Cartridge B Instructions 

These are the full, step-by-step instructions for how to apply a cartridge-based Phoenix protective coating on a truck bed. Some of this is common sense, and some is handy tips we’ve learned over time (the hard way, in some cases).

Our B-type cartridges are much higher quality, and have unique features that make them work better in every way. They are slightly more expensive, but they are well worth it — any added cost is completely offset by how well they perform.

We also have video tutorials/instructions and related quick video snippets you can check out. Links will be posted throughout the instructions below. Again, these instructions are for Cartridge B, which are different (better) than Cartridge A. If you’re looking for Cartridge A instructions, they can be found here.

Cartridge Prep

Make sure you follow these instructions to ensure optimal results. Important differences from type A cartridges appear in highlighted text.

Storage:

  1. Always store cartridges upright.  Do not store upside down or on the side as this may allow the ISO (clear side) and resin (colored side) to mix in the cap/neck, ruining the cartridge.
    • The cartridges must be handled with care. If cartridges are dropped make sure the black plungers are still secure in the bottom of the cartridge.
    • If the plungers are loose, put cartridge to the side. Cartridges can burst during spraying if the plungers are not secure.
    • Store cartridges between 60°F to 90°F (15.5°C to 32.2°C)
    • If the cartridges temperature falls below 60°F/ 15.5°C, slowly warm using a source of warm air. YOU MAY MICROWAVE.
      • This cartridge is glass reinforced so you are able to put it in the microwave for heating.
      • Do NOT overheat. Hotter is NOT better.
    • After warming the cartridges make sure to shake well in order to ensure an even temperature throughout.
    • If cartridge temperature falls below 40°F/ 4.4°C, check to see if the ISO has crystalized.
  2. If the ISO has crystalized,slowly warm the cartridge up to 90°F/ 26.6°C.  Make sure that the ISO appears to be free of the small solid looking crystals.
  3. Allow to cool to 70°F to 80°F prior to spraying.

Difficulty

Easy

Time to Complete

Varies; heating/cooling

Tools Required

  • Cartridge B

Truck Preparation

Absolutely necessary, and actually quite time consuming. Getting this down to a science helps speed it up, but even then it’s still a serious task. If possible, having one or two people prepping vehicles, with one person spraying, can really optimize your workflow. But corners cut here will end up costing you in the long run. Either during the application, or more likely, down the road the customer might face issues with the coating.

Remove all of the hardware from the truck bed.

  • Remove the bed bolts, tie downs, plugs, and other attachments in order to allow easier access in the event it is needed. This also looks cleaner.
    • If the bolts or hardware appear to be corroding or rusting, the recommendation is to replace them or spray over them.
      • Scuff off any rust for optimal adhesion, preferably with an 80 grit sandpaper.
      • If the bolts or hardware are so rusted they don’t appear to work, the recommendation is to replace them.
    • Occasionally (relatively rare) a customer will request that you spray over the hardware.
  • Place the hardware someplace safe. Pro tip: For easy retrieval, use the same place each time you spray, such as the driver’s door storage pocket.
    • If there is an antenna, remove it and put it with the hardware.
  • Make sure that anything large is cleared out of the bed.
  • Place wire trim.
  • Place masking tape.
    • Make sure to have enough masking tape sticking up from the sides of the bed to allow for taping down the plastic prior to spraying.
  • Double check to make sure there are not any open or exposed areas.
    • Cover any small or awkward areas with tape to block overspray.
  • Scuff the truck bed with the cup brush or 80 grit sandpaper – Recommended 7” 10 amp polisher

Proper scuffing is a CRITICAL step in the entire process. The objective is to scuff the clear coat only, and to not expose any bare metal. Over-scuffing and exposing bare metal is a common error, because bare metal must be primed before applying bedliner. A second common error is failing to scuff the entire bed, leaving “shiny” areas of clear coat. The bed must be fully scuffed in order to create a profile for the bed liner to get a good bite or grip on the substrate.  You want to create that profile in the clear coat.

  • Clear all dust and debris from the truck with an air hose.
  • Make sure the air is clean and 100% dry, as any moisture can create blisters.
  • Use a rag to acetone the truck bed. This is very important.
    • We highly recommend using a t-shirt rag. Pro tip: Shop towels and other cloth types will either take forever or they leave behind lint that will interfere with the curing process.
  • DO NOT use lacquer thinner, or any type of wax and grease remover.
    • Acetone cleanly flashes off, while wax and grease removers or lacquer thinner may leave residue that can cause blisters. You might get lucky once, but using anything other than acetone will burn you eventually.
  • Move truck to spray location if it’s not already there.
  • Place 0.31 mil plastic sheeting, covering all of the sides of the truck bed.
    • Make sure that the plastic is long enough to drape on the floor.
    • We recommend 9′ x 400′ rolls of 0.31 mil plastic.
    • This plastic will be disposed of after spraying.
  • Check one last time to make sure no one left any tools, hardware, or debris in the truck bed.
  • Place 6 mil plastic in the gap between the bed and the cab and cover the entire cab, fully to the floor. Even down past the front bumper — like seriously, all the way to the floor.
    • Make sure you have a large enough piece of plastic to cover the entire cab.
    • We recommend 20′ x 100′ 6 mil plastic for the cab.
    • This plastic can be used multiple times. However, MAKE SURE it’s free from debris and has no holes. 
    • If you are going to reuse the plastic, store it in a dry, safe place once you are finished with the truck bed.

