If you haul gear with your truck, the painted surface on the truck bed is going to get worked up. That’s why you need the best truck bed liner.
Even when you order your new model truck with a drop-in plastic bed liner from the factory, you might experience rust buildup after a few years.
The best spray-in bed liner is the option that protects without the risk of scratching sheet metal or oxidization between the drop-in liner and the truck bed.
You know what you need to prevent your truck bed from rusting. Do you know which product to buy? We understand your predicament, and that’s why we researched on your behalf. You may also want to learn more about Best Tonneau Cover.
After hours of research, shopping, and testing, we managed to come up with a list of ten leading DIY kits for your selection.
Our Top Choice
Our overall best truck bed liner is Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner. It provides you with the easiest application, superior protection (UV resistant, abrasion resistant, scratch resistant, dent resistant, impact absorbent, slip-resistant, and waterproofing), and long-lasting durability.
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- Types of Truck Bed Liners
- Top 10 Best DIY Truck Bed Liners Review in 2020
- 1. Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit – Best Roll on Bedliner
- 2. U-Pol Raptor Black Truck Bed Liner Kit – Best for Deadening Sound and Vibration
- 3. Rust-Oleum Truck Bed Coating – Best Bed Liner for Paint Job
- 4. Dupli-Color Bed Armor Truck Bed Liner – Best Water-Based Polyurethane Coating
- 5. PlastiKote Truck Bed Liner – Best Spray Can Bedliner
- 6. Liner Xtreeme Spray on Bed Liner Kit – Best Non Slip Truck Bed Liner
- 7. Al’s Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit – Best for Multiple Color Options
- 8. Raptor Roll-On Black Coating – Best Two Part Urethane Coating
- 9. Speedokote T-Rex Black Bed Liner – Best Abrasion and Stain Resistant Bedliner
- 10. POR 15 OEM Bed Liner – Best Product for Professional Use
- Things To Consider Before Buying A Best Spray In Bed Liner
- Surface Preparation Accessories
- Frequently Asked Questions – Truck Bed Liner
- Final Thoughts
Types of Truck Bed Liners
There’re two main types of truck bed liners: spray-in / spray-on and drop-in.
Spray-In / Spray-On / Sprayed-On Bed Liner
Spray-in, spray-on, or sprayed-on are used interchangeably to refer to the same thing. This product is available in two main formulations: aliphatic or aromatic.
The term aliphatic stems from a Greek word that means oil or fat. It’s thought that some of the first aliphatic compounds discovered came from oil or fats.
In our case, aliphatic refers to non-aromatic hydrocarbon compounds, branched or straight-chained.
An aliphatic bed liner may be a straight-chain made of hydrogen and carbon bonds, such as butane, or may be branched, such as isobutene.
This product contains pure polyurethane, which is made up of superior color materials. The color components are suitable for protecting colored truck beds.
The main advantage of aliphatic bed liners is their advanced UV light-resistant. The color is not affected by UV rays, which increases its durability.
The use of pure polyurethane makes this type of bed liner costly compared to others. The price of some brands may be higher by 35 percent.
Another advantage of aliphatic bed liners is that they can be applied in different colors and finishes, including all metallic finishes.
Aromatic materials are compounds that contain poly-isocyanates as part of their structure. The aromatic term is used to define the ring shape of the compound.
These compounds have excellent stability because of the shared delocalized pi-electron density between the carbon atoms that form the ring.
Poly-isocyanates are used worldwide in several important industries. They are used in coatings, adhesives, elastomers, and polyurethane foams.
These materials are cheaper compared to aliphatic ones, making them ideal for tight budgets. They’re available in black and dark shades.
The only issue is that the durability of the colors is less when you compare them to aliphatic truck bed liners.
Drop-In Bed Liner
This is a plastic material that you can install on your truck bed to reduce scratching and damage to the bed when hauling gear.
The best drop-in truck bed liner is made of a thick ribbed construction that provides better protection. This construction ensures there’s enough airflow for moisture evaporation.
A good quality product is made up of model-specific molds. This ensures a seamless construction, a perfect fit, and more cargo space.
The popularity of drop-in bed liners seems to decrease with the presence of high-quality spray-on products on the market.
Read more: Best Truck Bed Mat
According to research, aftermarket drop-in bed liners have a tendency of warping and trapping moisture underneath them, causing rusting.
Most people in the automotive community also claim that drop-ins can move around in the bed and create noise. This movement can also cause abrasion and/or scratching of the paint film.
Top 10 Best DIY Truck Bed Liners Review in 2020
There’s only one way to boost your truck’s retail value and make it work harder – buy the best DIY truck bed liner kit.
But there’re some things you have to consider if you’re shopping for bed liners for the first time. In this truck bed liner review, we have included all the crucial considerations.
1. Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit – Best Roll on Bedliner
- Black Liquid
- Petroleum-Like Odor
- 309°F Boiling Point
- 400°C Auto-Ignition Temperature
- 8 to 9 mmHg Vapor Pressure at 25°C
- The density of 1.03 g/cm3
- Forms Solid Gel in Water
This is a polyurethane-based brush-on bed liner that is formulated to be easily applied with a brush-on method.
It is a black liquid in its physical state and has a pigment appearance with a distinctive petroleum-like odor.
Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner has a boiling point of 309 degrees Fahrenheit, a flashpoint of 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and an auto-ignition temperature of 400 degrees Celsius.
The liquid has a density of 1.03 g/cm3 and a specific gravity of 1.06. It has a vapor pressure that ranges from 8 to 9 mmHg at 25 degrees Celsius.
This product has an exceptional coverage. You can apply two heavy-duty, brush-on coats with one gallon on a 6 SF truck bed.
With Herculiner, your pickup bed is covered with a textured, tough, bed liner that effectively prevents rust, chipping, peeling, or flaking.
The best part about this liner is that you can do a recoat on your old Herculiner application. You just have to prep the surface with a lacquer thinner and then apply two new coats.
For the best results, you should allow the prepping solutions to dry completely before applying Herculiner, and allow the coating at least twenty eight days to cure.
Things We Didn’t Like
It can gouge easily if you don’t give the application enough time to cure. So, it may not be the most ideal option if you’re in a hurry to use your truck.
2. U-Pol Raptor Black Truck Bed Liner Kit – Best for Deadening Sound and Vibration
- Black or Beige Liquid
- Aromatic Odor
- 1.05 Relative Density
- 480°C Auto Flammability
- -18°C Flash Point
- 6.6 (Upper) and 1.1 (Lower) Flammability Limits
- Insoluble in Water
This is a super-tough product that is incredibly versatile. It offers UV and chemical resistance, and it has great adhesion to a wide range of truck bed surfaces.
It is a perfect choice for DIY and professional users alike with simple mixing instructions. All you have to do is mix, shake, and spray.
U-Pol Raptor Black is a catalyzed urethane formula. Therefore, it is very strong, highly resistant to wear, and effective at deadening vibrations and sounds.
It is a black liquid in its physical form with an aromatic odor. It has lower and upper flammability limits of 1.1 and 6.6, respectively.
It has a flash point of -18 degrees Celsius, and auto-flammability point of 480 degrees Celsius, and a relative density of 1.05.
The Raptor has exceptional coverage. The 4, 750-ml bottles are enough for coating the bed of a Chevy Silverado. You’ll be able to apply two heavy and durable coats.
The drying time between coats was roughly an hour. But we gave the two coats a duration of about twenty four hours to cure before we put the truck to use.
You won’t have to worry about buying a separate spray gun for this kit because it comes complete with a functioning one.
Things We Didn’t Like
We weren’t impressed by the pot life of both the liner and the hardener. They tend to clog in the spray gun if you’re not fast enough with the application.
3. Rust-Oleum Truck Bed Coating – Best Bed Liner for Paint Job
- Liquid State
- Solvent Like Odor
- 230 to 290 °C Boiling Point
- 0.7 to 10.6 Explosive Limits
- >93°C Flash Point
- Heavier Than Air
- Slightly Soluble in Water
You will be amazed at how you can transform a worn, dented truck bed by applying a durable coating as well as abrasion resistant.
Rust-Oleum is one of the most trusted DIY solutions for restoring a heavily used truck bed. With a textured, non-skid finish, your cargo will no longer slide around.
It is a black liquid in its physical state with a solvent like odor. It is heavier than air and slower than ether with a boiling point that ranges from 230°C to 390°C.
This formula is not compatible with strong acids and strong oxidizing agents. You’re strongly advised to avoid ignition sources because the liquid has hazardous decomposition.
It is a polymer based coating that’s effective at preventing damage caused by weather, rust, and scratches from sharp objects.
You can use all methods of application, but the most recommended are brush-on or roll-on methods. The formula doesn’t need a hardener because it has a reliable pot life.
It may take up to four coats to successfully get a textured finish, and a few days for the coats to cure properly. But the results are worth the struggle.
