The Best DIY Truck Bed Liner


Bed liners typically consist of rubberized paint that protects the surface that it is attached to. Several options exist for do-it-yourself kits, from spray on kits to roll on kits to drop in bed liners. The best bed liner is really a choice of personal preference. Kits can range from $50 for a roll on kit, $200 for a spray on kit that includes a spray gun, all the way to a drop in bed liner that costs $300 or more.

Material and colors

  • You can choose from a variety of textures and colors for your bed liner. Textures can range from smooth to extremely abrasive and bumpy, and everything from primary colors to custom fluorescent tones can be found from paint dealers. Textured bed liners are best suited for people who who are not worried about their cargo being scraped, such as contractors hauling lumber or gravel. Smoother textures and best suited for someone who uses the cargo space to haul fragile items that are easily scraped or damaged.

Application and installation

  • Installing the do-it-yourself bed liner involves a lot of preparation work. This can affect the decision because of the time involved in the process. All the kits, whether spray on or roll on, require you to sand the area you want to coat in bed liner be sanded, and that you cover the rest of the vehicle to protect against overspray. This is the most time consuming part of the installation. Once the preparation has been completed, spray on kits go on faster than roll on kits. Spray guns cover more surface area per stroke than the roller. In total, spray on kits take around two hours to apply and roll on take around three hours to install. If you have more time, the roll on kits may be easier because there is no need for a compressor or a spray gun. The final option is the drop in bed liner, which comes in vehicle specific applications. They can come in one solid piece or several pieces and only take about 10 inutes to install. Drop in bed liners simply squeeze into position and the expansion of the bed liner holds it in place. Most will have a lip that sits over the bed rail and bulkhead of the truck. Other bed liners will require that the factory installed bed cleats be removed and reinstalled over the bed liner to hold it in place.

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