Do It Yourself Durabak


Do It Yourself Durabak


After transporting mountain bikes to and from the mountains a few times, my sister wanted to put some kind of bed liner in the bed of her truck. 

TheMVC-013F.JPG (27527 bytes) last truck she had we put a plastic bed liner in and weren’t pleased with it.  So this time she wanted something different.  There were only two other options, a commercial spray in bed liner or a do it your self bed liner from Durabak.  She chose the Durabak.

MVC-001F.JPG (65126 bytes)The first thing to do is to prep the area of the bed to  be Durabak-ed.  We cleaned it with water, then used a air hose to completely dry the bed and remove any foreign material from the area.  Once the bed is dry we taped off the area of the bed and tailgate that is not to be lined.  This tape line will be the edge of the Durabak so it needs to be at the correct position.  Edith also wanted a tailgate MVC-004F.JPG (57214 bytes)protector, so I installed it at thistime so we could drill all the holes before the liner is applied.  I then removed the tailgate protector.  There was also a cover on the inside of the tailgate that we removed so it would not become a permanent part of the tailgate.  We started prepping the surface with 220 grit sand paper on a DA.  It worked well on the flatter surfaces, but the other harder to MVC-002F.JPG (58516 bytes)reach areas had to be done by folding the paper in half and scuffing by hand.  The idea is to sand the paint to take the shine out so the Durabak has a rough surface to bond to.  This process could be done all by hand if you don’t have access to air tools.
MVC-006F.JPG (68931 bytes)Once the area has a dull finish it’s time to clean the surface.  We washed with water, then air dried it.  If there are any shiny spots they need to be scuffed MVC-008F.JPG (15369 bytes)again at this time.  After the area was air dried we wiped it down with Xylene on a clean rag.  It’s a good idea to wear  rubber gloves as not to irritate your skin. We again air dried the bed to make sure everything was clean.MVC-003F.JPG (52989 bytes)Now is the time to mask everything off that will not be lined.  I used 1 inch masking tape to make the first edge then a 2 inch masking tape to make a area to put the plastic.  I would like to stress that you need to cover everything that is not to be Durabak-ed.
MVC-015F.JPG (69185 bytes)I used a Binks #18 undercoating spray gun to apply the Durabak to our project.  Following the instructions carefully I used a stir stick to mix the material up.  I used a clean mixing can to mix the Durabak and Xylene.  A mix of 20% Xylene to 80% Durabak sprayed at 25 lbs. seemed to work the best.  I filled the material cup about 75% full so I could keep the material mixed by sloshing it in the cup.  The material tends to separate quickly. I sprayed in the early afternoon with full sun, the temperature was around 80MVC-015F.JPG (62964 bytes)and the humidity was low.  I made a couple of test patterns to make sure everything was okay and then applied the first coat lightly so there would not be any runs or sags.  I let it become tacky which took about 30 minutes, then applied the second coat.  The second coat is applied more heavily with the drying time about the same.  I did apply a third coat the same as the second.  The spray gun should be cleaned between each coat and after you have finished so the material doesn’t set up in the gun.  If you get any Durabak on your skin remove it right away with the Xylene or you will wear it off.
MVC-003F3.JPG (58648 bytes)After the last coat is applied the masking needs to be removed and disposed of.  When removing the tape I pulled the tape towards the Durabak so the tape line was very clean.  It’s hard not to get a little material on your hands when removing the masking.  A little Xylene on a rag was all I needed to get it off.  Well it’s about done, and we shut the tailgate and sent Edith home.  It took about five hours to do the whole job.  I installed the cover and protector on the tailgate a couple of days latter.  It looks great!
                                                                                                          MVC-001F2.JPG (75494 bytes)I used a roll of 1 inch, a roll of 2 inch masking tape, 3 plastic drop cloths, 1 stir stick, 1 mixing paint can, 5 220 grit sanding sheets, 3 quarts of black Durabak, 1/2 gallon of  Xylene, and a little hard work.  Durabak can be applied with a brush, or a roller also.  Normally Durabak can be subject to light foot traffic within 12 hours.  The coating should not be subjected to cleaning or chemical exposure until fully cured, in 2-4 days. 
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Do It Yourself Durabak

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