Things We Didn’t Like
First, we didn’t like the solvent-like odor, which was pretty awful. But the application process was a breeze with a respirator and a pair of glasses.
Second, the formula takes a pretty long time to cure effectively. In our case, it took around seven days for four coats to cure completely.
4. Dupli-Color Bed Armor Truck Bed Liner – Best Water-Based Polyurethane Coating
- Water Based Polyurethane Liquid
- 79°C Boiling Point
- 100°C Flash Point
- 0.13 Evaporation Rate
- 12.5 (Upper) and 0.6 (Lower) Explosive Limits
- 2.3 kPa Vapor Pressure
- 1 Vapor Density
- 1.12 Relative Density
Dupli-Color Bed Armor is the only truck bed coating formulated with Kevlar. It is a water based polyurethane; so, it doesn’t have harsh chemicals or solvent smell.
Being a water based liquid product, it is very easy to use and apply. Also, it is effortless to clean up with soap and water.
This is a rubberized textured coating, which means it is highly impact resistant, and it will not peel, chip, or flake easily with heavy use.
Dupli-Color Armor Bed has a boiling point of 79 degrees Fahrenheit, an evaporation rate of 0.13, and a vapor pressure of 2.3 kPa.
The formula is stable, but there’s no specific data available on the reactivity of the coating or its ingredients. Hazardous reactions and decomposition will not occur under normal conditions.
One gallon of the formula can cover a significantly large area. You may only need three cans to cover the bed of a Ranger.
The formula has no working pot life, which means you can easily reuse it. Also, the coating should dry and cure pretty well in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F.
Things We Didn’t Like
The product was thinner than we had hoped for. So, we had to apply several coats to get the perfect protection for heavy use.
The bed liner seemed to have a clumpy texture when we applied it on our truck bed using the brush-on method. We had to use a foam roller for a smooth texture.
5. PlastiKote Truck Bed Liner – Best Spray Can Bedliner
Model: 264 Black
- Black Color
- Organic Solvent Odor
- -42°C to 0°C Initial Boiling Point
- < -60°C CC Flash Point
- Vapor Heavier Than Air
PlastiKote is one of the best DIY sprays in Bedliner in the market. It has you covered for your scratch repair needs, automotive touch-up, specialty paint, and automotive paint.
This is a black aerosol formula with an organic solvent like smell. It has an initial boiling point range of -42 to 0 degrees Celsius at a pressure of 760 mmHg.
Its vapor density is less than one and heavier than air. But the vapor may spread at a ground level. So, it is a good idea to keep all sources of ignition away from the product.
The flammability limits are not provided, but the formula is considered to be extremely flammable and highly volatile.
When applied properly, PlastiKote forms a durable, airtight barrier that protects against moisture, spills, chemicals, rust, and damaged caused by cargo.
If you do the surface prep and paint job poorly, this product will give you a plastic-like finish. That will be hard, but not as durable as you would have expected.
Things We Didn’t Like
The nozzle of the spray can is too narrow, making the product dry too fast. This made it harder to get an even coat on the bed of our 2009 Toyota Tacoma.
That’s not all, the nozzle clogged, and the trigger broke when our expert was half with the job. We believe this product could be better with a high-quality spray can.
6. Liner Xtreeme Spray on Bed Liner Kit – Best Non Slip Truck Bed Liner
- Black in Color
- Epoxy/Urethane Toughness
- Solvent Like Odor
Line Xtreeme is one of the best spray-on bed liner systems that are incredibly versatile. It has excellent adhesion to a wide range of surfaces.
It is a black liquid in its physical form that gives an epoxy/urethane toughness. It creates a hard shell coating on your truck bed for superior protection.
The rock-hard surface created by this product provides great toughness, adhesion, and exceptional resistance to harmful UV rays.
A double layered coat that is given enough time to dry and cure will ensure that UV rays don’t fade the paintwork, even after hours of exposure.
The presence of epoxy substrates in the product improves its waterproofing properties. This ensures there’s no favorable environment for rusting and corrosion.
The liner doesn’t take ages to dry under normal temperatures. We applied two coats after a duration of 24 hours between the coats for the best results.
The black formula contains Kevlar, which means you don’t have to use a primer when prepping the surface. But we believe the best results can be achieved with thorough surface prepping.
If you are new to truck bed liner applications, we advise you to use a crumb additive, a polymer, a reducer, and an industrial coating thinner to increase the pot life of the formula.
Things We Didn’t Like
The formula turned out not to be the most economical choice for us. We had to use three gallons to cover the bed of our 2016 Dodge Ram.
