Picasso’d Rockers

The factory mud flaps on the Xterra are low-hanging damage multipliers. Sebastian’s been without his since day one. The downside of removing them is the torture endured by the rockers and fender flares from everything the thirty-three inch all-terrains throw at them. In sunny, winter-less, salt-less SoCal… not the end of the world. But we’ve recently relocated to Salt Lake where there’s plenty of both in our future. So this weekend’s project was to bed line them… and of course gain the 100 HP that comes with the improved looks.

Bed lining the rockers isn’t a new idea or concept. And the lines I actually stole from another NewX.org member. Everyone seems to have their own take on prep and which product is best (and whether to do it yourself or pay a shop). I decided to go with Rust-Oleum’s truck bed coating roller kit. Here’s why:

  • I’m cheap. Shop quotes started at about 5x what I had in material costs.
  • I don’t trust anyone else to make sure the lines are straight ;)
  • When it needs to be touched up (and it will), I can do it myself quickly and easily.
  • The overwhelming preference for texture, color, wear and overall appearance seems to be for Rust-Oleum over Dupli-Color, Herculiner, and other off the shelf options. Also, it’s already on all my skids and has held up great.
  • Rolling the product instead of spraying it makes the application a lot easier, simpler and faster. There’s less to mask when compared to spraying… including the door jams. Yuck.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Washed the entire truck quickly. I didn’t want to make any additional damage to the paint by leaving dirt on it and prying on/around it in the prep.
  • Removed the plastic trim pieces from the doors with a heat gun. Goo Gone the remaining bits.
The factory adhesive behind the plastic trim is a bear to get off. Notice the two holes that need to be patched on the front doors.
  • Behind those are two holes in the front doors on each side. Bondo filler and sand.
Holes patched and sanded.
  • Lightly sanded the rear corners (my were already painted… so more “medium” than light actually).
  • Washed the areas of interest with dish soap to remove all grease, wax, crap, paint chips hanging on for dear life, etc.
  • Took my sweet time (read: many beverages) masking the area to perfection. There is no undo.
Are you sure those are straight?
  • Used the scuffing pad on the painted areas.
  • Did a final cleaning on the fenders, rockers and corners with Windex (products called for an ammonia based cleaner).
  • Primed the rear corners with adhesion promoter (do this right before you roll them).
  • Rolled on as much of the areas as I could. Touched-up and finished the hard-to-get-to areas with a brush. I did four coats.
  • Removed the masking tape while the paint was still wet (this is key).
  • Admired. Admiring.

Here’s what I used: