Truck bed liners are supplementary materials that provide coverage for the inner side of a truck bed. Aside from this, the purpose of bed liners is to create a skid-resistant surface for cargo to stay in place in transit. There are two general classifications of bed liners: drop-in and the spray or roll-on kind. 

Drop-ins have lost value in the market share with the launch of the spray-on and roll-on ones. Drop-ins are installations and do not require work. They are plug-in bed liners that involve drilling to hold them in place. Drop-in bed liners are rigid structures composed of polyethylene material that contours to a specific vehicle model.

Spray-on and roll-on bed liners are formulations that utilize process methods of application. Applications involve a manual roller, low pressure or air compressor sprays. Durabak Bed Liner offers various resources on formulation and application on their website.

Spray-on bed liners have varying textures and colors. It can be smooth for ease of clean-up and rough to prevent from skidding. Food trucks utilize these skid-proof bed liners for their mobile business.

A quick guide on how to determine the amount of bed liner to apply

The application is a DIY process that requires science, calculation and a conducive environmental condition. It is economical to apply it by yourself, and when done right, it yields stunning and professional results at a fraction of the cost.

  1. Determine the size

Truck beds come in three standard sizes. The size of the bed, including the four internal walls, must be coated thoroughly.

Regular beds are 6 inches in length. A gallon of polyurethane, a skid-resistant bed liner paint, is enough to cover two coats. Moreover, long beds are 7 inches in length; a gallon and one quart are enough to consume two coats for a truck this size. Lastly, for extra-long beds at 8 inches long, one gallon and two quarts will be required to complete a minimum of two coat applications.

  1. Quick computation

Here is a quick sample computation to make an intelligent estimate to cover any flatbed surface. Variables involved are the surface area of the entire site to be coated. Convert computed figures to square feet. A gallon of textured roll-on Bed liner can cover 60 square feet in two coats, and a quart can accommodate 15 square feet. 

Sample Computation: A Flatbed is 9 feet wide and 50 feet long, with 18-inch sills along the sides.

Amount of bed liner to apply = (9 x 50) + (50 x 2 x 1.5) = (450 + 150) = 600 / 6 = 10 gallons

  1. Next steps

In any DIY activity, a detailed pre-work is half the project done. Refrain from doing shortcuts, or you’ll end up with a worthless finish product that will eventually chip or peel. 

Set up your bed liner application tools. They should be accessible before you start this DIY project. Picture in your head the steps to finish for smooth execution.

Wash the truck bed thoroughly. Sweep and vacuum debris from the bed to the tailgate. Scrub all parts and areas with a solution (TSP – Trisodium Phosphate) to remove residual oil, wax-based material or petroleum. Rinse thoroughly with water and air dry.