Project Name: Fire Station #8

Project Industry: Historic Restoration

Client: Crossroads Art District

Size: 3,175 Sq Ft

Media Used: Black Beauty Coal Slag

Location: Kansas City, Missouri


fire station with red brick and black door


Completed "test" section

Located in the Crossroads Art District of Kansas City is the last standing original Fire Station in Kansas City. This once industrial area has been transformed into a trendy and eclectic attraction for people seeking art and entertainment. Built in 1885, the building at the corner of Locust and 16th street was formerly Fire Station #8. Since the time it was relieved of its service, it has been renovated to include a commercial space with a loft home on the second floor.

Layers of paint have transformed the exterior appearance but new owners are hoping to restore this building celebrating its history and preserving it for years to come.

Blast It Clean's first action on any historical restoration project is to complete a “test” section. This allows us to see how the medium will perform on the surface we are blasting. We want to be sure the results are desirable to the customer and confirm our ability to prevent additional damage to the elements we hope to restore.

Our goal was to completely remove the layers of failing paint on the exterior of this building to return to its natural state. This will also reveal the structural integrity of the brick so that an action plan can be created for remaining efforts to maintain the building’s character.

We were working outside so continuing our commitment to protect the environment, our team set up containment to minimize the amount of dust, dirt, and debris that entered the air. Blast It Clean also arranged necessary protection for windows and conduit on the building to prevent damage.


The paint that we were removing was an elastomeric coating. This exterior paint is usually a preferred option when you are looking for a waterproof seal. It is made with stretchy material so it moves with the structure it adheres to. This layer was acting like a Band-Aid holding and hiding the structure and keeping the moisture out to prevent additional damage.

While thicker and longer-lasting, the problem with an elastomeric coating is that removal can prove to be very difficult. It resists chemical strippers due to durability and its flexibility makes it difficult to pressure wash or sandblast.

sandblasting expert in a liftBlast It Clean’s solution was to use extra-fine grit black beauty coal slag. Coal slag is a fast-cutting medium that is frequently used to remove paint from hard surfaces like we were working on. The challenge was being careful not to further damage the brick. Therefore, using the extra-fine grit allowed us to essentially burn off the coating. This is really the only way to abolish elastomeric paint. Black Beauty is also low dusting, low free silica, and is considered environmentally friendly.

Our team dedicated a couple of weeks to diligently working around the building with the use of a lift on this two-story building. We started on the front side which was about 25 ft in length working our way around to the side which was about 90 ft and finished up with a section about 11 ft wide on the backside.

front of fire station building
outside of building with windows and white painted brick

Blast It Clean was able to completely remove the paint leaving behind a clean location. The customer was impressed by the outcome and now has a fresh canvas to begin revitalizing this historic building. We are tenured in performing historic restoration and renovation. If you have a restoration project, we would love to help out!

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