In a perfect world we could have been in the spray booth during the application, but this wasn't possible. The installer wears protective paint overalls and a full respirator mask during the spray process, and there is only one breathing connection inside.
We did get a full briefing of what happens, though.
LINE-X touts the use of its high pressure spray process as providing a uniform consistency void of sags, drips or pooling. In fact, as the material is sprayed in at over 2000-psi, a unique chemical process occurs whereby the material is permanently bonded and becomes tact free in less than 10 seconds. The spray itself is about one-foot across and comes out in a circular pattern.
The installer will stand on a stool on the outside of one side of the bed and work in a back-and-forth manner, making five side-by-side passes to cover the bed. This process is repeated at least twice before moving to the other side of the truck to do it all over again.
The walls of the bed are sprayed in much the same way, albeit with only two side-by-side passes as opposed the five on the floor. Before an installer ever makes it into the booth to spray a customer’s truck he or she will have already spent considerable time honing their skills both through LINE-X’s corporate training and typically on a “junk” truck used just for practice.
Skilled installers will have developed a tried-and-true spraying cadence ensuring a consistent finish. They also get a good workout during the approximately 15 minutes in the booth since the spray gun and associated hoses weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 pounds.
Once spraying has wrapped up it takes just two minutes to exhaust the booth and then we get our first glimpse of our newly sprayed bedliner.
While the chemical reaction and high pressure process left the material relatively warm to the touch, it is (as advertised) tact-free. We can't see any of the truck’s native paint color underneath all the paper and masking, but the blue appears to be a close match if not slightly too bright. About 2-1/2 gallons of material have been utilized – it would have been slightly more if we had been spraying the tailgate too. In addition to a visual inspection to confirm the expected results, Brad also uses a sophisticated electronic digital thickness gauge to confirm the thickness of the bedliner at multiple points. Everything checks out perfectly.
In a standard LINE-X installation the truck then exits the spray booth. The LINE-X XTRA process includes one additional step though; the DuPont Kevlar embedded composite urethane coating is applied as a final coat. To be clear, LINE-X actually offers the XTRA product for both traditional black bedliners and of course for color bedliners since the additional physical and U/V protection can be utilized in either case.
After approximately 10 minutes the installer is back in the booth, this time spraying the XTRA coating using a standard automotive paint gun. The material is “painted” onto the just-sprayed bedliner in long, even strokes.
Peeking in through a small propped-open window this time, we can see how the XTRA product has changed the bed’s color appearance. Whereas earlier we thought the material looked a bit too brilliant we are now looking at a deeper shade of blue. LINE-X indicated to us that this is all part of the process. Whereas the LINE-X material was tactless in a matter of seconds, the urethane coating needs about 20 minutes to completely dry. Because other trucks were being prepped in the shop – and in particular sanded – our truck remained safely sequestered in the spray booth for some time.