Best DIY Truck Bed Liners: Spray, Roll-on, Paint, Rubberized

In just about every place on Earth, you’re sure to find the common truck. The pick-up type lets you put stuff in the back. It is the go-to vehicle for when you’re going on fishing trips and other places where you’ll carry a lot of stuff. It’s also the vehicle that many beer drinkers go for because there’s nothing like chilling in the back when enjoying a bottle of happiness.

Truck liner

So, it may be a surprise when you find that these trucks have bed liners. You may assume that the word alone already means it’s a liner for beds that you sleep on. But actually, the bed liner is something you already see on the truck. It’s already been there since you first laid your eyes on one. Are you surprised? Read on and learn more about what they are and how they can help you. We’ll make sure you find the best truck bed liner for your purpose, whether it’s a spray or roll-on. It can also be paint-based or rubberized.

What Is A Bed liner?

So, what is it anyway? It’s what you apply on a truck bed or the back part of your truck to protect it. Like how you’d apply a coating to strengthen tools, a bed liner gives that extra protection. It ensures that they can let truck beds last longer in the long run.

It may not look obvious since many trucks have their back parts. You’ll be surprised that many of them already have these things installed.

Why Do You Need One?

This next question is what you’ll ask as you ponder upon it. The answer is yes. You’ll need one. Why? For starters, they can protect the bed from many hazards such as impact from items you put there. They also protect against the weather. Another reason you’ll need one is the common thing most owners dread, rust. With a bed liner, you can make sure the rust never comes along.

The last reason you’ll need one is everything that can harm your truck bed that you’d never even think about. Dog bites and bird poop. Water spills. There are other hazards you’d think are nothing, but they shouldn’t be disregarded. Without bed liners, you’re letting your bed get harmed in the process.

So, do you need one? Absolutely. It’s no different from you wanting to protect your garage floor using epoxy or any other type of protective coating.

Are They Bad?

bed liner

Now the next question: are they bad? As long as you know how to apply them correctly, they’re good. They’re only bad if you apply them incorrectly. How so? Depending on the type you’ll get, it may be more harmful in the long run if you slip up. You need to make sure you know what you’re doing because of one mistake and it’s going to bite you. Be aware of what your truck bed is and take note of the type you feel is right for you. Once you get everything, apply it accordingly. You’re good to go.

truck getting washed

Types

Your next move from here is to know the types out there. Not to worry, there are only 2 main types of them.

Types
Drop-inSpray-on

Drop-In

The drop-in type is the one that’s been seen on truck beds before the second type came along. As the name suggests, it’s simply the type you put on top of what’s currently there. To make it simpler, it’s like putting a cloth on a dinner table. But for this type, it’s the kind that you put on the existing truck bed without a fuss.

Many of the items you’ll see that stem from this type come in different forms. Some are offered as kits with their parts neatly arranged, so you’ll know which part you’ll put them on. Some already have the full set ready for you. Just put it on without having to think anymore.

The downside to this? You need to make sure you get the one that matches what you have on your truck. Like how you have to make sure you have a matching cover for storage, make sure the type you get matches the one you have. Otherwise, it’s going to be a headache knowing you came such a long way only to find it doesn’t fit as you wanted it.

Another downside is that this type isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. You may find that some parts will come separately. It may only let you cover some parts of the truck bed. This shouldn’t be an issue if certain areas need to be covered. If you need to cover it all, you’ll be doing a lot of shopping even to find the parts that will suit your needs.

Spray-On

The spray-on type has its name giving you its function: it’s the one you spray on. Unlike the drop-in type, this one is where you’ll be able to do coating on your truck bed.

It provides much-needed protection you never knew it needed and customize it to your liking. In short, it is a DIY thing that can be adjusted in any way you wish. It’s the go-to product because it’s the one that defines modernization in the world of trucks.

It may surprise you, but this one can be used with stuff that isn’t trucks. Need to protect a floorboard? Use spray! Got something that needs extra hardening, such as a boat? Spray away! These types can come in handy in other areas you may never have thought of. Thanks to the materials they’re made of, they offer protection for everything.

