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Sure, DIY truck-bed liners can protect your truck-bed interior, but they can also protect lots of other stuff, from industrial machinery to that functional but ugly toolbox you picked up at the flea market. You can also apply bed liner to surfaces that need to be non-slip, like helipads. Regardless of which brand you go with, you’re getting the same basic product: a polyurethane base, usually color-tinted, with recycled tire chunks suspended within. It sticks to nearly anything, even itself, making for easy repairs.

So have any of you found extraordinary uses for this stuff? How has it held up in your truck bed? Tell us about it in the comments.

Durabak [Official Site]
Herculiner [Official Site]
Lava-Liner [Official Site]

 

20 Responses to Hot or Not? Do-It-Yourself Truck-Bed Liner

  1. Jim Nutt says:

    The stuff is great, but you do have to watch what you get it on (warning, you may laugh until you cry at this…): http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=18595&pagenumber=1

  2. Old Coot says:

    I guess I’m not clear on the concept. I primarily want my bed liner to prevent visible dent-throughs from tossed objects (firewood, tools, demo debris, etc.) which means I want a drop-in liner that stands away from the sidewalls, not just a thick coat of goo over the original bed paint. So what’s the deal with this spray-on stuff? It costs big bucks, doesn’t really look cool, and gives almost zero protection from dents that will show on the outer body.

  3. Jim Nutt says:

    It does two things, one it helps prevent rusting out as it’s considerably tougher than the paint and not likely to scratch or peel. Two, it does help against dents as it’s more elastic and absorbs some of the impact energy. Besides, aren’t almost all truck beds double walled these days? You’d have to hit it pretty hard to get a visible dent through that way.

  4. forlerm says:

    my friend did the sides of his jeep with it and it held up very well.I did the inside of my wheel barrow about 5 years ago and it has not worn off at all even after a few cement jobs

  5. Dan B says:

    Used Herculiner brand in the bed of my brother’s El Camino. Sanded and wiped down with Xylene first, then applied with a roller. It has lasted very well for about 10 years now. None has chipped or peeled off. It’s not glossy black anymore, closer to a chalky dark grey. Apparantly they now sell a UV resistant topcoat you can finish the job with.

  6. Benjamen Johnson says:

    Old Coot, I’m not sure of what a dent-through is, but if you mean hitting the bed with something so hard that you can see it outside the box, I’m not sure a drop in liner’s gonna help because I think Jim Nutt is right. If you dent the side so hard that it show through both layers, I’m not sure what a piece of plastic is going to do to help.

    It’s also a matter of taste whether it looks cool, my personal opinion is that a properly done spray on or paint on liner looks way more professional than a plastic drop in liner.

    —–

    I’ve coated two truck beds with Herculiner. My advice, no matter how thick you think it is, put on another coat, because you sure think you’re spreading it really thick, but later you’ll notice that it didn’t cover as well as you think. Maybe if you have a black box like mine, putting a light coat of white priner on after you scuff the box might help — haven’t tried that myself.

    I like it because stuff doesn’t slide around in the bed and because even a thinner than optimal layer provides some pretty good scratch protection — I don’t have a scratch in my box. I don’t haul rocks every day but I’d like to think I’m pretty rough on the box every now and then.

    Having done it twice and before I had two kids, I think I’d pay someone to do it now. It takes long time, it’s messy, and it’s really hard to apply the stuff. Not that you can’t do a great job by yourself — cause if you look at my current truck it looks pretty darn good. It’s just not quite as thick as I’d like it to be.

    Last thing, coat the top of the bed rails. It takes just a little extra time and patience with masking, but it looks nice and protects the bed rails pretty well.

  7. Mel E. says:

    Hot, have had it in a few trucks now and wouldn’t even think about not having it anymore. even did the diy stuff to the wheelwells for added protection. Just make sure if you do it yourself you wear a real chemical respirator. These products have had special attention paid to them by OSHA due to their causing permanent lung damage to unprotected workers with minimal exposure. Read that as a 22 yr old kid developing asthma and being permanently disabled in lung capacity after a week on the job without proper PPE.

  8. Robert G says:

    Call me crazy but i am painting my motorcycle with that rattle can spray on bed liner.

    I hate rock chips in the paint.

  9. Brau says:

    Hot. Better than a plastic liner because it actually protects the bed rather than causing it to rust by keeping water in.

  10. Rik says:

    My brother has a car ramp that you drive the whole car on. It raises the whole car about 12″. He had problems with the tires slipping especially when it got wet. He rolled on Bed Liner and has not had any problems driving on it since. It has had all kinds of tools dropped on it, seen welding sparks, oil, gas, etc with no problems. I would definitely use it on a truck bed if I had one. I am considering it on the underside of my car as an undercoating.

