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· Premium Member
1,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First I'd heard of Bondo Restore Black was here on the ROC. Lots of forum members reporting great results using it in weathered and tattered beds. Others reporting peeling and varied success.

With a couple of bed related projects coming up, I'm interested in anything that keeps factory texture while returning the bed walls and floor to something better than they currently are cuz I've yet to see a "good looking" spray liner. But I was a bit spooked by the potential for peeling.

Feedback here and elsewhere suggests poor results are caused inadequate surface prep, which I took as good advise. Also mentioned is multiple thin coats.

Thought it might be wise to start with a couple of easy to remove, small pieces in case things didn't work out, the coating might be scrubbed off without too much trouble. So here's the experiment:

Bed trim rails. Top rail is cleaned with nylon brush and dish washing soap, bottom rail is as it was at time of removal.
Iron Metal Tire Fence Automotive tire

Top rail after one coat. When I say thin, I mean THIN. Maybe 3 very small dabs on the supply applicator to cover the entire surface.
Metal Technology Roof Steel Table

About 10 minutes between coats. By the third coat, the surface color is even and original texture is looking nice.
Wall Cement Line Concrete Architecture

After two weeks, this is how it looks in place. Note the tail gate cap is untreated to highlight contrast.
Floor Tire Automotive wheel system Silver Automotive tire

So far, I'm liking this stuff very much.
Next weekend, the tail gate cap and gate cover gets treated. It'll be be interesting to see how the supplied applicator behaves on the composite surface. Forum members have suggested using painters foam applicators. What concerns me about that is getting each coat thin and pushed into surface pores sufficiently. What I like about the applicator in the kit is is pliable yet stout, It conforms to contours but is hefty enough to push the gel deep into porous/textured surfaces. I'm gonna give it a shot and see how it works out. If the tail gate holds up, the rest of the bed will be treated accordingly.

This stuff is a combination dye and gel requiring a cure between coats. Reminds me very much of wood stain and polyurethane. Each coat deepens color and improves surface finish. I can't imagine using it on mounted parts - even if painted surfaces were taped off. It's way easier and more evenly coating with the part loose.

Pending continued success and durability, splash guards are gonna look nice again.

· Premium Member
1,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Funny, that's on my list of fall projects? What type of surface prep, just soap & water?

Looks great, the contrast of the bed cap vs the tail gate cap.

Keep us posted
Yep. Dish soap on a small nylon brush working in sections at a time. A good rinse, wipe down and air dry. A dime sized dab of the gel on the applicator, working in sections about 1/3 the length of the rail caps, keeping a wet edge like you would painting a wall or coating a surface with urethane. The coats are so thin they start setting up quickly, so no dilly dally. No gloves for me but I did pay attention to keeping hands clean and not touching the surface to be coated. Seemed to be an OK process.

Like other products, they recommend applying out of the sun. Makes sense as a hot surface would bake out moisture making it hard to coat evenly.

When this stuff gets on your skin, its dye leaves a mark but even when its no longer liquid, it rinses right of with a mild rub. I suppose that speaks to its temporary nature when applied to plastic and such.

Looking closely at the bed surface, it appears the valleys in the pebbled surface are filled with chalky looking debris. When rubbing the surface with a finger, the peaks wipe fairly clean, becoming darker than the valleys. I think this is where a good cleaning process will make a difference - the valleys need to be cleared of loose debris so whatever is applied to the surface can adhere to the native surface, rather than cling to the debris.

Car Vehicle Auto part Car seat cover Tire

I can't really tell if the pits seen on the bed wall surface between gate cap and bed rail there are the result of environmental exposure, worsening over time or if they're just normal. Looking at the larger expanses on the walls and floor, what I see at the rear extremes of the side wall panels seems more "pit-ish" than the rest.

Out there in the high desert, are you seeing something similar? After 10 years of living outside, perhaps the composite material degrades to some degree?

· Premium Member
1,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Just curious as to why you removed the pieces versus taping off unwanted areas ...?

I have used Bondo many times but this month I am trying several options and too early to make any kind of report on any of the products I used. I have pretty much done complete bed/sides and back side of tailgate and then all other places on my RL.
Cleaning a removable part thoroughly is easier off the vehicle than on. Less water and ancillary clean up.

Taping is a PITA.

Can't get the the part evenly coated on edges and hard to reach crannies.

Removing the part = opportunity to clean under it where dust and debris hide and grow.

Removing an easy access part satisfies a portion of OCD. :)

Very curious what you are experimenting with. Hurry up and spill the beans!

wait a minute.....

an OhSix picture post without upside down signs, muddled license plates, and other such things....

say it 'aint so



i think i saw subliminal writing in the tile... going to get my magnifying glass


edit: i have the same table, mine needs to be painted too. lol the wind always seems to blow when i get out the spray can
You noticed faded paint and rust on the outdoor side table, eh? Think its real? LOL

· Premium Member
1,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Results look nice Six. How do the rails come off?
The second "bump" from the rear edge along top of each rail cap is a removable cover. Pop it up, there's a #2 Phillips head under there. Once screw is removed, the entire rail assembly slides to the rear. The under side of the rail has 6 keepers that lock into slots on the metal bed top.

First time off might be a bit stubborn. There's a foam strip along the curb side lip you won't see until the rail is free, it tends to stick to the fender but other than that, easy peasy, just go slow to avoid potential damaged to aging plastic mechanical attachment.

Text Line Diagram Design Font

· Premium Member
1,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Morning project:

Needed to make adjustment to rear view camera. And the recently installed tail gate perimeter light fixtures were too fugly to leave in place. With cap and gate apart, no better time to treat than now.

New lights wired:

Electrical wiring Wire Electronics Cable management Cable

Check out contrast between tired bed floor and Bondo coated gate cover:

Rim Automotive tire Automotive exterior Auto part Wheel

Lights in place. Hurry sundown. Anxious to see what these 1W Ozniums look like @ night

Automotive exterior Wood Rim Roof Metal

Bed caps are were treated 3 weeks ago. Compare to gate cap treated this morning:

Automotive exterior Vehicle Car Auto part Automotive wheel system

While at it, pulled the splash guards and gave them a few coats.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Alloy wheel Tire

Hope this stuff holds up well. Based on the contrast, it looks to be worth the effort.

Automotive exterior Auto part Automotive carrying rack Vehicle Floor

It's hot around here. Time to cool off.
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