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Spraying the Van

A friend of mine had sent me a post a while back of someone spraying their entire van with tintable bedliner and I recall seeing another kayaker having that style on his truck. After a fair amount of research, posting on forums, etc., I decided to pull the trigger on a black¬†Rapter bedliner (link is only where I ordered from). This is a kit, 4 bottles and a gun. I knew I wouldn’t need this much but it was cheaper in the long run to get more. I did this project in stages. Stage 1: base prep. I sprayed a degreaser on the van, scrubbed and then I got out my little mouse sander using 220 grit for most of it. Raptor recommends 180 but I didn’t have that at the time so I used 220. You just want to sand enough to make the paint look dull. Do not sand too much. It really doesn’t take much. Stage 2: I took the van to Nate’s (who does all my mechanical work) because he could guide me through this project and he has a much larger compressor than I have. Once there, he took the back bumper off, I sanded the back using 180 (which is the way I would go if doing this again), cleaned everything and then we taped it off (I used frog tape). This is probably the longest process.

 

We had plastic to cover the van, but our tape did not want to stick to it. So, plan B. I went to Fred’s and bought some brown craft paper. Not knowing how much overspray would happen, we used the entire width and patched it together. If you are reading this because you want to do this yourself, the overspray isn’t crazy. Realistically you could get away with a buffer zone of about a 12″-15″. Again, this takes some time for your buffer zone. We went around and made sure everything was covered and secured.

Now to the spraying. We measured out 250 ml of the hardener, added it to the main bottle and attached the gun. I did a test piece at 50 PSI to realize something wasn’t right. Duh, the long piece included in the kit needs to be attached to the bottom of the gun so that it can pull up the material from the bottom of the gun. We added that, did another test piece, and off I went.

You really just have to get a feel for how it sprays, but don’t get too close to the vehicle. Stand back roughly a foot. On the fenders, you can tell I got closer and it isn’t as a close of a texture pattern. My recommendation would be to go light on your first round, and then go back and fill it in without waiting. It hasn’t had near the time to set up and at this point you have a pretty good feel for how it sprays.

I did one coat (many people will recommend two coats). I had extra left in the bottle so I sprayed in the rear wheel walls. If I had been better prepared, I would have bought plastic adhesion promoter and would have had the front and rear bumper prepared and one bottle would have been about perfect to complete this project. Instead, I will crack open a new bottle for the bumpers and plan to use the remains on a hood of a truck that I just purchased (clear coat has gone on this old truck).

The instructions that come with the kit are bare minimum. I would recommend going on YouTube and seeing how others do it. Then just do it. We did take all the tape and paper off after about 20 minutes. I saw many say to take it off after 15 minutes. Reason being, so that the tape will roll off. Be slow with this process so you don’t rip up any of the Raptor material.

I am beyond stoked with the outcome of this. One coat and my van just went from looking pretty decent to completely off road worthy. Well, in my opinion anyway! As of this posting, I am really excited about this product. I will make sure as time goes on, to do more reviews to make sure it doesn’t fade and doesn’t chip easily. If you are thinking of doing this to your vehicle and you have questions, feel free to ask.

Crystal.Gustin

I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!

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