Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The many uses of truck bed liner compound

Blogging buddy Daddybear learned the hard way about the economics of spray-on pickup truck bed liners the other day.

In a comment to his post, Mr. B. pointed out that using do-it-yourself paint-on truck bed liner can save a great deal of money.  I've written about it before in the context of sealing trailers, and can confirm that paint-on liner is amazingly versatile.  Some uses I've personally seen for it:

  • A storage shed in Alaska made out of the cheapest grade of plywood and discarded scraps of lumber, then painted all over (inside and out) with salvaged remnants of tins of truck bed liner.  It had stood up to six or seven Alaskan winters at the time I saw it, with no visible damage, rot or decay at all.
  • A boat in Louisiana that had been 'rode hard and put away wet', to quote the old cowboy saying.  It apparently leaked like a sieve, but the owner was too 'cheap' to fix it properly.  Instead, every duck season he simply slapped on another coat of truck bed liner over all the seams, inside and out.  He reckoned that waterproofed it well enough to get him through the season and bring his 'catch' home to momma.
  • A lightweight tarpaulin used to repair a roof in Alabama after a hurricane had passed through.  The tarpaulin was far too thin and flimsy to last long under the assault of wind and weather, so the homeowner tacked it in place then applied a hurried layer of Herculiner.  That strengthened it enough to last for three weeks until more permanent repairs could be made.  It kept his home dry and usable during that time.

If you need a really tough coating for anything, not just pickup truck beds, take a look at paint-on truck bed liner.  It's amazingly versatile stuff.  Even better, if you know someone who owns a shop that applies the commercial version to pickups and other vehicles, see whether you can get from them the dregs of one of the big drums of the stuff they use.  It's even tougher - although there are health warnings associated with it, and it may need special care in handling it.  Check its MSDS for details.



Bob said...

Some storm chasers are using it to paint the entire exterior of their chase vehicles. Beats the heck out of getting a new shiny paint job every season.

Old NFO said...

Bob's right, I've seen a couple of backwoods trucks painted OUTSIDE with the stuff too!!!

Douglas2 said...

I came across the "fastkick" spray-gun and "spraymax" bed liner system when searching for DIY foam-in-place house insulation. For either polyurethane foam insulation or bed liner spray application it seems like a pretty foolproof way of getting the catalyst mix correct. The hitch is that like coffee-pod machines and shaving razors, the equipment is cheap compared to the ongoing cost of a single-source for consumables.

FYI truck bed liner is now pretty much the standard surface coating for big touring rock and roll speakers, which are made from baltic birch plywood.

DaddyBear said...

I'm thinking the DIY route is the way to go. $85 to $150 to do the bed of my truck, along with my sweat and time, versus $550 and three hours to have it done professionally. I could do it three times over the life of the truck and still come out at least even.

Anonymous said...

I looked at getting an entire 4x4 pickup done, bed and every exterior surface, to make a desert-usable offroad truck. Cost for bedliner alone, about $450. Cost to do the bed and everything else on the outside of the truck except the windows, $1100.

Seems that the one time setup costs (preping the facility, handling the truck, matching the paint color, cleaning up the facility, billing the client, paying the "service writer" [salesman], servicing bad debt, etc.) is a substantial part of the cost. Quadrupling the amount of work only cost about twice as much.


Anonymous said...

The Mythbusters folks did an episode on "does bedliner make your house bombproof?" They found that it over doubled the blast resistance of a cinderblock wall when applied to only one surface. I imagine it would have been even better on both sides.

I know what I'm gonna paint my fence with. . . . .


Well Seasoned Fool said...

If you can get the bed liner stuff free, can't beat that.
If yoou need to buy it, consider "Super Nasty", ATCO A300. I've used this product for over 40 years and some of the patches have outlasted the patched material.

Joe in PNG said...

I'm pondering building an ultralight bass guitar speaker cabinet, and thinking of using lightweight pine sprayed with this stuff, as opposed to the traditional heavy plywood covered in carpet.

riverrider said...

it is used extensively to cover body armor plates. it captures spalling and bullet fragmentation. a documentary on ied's proved bed liner on the inside and out of the block walls in fact held the walls up. though blocks were crushed and separated the liner held it all together long enough to evac.

Anonymous said...

I built a box with 2 wheels for the sound equipment and a tall box with the amp, mixer, etc and painted both with a quart of Herculiner. Good stuff. I'm still using them 4 years later.