  11. Toolboss says:

    Four years ago, I rebuilt a retied snowmobile trailer into a junk hauler. The bed is 8′ wide and 10′ long, and I added 24″ sides. The bed is now made of 3/4″ treated plywood, and I have the ability to add 49″ sides over that, making a box six feet tall.

    I put two coats of Herculiner inside the bed, and have used the trailer more than monthly to haul everything from busted up exhaust systems, gravel, wood chips, and plaster/lathe from a wall tearout. The bedliner has never let me down, and remains intact and tough as nails.

    By the way, I use the “redneck unloading” method…take off the tailgate, tilt the bed back, and drive forward. If sliding a half ton of rusty exhaust or 1800 pounds of gravel out of the trailer aren’t going to tear it up, I don’t know what will. A quick hose out of the trailer, let it dry, and I’m ready to move Aunt Tille’s furniture in a clean, watertight trailer!

  12. Blind says:

    I don’t do any serious hauling, but since my concern with the bed of my truck was simply things sliding around, I ended up going a thick rubber mat in the back. The sidewalls aren’t protected, but really, I never have anything hitting into the sidewalls that would cause me a problem. The mat has served me well for all of the years I’ve had my truck and was deemed a must have after a quart of oil decided to burst open and spread across the metal bed (that was fun cleaning out)

    So adding to the Spray in Liner versus Plastic shell arguement, feel free to add in SiL versus Rubber mat as well please.

  13. KMR says:

    We use cheap rubber mat too… I think the one in the lil’ S10 delivery truck has been there for four years. When it gets dirty, pull it out, throw it on the driveway, wash it off, let it air dry, put it back in. Hasn’t ripped, keeps pallets from sliding around. Must have cost me all of $20 for a piece that was 5×8 and I made a cardboard template of my the bed and then cut the rubber to fit.

    And since I’ve got a fiberglass tonneau I bought on eBay for $200 (gorgeous perfect paint match for the red S10!), no one knows about my rubber bed mat because they can’t see it.

    I have given thought to DIY roll on bed liners. Mostly for the sides when as they’re still vulnerable. The bed rails have also gotten scratched up pretty good when we have to haul scrap metal and things and the tonneau comes off.

  14. Donny B says:

    Hot , as as stated above not always for the reason that it was designed.

    Also you can use it as a really tough undercoating and interior coating behind door panels for sound dempening..

  15. Bowen says:

    This stuff is also very useful for adding grip panels on firearms, especially wood and polymer stocks made without chequering or a textured surface. You just mask off the part you want clear, roller over the gap and bingo, instant grabby parts.

  16. shawn says:

    HOT! I have it all over my old CJ Jeep, & I go off roading it it a lot. I have it covering everything that is metal & could get scratched on my rock crawler. I used it to make the stainless steel parts match the chrome parts, & the roll cage to match the rusted metal parts, & the diamond plate parts match the hitch & the winch mount. I was able to buy tons of used parts from several different sources, & make it all tie together into one cohesive rugged look for my rock crawler. Everything under the jeep is covered as well as the floor f the interior. My jeep won’t rust out ever. It if gets gouged in a few years time I can just reapply over itself as it is supposed to stick to itself.

    It works especially well on the step bar, so people don’t slip getting into the jeep when its wet.

    I also used it on other parts around the garage that need a no slip grip. I keep finding things that could use it on. I’d use it on metal steps or railing to keep it from rusting. It’s non uniform finish hides dents & existing rust, or multiple layers of paint. I use a lot of it. It’s great stuff.

  17. DCAM says:

    Not Hot if you need heavy duty protection. We’ve seen roll on product flake off in a very short amount of time. It is similar to heavy paint, not real bedliner. If you have an air compressor, you might be able to spray with a cartridge system. http://www.bedlinertruth.com for help…

  18. Gerry says:

    I just sprayed the rustoleum bed liner on my 99 jeep wrangler. the whole application was simple and easy. I sprayed everything from the step ups, to the grill and sides. the step ups which take most of the use do not even show any use or wear. the coverage and look has been complimented by everyone and they are surprised it was done with a ball spray can for $8 at Home Depot

  19. seraph037 says:

    Ive done two truck beds, the entire deck on my aluminium boat, and the interior floor on my Jeep.Yeah…..it’s hot!!! Also, the jaws on my vise, handles on hand tools, and the bar on my push mower. I use this sh!t on everything that is metal that i want a good non-slip grip on. Might be one of the best things since duct tape?

  20. DrewG says:

    I have heard tons of uses for protecting surfaces including non vehicle surfaces, warehouse floors, loading docks, even patios and home improvement. Not to say they completely replace other protective paint but if you have extra, might as well use it. Check out durabaks 1001 uses for bed liner paint

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