Al’s Liner Basic and Advanced Techniques
Whether you’re a first time user or you’ve already protected all of your valuables with Al’s Liner, the versatility of our kits means that there’s always something new to learn. In the articles below, you will find tips and tricks to ensure that your project looks great and lasts for years.
Al’s Liner Application Techniques
Al’s Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner Kits can be applied to almost any surface you need to protect. Below are our recommendations and suggestions to achieve the textures and thickness your unique project demands.
Reaching your desired thickness:
Since most spray on bed liner systems are not developed with the versatility of the Al’s Liner Kit, they will usually tell you that you have to apply your coating with a 65 mil thickness. At Al’s Liner, we know that no two projects are the same, so we designed Al’s Liner bed liner kits to be effective at various thicknesses. With one gallon of Al’s Liner truck bed liner you will get 20-50 mils thickness across a 60 SF area and 60 to 65 mils thickness across a 20 SF area. We have found that the easiest way to determine the depth of your spray on bed liner (without using a mil gauge) is to simply measure out your area to be sprayed and then determine the amount of material needed using the guidelines above. For example, 20 SF at 25 mils would require 1/3 gallon of Al’s Liner. Please remember it is simple to make your own mil gauge using a piece of thin sheet metal, cutting it to a point and marking the required depth. This will help novice applicators get the feel for applying an even coat of Al’s Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner.
Achieving Different Textures (Air Flow and Trigger Control)
The Al’s Liner Spray Gun offers a wide range of textures using air flow settings and trigger control. When trying to vary the roughness of your texture, the simplest method is to play with your air flow and trigger. You can increase the air flow and reduce the pull on your trigger to break the material into smaller particles and get the rough grainy texture of sand paper. If you want to get an orange peel look or larger texture that will smooth out during the curing process, reduce the air flow and pull the gun trigger farther to increase the size of the particles sprayed from the tip. You can adjust these settings to fine tune the texture and still maintain the vertical hang of the bed liner material.
Achieving Different Textures (Reducing the Catalyzer Mix)
While the Al’s Liner 3 Part Batch System allows you to just mix and use the components in the kit, you can change the mix slightly to customize your texture even further. The catalyzer (the C Component) is what provides the vertical hang in our mixture, causing the material to thicken and producing the standard bed liner texture. By reducing the amount of the C Component that is listed in the mix chart, you can reduce the thickness and increase the cure time of the material allowing for a smoother finish. To achieve this texture, simply cut the C Component in half. Using this method and the air flow and trigger methods you can achieve a virtually smooth finish.
The down side to reducing the C Component is the loss of vertical hang. With the reduction in the C Component, you will see some dripping or sagging of your application on vertical surfaces. To prevent sag, simply reduce the thickness of your applications and apply multiple layers to get the depth you are looking for. With a 1/2 ratio of C Component, we recommend applying no more than 20 mils at one time. Allow it to set for 10-15 minutes and spray the second layer. The material will bond to itself and allow you to get a 65 mil thickness if you so desire. For more tips and tricks to varying texture and thickness with Al’s Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner Kits, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Al’s Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner Kits are compatible with a large variety of additives. Whether you’re adding metallic flake for appearance or aggregates for non-skid and traction control, Al’s Liner will stay durable and look great.
Metallic Flake Additives:
The easiest and most effective way to add metallics to your coating is to spray your basecoat with the color of your choice, then mix a micro batch of natural material and add ultra fine metallics. It is very important to only use ultra fine metallics to retain the strength of Al’s Liner. An inexpensive place to get this type of flake is Lure Kraft, which provides ultra fine metallics for fishing lures. The amount of metallic flake you add to the mix is up to you. You can go with a heavy mix and get a thick layer of metallic or lighten the load for a subtle flake overlay. Mix the micro batch and mist coat the entire area immediately after spraying the base coat. The thin mist coat will bond to the uncured base coat and dry clear to give you a brilliant metallic look.
Al’s Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner Kits will accept virtually any aggregate. The most popular are sand, pebbles or rubber granules. The only restraint is making sure the size of the aggregate is small enough to be sprayed through the port of your Al’s Liner Spray Gun. You can find a large variety of sizes and colors at your local hardware store. Rubber load is commonly used on trailer gates and floors, as well as decks and entryways. With the right aggregate, Al’s Liner will not only provide durable, long lasting protection, but can save you, your employees, or your loved ones from the dangers of a slippery surface. With an aggregate additive, Al’s Liner provides a non-skid surface that can be hard to the touch. Our recommendation for aggregate mixture is a 1 to 4, or 25% mix. If you are mixing 1 gallon of Al’s Liner, we recommend approximately 4 cups of rubber granules. For more information on metallics or aggregates, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Al’s Liner can be easily cleaned from the substrate and from the application gun. Below are our recommendations for cleaning spills, over spray and left over material in your spray gun.
Cleaning up over spray or spilled material:
There are several methods for cleaning up Al’s Liner material. The easiest and recommended manner of cleaning up over spray or spilled material is to wipe the material up using denatured alcohol and any type of cloth that suits the surface you are wiping. This will remove the coating prior to it setting up and prevent you from having to scrape the dried material. If you have a spill or over spray on a finished surface, it should peel off once it has set up. Be careful as Al’s Liner will adhere to scuffs and scratches that you might not see. We recommend getting the material off before it sets up.
Cleaning your Al’s Liner Spray Gun:
Cleaning your Al’s Liner Truck Bed Liner Spray Gun is as simple as it gets. Before pouring material into the Al’s Liner Spray Gun hopper, spray the inside of the gun and hopper with a non-silicon mold release or simply wipe in a fine layer of Vaseline. Stop by our Al’s Accessories page to pick up our Al’s Liner LMR (Lecithin Mold Release) for an easy cleanup every time. Once you have finished with your application, turn the gun and hopper upside down in a bucket or on a disposable surface. This allows excess material to drain out of the hopper. Allow the left over material to set up for 6-24 hours and then simply dismantle the gun. You will be able to remove the hardened materials from both the hopper and the gun. If you are continually spraying the same color, there is no need to clean the gun between batches – just be sure not to let the materials harden between spray applications. If you do need to switch colors and the gun has wet material left, pour some denatured alcohol into the reservoir to break down the remaining material. Pour out the alcohol and dismantle the gun, cleaning each part to insure no contamination of the old color.