The War on Rust
If there’s one thing we’ll never understand, it’s the paint job in the back of a brand new truck bed. Heavy-duty trucks are built like steel workhorses—able to haul tons of building materials and with huge engines capable of racing even the worst muscle cars.
Why in the world then, do dealerships insist on painting truck beds with the same type of paint as they do the rest of the truck? The minute you toss a two-by-four or a metal toolbox in, regardless if the bed is made of aluminium or steel, you’re going to have dents and deep chips in your paint job. This might not seem like such a big deal. Of course, you’re not all that interested in keeping the aesthetic integrity of the paint in your truck bed, but damage to the paint can shorten the life of your truck quick. Any guesses how? Rust.
Rust is that little bug that creates big problems. All of the metal pieces of your truck are interconnected, so if rust begins in your truck bed, it can quickly spread deep into the structure of your truck, the chassis and then weaken your entire vehicle. Engine rust can do the same and lead to mass corrosion.
Basically, over the life of your vehicle, you’re in a never-ending war with rust. We at Durabak™ are on the frontlines, here to help you win the war for good. In this article, we’re going to give you all the tools to do just that!
What is Durabak™
If you’re like us, you probably like to know about the products you put in and on your beloved vehicle, so here are the details of our Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner!
First things first, Durabak™ is tough—one-part polyurethane with self-contained rubber granules (made from recycled tires), which gives it that rugged rough-textured appearance. It’s when Durabak™ is exposed to atmospheric moisture, that it undergoes the chemical curing process, which changes it from a liquid to a strong polyurethane membrane effectively securing your valuable truck bed. Durabak™ will chemically bond to most clean and dry surfaces. These include, but are not limited to, concrete, wood, fibreglass, metal, rubber and sound coating materials.
Durabak™ effortlessly prevents surface damage from rocks, branches, rust, scrapes and dings, both on board and from the outside and provides non-slip coating for floors and surfaces, offering an unbeatable slip and fall protection. Best of all, Durabak™ is waterproof and UV resistant.
For the full chemical breakdown on Durabak™, head on over to our Product Info page!
Decision Time: Color and Texture
The first step of your Durabak™ install is deciding on a colour and texture that will complement the look of your truck. Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner is built to last so you’re going to want a colour and texture of liner that you’re satisfied with for years to come (lest you want to go through another install).
Durabak™ offers unmatched eighteen colours in two different textures! Head on over to our colour chart to check out all of the different options for creative installs!
Decision Time: Brush or Spray Gun
Now, a roller or spray gun can easily apply Durabak™ and, depending on your texture selection, you can give your truck bed a relatively smooth or rough surface.
For the roller application, we recommend you use a stipple roller for the textured Durabak, and a short nap roller for the smooth Durabak application. We likewise suggest that you use a hard brush for any hard-to-reach places using a dabbing, not brushing, motion.
If you prefer to use a spray gun, after you read the preparation guide, scroll on down to the spray application section, where we’ll break down what you’ll need to apply Durabak™ with your spray gun!
Believe it or not, when folks ask us, we tell them that the install for our Durabak™ truck liners is pretty simple. The hardest part is getting the truck prepared!
So here it is, your handy guide for prepping your truck bed and installing your Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner!
Step 1: Prepare Your Truck
The first step is always the most fun: cleaning your truck bed. Don’t bother bringing it to the automatic carwash down the street because the wax they use can instantly interfere with your install. Instead, you’ve got to do it the old-fashioned way with a bucket and a hose.
Helpful Hint: it’s not a bad idea to start with a leaf blower to get any debris, sand or dust out as well as clean up any spills in a method that suits the job.
Make sure to get all the little crevices nice and clean, taking care to remove any dirt and debris that can get caught in the curves of your truck bed. If your surface isn’t clean, you’re going to have a tough time getting your Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner to adhere correctly.
A wet truck bed will also make the install that much more difficult so make sure it’s dry before moving forward.
Next, you’re going to be taping up your truck. We suggest you use blue painter’s tape and cover up good any of the places you don’t want coated in your Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner. It’s not a bad idea either to use some plastic sheets to help further protect the paint job of your truck.
Then, grab a few pages of some sandpaper—80-grit if you’re using textured Durabak™ and 100-grit for smooth Durabak™—and scuff the entire truck bed plus the tailgate. Again, make sure you’re getting all those little curves, cracks and crevices so you get a nice even coat when it comes time to apply.
After roughing up the surface, clean off all dust and debris, and wipe down with xylene after cleaning (assuming no primer has been used).
Helpful Hint: At this point, you can deal with your tailgate one of two ways. Some folks like to leave it on and just do it along with everything else, which is pretty much fine. We suggest that you remove the tailgate, lay it on a sawhorse and do it separately. That way, you have a full range of motion to get your liner perfect on your truck bed and then you can just tackle the tailgate separately.
Step 2: Brushing on Your Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner
First, thoroughly mix Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner using a drill or stir stick only (the preferred temperature should be above 60 degrees F, and humidity above 40%). If you find that your Durabak™ Truck Liner is too think to accurately brush or roll, feel free to thin it up to 10% with xylene. Take care to stir the mixture throughout the application process.
Most of the time, it’s best to start with the front and side panels; since there’s a good chance you’re going to be in the truck bed yourself! Then, move to the floor of the truck and apply there as well.
Now it’s time to touch up any spots you might have missed. At any time you can also apply xylene to the roller to thin out and remove excess Durabak.
As soon as the first coat is touch dry, the second coat can be applied (usually one to two hours). Each coat should be applied in thin layers. If the coats are too thick they may crack and compromise the final performance. Keep in mind, an extreme climatic condition of heat, cold and humidity can shorten or lengthen this period! Also, don’t be discouraged if the first coat seems a bit transparent. It’s the second coat that reinforces it and creates the strong and durable Durabak liner.
Most importantly: take your time! Remember, good work ain’t fast and fast work ain’t good.
Spraying On Your Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner
For the spray gun method, we recommend an undercoating gun, such as a Schutz spray gun. If you’re new to spray guns, make sure to do some research on the type of gun you’re using.
You’ll definitely want to thin with xylene approximately 10%. Take care to spray an even coat over the entire truck bed but don’t apply your Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner too thick.
When your truck bed becomes tacky—usually between twenty minutes and an hour—spray your second coat. Just like the roller/brush method, extreme climatic conditions can change this time drastically so, in conditions like these, a touch test can be the method for determining when it’s time for you next coat.
Step 3: Aftercare
Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner takes about four days to cure completely but this only applies to scrubbing, cleaning with solvents and heavy use. Any truck bed with Durabak™ can be loaded up within 24 hours of application!
You may also want to maintain your lining’s quality with Spic ‘n Span or another general floor cleaner. Make sure the product you choose does not contain chlorine. To apply, use a stiff bristled deck brush. The bristles will serve to agitate the cleaner on the liner’s surface, causing dirt to lift. After scrubbing, simply rinse off all debris.
See, that wasn’t so difficult! Now you’ve got a tough, rough and rugged Durabak™ Truck Bed Liner to help you win the war on rust! Stay vigilant, friends!