LAST UPDATED: March 17, 2021
The Best Bed Liner Paint (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Take that truck bed’s resistance to the next level with these bed liner paints.
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PUBLISHED ON March 17, 2021
While trucks are evolving to appeal to the folks who once drove Lincolns and Cadillacs, they’re also built to appeal to working men and women. Cut out all the creature comforts, and you still have a vehicle that’s built to take a beating. But let’s face it: Trucks aren’t what they used to be. They’re not just a vehicle that you carelessly run across open fields with a load of tools and supplies in the back. Those price tags make them worth protecting in every way possible.
Of course, you’ll beat the living daylights out of the bed if you don’t put down some layer of protection. Below, we highlight bed liner paints to help you understand a little bit more about this type of protection and drop some suggestions for which product you can rely on. Let's take a look, shall we?
Easy to apply roll-on bed liner paint. This kit includes a 1-gallon container of bed liner coating, an abrasive pad, rollers, and a brush for application.
- Does not rely on any expensive equipment
- Easy to apply
- Provides good results
- Includes rollers, brush, and abrasive
- Isn’t quite enough to fully cover larger beds
Aerosol type spray-on coating. This is an ideal option for someone who’s working on a budget or tackling a small project. It doesn’t rely on any additional equipment and still reaches deep into tight spaces.
- Great for small jobs but can also be useful for extensive projects
- Excellent price point in small quantities
- Single cans have limited use
- Finish does not match other bed liner paints
Professional-level liner kit that includes eight 750-milliliter bottles of liner, two 1-liter bottles of hardener, and a spray gun. The system works simply by adding hardener to the bottle of bed liner base, then attaching it to the gun and compressor to begin application.
- Includes spray gun
- Very easy system to follow
- Offers superior results
- Premium price point
- Relies on expensive equipment
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Bed Liner Paint
- Protects your bed. The obvious benefit of any bed liner is that it protects the bed from being damaged by sudden impacts and shifting loads.
- Permanent layer. Bed liner paint offers a permanent layer of protection as it adheres directly to the surface.
- Keeps moisture out. Because paint bed liners apply directly to the surface, there’s no chance for moisture to exist between the liner and the bed.
Types of Bed Liner Paints
As with any automotive paint, bed liner can be designed to spray on. Spray-on bed liners work with a dedicated spray gun and an air compressor. The benefit to this type is that it usually creates the best finish, so long as you have the proper skills to apply it correctly. While it’s not particularly difficult to use when you have the right equipment, one does need to be familiar with this form of painting to produce the best results.
Roll-on bed liners are much easier and more affordable than using paints that rely on expensive equipment for application. That’s part of what makes this type of bed liner so desirable to many. The other benefit is that the finish is very similar to a spray-on liner. The two main factors to consider when applying this type of liner are that it usually takes much longer to dry and it’s harder to reach into tight spaces.
An alternative to spray-on liners that rely on a spray gun and air compressor are those that come from an aerosol can. The obvious benefit is that this type is more attainable to people without application equipment. It also dries relatively quickly and is slightly easier to apply. The drawback is that the cans' price adds up quickly, and the finish won’t be of the same quality. This is an excellent option if you’re doing small touch-ups or trying to add protection to a replacement tailgate, for example.
Herculiner first appeared in 1999 and is a brand of the parent company Peak. This company is headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., and is credited as the first to offer roll-on bed liner kits. The Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit is a renowned favorite of DIYers across the nation.
This brand is a stranger to no one. The company came on the scene back in 1921 and has since grown to be a leading producer of paints and coatings for home, industrial, and automotive applications. It’s headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill., and the Rust-Oleum Automotive Truck Bed Coating is but one of its many fine products.
Custom Shop is an extension of TCP Global, which has been in the game since 1974. This brand is responsible for supplying a long list of custom paints and finishes to the automotive community. Among those offerings are spray-in liners such as the Custom Shop Custom Coat Sprayable Truck Bed Liner.
Since 1948, U-Pol has been offering various body shop-related products for automotive applications. That includes everything from sealants to fillers and paint. Its range of bed liner products appears under the name Raptor. The U-Pol Raptor Black Urethane Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit is an example of its comprehensive, professional-level offerings.
Another brand that appeals to many DIYers is Al's Liner. This brand offers a few different products—namely, bed liners and heat- and noise-reduction liners. The brand works out of Indiana and offers kits that put an emphasis on ease of application, such as the Al's Liner Premium DIY Polyurethane Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit.
Bed Liner Paint Pricing
- Under $200: Aerosol and roll-on bed liners generally dominate the lower portion of this range. However, as you near the $200 mark, more spray-in systems begin to appear.
- $200 and up: Comprehensive spray-in kits begin to dominate this segment. These can be systems that include higher quantities of the liner itself and may even include necessary equipment such as spray guns.
Unless you have a bed storage system, you’re likely to be jumping in and out of the bed of your truck. Unsecured cargo is going to slide around, and you’ll need to go in there and get it. A non-slip texture, which is almost always created by bed liner paint, is an excellent way to limit this issue as much as possible and prevent the risk of you taking a tumble on your adventures in the bed of the truck.