The provided spray gun didn’t turn out to be as resourceful as we had hoped for. It clogged twenty minutes into the paintwork.
7. Al’s Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit – Best for Multiple Color Options
- Black in Color
- 100 PSI Tear, Split
- 88 Hardness (Shore A)
- 351.7 PSI Tear, Die C
- 2300 PSI Tensile Strength
Al’s Bedliner is basically a three-part urethane textured coating. It has several uses, including metal, concrete, wood, and plastic.
All the parts in the kit come pre-measured. This makes it easier for an inexperienced user to mix the components. In fact, all the containers are labeled for ease of use.
All you have to do is pour parts C, B, and Tint into part A and mix them together. You can also blend the parts in smaller amounts.
The black tint will give you a black liquid. But you can modify the provided tint or create your own customized tint for a true color match.
The manufacturer provides a wide range of additives and accessories. This enables you to duplicate the hardness and texture of any bed liner product in the market.
Bed liner materials have a tendency of clogging inside a spray gun. Al’s provides you with a spray gun cleaner that prevents the formula from sticking to the interior of the gun.
You can also boost the durability of your Al’s liner with Al’s Vinyl Flattener. This product ensures your truck bed gets a custom matte or semi-gloss finish.
Things We Didn’t Like
The three-part kit and additional additives and accessories may be too complicated for inexperienced users. It’s easy for someone to mess things up.
The little tank compressor was not enough. We had to use a slightly large one that puts out enough cubic feet per minute to supply the spray gun.
8. Raptor Roll-On Black Coating – Best Two Part Urethane Coating
- Urethane Toughness
- Solvent Like Odor
Raptor Roll-On is a two-part urethane based bed liner that gives your Ford Ranger and other surfaces ultra-tough protection.
It is a black liquid in its physical form with a distinctive odor. It forms a very durable barrier that features urethane toughness.
This ensures the surface of your Ranger or any other pickup is fully protected from fuels, chemical spillages, corrosion, scratches, and impact.
This product adheres well to metal, concrete, fiberglass, plastic, and wood. In fact, the roller kit is super easy to use.
Pour the activated Raptor mixture into a paint tray. Use a fine roller for a flat effect and a coarse roller for a coarse texture.
The product dries up pretty quickly, allowing you to apply subsequent coats in short intervals. It also performs great in all climates, and it’s capable of resisting the effects of UV rays.
This formula cannot be applied directly over a rusted surface. If there’s rust on your truck bed, you will have to do a complete surface prep and use a primer before application.
Things We Didn’t Like
The application was easy, but the effectiveness of the rollers died half-way into the paint job. So, we had to get a similar pair, incurring additional costs.
The product is also not economical. We had to use more than two gallons to transform the look of our truck bed completely.
9. Speedokote T-Rex Black Bed Liner – Best Abrasion and Stain Resistant Bedliner
- Black in Color
- Solvent Like Odor
- 132.89°F Initial Boiling Point
- -4.0°F Flash Point
- 12.8 (Upper) and 1.3 (Lower) Flammability Limits
- 145.88 hPa Vapor Pressure
- 869°F Auto-Ignition Temperature
Speedokote T-Rex is a 50-state compliant, two-part urethane truck bed liner. It is a super-fast coating for truck beds, trunk interiors, frames, and wheel wells among others.
It is a black liquid in its physical state with a solvent odor. The formula has a boiling point of 132.89 degrees Fahrenheit and a flash point of -4.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
The estimated upper and lower flammability limits are 12.8% and 1.3% respectively, but info on upper and lower explosive limits isn’t available.
The estimated vapor pressure of the product is 145.88 hPa, but info on vapor density and relative density are not available.
The formula is non-reactive and stable under normal conditions of transport, storage and use. Though, there’s a possibility of hazardous reactions if exposed to extreme conditions.
The product is easy to apply with a universal applicator gun. All you have to do is add the hardener to the formula, then shake and spray.
The drying time of the product is remarkably short. After a two-minute interval, apply a very light second coat at 80 PSI. You will get the best results with a fast sweeping motion.
Things We Didn’t Like
The four cans weren’t enough for our full-sized truck bed. We had to add two more cans to get the job done properly.
The product was thinner and took a considerable amount of time to cure properly. Also, it seemed to flatten out during application, which can be a problem for an inexperienced user.