Difficulty

Moderate

Time to Complete

20 – 40 minutes, depending on skill level

Tools Required

  • Flathead / Philips screwdriver
  • Sandpaper (80 grit)
  • WireTrim edge cutting tape
  • Masking tape
  • Cup Brush Polisher
  • Air hose
  • Acetone
  • T-shirt rag
  • 0.31 mil plastic sheeting
  • 6 mil plastic sheeting

Before You Spray

This section is about double- and triple-checking your work before you start laying down permanent coating on the substrate. It’s also about making sure you’ve got all the right tools and methods to ensure a successful application.

  • Make sure your desiccant is clean and is not retaining moisture.
  • Make sure the air you are using is 100% free of any moisture.
  • Make sure your gun is clean and the pistons are fully extending at the same time.
  • Shake cartridges horizontally for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    • DO NOT shake up and down.
  • FD on the cartridge stands for Fill Date. Pro tip: The older the fill date the longer you should shake. You want to see the pigment look even throughout — shake for 2 minutes or longer if the pigment looks as if it has separated.
  • Shaking ensures that you spray the most optimal product:
    • The chemicals are properly suspended.
    • The temperature is the same throughout the cartridge.
    • The pigment is properly suspended.
  • Remove the green and clear locking cap and remove the green plug.
  • Place the static mixer on the cartridges.
    • Make sure the mixer is locked.
    • Once the mixer has been placed on the cartridge, make sure the cartridge sits UPRIGHT ONLY – DO NOT SHAKE AGAIN.
  • Place cartridge in the gun and keep upright.
    • Do not point the gun downward or horizontally. Otherwise you will inadvertently begin the cure process.
  • Make sure the cartridge is properly fitted into the frame so that the pistons fit directly into the center of the black plunger.
  • Attach the nylon tubing to the static mixer.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Optimal cartridge temperature is 70° to 80°F.

  • When the cartridge temperature is less than 60°F, the gauge should read 55-65 psi.
    • We definitely see thicker bed liners while using these cartridges, because they can be sprayed at a lower pressure, allowing for quicker, more consistent build up.
  • When the cartridge temperature is 60°F or greater, the gauge should read 50-65 psi.

Difficulty

Easy, but important

Time to Complete

5 – 10 minutes

Tools Required

  • Cartridge B
  • Spray Gun with Cartridge B Frame
  • Static Mixer (mix tip)
  • Nylon tubing

Ready To Spray

Oooh, you’re so close now! Just a few more things to check and do before you light it up…

  • Put on all of your safety gear:
    • Tyvek suit
    • Latex gloves
    • Headsock
    • Shoe covers (or shoes you seriously don’t care about)
    • Fresh air mask
  • Find a box, trash can or something that you do not mind getting very dirty (or ruining) to start the process.
    • Point the cartridges up and begin to press the trigger on the handle.
      • No air is being released — you are simply pushing the pistons forward.
      • This is a 1-2 second process.
        • This will release or eliminate the air pocket.
        • The initial stream may be clear or grayish in color; this process allows the proper mix to begin.
    • Open the black valve at the bottom of the handle 1/4 to 2/3 of the amount the valve will open.
      • Pro Tip: The black valve is all the way open when the valve is parallel to the handle. DO NOT OPEN ALL THE WAY.
      • This is what regulates the amount of air pushing product out the static mixer (mix tip).
This product has a low viscosity. so if you heat too much (temp above 90°F) or you spray at a high PSI, one or more of the following is likely to occur:

  • A lot of overspray will result. That overspray translates to a thinner bed liner, as well as a loss of product.
  • The product may overheat.

Difficulty

Easy, but critical

Time to Complete

5 – 10 minutes

Tools Required

  • Personal Protection (PPE)
  • Discard Test Surface

Spraying the Bed

Finally! This is what all the preparation and hard work was for, and now you can show ’em who’s boss.

ONCE YOU BEGIN SPRAYING DO NOT LET OFF THE TRIGGER.

If you do accidentally let off the trigger the world won’t stop, and you won’t have ruined the universe, but YOU NEED TO STOP AND USE ANOTHER CARTRIDGE.