Dents and scratches aren’t the only things to protect your bed from. Rust is a significant threat as well, so you want a product that works particularly well at preventing it. For the most part, bed liner paints have an edge here over other liners, but some work better than others.
- Texture. The texture of the bed liner is a primary concern. Sure, we already discussed anti-slip properties, but the texture can vary based on the manufacturer and compounds used. That said, it's worth researching the options to find out which has the texture that best suits your needs.
- Ease of Application. In a perfect world, you'd all have the means to use a spray-in bed liner. But it's not, and you don't. That said, you want to make sure you pick the kit that's easiest for you to apply. Roller kits and aerosol cans are both very easy, so you'll also want to consider the finish you're looking for with this aspect as well.
- Level of Protection. The amount of protection a bed liner offers is another primary concern. After all, it's the whole reason you're considering one in the first place. Not all bed liner paints provide the same level of protection. Sure, you can always add more layers, but how much money and time are you willing to spend on this project? It's worth putting in the effort to ensure a bed liner will protect as well as you need it to before you buy it.
Best Bed Liner Paints Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Herculiner systems are a favorite among DIYers. One look is all you need to understand why. This kit comes with 1 gallon of the liner, which doesn’t require any hardener for application. It also comes with a roller for broad areas and a brush to reach into tight spaces. Of course, an added benefit of using a roll-on system is total control, as you don’t have to worry about overspray. This kit also includes an abrasive pad to help prep the surface. You need to invest in some materials to apply the paint and prepare the surface, but this kit takes care of most essential pieces. The liner itself is a protective anti-skid layer that you can use on the bed, other portions of the vehicle, and even different surfaces entirely outside of that spectrum.
The only problem with this kit is that some users found it’s only enough for a 6.5-foot bed. You might be able to use it on longer beds, but the level of protection will diminish.
There are plenty of instances in which you don't need an entire kit. For example, if you're replacing your tailgate and only need liner paint for that portion, there's no sense in spending your money on a complete system. This is a great alternative for someone who doesn't want to waste money in that kind of situation. This is a 16.5-ounce can that you can use to apply liner to any surface quickly. A benefit to aerosol is that you can promptly apply liner paint to tight areas and don't need expensive equipment to do so. Of course, we can't leave out the fact that it’s a Krylon product, and it offers a fantastic finish and good protection.
While this product can be used to cover the entire bed, it's much more practical for applying liner to small spaces or touching up an existing coat. If you were to try and cover the entire bed, you'd likely wind up spending way more money than you would for a roll-on or spray-in system.
If you want a spray-on system, this might as well be the kit you go with. First off, the quality of the liner is fantastic. It looks great, offers superior protection, and is seemingly effortless to apply. What makes the system so easy to use is the gun that comes with it. It’s designed to screw onto the bottles of liner paint, so all you need to do is add the hardener, shake it up, and attach it to the gun. From there, you can spray it right on with no need to fill a hopper and burn through liners. This kit also includes more than enough liner to add protection to beds of pretty much any size. It’s only a few bottles short of what you’ll need to cover an entire passenger truck.
There’s not really anything bad about this product. It does have a high asking price, but it includes the gun and a ton of liner. We can’t necessarily deduct points for the fact that it relies on an air compressor. But if you don’t have one, it’s of no use to you.
Most bed liners can be applied to a variety of surfaces, as this product does. While that’s an advantageous characteristic, that’s not why we award it with the Most Versatile title. Actually, it’s because this version is tintable. It’s white, which allows you to add in pigment to make it virtually any other color that you want. If you’re ready to apply a liner layer to the entire vehicle, this is the way to go—that is, unless you’re OK with a simple black coating. Don’t worry, though: The ability to color this liner in no way reduces its effectiveness. It’s still an ultra-tough layer of protection regardless of the pigment. We should also note that you can brush it on or run it through a gun, making it even more versatile.
The price isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a great product that offers outstanding results that you’ll pay for. Throw in the added cost of pigment, and you’re sure to have one of the most expensive gallons of bed liner available to you.
If you want an aerosol bed liner, you have more than one option. Here’s an offering from Custom Shop that’s ideal for anyone looking for a high-quality layer of protection but doesn’t have access to a compressor and doesn’t want to deal with rolling paint on. It’s a 16.5-ounce can that applies liner capable of protecting the bed from impacts, scratches, and even corrosion. It can also be applied to other surfaces, making it ideal for a wide range of miscellaneous projects. If you need more than one can, you can opt for bulk purchases of three or six cans at a time. And yes, buying more than one can at a time does offer you significant savings.
These cans are great for touch-up jobs, and you can absolutely use them to cover an entire bed. The problem is that you’ll wind up spending a small fortune to do so. Even six 16.5-ounce cans cost about as much as some other complete bed liner systems.
