A Herculiner bed coating costs only about one-fourth what a professionally applied bed liner will. It’s natural to go for the do-it-yourself solution. The two coatings are similar but not really equivalent.
A professional spray on liner, like one from Line-X or Rhino Coatings, derives it’s durability from the type of coating and from the thickness. The material in these professional liners comes as a two-part paint that’s extra tough and extra fast drying. The real key to the durability though is the thickness of the coating. Professional liners consist of up to about 5 gallons of “paint.” Put that much roll on bed liner paint on yourself and you’ll see very little savings over letting somebody else do it for you.
But for many applications, a paint on bed liner works well enough. Especially for older trucks, the do-it-yourself coating certainly improves looks. It adds a spray on bedliner of protection at the same time. Here’s how to make sure the coating works for you.
Cleaning the surface to be coated is nothing but boring work, but it is essential as a first step to get paint to stay on. Cleaning must include using a solvent that will remove old grease and wax. Just washing won’t do. Paint can’t stick to a greasy waxed surface.
After cleaning comes some rough work. It’s rough sanding that must happen. No fine sanding is required but very rough sanding helps the paint stick and stay stuck. On an older truck the sanding step is where you get to repair existing damage while you are at work.
Next, any bare paint should be spot primed. Using a primer over the whole bed certainly can’t hurt, but really isn’t necessary. Make sure to prime bare places though.
Actually applying the bed liner paint is the easiest part of the whole project. After proper preparation. putting the paint on is so simple. It may seem may seem that applying paint with a brush or roller produces inferior results compared to spray. It’s not so. Thick bed liner paint settles as it dries and all the roller or brush marks just fade away.
Herculiner bed coating works especially well on older trucks with damaged paint. Getting the surface to be coated properly cleaned and sanded is key to a successful bed liner project. The work to be done is simple but it does take time and effort.