Do It Yourself Bed Liner – The Pickup Truck Guide

Is your bed liner starting to show its age? Is it time to replace your bed liner but you do not want to spend a fortune? Every pickup truck owner knows that a bed liner is an essential accessory. Not only can it stop your cargo from moving around but it can also protect the bed and side walls of your truck. So, if yours has developed cracks or is looking old, the time has come to replace your bed liner.

But do you have to spend a lot of money on this accessory? The answer is no. With our do it yourself bed liner guide, you can improve your pickup truck today.

Do It Yourself Bed Liner vs Professional Bed Liner

You may be in a dilemma whether you want to attempt a bed liner or opt for a professional service. Well, the first question to ask yourself is; what is your budget? If you are looking for affordable options when it comes to replacing this accessory, you are going to want to choose a do it yourself bed liner. You can dramatically cut your costs by attempting this project yourself.

Doing this project yourself can actually be faster too. Often, a professional service will have a waiting time and you may be in a hurry to renovate your truck bed. So, purchasing the products and getting started is going to be a lot quicker than waiting your turn at the auto shop.

What’s more, if you are a car enthusiast, you are going to enjoy a project like this. This is a very rewarding project you can do that can instantly transform a pickup truck. No matter what age your vehicle is, do it yourself bed liner kits are suitable to use. Being able to improve your truck yourself is fun and satisfying.

Types of Bed Liners

If you have decided you want to attempt the do it yourself bed liner, you will suddenly realize that there are a lot of options and brands to choose from. Namely, we want to talk about the drop-in bed liner and some do it yourself bed liner options.

Drop-In Bed Liner

If you know a little about pickup trucks, you have probably heard about the drop-in bed liner before. This can as an accessory on a new vehicle. Just as the name suggests, this is a bed liner that simply drops into the bed of your truck. Sometimes, they will have to be bolted in.

There are some benefits of a drop-in bed liner. Namely, there is not a lot of work involved and it is a quick way to improve your truck. But there are a lot of disadvantages to this option, which makes people search for ways to do it themselves.

The Disadvantages

For instance, drop-in bed liners can work out expensive. You have to purchase one that is going to fit snuggly in your truck bed. Otherwise, it is going to move around and cause a lot of rattling when you are driving. In addition, you may have to lay out more money if you cannot find one to fit your truck. In other words, you have to have a bed liner customized for you. Again, this raises the price tag.

What’s more, if you do a lot of manual work, drop-in bed liners simply might not be good enough for you. They are often made from plastic and rubber and this does not make them the most durable option in the world. They are often smooth with no a lot of texture, which can mean they do not hold smaller cargo in place securely.

Over time, drop-in bed liners can actually damage your truck bed. They move around and this can scratch the truck. It can also mean that dirt and debris is able to get in underneath and this can lead to rust.

Do It Yourself Bed Liners

So, we have explained that drop-in bed liners are not going to be for everyone. What are the alternative options available? Thankfully, over the years, more do it yourself bed liner kits have been released.

Namely, there are two you want to be aware of:

  • Spray-On Liners
  • Brush-On Liners

Let’s go into more detail about these two options so that you can decide whether you want to embark on this project for your truck.

Spray-On Bed Liner

First of all, let’s explain more about spray-on bed liner kits. Essentially, this is a product that is going to let you spray on a new bed liner into your truck. There are two varieties to be aware of. The first option is going to be a tin can that you spray onto the truck bed. Alternatively, a lot of people are enjoying the newer kits that include a nozzle and spray gun. This means the bed liner product starts as a liquid and it is sprayed onto the truck bed. Both options require you to wait until the product dries so that you can use the new liner.

The Advantages

There are many advantages to choosing a spray-on bed liner kit. Namely, a lot of truck enthusiasts love how it is permanent. Unlike a drop-in liner, this is an option that is going to last for a long time. Spray-on bed liners often use polyurethane, which is going to provide you with a very durable finish. This is good at dealing with a lot of loading and unloading, as well as being resistant to liquids and chemicals.

spray gun for spray-on bed liner

With the inclusion of the spray gun, a lot of enthusiasts report that it is very quick to complete their bed liner. This allows for a non-messy way to improve the vehicle and without having to get your hands dirty.

