yeah it's hard to price things. I am new to the mobile blasting. I just gave a price of $2.00 per foot for labor and .50 per lb. for 800 sf painted block in a basement. I didn't hear back yet, maybe too high. I know I have tested removing paint and I have got as little as 9 sf per bag with a thick latex . I have been useing crushed glass. It's around $7.00 a bag and as much as $3. for shipping so $10 per. It adds up . It's safer if you breath it than slag . That stuff is full of heavy metals. Free silica isn't the concern for blast media. What kind of prices are you finding for your media? Am I getting a good deal?
If that place was built in the 30's then you had better check the paint for lead. If it has lead in it, then you have yourself a full blown lead job. If you get caught, you might as well consider yourself done in the media blasting buisness as well as any other endevers because the fines will finish you off for good. Most paints manufactured before 1978 contained lead. Better safe than sorry.
Have you considered calcium carbonate it is moderately aggressive an would work well plus its cheap buy a small amount and try it.
Might be worth a shot.
Painter213 is right, make sure you have a clip test done on the paint 1st. If it's not hot, I would use the slag or crushed glass, no matter what you use it is going to tear up the plaster and google earth will be able to pick up the dust cloud that will be rolling out of the building. Hope there aren't too many cry babys nearby as you will most likely hear some serious boo-hooing about the out of control dust, all do to the plaster, not your blast media.
Painter213 is right, make sure you have a clip test done on the paint 1st. If it's not hot, I would use the slag or crushed glass, no matter what you use it is going to tear up the plaster and google earth will be able to pick up the dust cloud that will be rolling out of the building. Hope there aren't too many cry babys nearby as you will most likely hear some serious boo-hooing about the out of control dust, all do to the plaster, not your blast media.

To keep the dust down you could try the wet ring (sounds like a body part on a hooker:laughing:)
To keep the dust at bat bus seriously i wouldnt use glass i would go by a bag of calcium carbonate and give it a shot i did the inside of a waste water tank with that stuff they called me in after a guy using garnet stuffed there filtration plant up last time and thats what i used it removed the coating it even took off light rust i tried soda and that was a no go just to slow
It in fact is known to be lead based paint, I am working for an abatement contractor, he is responsible for containment, neg air, hazardous waste disposal, air monitoring and so on and so on. I am responsible for blasting and gross cleanup.I am trained and qualified to blast it.I blasted and painted in the avondale shipyard for several years.Have you shot any plaster?
Thanks for the warning just the same.
Thanks for all the input guys.
Betterblast, $7 for 50lb bag is pretty good, Im sure in bulk its much cheaper,
the most I ever buy is 3 skids at a time as I only have a 6.5 cu ft pot.International Surface Preparation in Dallas and Houston are where I get my slag. It is 12c a lb.
Its interior job so i cant use the wet ring, but you are right, that thing works nice on the exterior.

Painter213, thanks for the warning, see the above post.
Blastman it sounds like you have actually shot some plaster, my fears are true then,dust for days..Again Thanks

I am home from the plaster walls job, I think I'll stick to metal, concrete or brick in the future, the paint was harder than the substrate and in a few hours every neg air machine they had was shot even with filter changes, and the blast dug ruts in the plaster even at low pressure. Not to mention its like shooting your hose into a 55 gallon drum of baby powder. Fortunately, I have done a lot of work in the past for this contractor and I told him up front I didn't know what was going to happen. They have opted to do a chemical strip. I now know that shooting plaster is not feasible, FYI
Live and learn.......
Seems easier to just bust the plaster off and re-stucco it.
$7.00 a bag is the bulk rate from new age Rick. It seems to be a good price for medium glass. I got much highrer from others. What will help me is actually the bulk shipping. If I get nine pallets it will come out to $1.3 a bag instead of $3.00 for one skid. My first skids when I started were about 12 or 13 a bag so $8.00 per sounds real good to me. You use that slag huh? You know it's full of heavy metals. Look in to glass it has nothing harmful in it. Let me know if you need a number for a supplier.
Trying to find schooling on lead removal myself. how did you get qualified?
I too worked at a ship Yard with Lead etc... but am having a time finding a class up here to look into.

Get up with SSPC on the lead training. They have a great course that is industry reconized. It is the C-3 Course for Deleading of Industrial Structures. There website is

Become a member and you will get a discount on the classes. There home office is in Pittsburg, Pa.
Around here I had an environmental company give me and my employees a "lead awareness"course. We also get our blood checked before and after the job. In Louisiana you can shoot lead without an abatement contractors license as long as the job is supervised by a state licensed abatement contractor. It appears Mr Abbott has a lot of knowledge in training and certification so I will also check the link he has posted. An industrial Hygienist administered our class.It was only a couple of hundred dollars a head.

If you want some of that work I have stayed busy working behind a few abatement contractors, this particular job on plaster was attempted because thats what the customer wanted, It definately would have been easier to bust the plaster and re apply, but it is a historical building and they are adamant about not removing the plaster, they are now having to chemical strip the entire 14k sq ft,which is crazy because they could just skim it and seal the lead in.

Hey BetterBlast,
I use slag for price and convenience, I can get it here next day, but I have been looking into glass. I am a small business, I can do large projects but most of my stuff is smaller and I have to be competitive but still keep my profits, I'm not the only guy around here gunning for this business. So mostly coal slag in my opinion is a nice media to work with as far as cost effectiveness and production. I get it for 11 cents a pound. And if I run short, I can get a skid loaded from Tractor Supply for 8.00 a bag locally. You guys that have Tractor Supplies Check them out, they sale the black diamond brand but you have to ask them, they usually don't have it sitting out. Its good if you run short and need it quick.
I am going to try the glass soon as an alternative to soda.

Benny, I am planning on going to the convention this year, I have made every excuse not to go for far to long. I look forward to seeing you there. Did they drop pace this year?
Rick I started with slag from T.S. as well. They hide it in the back here too. It's just so filthy and then I learned that while they say low silica they don't tell you about the heavy metals. It is quite hazardous. I can get glass for about $8.00 shipped if I get nine at a time. Just one skid is more like $10.50. Pricing is so difficult. No one expects to pay very much. As far as using glass instead of soda. as long as you don't have to be concerned with etching glass or chrome it's a lot cheaper than soda.
Panderson, this will be the last year for PACE. 2011 it will be back to the SSPC Show from what I'm told. I hope to be teaching at least one class there this year. Don't know which one yet though. When I find out I will let you know.


One thing is as far as abrasive blasting lead off of a structure I would be careful on who you get training from. Most state run courses is only dealing with lead removal from a dewelling like a home or a apartment building and does not involve abrasive blasting. Abrasive blasting lead opens up a whole nother can of worms from what is experianced in lead removal by scraping and other means. SSPC training will set you back more than a couple hundred dollars, but it is tops in the industry of Industrial means.
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