Here’s another excellent option for someone looking for a spray-in liner. This is truly a professional-level product. It doesn’t just come as a simple can of the liner. It has three components that come together to make for a top-quality result that you’d expect from a professional shop. It even has an adhesion promoter to ensure it sticks to the surface like nails. The liner you’ll get with this is super resilient, too. Not only does it fare well against impacts and other similar threats, but it also stands up exceedingly well against UV rays and harsh chemicals. In short, once it’s on, it’s on for good.
This kit's nature lends itself to more patient or skilled painters. While it’s a good product, it’s not exactly something that just anyone can pick up and get to work with. It does have thorough instructions, but you should know you’re in for a more complex process than you’ll have with other products.
Yes, we’re talking about another roll-on option. It’s essential that you know about as many options as possible and how they differ from the others. What really separates this product from the crowd is that you can grab this in either black or clear. While clear isn’t exactly popular, it’s an excellent option if you’re not looking to alter the existing color scheme of your vehicle. It’s also worth noting that you can invest in a quart or a gallon. That said, either is priced much lower than much of the competition. As if that’s not enough, it dries very quickly. It’s dry to the touch an hour or two after the application.
Overall, this product is excellent for the price. It’s easy to apply, and the results are respectable. Does it stand up to a premium kit? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great option if you’re on a budget or you don’t need an exceedingly robust layer of protection.
Dupli-color is no greenhorn, and it knows what people want. In this case, it knows that people want options, they don’t want to go broke, and they want a quality product. This entry is just the gallon of coating out of a kit that you can buy. That said, it’s priced very competitively. Despite the low price, it also happens to be a very respectable liner that offers plenty of protection. You have the option to run this liner through a spray gun or apply it with a roller, and in either case, it dries fairly quickly. Of course, you also have the option to upgrade to an entire kit if you don’t have the means to apply this liner out of the gate.
Like other budget-entry liners, this does have its drawbacks. For one, it isn’t as tough as the more expensive options. The rollers you can buy with it aren’t the best, but that might not be a problem if you’re looking for just the gallon of liner.
Raptor liners are some of the best in the industry. But you don’t want to buy more than you need for small projects. That’s what makes this an excellent option for folks with small trucks or miscellaneous projects in mind. It’s a kit that includes only 2 liters, or roughly half a gallon, of bed liner. It also comes with the necessary hardener to promote the professional-level liner you’re after. Another benefit is that it’s a roll-on system that comes with the roller. You don’t have to worry about needing a compressor or gun—just roll it on, and you have that legendary protection.
Of course, it’s hard to ignore the price. It’s a superior product in many ways, but you’re paying about the same as you would for many gallon-size kits. Whether that’s a bad thing ultimately comes down to the amount of money you’re willing to spend.
To round out our list, let’s take a look at one more aerosol spray. This time around, it’s a close contender for the pick of best value as it’s about half the cost of many comparable options. Naturally, that makes it highly appealing to anyone who needs to tackle a small job or make some touch-ups to an existing liner. It also creates a good layer of protection from physical impacts and is a decent barrier against rust and corrosion. We also can’t leave out the fact that it has a fairly fast cure time, meaning you can get right back to work after making your touch-ups.
It’s worth knowing that this liner doesn’t offer great protection against chemicals. As an example, gasoline makes quick work of removing it, even after it has had a long time to cure.
- Like any painting project, preparation is vital. Take the time to sand, clean, and prepare surfaces as best as possible.
- Painting will always take longer than you initially think. It’s important to give yourself as much time as possible to prevent rushing the job.
- It might seem obvious, but make sure you take the time to remove anything you don’t want to get bed liner on. Whatever can’t be removed must be covered with tape and paper to prevent ruining it.
- Liner paint isn’t the only way to protect your truck bed. Drop-in liners, mats, and even rugs are available. Take some time to compare all options and decide which will truly suit you best. For more truck bed accessories and cargo protection, take a look at our guides to bed storage systems and truck caps.
Q: Do you have to sand before applying bed liner?
Absolutely. If the surface isn’t sanded, bed liner paint won’t bond correctly. While it may look OK, it won't offer the same level of protection and will scratch away easily.
Q: How do I install a truck bed liner?
How you install a bed liner is entirely dependent on the type you choose. Drop-in liners, mats, and rugs all require various steps to get them in place. The same rule applies when selecting from spray-in, roll-on, and aerosol bed liner paints.
Q: How do I prepare for bed liner?
Preparation includes removing accessories, taping off the areas you don't want to apply bed liner to, and sanding the surface down. It's important to closely follow the manufacturer's instructions to achieve the best results.
Q: How should I maintain my truck bed liner?
The good news is that maintenance isn't all that hard. You just want to remember that, while they’re tough, bed liners aren’t invincible. You always want to avoid harsh impacts and secure the load to prevent scratching or damaging it.
We like the Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit because anyone can apply it and still achieve professional-level results. But if you’re only after minimal protection or tackling a small project, you can save money by leaning on the Krylon Automotive Black Truck Bed Coating.
Are they your only options, though? Absolutely not. Be sure to reach out and let us know what you think the best bed liner paint is—or if you think it’s worth going to a professional rather than taking it on by yourself.