Things to Know

There are some things you need to be aware of with the spray-on bed liner. For instance, you will need to do some practicing with the spray gun or tin can before you use it on your truck. This is to ensure that you get even coverage. The nozzle will have varying pressures and you will have to get used to it so that you do not end up with patches. You can practice on a piece of cardboard and see how far the liquid can go. Always wait a while before adding another coat.

Brush-On Bed Liner

Next, we are going to talk about the brush-on bed liner. This can also be referred to as a roll-on bed liner. The difference comes down to the tools you use to apply the bed liner paint. Essentially, you will be able to choose from an ordinary paintbrush or a roller. They are both going to be able to spread the product well once you get familiar with using them.

The Advantages

Again, people like brush-on bed liner products because it is a permanent solution to their dirty and old truck bed. What’s more, the bed liner it creates is tough and very durable. Since you are applying the product by hand, you can choose how thick you make the layer of product. There are options that are going to provide grip in your bed liner, which will stop cargo from moving around.

Brush for brush-on bed liner

If you are not confident with a spray gun, you may prefer using a traditional brush or roller. You can feel like you have more control of where the product goes and you can take your time. Brush-on bed liners can also be more affordable since there are fewer tools necessary for application.

Things to Know

One thing that you should remember with brush-on bed liner is that you are applying the product by hand. This means that it can be easier to miss some hidden areas of your truck bed. You will have to be very meticulous when you are applying it. It may be best to climb in the back of your truck bed and move systematically down to the end. This is going to ensure you can see all areas and not smudge any of the product as you go.

Tips for Choosing a Do It Yourself Bed Liner Product

Remember that not every vehicle product is created equally. If something is exceptionally cheap and not in line with other brands, the chances are, it might be an inferior product. Therefore, you need to look carefully and shop around before you decide. Here are some tips on how to choose a do it yourself bed liner.

Enjoy Freedom of Color

You may not have realized that you have a lot of freedom with do it yourself bed liners. In other words, you can choose the color. You can match the body of your truck or opt for black. This is your decision and you can have some fun with it.

Choose One with UV Protection

Think about your truck bed liner. It is constantly exposed to the element and the natural sunlight. One of the main reasons why a bed liner starts to discolor is because of the sunshine. One way you can stop this from happening is by choosing a product that offers UV protection.

Select Sound Proof

Some do it yourself bed liners have been designed to provide soundproofing. In other words, they can help with vibration and road noise. If this is something that bothers you, look for a product that states this on the kit.

Know the Drying Time

Are you in a hurry to create your bed liner? Well, if this is the case, you need to know the drying time of a product before you purchase it. It is essential that you stick to the instructions for that product. Otherwise, you can damage your hard work and not get the result you want.

Thus, take a look at the drying time before you purchase a product. Each brand is going to be different. But you can expect drying time to be somewhere from two to 12 hours. Some products will also have guidance of when you can start to use the bed liner for heavy-duty use. This can be up to three days.

Ensure Proper Preparation

No matter what product you purchase, there is one step that is the most important of them all. We are talking about preparation. You have to ensure that your truck bed is ready and prepared properly to achieve the best results. We know that you will be excited to start on the project. But this is one step you have got to make sure that you do. It will be worth it!

You have to make sure that you are removing any dirt, grit and dust from the bed truck, as well as any other residue. Even the smallest amounts are going to affect the finished product and jeopardize the lifespan of the product.

Wash the truck bed

For example, just small amounts of dirt can lead to air pockets. These are going to be able to trap moisture. Over time, this is going to mean that your bed liner will chip and pieces will start to peel off.

Always Clean Before Applying Do It Yourself Bed Liner

Therefore, you have to do more than just power wash the truck bed. You need to get your hands dirty and use soap and water to wipe away the dirt and debris. Doing this by hand is also going to help get rid of any grease and oils that might be present. If you have a really old truck bed, it is recommended that you sand it down so that you have a smooth surface to work with.

Then you need to tape all of the edges. While you think you are being careful, it is easy to get some of the product on the outside body. This is going to be difficult to remove. So, tape up areas before you start. Then, you can enjoy applying the do it yourself bed liner. Always ensure you read the instructions thoroughly before you begin.

Have you discovered you love projects you can do by yourself Check out our DIY furniture projects you can start!

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