mccahill mobile

Abrasive Blasting Contractor

Abrasive blasting specialists serving Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin

Abrasive blasting quickly and thoroughly removes stubborn corrosion, contaminants, paint, and debris from a wide variety of surfaces. Almost instantly, abrasive blasting restores surfaces to look new again and creates a perfect surface profile for paint adhesion.

McCahill Painting Company has extensive experience using both wet abrasive blasting, including vapor blasting, and dry abrasive blasting, including sandblasting and soda blasting. We invest significantly in advanced training and state-of-the-art equipment, allowing us to safely blast away years of contamination in even the busiest, least accessible, and most sensitive environments.

Our highly trained technicians have extensive experience safely blasting metal, structural steel, concrete, masonry, and wood in industrial, commercial, and institutional environments. Our specialties include abrasive blasting of industrial structures and equipment, tanks and silos, precast concrete, structural steel, metal building facades, swimming pools, and more.

Vapor Blasting a Concrete Sculpture at Morton Arboretum

Industrial Sandblasting and Painting of Structural Steel

Vapor Blasting Concrete

Soda Blasting a Metal Storefront Exterior

What is abrasive blasting?

Abrasive blasting, sometimes called media blasting, is the process of using pressurized air or water to powerfully blast abrasive media against a surface to remove old paint, corrosion, decay, dirt, graffiti, and both biological and atmospheric contamination. Abrasive blasting is valued as a fast and highly effective method of cleaning and restoring surfaces and preparing them for optimum paint adhesion.

What types of contaminants does abrasive blasting remove?

Abrasive blasting can remove nearly any type of unwanted material including old paint, corrosion, graffiti, rust, dirt, grease, mold, biological growth, and residue from atmospheric contaminants.

What blasting media are used in abrasive blasting?

Some commonly used blasting media include sand, baking soda, glass beads, coconut shells, walnut shells, and garnet.

There is no such thing as 100% dust-free blasting!

Be cautious of those dust-free claims… While today’s advanced vapor blasting equipment and techniques offer great advantages by vastly suppressing dust—by as much as 92%!— 100% dust-free blasting is a myth.

What are the different types of abrasive blasting?

Abrasive blasting, sometimes called media blasting or grit blasting, includes several subtypes that fall into two main categories:

  • Dry abrasive blasting – This is where pressurized air is the force used to blast abrasives against a surface to remove old paint, corrosion, decay, dirt, graffiti, and/or biological and atmospheric contamination. Sandblasting and soda blasting are two common forms of dry abrasive blasting.
  • Wet abrasive blasting or vapor abrasive blasting – This is where pressurized water is the force used to blast abrasives against a surface. By incorporating water, dust is suppressed by at least 92%, which achieves excellent blasting results with minimal mess and clean up, better workspace protection, and far less environmental impact. Commonly called wet abrasive blasting or vapor blasting, this process is sometimes referred to as wet sandblasting, hydroblasting, slurry blasting, low-dust blasting, dustless blasting (see sidebar), or minimal dust blasting.

Which abrasive blasting method is right for my project?

The specific blasting method used on a project depends on the type and condition of the surface being blasted, the surrounding work environment, and the desired results. For example, different techniques may be specified for steel vs. thin metal, or in instances where the goal is to solely clean a surface vs. to create an ideal surface profile for subsequent paint application. Hiring a professional with extensive abrasive blasting experience in your industry is crucial to ensuring the safest and most effective blasting methods are used to achieve your desired results.

Will abrasive blasting cause damage to the original material?

Not if done properly. A trained and experienced contractor will know which blasting technique and blasting media are best suited for each project. For example, blasting steel and blasting more delicate masonry or thin metal require different blasting methods. This is extremely important to achieving the desired results while protecting the surrounding environment and preventing damage to the original surface material.

Does abrasive blasting require special equipment or training?

Yes, it is extremely important that abrasive blasting is performed by knowledgeable and experienced technicians using best-in-class equipment to achieve successful results and ensure the safety of the technician, surface, workspace, and surrounding area.

McCahill Painting approaches every project with the fundamental goal of preserving client assets.

You’ve invested in valuable structures and property and want to see those investments stand the test of time. McCahill Painting can help. We are experts in a variety of blasting methods, allowing us to customize our approach for each project to achieve client-specific goals while protecting both your worksite and the environment. As a McCahill Painting client, you’ll find we’re a true partner you can rely on to complete your abrasive blasting projects safely, on time and on budget, with minimal disruption and excellent, long-lasting results.

I’m more than satisfied with the excellent job McCahill Painting did on two complex exterior painting projects. They flawlessly painted a 40-foot high storage tank with a barricade design to support our brand and brought our manufacturing plant back to life with a beautiful new exterior. Their team safely employed aerial lifts and other specialized equipment to work at high elevations among people, car traffic and power lines. Our metal siding, window casements and overhead doors look like new after vapor blasting and paint. I especially value the expert consultation Tim and his team provided, and the results are all the proof I need that hiring McCahill Painting was the right choice.

Paul Shallow, Maintenance Manager of Plasticade

Respect for your workspace and the environment

In addition to carefully protecting your workspace, McCahill Painting utilizes eco-conscious methods whenever possible to reduce the environmental impact of our work.

McCahill Painting is an ISNetworld Member Contractor, underscoring our commitment to safety, training and sound business practices.

Why choose McCahill Painting?


100%, across the board—we respect your space, your staff, your time, your schedule and your budget.


The safety of our employees, your staff and your property is always #1. Our crew is trained and licensed to work safely in demanding work environments and skilled at using elevated work platforms, lifts and other specialty equipment. We employ a rigorous safety training program and update our equipment and gear regularly.

One-Stop Capabilities

We are experts in all phases of restoration including abrasive blasting, power washing, and painting. This comprehensive expertise makes for a seamless project and allows us to ensure our high standards are met from start to finish.

Consultant Mindset and Custom Solutions

Our experienced and knowledgeable team takes the time to understand your project goals and recommend the best possible solution to restore and preserve your valuable assets. We’re bringing you more than 40 years of experience and feel it’s our obligation to speak up when there may be a better approach, a different product to consider, or any way to enhance the aesthetics and durability of your results.

100% Client Satisfaction

We aim to leave our customers elated with our work. It’s not a goal, it’s a standard expected to be met on every job.

Industries Served

McCahill Painting has a track record of success providing abrasive blasting and renovation services to industrial, commercial, and institutional clients in industries including:

  • Industrial plants
  • Power plants
  • Chemical plants
  • Oil refineries
  • Pulp and paper plants
  • Electric companies
  • Water treatment facilities
  • Silos/Storage tanks
  • Food processing facilities
  • Factories and manufacturing plants
  • Municipalities
  • Places of worship including churches and temples
  • Schools including K-12 schools, high schools, colleges, universities
  • Healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics, and inpatient centers
  • Office buildings
  • Shopping centers
  • Hotels
  • Pools
  • Stadiums