10. POR 15 OEM Bed Liner – Best Product for Professional Use
- Black in Color
- Latex Paint Odor
- >212°F Initial Boiling Point
- >212°F Closed Cup Flash Point
- 8.17 lbs./gal Density
- 3000-5000 cps Dynamic Viscosity
The POR 15 OEM Bed Liner is a professional rubberized, water based coating that is suitable for protecting truck beds, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum surfaces.
It is a black liquid in appearance with a latex paint odor. It has an estimated boiling point and a flash point that is greater than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
The density of the formula is 8.17 lbs./gal, and its dynamic viscosity ranges from 3000 to 5000 cps. Information on explosive and oxidizing properties is not available.
The bed liner is non-reactive and stable under normal conditions of storage and use. There’s no possibility of a hazardous reaction under normal conditions.
POR 15 rust prevention technologies ensure you get superior adhesion, flexibility, strong impact resistance, and a glossy texturized black finish.
This formula also stands out as one of the best when it comes to UV resistance. Exposure to sunlight will not damage or fade the coating easily.
It doesn’t have a limiting pot life, which means you can take your time during the application process. It is also a low-odor formula, making it easier to clean with soap and water.
Things We Didn’t Like
It may not be the best product for a heavily abused or damaged truck bed. We didn’t get the most satisfying results on our 2007 Dodge Ram.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Best Spray In Bed Liner
You’ve just invested in a new truck. Now you have to protect it with a lining that can absorb not just the hard knocks, but the random elements from the surrounding.
You pretty much want a high-quality brand for your new truck. Did you know there numerous brands out there? There’re several reasons why you should care about the brand.
First, only the most renowned brands are slip-resistant, impact absorbent, dent resilient, scratch-resistant, and abrasion-resistant.
Second, ease of installation. It doesn’t matter how expensive the liner is; if the installation is a hassle, you might probably be better off with a cheaper brand that’s easy to install.
Third, durability. A brand worth buying is one that will last longer. You don’t want a product that fades after a few camping trips.
These three factors are what mainly define the popularity of a brand. Some top quality brands that we recommend are: Herculiner, U-Pol Raptor, Rust-Oleum, and Dupli-Color.
Customization is everything in the automotive aftermarket. So, you have to look for a brand that provides a full spectrum of color to choose from.
A color matched sprayed-in truck bed liner is more eye-catching. The best colored products should have a higher toner density.
Some of the most popular colors that you can consider are:
- Desert Sand
- Light Grey
- HD Orange
- Custom Colors
Your choice of truck bed liner color shouldn’t just be aesthetic, but it should also provide the much needed protection against the elements and loading/offloading of gear.
A good choice provides you with the following:
- A color-matched truck bed
- A durable and rich gloss finish with a just-sprayed look
- Stronger protection against punctures, gouges, and scratches
- Creates a durable colored topcoat for added protection
- Provides reliable protection against UV damage
The best truck bed liner must be able to protect your truck from the elements Mother Nature throws at it all day long.
So, the product has to be:
- UV resistant
- Abrasion resistant
- Scratch resistant
- Dent resistant
- Impact absorbent
- Slip resistant
The liner has to be impermeable to water in order to prevent corrosion. The coating must be able to withstand massive abuse during loading and offloading of gear.
Apart from endurance, the bed liner should also match the color or décor of your truck bed. And it should be able to maintain its original color for a long time.
The material you choose for your bed liner matters a lot. A poor quality material could easily get damaged and force you to suffer in a short period of time.
Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Materials
Most sprays on truck bed liners are made of polyurethane-based materials. But the performance of these products differs, depending on how they were formulated.
For example, you might find a product that is very effective at preventing corrosion, but the finish turns out not to be as visually appealing as you had imagined.
The objective is to choose a product that provides you the best: UV resistant, abrasion resistant, scratch resistant, dent resistant, impact absorbent, slip resistant, and waterproof.
Drop-In Truck Bed Liner Materials
Most drop-on truck bed liners are made of durable plastic materials. The main advantage of plastic is that you can contour it into any shape you desire.
Plastic liners are the cheapest on the market. They tend to move; so, the liner can damage the paintwork of your truck bed.
The second drop-on truck bed material you can consider is a bedrug carpet that is permanently bonded to a layer of closed-cell foam padding.
This is the right choice if your truck bed is taking a beating from razor-edged props, watersports gear, and spill-prone containers.
The best bedrug carpets resist stains from abusive materials, such as oil, grease, gas, and can be hosed down should spillage occur.
The third material you can consider is aluminum. This is a suitable material if you’ll be loading/offloading sharp-edged or heavy gear on your truck bed.
