Once the bed is clean the next step is removal of all bed accessories, rails, tie downs and bed bolts. We've heard stories of other spray-in companies actually spraying right over the bed bolts, however this technique will only save time at the expense of being able to easily remove the bed later on, if required. LINE-X removes everything and protects the bolt holes.
Knowing what's to come, the truck is fully protected. LINE-X utilizes a patented, wire-infused masking tape on all exposed edges to ensure clean, sharp lines upon removal. The rest of the truck body is masked-off to protect from overspray.
In order to provide the best adhesion, the bed must be sanded. This is the moment of truth because up to this point bolts can be replaced and nothing about the truck has been truly modified. Once the DA (Dual Action) sander with 80 grit paper is fired up the bed goes through a significant transformation. Experienced installers will tell you that it is not how fast you sand, but how well you sand that really matters. Great installers have the experience to do both. In our case two installers worked for a total of about 10-minutes to sand the entire 6-3/4 foot box with the power sanders and then moved to hand sanding to finish the fine details.
As expected the sanding process creates a significant amount of dust, all of which must be meticulously removed from the bed through a combination of sweeping, vacuuming and finally high pressure air. LINE-X of South Metro then performs a very light wipe down using Windex, although we understand this is one of their home grown steps. Caution must be taken to ensure that the bed is absolutely dry since moisture – the enemy – can cause inconsistencies during the spray-in process.
With the bed fully prepped the truck is ready for the spraying booth. Essentially a large room with a heavy plastic cutout at one end, the truck will be backed-in with the plastic draped into the gap between the bed and the cab to create a protective seal. Nothing will remain uncovered in the spraying booth with the exception of the floor and walls of the truck bed itself. If the tailgate were going to be sprayed it would have been prepped separately and placed in a special rack in one corner of the spraying booth as well.
While the installers have been busy prepping the truck bed we've been observing a separate prep process going on in the back corner of the shop. The polyurethane elastomer material for LINE-X’s standard, black bedliners is delivered in large industrial drums, but as noted we have opted for the brand new, color-matched LINE-X XTRA product. In this case the shop ordered a pony drum of clear material together with the matching paint tint for our truck, and Brad is busy mixing the product.
This is a significant point. The LINE-X XTRA color-match installation does not involve spraying the standard, black material into the truck followed by a “topcoat” in the specified color, but rather is the exact same durable bedliner material which has actually been colored through-and-through to match the vehicle. LINE-X XTRA customers in the unlikely event of a deep scratch will see the same consistent color for the entire thickness of the bedliner. Applying color in this way also allows LINE-X to achieve more consistent color-matching results.