Sponge-Jet Featured on HGTV Renovation Show

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2024


Global manufacturer of dry, low dust, recyclable abrasive blasting media and related equipment Sponge-Jet (Newington, New Hampshire) made its television debut last month as part of a historic firehouse restoration project.

HGTV's “Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House?” follows Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein, founders of the popular Instagram account @CheapOldHouses, as they help people find their dream cheap, old houses and turn their neglected properties into beautiful, livable spaces.

In the eight-episode first season, the Finkelsteins will reportedly guide eight families through the process of finding a home for under $199,000, then making it their own, while still maintaining the historic home's charm and history.

Sponge-Jet appeared in the season premiere episode last month after it was selected for a building restoration project on an upstate New York property.

During the episode, the Finkesteins and owners Bill and Joe transformed a Victorian-era firehouse into a home. The “diamond in the rough” building was “in dire need of love,” with its original features buried under layers of peeling paint, drop ceilings, partitions and fluorescent lighting.

Specifically, Sponge-Jet tackled the tin paneling in the front parlor that was in “miraculously intact condition,” despite the flaking paint. Restoration of the panels was a “top priority,” the show explains, with the design plans to “harken back to the past influences of fire and the patina it left behind through color and materials.”

“We consulted with our preservation colleagues for this massive project, and were led to the experts at SpongeJet. It’s exactly as it sounds: using compressed air, a media containing the tiniest little bits of sponge materials are shot at the surface of the tin. Upon impact, the sponge expands, grabs the paint and pulls it off, and then falls to the floor for controlled cleanup,” wrote @CheapOldHouses on Instagram.

“Not only is the process more environmentally responsible than using chemicals, but the amount of airborne dust and material is significantly less than with other media blasting techniques.”

On the tin, the team initially discovered a “rainbow” patina that was believed to have developed from heat produced back in the day by steam-powered engines. However, once the lead-based paint was removed from the tin’s surface, it was discovered that it was not possible to retain the patina. As a result, the crew had to shift from its original “rainbow patina plans” to a coppery color scheme.

“Being able to suit up and tag-team this project with Sponge-Jet was an incredibly educational experience, and we're eager to share our recommendation for Sponge Blasting as a preservation and conservation solution to our colleagues,” said the Finkelsteins on the project and working with Sponge-Jet.

Ways to watch the episode, “Unconventional Into Dream Home,” can be found here.

Last year, Cheap Old Houses also teamed up with paint and coatings company Dunn-Edwards’ DURA brand to launch a new paint capsule collection inspired by historic home renovations.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Blasting; Completed projects; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); HGTV; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Latin America; Maintenance + Renovation; Metal cleaning; Metal panels; Metals; North America; Paneling; Program/Project Management; Restoration; Sponge blasting; Sponge-Jet; Surface preparation; Surface Preparation; Surface Preparation - Commercial; Surface preparation equipment; Z-Continents

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