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Heat Control: LizardSkin Thermal Undercoating

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on October 10, 2018
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After replacing rusty floor pans and doing other metal restoration on our old Jeepster’s tub, we wanted to protect the underside with a tough, chip-resistant coating. We also wanted to add insulation using a solution that could be done in a home driveway. We chose LizardSkin, which comes in two varieties: a ceramic thermal insulation coating and a sound-damping coating. You can apply one of them or both, depending on your desires. Our Jeep will be topless, so we skipped the sound control product and just purchased two gallons of the thermal insulation material.

The LizardSkin product is a water-based acrylic insulation coating that's available in black or white and meant to be sprayed onto the interior or exterior of a vehicle. Once cured, it is rated to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F and is a noncombustible, Class-A fire-rated material. The thermal coating is somewhat temperature sensitive. The manufacturer recommends warehouse storage temperature remain between 60 and 90 degrees F.

We primed, or otherwise prepared, our metal surfaces to improve adhesion. After a little spray gun setup, it was quick and easy to apply the coating. The two-gallon pail easily covered the entire underside of our tub, front fenders, and hood. It left a tough, dimpled surface that looks good.

In addition to the thermal coating, we purchased the LizardSkin 50125 Super Pro Spray Gun Kit. We also picked up some masking materials at our local box store.
The spray gun has a large-diameter nozzle so it can effectively move the thick material. We were tempted to use a cheaper drywall texturing gun but were happy we got the dedicated gun kit instead.
The thermal coating is very thick. We used the mixing paddle included in the kit on a drill running at slow speed to fully mix the contents of the pail. Thinning is typically not needed. The manufacturer recommends that bare, ferrous surfaces be primed prior to application.
It was easy to adjust the air pressure and spray nozzle to get a good pattern out of the gun. Spraying two gallons onto your project will add about 11 pounds to its weight. Cleanup was easily done with just soap and water.
The manufacturer recommends that the average coat have about 20 mils wet-film thickness. The spray gun kit includes a depth gauge that can be dipped in the wet coating to check thickness.
The spray gun kit includes a 90-degree nozzle. We found it had an erratic spray pattern that was not very consistent or uniform. We took some scrap tubing and made a larger-radius elbow nozzle. It worked better, but still not great. Fortunately, the gun works pretty well in most orientations. It just may be tricky to access tighter spaces.
About a month after shooting the underside of our tub, we also shot the front fenders and hood. Unused material can be kept in the resealed pail for about a year from the date of manufacture, and we had no issues when using it a second time.
Once the material stopped pouring well from the pail, we used an old spatula from the kitchen drawer to coax the rest of it into our spray gun.
We shot the LizardSkin when it was about 70-80 degrees F outside and found it set up fairly quickly. After applying it, we let it dry in the sun for the rest of the day. It seemed completely cured by the morning.
We had masked off a few areas with tape where we wanted the undercoating to stop. Shortly after applying the last coat, we removed the masking tape and found the LizardSkin left clean lines. Places where we got a bit of unwanted overspray were easily cleaned with a wet scouring pad before the coating cured.

Amazon Affiliate links are our attempt to show you real-world pricing and availability for the products we review and install, and while the Amazon links are separate from editorial and advertising, the Four Wheeler Network may receive a commission on purchases made through our posts.

Sources

Lizard Skin
866-954-2202
www.lizardskin.com

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