These bed liners are typically made out of thick urethane or a blended polyurethane substance. The thick coating they provide keeps the cargo from scratching and denting the truck bed and also forms an effective barrier against chemical spills, concrete dust and other materials that would cause corrosion if they came into contact with the metal truck bed.
Here are our recommendations for the best DIY truck bed liner (though, there are plenty more online for you to select from):
Herculiner HCL1B8 Brush-on Bed Liner Kit
This product is not only a top seller but it usually gets glowing reviews from those that use it too; that is a good sign when it comes to do-it-yourself projects. This is what is known as a textured polyurethane truck bed liner coating; these tend to be thicker than other brush on coatings. The texturing gives them some slip resistant properties too, which is great if you are working out of the back of your pickup in rain or other wet conditions. Once this coating is on the truck bed it won’t chip or peel and it is naturally solvent and chemical resistant.
Al’s Liner ALS-BL Black Premium DIY Polyurethane Liner Kit
Unlike the Herculiner, this is a spray on type truck bed liner. The disadvantage of spray on truck bed liners are they are harder to apply than brush on coatings. This kit uses a 3 component blended polyurethane coating; 3 part coatings tend to be a little more forgiving if your surface is not perfectly clean than single component applications. You can also adjust the thickness of your bed liner coating with the spray on type and you have the option to add tint to adjust the color more to your preference. This kit comes with everything you need including the special spray nozzle. If you don’t mind spraying, this is one of the best DIY truck bed liners out there.
Linerxtreeme spray on Bedliner Kit 3 gallon Black with GUN
This is one of the pricier do-it-yourself truck bed liner kits you will find, but it is a very good one. It can coat up to 100 square feet of surface area; that is enough to do the truck beds of even the largest pickup trucks that are made. It is another three part coating but this one uses a very tough and durable epoxy urethane base instead of the polyurethane. This system adheres better than others and is highly resistant to the sun’s harmful UV rays which may fade and crack other bed liner materials over time. It is easier to get a professional looking job with this kit also.
U-POL Tintable truck bed liner spray coating-Bedliner
This is another spray on multi component truck bed liner kit. It too uses the fast drying, highly durable and UV resistant epoxy urethane coating. It is also tintable in several different colors and comes with its own spray head. The customer reviews for this one say the instructions are easy to understand and it leaves the job looking like it was done by a professional. As a matter of fact, the product was highly rated and we could not find any negative leaning reviews on it. This is surely one of the contenders for the best DIY truck liners.
OTHER USEFUL DIY TRUCK BED LINER TIPS
It is critical to get the surface of any truck bed you are going coat extremely clean; if you don’t there is a good chance that your new bed liner will not stick and start peeling off. If that happens you will not only have to buy a new bed liner kit but you will have a lot harder surface prep on your hands the second time too.
You will start by cleaning all the loose dirt, rocks, trash and other things that are present in the truck bed. Once that is done thoroughly spray and wash the inside of the bed with a low pressure washer or by hand; since you are going to put a coating over the metal you can use a scrubbing pad on any areas where there is stubborn dirt. Do not use any type of detergent because it may leave a film that your coating will have a hard time sticking to. You may also use a little TSP substitute to get off the mold, mildew and other substances that may be present in the bed of the truck; make sure you rinse thoroughly if you decide to use this. Many manufacturers make a Lecithin mold release aerosol especially for this purpose too.
As was mentioned in the product reviews, many multi component coatings can have colored tint added to them; it is something that is not required and totally based on personal preference. Some people have had some success going to paint stores or home improvement centers to get the coating tint to make it the exact color they want; just make sure you tell the attendant what the base material of your coating is so they provide you with a tint that is compatible with it.
You will most likely find the most choices of do-it-yourself bed liners on the internet and that is where you will often find the best prices too, so don’t be afraid to check there. When ordering make sure that you get any support products for the job that you might need too; you don’t want to forget them then have to pay extra shipping to make another order.
The bottom line is it is always better to have a truck bed with a liner as opposed to an exposed metal one. Even the cheap aerosol can spray bed liners are better than nothing, and we hope you’ve found the best DIY truck bed liners here. Good luck!