Sandblast Coffee Mugs to make them Chalkboards All The Way Around (Cheap Sandblaster)

Because sandblasting is cooler than stickers and paint any day.

Benefits of Sandblasting:

  • Remove old screen-printed labels
  • Blast the whole mug (the outside), or mask it off to blast a pattern.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Cool colors based on the color of the glazing.
  • Sandblasting is fun.

I like how the dark gray becomes a medium matte gray. Dark blue becomes a medium matte blue.

Tools & Supplies

The sand blaster is cheaper than most people think!


  1. Sandblaster
  2. Air compressor w/ good air flow. **

** If you’ll be doing a lot of sandblasting, get one with a bigger tank.

Safety / PPE:

Sandblasting Media – Get the fine stuff!

Your local monument (headstone) company likely sells bags of sandblasting media. They’ll give you normal unless you specify fine.

Keep everything in a bucket.

Blast Away!

You probably get the idea here…hook it up and start blasting. But here are some tips:


  • Aim so that the sand ricochets off the mug away from you (and others)
  • Aim to avoid blasting inside the mug.
  • Don’t stay in one spot too long – You only need to give it some light texture.


  • Keep the siphon on the top of the sand. If it stops sucking, kick the bucket.
  • Don’t let the sand get wet
  • Cover the bucket to keep critters and leaves out. Those will clog the gun.


  • Shoo away bystanders
  • Wear both the mask & eyeglasses with good coverage (I’m a huge fan of Nemesis glasses)
  • Use a good respirator
  • Don’t blast through the glazing.


Personally, I’ve had my fun by now. But it seems that friends like to write & doodle on coffee mugs.

Condition The Mug? 


Chalkboard stickers and paint instruct that you condition the surface for maximum erasability. But the mugs will go through the dishwasher which will remove the conditioning. Leave it up to your friends to decide if their artistic skill requires conditioning for maximum erasability or not.

Blast More Stuff

Cookie jars?

Flour & sugar canisters?

Old salsa jars?

Bonus: Blast Glass

This isn’t so much a chalkboard thing, but I like to blast glass jars to turn them into candle diffusers.

Thanks for reading! Subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to follow the various prototypes & tests.