We like doing it ourselves. Whether it is building engines or installing a lift kit, we’d almost always rather do it ourselves than let someone else do it. We learn more about whatever it is, and we get more real-world experience. One place that hasn’t been true is in bedliners, since until now there was just no way we could match the texture and quality of a professionally done spray-on bedliner at home. Whether we were putting the liner in the tub of a universal Jeep or actually using it in the bed of a truck, we’d always have issues with either texture or durability.
The other reason to apply the bedliner at home is to save some money over having it done. Spraying the inside of a Jeep tub or large truck bed typically will run right around $500, and that’s a lot of scratch to try and keep some paint from scratching. Over the years we’ve tried all of the at-home kits and experimented with varying the thickness and the prep methods, and always we’ve come away less than thrilled. Either it tears up in big sheets, or like a little kid on the playground we scratch ourselves up on it, or it can’t handle a transmission dragged across it without pulling up. Whatever the case, there were always shortcomings and each time we found a new shortcoming we vowed to just stop trying to do it ourselves.
Recently, however, we started hearing good things about do-it-yourself spray-on liners such as Al’s Liner. Just like the big-bucks pro jobs, you mix the resin solution with an activator, catalyst, and your choice of color right before application. The end result is a good-looking and long-lasting finish that can be tinted just about any color you want.
We went to Envy 4x4 to get the kits and the gun we use. Each kit includes a primer, a color tint, a resin solution, an activator, a catalyst, a spray bottle to apply the primer with, and a mixing attachment for a drill. Each kit goes for $94.95 and will cover most Jeep tubs. For a pickup bed, we suggest getting two kits. The gun is an additional $54.95. So, if you wanted to do just your Jeep, it is more expensive than a roll-on kit, but worth the added $50 in our opinion.
We decided that our Comanche would be the perfect test mule to try out this new type of liner. We ordered up some grey to test in the interior of the Jeep to see how it would hold up and just what color grey it was. We also got some black to put in the bed of the Jeep to test hauling transmissions and axles, as well as to see how it holds up against the southern California sun.