Applying bed liner paint to your truck can give it a protected, smooth finish that looks great. But before hiring a professional or painting your truck bed yourself, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the process and pitfalls to avoid. Here’s everything you need to know about truck bed liner paint to get an end result you’ll love for years to come, plus our top 3 recommendations for the best liner paints.
What Is Truck Bed Liner Paint?
There are three kinds of truck bed liner paint:
- 100% polyurethane
- 100% polyurea
- A mixture of polyurethane and polyurea components
Bed liner paint can be applied to beds made of aluminum or steel. There are many bed liner paint products on the market today.
Benefits of Truck Bed Liner Paint
Bed liner paint provides several benefits:
- Protection: A paint-on bed liner provides extra protection from scratches and damage due to sliding cargo.
- Permanent: When properly applied, bed liner paint strongly adheres to the surface of your truck bed. It won’t slide off as your truck moves.
- Moisture barrier: Bed liner paint acts as an impenetrable barrier between the elements and your truck bed, preventing rust from gaining a foothold.
- Customization: Truck bed liner paint is available in an array of colors and finishes, allowing you to create a customized look for your vehicle.
How to Choose Truck Bed Liner Paint: What You Need to Know
Types of Bed Liner Paint
- Spray-On: Spray-on bed liner paint is applied using an air compressor and paint sprayer. In experienced hands, this bed liner paint produces the most even, professional-looking finish. If you are attempting to add a spray-on liner yourself, be sure to invest in the right equipment and spend time learning about proper application methods.
- Roll-On: Roll-on bed liners are easy to apply, even by painting novices. Roll-on liners do not require the expensive equipment needed by spray-on liners to produce an even finish. Most require a longer drying time than spray-on paint and can be hard to get into tight spaces.
- Aerosol Spray: This spray-on liner is applied via an aerosol can. Aerosol bed liner paint is much more affordable than the typical spray-on liner paint, thanks to the elimination of specialized paint-application equipment. Aerosol bed liner paint also dries very quickly and is fairly easy to apply. This product is an excellent choice for quick touch-ups or covering replacement parts.
Important Truck Bed Liner Paint Features
- Texture: The texture of bed liner paint varies depending on the paint manufacturer, chemical makeup, and paint application method. A heavy, non-slip texture prevents cargo from moving around and decreases the risk of slipping while walking in the truck bed. Be sure to spend time researching bed liner paints to find the texture that is right for you.
- Rust protection: Liner paint seals the truck bed, preventing rust and adding years to the usefulness of your truck. Compare paint specifications to find the level of rust protection that is right for you.
- Scratch protection: A thicker bed liner typically provides better scratch protection. Be sure you are using equal thicknesses of liner paint when comparing brands.
- Ease of Application: Once you are sure of the texture and protection you need, consider the paint application method. Both aerosol paints and roll-on liner paints are accessible to nearly everyone.
- Color Range: Many bed liner paint manufacturers offer their products in an array of colors and textures. Roll-on liner paint can also be mixed and tinted to create any unique color you desire.
- UV Resistance: UV rays can cause bed liner paint to fade and become brittle over time, leading to chipping, cracking, and peeling. A high-UV resistant paint is important for trucks that spend a lot of time in direct sunlight.
- Sound/Vibration: Some paint liners provide sound absorption and vibration dampening.
- Flexibility: Highly flexible liner paint is less likely to chip, peel, or crack over time.
- Saltwater resistance: If you live near the ocean, be sure to choose liner paint that is resistant to saltwater.
Best Truck Bed Liner Paint #1: Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit
The Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit has been one of the most popular bed liner paints for years. The Herculiner has many advantages over other kits:
- Strong, textured polyurethane paint that won’t chip or crack
- Five times thicker than other liner paints, providing great coverage with fewer coats
- Can be applied to a range of surfaces, like metal, concrete, plastics, and rubber
The kit provides everything you need to create a like-new finish, including a sanding pad, rollers, and brush.
Best Truck Bed Liner Paint #2: Raptor Tough and Tintable Protective Coating
Raptor Coating is a urethane paint known for providing unsurpassed protection in even the toughest climates.
- UV-resistant to provide a like-new finish for years
- Rust-resistant, even in salt water climates
- Scratch, stain, and impact resistant
Raptor is incredibly versatile with both spray and roll-on applications. The easy-to-clean surface will look new no matter what you haul in the bed of your truck.
Best Truck Bed Liner Paint #3: Rust-Oleum Automotive Truck Bed Coating
The Rust-Oleum Truck Bed Coating creates a durable, non-skid surface that will protect your truck bed for years.
- Available in white or black
- Fast-drying, water-based formula that dries in less than two hours
- Easy to apply via roller, spray, or brush
Rust-Oleum provides protection from rust, weather, cracks, and peeling. This product can be applied on bare or painted metal.
Our top three products were chosen based on customer reviews, overall value, and total sales.
Truck Bed Liner Paint FAQs
Do I need to sand my truck bed before applying bed liner paint?
Sanding your bed is a critical step in the painting process. Sanding the surface allows the paint to properly bond with your truck bed, ensuring that you get the best possible protection from scratches and rust.
How much prep work is required to apply bed liner paint?
Proper surface preparation is an important step in painting your truck bed. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions before applying bed liner paint. Typical prep includes:
- Sweeping out loose dirt and debris with a brush or broom
- Washing the truck bed with soapy water
- Allowing the truck bed to completely dry
- Sanding the area to be painted, being sure to remove all protective coatings such as wax
- Placing the truck in a well-ventilated area. If needed, procure any protective gear, such as face masks and goggles, that will be needed during the painting process
- Using painter’s tape and drop cloths to cover any areas that will not be painted
How do I keep my bed liner looking like new?
Follow these steps to protect your new bed liner from scratches and peeling:
- Securely tie down all cargo.
- Gently place large or heavy cargo into the truck bed. Never throw any objects into the bed.
- Use gentle cleansers on your liner.
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