The downsides? There are a few of them. One is the material, and it’s a big one. It’s a long-running debate about which material is better. Getting a bed liner made out of a bad material will do more harm than good and will cost you more than what you bought it for. The other downside is authenticity. Some bed liners claim to have great benefits that outshine others. You’ll be deceived because they’re nothing more than empty promises. So, it pays to know who you’re buying from and how well they are effective for other users. Never be fooled by the praises. Do your research and make sure they’re from trusted sources.

When you’re wondering the type to go with, you now know of the various options. They come in different materials and textures, such as roll-on and paint.

How Much Does A Spray-On Type Cost?

When it comes to assessing the cost, you may find they’ll be a bit more expensive at the point of application. It depends on what you’re going for. Some of the cheap ones may be money-savers. In the long run, you’ll find they won’t last. Pricier items may last you a long time.

You’ll do a lot of spraying in a DIY scenario. As you’ve learned earlier, a slip-up will cost you a lot. It pays to research how it’s done. You can also delegate and have someone familiar with this type do the work for you.

Then there are the tools you’ll be using. You can go with the default spraying cans, but you have to get specialized hardware to make the most of this type. If you’re up for it, expect to pay a little more than the usual fare to get what you’ll need.

So, how much will it cost when using this one? It will depend on the type you’re using and the quality and area. There are also other factors that will determine the cost. You’ll also want to consider how much you pay if you ask someone to help you with the task.

Rhino vs. Line-X

white truck bed liner

As you explore the world of bed liners, you’ll come across a rivalry that echoes the rivalry between iOS and Android. In the bed liner world, it’s Rhino versus Line-X. What is this all about? These names are attributed to two manufacturers that make the best products.

For Rhino, their items have soft textures. It makes it look like they will break but are durable. It can be quite deceptive, but you’ll be surprised when you have a feel for it. They’re also famous for having the best anti-slip functions. You won’t have to worry about things slipping around the back.

As for Line-X, their items are generally thin-looking types but are laid with a rough texture. This can be problematic because it may be a hazard to some items you carry. It’s less than ideal when you want them to be intact and without scratches on them. But on the plus side, their stableness proves useful in absorbing sound. When applied correctly, it will prove handy in the long run.

But if you’re eyeing getting your hands on their items, you’ll be a bit out of luck because they don’t offer DIY kits. As you’ll see on their websites, they describe the benefits of their product. You have to call their store and schedule a time to let them spray the material on your truck bed themselves.

So, which will you go for? It’s up to you. If you’re the driver who likes it thin and rough, Line-X has you covered. Suppose you’re the one who wants some extra protection while going with a smoother texture. Rhino is for you because they offer assistance and do-it-yourself items, making it a win-win.

In the end, it’s your call. But a good tip to always remember here: make sure it’s the right fit. Otherwise, you’re going to be wasting a lot of money.

Best Products

blue truck's bed liner

Now it all comes to this: what are the best products to go for? Whether you’re on one side or the other, you’ve got a list down below to help you choose.

  • U-Pol Products RAPTOR Tintable Kit

Are you eyeing something that can protect and tint at the end? This item is for you. This type stands out from the many similar ones because the name shows. When you apply it well, you’ll see just how beautiful it can be.

But don’t worry, the item lets you do a variety of finishes that can suit your needs. You can forgo the tint and go for the simple or go for something that spells rough and practical. Whichever style you choose, this one gives you the power to make it happen.

This one can also be applied to other materials that need protection, such as wood and metal. Feel free to style up the other essentials in life that make it easy for you.

What is the downside to this? Depending on how much you use, you’ll likely need to buy a lot of it if you’re not using it exclusively for just the truck. Another thing to consider is that you have to know about applying this. One wrong move will cost you a lot. You may also need some additional equipment to get what you want out of it.

  • BedRug

Have that desire to make your truck bed look comfy? You can go with this one. Unlike the other items you’ll find, this one lives up to its name. Yes, it may indeed look like it has the materials for a mattress. Surprisingly enough, it’s durable and protective.

