Review: Rhino Lining Spray-in Bed Liner
Truck Protection That's Tough as a Rhino
The past few years
have seen a dramatic shift in the automotive market. Today, light trucks
and sport utility vehicles outsell domestic vehicles in this country,
and a wide range of aftermarket accessories for these vehicles have become
available to consumers.
Among these accessories,
sprayed-on polyurethane bed liners have dramatically increased in popularity
and are one of the fastest growing products in the aftermarket. Sprayed
on up to ¼ inch thick, these linings provide truck beds with a solid barrier
of watertight protection from dents, rust and chemicals. Linings can also
be applied to truck floors, rocker panels, wheel wells and dozens of other
Rhino Linings® pioneered
the spray-on bed liner industry in 1988. As the largest and most recognizable
sprayed-on bed liner company in the world, we asked Rhino Linings to explain
to our readers exactly how a truck bed is sprayed, following the process
from pre-spray prep to the final product.
first step in the lining process is to disassemble or remove any parts
not to be lined. This includes tie downs, plugs and any bolts to be left
exposed. The tailgate inspection panel is also removed and sprayed separately
to allow for future access. Once disassembled, a pre-cleaning is done.
This cleaning will ensure adhesion of the masking tape and prevent any
grease, dirt or oil from being sanded into the paint. It is important
to clean all exterior panels with denatured alcohol to avoid damaging
the finish of the truck.
establishes the boundaries of the liner. A ¾-inch strip of masking tape
is placed at even points on both sides of the truck and on the tailgate.
Masking paper is then hung from this line to protect the bedsides and gate
while the remainder of the prep is completed. Masking of the jamb areas
is next. In these areas, a technique called back
taping is used. This allows the liner to be trimmed after being sprayed.
Upon completion of the prep work, all areas not to be lined will be covered.
This includes wheels, cab and bumpers.
the final wiping, a special tape containing a wire element is applied to
the tape edges. This tape makes it possible to trim the over-the-rail portions
of the liner without the use of a razor knife. The wire element is simply
pulled through the fresh urethane. This eliminates the possibility of damaging
the finish of the vehicle while trimming.
taped edges or boundaries are first sanded by hand. The use of mechanical
sanding tools in these areas can damage the masking. When hand sanding
is complete, mechanical sanding can begin. Using Rhino Linings' nylon
cup brush, the surface is scuffed without removing paint. By leaving the
factory paint intact, a vehicle is less likely to rust.
final wiping can now be done using clean rags and acetone. All dust, dirt
and other contaminants are removed to ensure good adhesion.
spray process begins on the rails and walls. Three heavy coats are applied
to these areas, achieving an average thickness of 1/8 of an inch. The
floor and tailgate are then sprayed with 4 to 5 coats, achieving an average
thickness of ¼ of an inch. Once the applicator is satisfied with the thickness
of the liner, the texture is applied. Using a lower material volume setting
and a slightly higher atomizing air setting, a fine mist is applied to
create the texture of the final product. Two to three texture coats are
to ten minutes after spraying is complete, trimming can begin. First,
the wire element is pulled through the urethane on the rails and tailgate.
Next, the jamb area at the rear of the bed is hand trimmed using a razor
knife. Through careful cutting, an aesthetically-pleasing beveled edge
is produced. At this point, all residual masking items are removed and
the truck is ready for delivery.
For more information
on Rhino Linings and the dealer nearest you, call 800-447-1471 or visit
the company's web site at www.rhinolinings.com.
Photographs by Cole
Quinell, courtesy of 4x4 Power.