The best aluminum liners are made from three-millimeter material that is strong, robust, hardwearing, and durable.
Most drop-in aluminum lining systems are compatible with most makes of canopies, covers, and roller shutter tops.
They don’t move once installed; so, they provide reliable protection for the paintwork below. But they may cause a few scratches on the bed.
This is one of the most important considerations when searching for the best DIY truck bed liner.
Truck bed liners are usually measured to 1/8-inch (125 mils), which is the standard thickness. This is the perfect thickness for optimal utility in the bed of your pickup.
Beware of thin truck bed liners; they’re usually cheaper and easier to gouge. They won’t survive a beating from spill-prone containers, razor-edged props, and watersports gear.
Ideally, one gallon of a bed liner product should give you a thickness of about 20 to 60 mils across an area of 60 square ft.
This simply means that the thicker a spray-on bed liner is, the less coats you will need to apply. A thinner product would need you to apply many coats to achieve similar results.
Sprayed-on truck bed liner materials can vary in color and texture. The texture can be rough to help prevent slipping or smooth for ease of cleaning.
Your objective should be to buy a product that has a uniform texture (either smooth or rough), and reliable skid resistance.
Usually, there’re no compatibility issues when buying a spray-on bed liner for your truck. These products can be used with any truck make and model.
But the same assumption can’t be made when buying drop-in bed liners. The product has to be compatible with your truck’s make and model.
With a compatible drop-on liner, you won’t have to drill holes into your truck’s bed for you to fit the liner. A matching liner will have caps and holes to fit screws.
Mode of Application
There’re two main methods of applying truck bed liner products: by using a spray gun or by using a roll-on brush.
A spray gun is one of the most popular modes of application. For this method, you only need a small compressor of about 25 psi that you’re going to hook to your spray gun.
You always want to keep safety in mind as well and keep a pair of safety glasses, a respirator, gloves, and an overall/apron with you.
When compared to a roller kit, a spray gun is much easier to use and is effective for use with bulk cans. Not to mention that it provides superior coverage.
This mode of application needs you to be careful, though. If you point the spray gun on a specific part for a long time, you might end up over spraying.
If you are a beginner, consider buying a spray-on bed liner kit with a gun that has a condensed nozzle. Also, look for one with an ergonomic trigger and a chemical resistant siphon tube.
The siphon tube should be long enough for easy maneuverability. Otherwise, you will have to carry the can around as you change position when spraying.
Most high-end kits come complete with two rollers, one roller handle, a two-inch application brush, and abrasive material.
Using the roller kit is quite easy once you’re done prepping the bed surface. You will use the 2-inch brush in the tight corners where the roller will not reach.
You can also use an aerosol for the tight to reach places. Then you will apply two to three coats using the supplied roller and frame. The roller has to be moved from front to back.
When using the roller kit, you need to wear the necessary personal protective equipment, such as protective glasses, an apron, and a pair of chemical resistant gloves.
Pot life is the length of time in which the flow properties of a spray-on bed liner will not change within an acceptable range of applications.
This is something that is mentioned on the product’s label. For example, you might come across a product label 20 minutes pot life.
This means the working time once you have poured the product into the provided tray. The pot life is usually based on a small amount of about 100 mils.
If you use a larger amount of material, you could have the stated pot life quite easily. So, pot life is dependent on the mass and the temperature.
Always choose products that have a longer pot life. Also, you can buy ready-to-use truck bed liners, which have no pot life.
You would probably assume that all bed liners have the same curing time, but that’s not entirely true.
An ideal product will cure properly within a time period of 24 hours, while other products may take up to a week to cure.
If you are planning to use your truck within a short period of time after application, you should go for products with shorter curing time.
What’s a warranty? This is a guarantee provided by the manufacturer to replace or repair a defective bed liner.
But as you well know, truck bed liners take a serious beating every time you use it to carry cargo or camping gear.
We took a closer look at a number of warranties from various manufacturers. Most of them are promotional instead of promising.
The sad truth is that a good number of these warranties aren’t reliable. As such, you should be very selective and only go for popular manufacturers with strong reputations.
You should also know that some manufacturer’s warranties exclude commercial use, which is quite disappointing, considering how heavy the products are advertised.
The cost of the best truck bed liner kit may vary from one place to another. But the average cost of a spray-on bed liner may range from 300 to 700 US dollars.
The price range seems to be large. That’s because there’re a number of variables to consider, such as liner quality, container size, and included accessories (roller kit or spray gun).
The cheapest bed liners are usually drop-in models. The cost of these products may range from as little as $50 to about $400.
