Common examples of the blasting process include cleaning metal surfaces of oxidation, old paint, etc., renovating building surfaces to remove stains, dirt, and molds, and for the manufacture of frosted glass. Areas to be protected against blasting action can be covered by a sandblast resist material, for example, waxes or sandblast stencils, which are removed after the required areas have been treated.

Blasting is the process of projecting a stream of abrasive particles. Thus the term is sandblasting, at a surface under high pressure and, therefore, velocity. The equipment used typically includes a compressor to generate the high-pressure gas needed, a container for the blasting material, and a tube or pipe with a nozzle to direct the blasting stream. Many abrasive materials are now used in this technique, from metal filings, glass beads, and even steam, although the term ‘sandblasting’ remains a generic term.

Highly-decorative or accurate results can be achieved by using stencils. Stencils can be made from materials that resist the blasting process and may include rubber or brass templates. Common examples of stencils in blasting include lettering on hard stone surfaces found in memorials, foundation stones of buildings, and gravestones.