This is ideal for carrying rough stuff such as crates, thanks to its texture. You can even have pets ride on the back, and they won’t ruin the item because of how it’s made. You won’t even have to worry about scratches on your skin. The moment you lie down on it, you feel like you’re really on a bed.

Another upside is that it’s resistant to common hazards such as liquid and weather. You can bet this item will protect your truck bed with enthusiasm.

The downside to this one is that you have to be sure you have it right with your truck bed. If you don’t get it right, you may end up with an item that doesn’t fight at all.

  • Dee Zee Heavyweight Bed Mat

Most of the items you see out there can be a burden when you’re in the mood for simplicity. That’s why this one will be made for you. It’s pretty much a mat, so it’s a matter of applying it. Thankfully, it can be customized to fit the type of truck bed you have. You can even trim it if you want to make sure measurements are in order.

This one is made for the heavy cargo you have in mind. Thanks to the well-known benefit of this type, you won’t have to worry about slips and cracks. Rusts and other hazards will not be an issue. It’s as simple as it can be.

The downside is it doesn’t have the parts that cover the upper sides of your truck bed. This means the floor of your truck bed will only be covered. You may see scratches on the sides. It’s simple, but it can cost you.

Another downside to consider is that you have to be sure you know what you’re doing because you cut this mat wrong. It’s going to haunt you. When cutting on this one, make sure you have the right tools when customizing it.

  • Rhino TuffCoat

Aiming for the item that’s rough and durable to protect the stuff on your truck bed? Look no further. This one will surely give you delight. It’s one of the company’s best bed liners and will surely come in handy in making sure all is good.

Everything attributed to it comes in handy, from its durability to its appliance for other items. It even absorbs the sound, so you’re sure to have a lot to save with this type.

The downsides to this one are that if you’re not sure what you’re doing, a mistake can cost you a lot. You’ll need to refill now and then if you’re using this item many times. It’s best to have an extra supply if you see yourself using it more times than you expected. You’ll also need to make sure you have the right equipment as well.

guy sitting in the back of a truck bed

FAQ

How much is a truck bed liner?

Truck bed liner prices range from $80 for a DIY liner to $900 for a heavy-duty one.

What type of truck bed liner is best?

While different types are celebrated for their strengths, it’s generally agreed that polyethylene plastic bed liners are the best. They’re easy to install and remain functional for a long time.  

What is the most durable truck bed liner?

The ‘DUALLINER’ truck bed liners are custom made for each track, so they’re always a perfect fit. Additionally, the thick rubber mat ensures a durable and long life. Otherwise, spray-on liners also provide a durable experience.

Which spray-on bed liner is the best?

With several reliable options available in the market, a few are bound to stand out. For example, the ‘Custom Coat Black Liner Kit’ is a spray gun that provides a rock-hard finish. Additionally, the ‘U-POL Raptor Black Liner and Texture Kit’ has a great reputation for being a cost-effective model. The ‘U-POL Raptor Black with Regulator Kit’ is ideal for larger trucks with much wider space to cover.

Here are the steps you need to follow to install a truck bed liner:

How to install a truck bed liner

  1. Prepare the truck bed.

    Before installing a bed liner, you must thoroughly clean the truck bed and remove any dust or debris.

  2. Layer the liner on the truck bed.

    For multiple-part liners, drop in the front panels first. After the initial pieces are adjusted, place the side panels. The rest will just fall into place as you place them in their designated position. For a one-piece liner, carefully drop it on the bed and adjust the corners as your go.

  3. Secure the liner.

    Use the fasteners given with the truck bed liner to set it in place completely.

Conclusion

All in all, truck bed liners are a godsend. You think you won’t need them, but the great benefits you get from them will ensure your stuff is safe. It’s protected from the many hazards as you go about your day. There may be only 2 types, but they both have unique traits. Depending on how you apply them, it’ll give you insurance that can last a lifetime.

Of course, you can’t recklessly think you know all there is to know about them. You have to make sure your research decides what is best to apply. Know all the other factors that can ensure your purchases are worth it.

Go for it and get yourself the truck bed liner. You and your truck deserve it!

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