Health and Environmental Effect
Spray-on bed liners are very effective at protecting your truck bed from excessive wear and damage. Did you know there’re health and environmental effects attached to these products?
Protecting your truck bed liner is important but not as important as your personal safety on the job.
Polyurethane protective liner systems are made by combining an isocyanate, such as MDI, with a polyol resin blend that may contain several chemical ingredients.
These materials need you to follow defined precautions and procedures, and to use specialized, personal protective equipment.
Effects of Overexposure
Let’s start by learning about the potential effects of overexposure to isocyanates. It’s possible to come in contact with isocyanate by breathing, skin contact, eye contact, or swallowing.
If you feel short of breath, start coughing, or develop chest tightness while spraying, stop the application process immediately, and expose yourself to fresh air.
This could be a reaction to the isocyanate. Look for medical attention immediately to neutralize the effects.
Respiratory sensitization may occur due to overexposure to the spray-on truck bed liner. This is an allergic reaction that is similar to an asthmatic reaction.
A reaction could occur as soon as you start to work with the compound, or it could occur later. Even after you have completed the application process.
It’s possible that a sprayed-in bed liner could come in contact with your skin or eyes when handling or spraying.
Repeated skin contact with the product may cause redness, discoloration, and in some cases, skin sensitization.
If you get the product on your skin, you are advised to thoroughly wash the affected part of your body with mild soap and warm flowing water.
Getting the product in your eyes can be painful and could cause irritation and tearing. You should immediately wash the eyes with running water for at least fifteen minutes. Then look for immediate medical help.
Additional Features and Accessories
Spray-on truck bed liners are mainly made up of isocyanates, which are a group of very toxic and reactive compounds.
These products are usually available in liquid form, and the color may vary from one product to another.
Most safety data sheets of these products don’t provide a lot of information on the chemical properties of the products.
But you should be able to find information on: melting/freezing points, flammability limits, vapor exposure, auto-flammability, and solubility in the water, among others.
According to safety data sheets, all spray-in truck bed liners are stable under normal operating conditions. But you are advised to avoid sources of ignition.
All the primary sources of ignition to avoid include but are not limited to smoking, open flames, sparks, hot surfaces, and heat.
Most of these products are incompatible with water, oxidizing agents, strong bases, and strong acids.
Hazardous decomposition products may include carbon monoxide, prussic acid, and nitrogen oxides, among other flammable gasses.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment requirements are established by OSHA. By taking proper precautions, you can help protect yourself from overexposure.
Your personal protective equipment should include:
- Respirator nose guard
- Chemical resistant gloves
- Chemical resistant aprons or overalls
- Fitted boots
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You should only apply a spray-on truck bed liner when wearing the abovementioned personal protective equipment until the airborne concentration of the product is below safe levels.
Surface Preparation Accessories
Surface prepping is extremely important when using bed liners. This ensures that the coating provides superior protection and durability.
There’re a number of accessories you will need for surface preparation, including:
- Screw Extractors
You’ll need screw extractors to remove any existing drop-in bed liner. Also, remove any tight-on anchors you won’t want to be covered by the bed liner from the sides.
- Vacuum Cleaner
You need a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris from the bed, including rust particles.
- Wax-Free Soap, Warm Water & Grease, and Wax Remover
You’ll need to clean your entire truck bed with warm water and wax-free soap. Then complete the cleaning with grease and wax remover.
- Sanding Pad/Sponge
When the bed of your truck dries, you’ll scrub the whole surface with a sanding pad in order to ensure the product bonds properly to the bed.
- Painters Tape
Apply the tape along the perimeter of the truck for a clean line-up. You can also use the tape for covering drain plugs and other parts of the truck that you don’t want the bed liner to cover.
- Additional Accessories
If your kit calls for any additional treatments of adhesion promoter or primer, you’ll need to buy and apply them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions – Truck Bed Liner
A truck bed liner is a product that you can use to protect the inner side of your truck bed from scratching and corrosion.
This product also helps to create a skid-resistant surface. This allows you to load and offload cargo without damaging the surface.
This is a complete bed liner system that offers protection for the entire truck bed, including the tailgate, load guard, and wheel wells.
A dual liner comes in five pieces. So, you get the durability of a custom fitted liner without having to resort to drilling into your truck.
After hours of shopping and testing, we can confidently conclude that the top three best truck bed liners you can buy are Herculiner, U-Pol Raptor, and Rust-Oleum.
Yes, the best truck bed liner has to be waterproof. This is one of the most important reasons for installing a bed liner on your truck bed.
