Sandcarve, paint-fill tumblers

Try This: Sandcarve and Paint-Fill Metal Tumblers

Liz Haas has been a teacher, trainer and show coordinator for Rayzist Photomask for the past 15 years. For the past 10 years, she has actively taught workshops on the photoresist and the sandcarving process.

Yeti and Ozark metal tumblers have continued to be a hot item for personalization over the past few years. In addition to the traditional metal appearance, these tumblers are hitting the market in color as well. A line of Yeti and Ozark tumblers have a durable colorful coated surface that will last for years and are gaining popularity for personalization.

Sandcarving with photoresist is an easy method for removing the coating for surface marking, while maintaining a detailed design.

Materials Needed:

  • Black-coated Ozark cup
  • 5 mil SR3000 self-stick film (or similar film)
  • RZ2 adhesive (or similar adhesive) (optional)
  • Vinyl sandblast tape
  • Wire wheel brush
  • Masking or painter’s tape
  • Nonstick release paper
  • Paint (two colors)
  • Hairdryer (optional)

Step One: Design

Create your design. For this project, we will be paint-filling a logo with two different colors.

Step Two: Photomask

We used 5 mil SR3000 self-stick film to expose the photoresist film for 20 seconds on a Letralite unit and develop with water.

If the surface is textured, use an RZ2 adhesive, or similar adhesive from another brand, on the photoresist film. This will allow the photomask to bond to the textured surface.

Step Three: Preparation

Apply the photomask to surface. First, create a pull tab by folding a corner of the mask on the sticky side and crease with your fingers to separate the clear liner from blue mask, giving you a pull tab. (Image 1) Apply the mask and squeegee. (Image 2) If the mask lifts, remove the clear liner and press the mask with your fingers, securing the image to the surface.

Cover the exposed area with a vinyl sandblast tape. The vinyl tape is recommended for sand resistance when sandcarving for depth or removing a coated surface.

A wire wheel brush is recommended to remove any trapped air bubbles in the image area. Roll over the image one or two times. (Image 3)

Step Four: Sandcarving

Sandcarve the cup using 40-45 psi with a 3/32-inch carbide nozzle and aluminum oxide 150 grit. The blasting distance should be approximately 4-5 inches from the photomask. (Image 4) Sandcarve the product until the coating is removed, revealing your image. (Image 5) You will not achieve depth in metal, it will only remove the surface.

Step Five: Paint-Filling

Cover the area that will not be paint-filled with masking or painter’s tape. (Image 6) Cut a small piece of cover paper (nonstick release paper) and tape it with the masking tape, covering the parts of your design you’d like to paint in another color. (Image 7) Paint the exposed design with light coats from different angles. (Image 8) Let the paint dry or use a hairdryer to speed up drying time. (Image 9) Once the paint is dry, cover it with a small piece of cover paper and tape. (Image 10) Paint your second color with angles in light coats and let it dry. Once the paint is dry, remove the tape and clean your finished product. (Image 11)