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1972 Chevy Truck Paint-On Bedliner - Bedliner For The Body

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on February 1, 2006
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Our buddy's truck was getting pretty gnarly lookin'. Part of the front clip was blue, but not the same color blue that was under the faded red the rest of the body was painted at some point in time. The steel under the paint had seen better days as well, the rain gutters were sort of a papier-mache of rust chips rather than stiff steel, and there were one or two tiny moon-viewing holes in the top of the cab. It wouldn't make sense to put much money into a body like this, but the rest of the truck is in pretty decent shape so it still has a few more wheeling years in it. But how do you give an old trail truck a fresh new look? Durabak has a smooth do-it-yourself paint-on bedliner that can be used to coat the entire body of a truck. This was perfect for our buddy's '72 Chevy: the Durabak coating would give us one uniform color (many of which we had to choose from), reduce in-cab noise, give good protection from rough off-road encounters, diminish continuing rust from getting much worse, and fill the tiny rust holes left in the body. How could we go wrong? Well, we hadn't counted on inept applicators....

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The Durabak smooth bedliner can be applied in a few different ways: spray gun, paint brush, or paint roller. We know that it would've turned out best with a paint sprayer, but we were doing this on the cheap in front of a buddy's house, which meant using a roller and paint brushes. We tried the rollers first, and probably should have stuck with that, but we moved onto the paint brushes for the entire body. We used two 1-gallon cans, and still had some leftover when all was said and done.

Unfortunately, this poor truck had us applying the exterior coat to it. We've never been great at paint or bodywork (except for body damage), and we really showed our colors on this one. We kept our Durabak in the garage for about seven months before we applied it to the truck, which would've been OK if we had used some Xylene to thin it out after sitting for so long. Unfortunately for this truck, we didn't read the directions, added no Xylene, and it came out a little clumpy because it had hardened a little bit during the storage time. Even with us painting the truck, it still came out looking darned good compared to the Frankenstein look it was sporting before. Our bud reports that it's a little quieter inside the cab when he drives the truck, and he doesn't hear all the rust shifting in the rain gutters since the Durabak coated and sealed the entire body.


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