  • Use the first 3-5 cartridges (depending on bed size and intended use) building the floor, side walls, and the tailgate.
  • It’s important to spray in a cross-hatch pattern, meaning side to side then front to back. This allows the bed liner to properly adhere and cure.
  • As long as the cartridge was properly purged initially, YOU CAN spray to the end of the cartridge.
    • This allows you to use the entire cartridge, and will result in a thicker coating, since you don’t have to leave product in the end of the cartridge.
  • DO NOT spray the cartridge above horizontal. While these cartridges might be able to handle it, it is still not recommended.
    • This ensures that if you did not get all of the air out when you were purging that the product does not begin spraying off-ratio.
    • A new, 90° mix tip for Cartridge B is in currently being developed that will allow you to spray up under things, effectively spraying above horizontal.
  • When spraying, do not get too close to the bed. Make sure to always maintain a 2-3 foot distance between the gun and the bed.
  • Always spray in a cross-hatch pattern.
    • Left to right, and then up and down, then left to right, and continue.
  • The final cartridge is for texture.
    • For texture that looks like HP:
      • open the black valve (at the bottom of the gun handle) 3/4 of the way open <– this is significantly more than normal spraying. Spray the final cartridge at 65 PSI and keep the gun 4-5 feet away from the truck bed.
    • For a thicker texture:
      • Open the black valve (at the bottom of the gun handle) 1/2 of the way open. Spray the final cartridge at 65 PSI and keep the gun 4-5 feet away from the truck bed.

IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE: Some people believe that if you open the valve all the way at the bottom of the gun handle, you can spray faster and save more time. However, this is not the case. The above recommendations and methods will create the most optimal bed liner, and will likely save you time in the long run.

Difficulty

Moderate to Difficult

Time to Complete

25 – 40 minutes

Tools Required

  • 4-6 Cartridges, type B
  • Spray Rig (Gun, Pump, etc.)
  • Steady hand
  • Clear eyes
  • Full heart

After You Spray

Thought you were done, hm? Not quite, but definitely on the downhill slope now. Check these final items off your list and call it good. Then it’s on to the next one! Or if you’re really lucky, it’s Miller Time.

Before you remove the plastic or craft paper, check the bed liner for consistency.

  • Make sure the texture is consistent.
  • Make sure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Make sure there is no trash or blemishes in the liner.
    • If there are issues, correct then NOW.
    • If there are NO issues, remove all of the tape and plastic.
  • Remove the wire trim.
    • If it is below 40°F, make sure to remove the wire trim slowly in order to ensure good, clean, straight lines. Pro tip: Cooler ambient temperatures will slow down the cure process by a few minutes.
  • Check the truck for overspray.
    • If any overspray is visible, stop and clean it before it becomes more attached to the paint.
      • Denatured alcohol, a cotton rag, and a business or credit card should do the trick.
      • For really stubborn overspray use Clay Bar.
  • Put all the hardware back in the bed.
  • Make sure all of the caps are securely placed.
  • Detail the truck.
    • Pro tip: Use shoe covers while in the truck bed so as not to leave dirty dusty footprints taking away from the beautiful liner you just sprayed.
  • Double check your work.
  • Return the truck to your customer.

Difficulty

Easy

Time to Complete

5 – 20 minutes, depending on OCD levels and how well you prepped

Tools Required

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Cotton rag
  • Business or credit card
  • Clay Bar (for stubborn overspray)

Caution & Safety

Yup, this stuff is important too.

  • Always wear the proper safety equipment.
  • Wear goggles and dust mask during the prep process.
  • When getting ready to spray, wear the following:
    • Latex Gloves
    • Tyvek Suit
    • Headsock
    • Shoe Covers
    • Fresh Air Mask

Always maintain your filters for the fresh air systems and all of the rest of your safety and shop equipment.

Definitions

Wonder what we’re talking about?

  • Off-ratio: ISO rich or Resin rich
    • ISO rich is when more of the ISO (clear side) comes out
      • Produces dome-like blister with rice crispy interior. Not tasty.
      • In the event you get this, see our Blister Repair instructions.
    • Resin rich is when more of the Resin (color side) is coming out.
      • Caved-in dome that looks more like a volcano that has collapsed in the center.
      • When you touch this, color will come up on your finger
  • Trash: this is either actual trash that drops from the sprayer, or clumps of product that push out at the end of the cartridge. Because of their design, and the way the mix tip attaches to the cartridge, trash is not nearly as common with these cartridges, Therefore, as long as you purged the cartridge correctly at the start, you MAY spray all the way to the end of the cartridge.
  • Regulator: black valve at the bottom of the handle of the gun.
  • Gauge: small gauge on the side of the handle measuring PSI.
Related Topics: Tutorials

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