Usually, this product produces a water-tight seal that is impermeable to moisture and rain. This helps to prevent rusting and corrosion.
Yes, you can paint over your pickup bed liner. But we believe it is not over your newly coated bed liner, which cost you a significant amount of money.
If you accidentally spill a white-based primer over your black truck bed liner, you can use high-quality paint to rectify the situation.
Any bed liner is formulated to protect your truck bed from scratching, rusting, corrosion, chemical spillage, and hail. But it is not bulletproof.
It will stick to your chrome bumper. Just get a matching color product and use a coarse or smooth roller to get the formula on the chrome.
Not to mention that most quality bed liners have excellent UV resistance. This will help protect the chrome from fading.
Different manufacturers have different claims concerning the coverage of their products. For example, a given brand may claim that one gallon is enough for a full-size truck bed.
But that may not be the case when you are actually doing the paintwork.
So, it is advisable to get the necessary measurements of your truck bed, and then calculate the amount of bed liner you would need for the job.
The application process starts with surface prepping, which depends mostly on the condition of your truck bed. You might take a longer or shorter duration prepping the surface.
You also have to consider weather conditions, such as humidity levels and temperatures of the day you are planning to do the paintwork.
All factors considered, you’ll probably need around four hours to complete the DIY project. But curing may take time, depending on the quality of the product.
Yes, you can paint over your entire truck with a bed liner. It is a new trend among truck owners in the automotive community.
The best truck bed liner will provide your truck with a distinctive exterior coating that is rugged, texturized, and durable in appearance.
Yes, you can use a high-quality, multipurpose bed liner on wood, such as Al’s Spray and POR 15 bed liners.
Applying a bed liner on wood has a number of advantages: prevents rotting, gives a non-slip texture, and protects wood from moisture.
A DIY project is way cheaper than a dealer project. Depending on your location, you might incur up to $700 to get a truck bed liner installed by a dealer.
A DIY may cost half of what a dealer is charging you. You will only incur the cost of surface prepping accessories and a DIY truck bed liner kit.
According to the hazard alert by OSHA, spray-on bed liners are not free of the hazardous chemical. The alert states that these products contain isocyanates (aliphatic and aromatic compounds).
The compounds are said to have poor odor warning features. So, you can’t depend on your sense of smell to tell if you have been exposed to harmful chemicals or not.
Isocyanates exposure can lead to adverse health effects. Not to mention that they’re strong irritants to the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal, and mucous membrane.
Yes, you need to handle spray-on bed liners with care. So, you must wear the necessary personal protective equipment, especially when using a spray gun.
Wearing protective gear helps prevent emergencies from inhalation, irritants, and absorption of the harmful chemicals found in bed liners.
The best spray-on bed liner provides optimal thickness and seamless coverage. Most drop-on products need drilling holes in the bed, and they may vibrate loose over time.
Plastic drop-on bed liners are cheaply made. They’ll surely fade, crack or warp over time. But a spray-on formula provides a strong bond with the bed for long-lasting protection and durability.
A spray-on or a drop-in bed liner is made of durable and waterproofing materials. So, you can use your all-purpose cleaning liquid or gel.
You can easily hose out any dirt and debris from the bed liner, but don’t make the mistake of using silicone products. They tend to reduce skid resistance properties.
Yes, a spray-on truck bed liner is repairable. If you haven’t done this before, it will be wise to take the truck to a dealer and have it repaired and reconditioned.
A repair helps to correct cosmetic issues, including blisters, peeling, and fading color. It also improves the bottom line and the resale value of your truck.
Our Editor’s choice is the Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner. We give it a five-star rating in application, protection, and durability.
Our runner-up position goes to the U-Pol Raptor Black Truck Bed Liner. This is a tough product that is incredibly versatile.
Overall, you should be concerned about the following when looking for the best DIY truck bed liner:
This includes UV resistant, abrasion resistant, scratch resistant, dent resistant, impact absorbent, slip resistant, and waterproofing.
For a DIY project, the product should be easy to apply. If it is a two-part or a three-part formula, it should be easy to blend.
How many coats will you need to get the perfect thickness and durability? Does the product bond strongly with the bed? Does it form an impact and abrasion resistant layer that will last?
The main purpose of a bed liner is to provide protection for your truck bed. But you need to choose a formula with great UV protection. This will prevent fading, protecting your matte or texturized finish.
Now you have all the information you need to choose your most preferred truck bed liner for your DIY project. Good luck on your selection.