A roll on bed liner is a great way to improve the appearance of your older truck . My two sons Lucas, 16, and Isaac, 11, just refurbished the bed on our 1980 Plymouth Arrow Pickup.
This bed liner paint they installed completely transformed the appearance of this old family truck. It looks so good we may have to paint it now. Here's what the boys did to install the truck bed liner. A Herculiner bed liner or a Duplicolor bed coating or the Rustoleum bed liner are all much alike...
Our project truck bed interior was scraped up over much of the floor. Not beat up, but scraped and scratched with extensive rust. Most of the rust was just on the surface. We first pressure washed the bed, then went over the surface with an acetone cleaner.
Then the boys sanded the entire surface of the bed with sandpaper. We used 100 grit because we had several sheets, but an aggressive paper is what you want. Next we washed the bed out, though we probably could have just swept out the sanding dust. One more time over with the cleaner and then the surface was ready for the actual roll on bed liner.
Some users of do it yourself bed liner paint argue that careful surface preparation for a diy bed liner is a waste of time. After all, this paint is so sticky that it's all but impossible to remove from your hands.
Don't listen to them. careful surface prep is a must. Otherwise the paint coating will likely peel and your work is wasted.
If you can take the tailgate off, that would be best. Ours won't come off...there's a story there! So we just had to be extra careful not to make a mess of the gate.
Now for masking. Mask all edges and any fasteners or fittings you don't want coated. Watch for the drain holes and any other holes where bolts are removed. Mask the holes carefully. This stuff is hard to deal with when it dries.
We chose to do the top of the bed rails, so we had to be very careful to cover the sides of the truck to prevent any splashing down the sides. You may not want to get on top of the rails.
Just like most painting jobs, preparation is the tough part. Once you get to the application phase of this project you've arrived at the easy part. We used a 3 inch wide roller with a thick nap and foam brushes. We got cheap rollers and foam brushes so we could dispose of them and avoid the clean-up. you will want a cheap pan liner or some kind of cheap pan too. It's a brush on bed liner too. Brush marks will mostly disappear during the drying process.
Apply the coating in all the corners and edges first with your brushes. Once that's done, apply the roll on bedliner, starting on the front, to the vertical surfaces. Then start at the front of the floor and work your way back. Depending on the shape of the floor, you may need to brush some on the floor. Finish with the tailgate. Let everything dry for the recommended time and then re-coat.
For the second coat, you may need an extension pole for your roller to avoid getting in the bed. Touch up any spots you missed and remove the masking tape and you're ready to go. Cure time varies, but allow about 3 days for the cure and you're ready to use your new looking bed paint coating.
If you're like us, you'll feel like you have a new truck after this roll on bed liner project.