Best truck bed coating

Car Care

If you’re applying a truck bed coating for the first time, watch tutorial videos to learn techniques to ensure an even finish. Make sure the videos you choose are ones that use the same type of coating formula, as techniques vary.

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Which truck bed coatings are best?

Trucks are designed for the rough-and-tumble of life, especially when it comes to hauling tools or materials in the flatbed. But despite their rugged design, it’s still a good idea to add a layer of protection to the flatbed with a truck bed coating.

Truck bed coatings offer protection in more than one way. Not only do they minimize damage from dents or scratches, but they also help keep rust at bay in crevices where moisture can get trapped. Given their extensive protection, it comes as no surprise that truck bed coatings have multiple applications and can be used on boats, trailers, and RVs.

To help you find the best truck bed coating to suit your needs, give our buying guide a read. We’re sharing a few recommendations at the end, including our top choice, the Al’s Liner One-Gallon Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit. Not only is the kit user-friendly, but it also comes with all the tools you need to start spraying as soon as you open the box.

What to know before you buy truck bed coatings

Composition

In the past, truck bed coatings were part of an involved, multi-step process that took considerable time to dry and set between applications. While some multi-step sets are still available, many consumers opt for single-product applications. Oftentimes, truck bed coatings are made with urethanes and epoxies to achieve a durable finish.

Application options

If you intend to apply the truck bed coating yourself instead of using a professional service, you have three application options. Spray gun kits cover the bed quickly, but you need to use a compressor producing 60 psi or more for effective application. Another option is to use a paint-on formula with a brush or roller, though it often leaves you with textured marks. Spray-can formulas are the easiest to use, but they only cover a small area, so they’re best for touch-ups.

What to look for in a quality truck bed coating

Drying time

Drying times vary considerably among truck bed coating formulas. Even fast-drying formulas aren’t fully set and hardened for a week, which means the finish can sustain dings, dents, or scratches. Some users recommend using infrared lamps to speed up the curing process.

Cleanup

Because truck bed coatings are composed of a complex chemical formula, you need the right solvents and materials for cleanup. Most manufacturers list the recommended products for cleanup as well as spot removal, and some produce their own.

Protection level

Truck bed coatings are generally waterproof and offer decent levels of stain resistance and UV protection. Most coatings provide modest protection against scratches or dings, but extreme use and exposure can result in some damage. As this is relatively common, particularly when using a truck bed for commercial use, most users simply touch up damaged areas as opposed to recoating the entire bed.

How much you can expect to spend on truck bed coatings

To best explain the overall investment in truck bed coatings, we compared prices for a six-foot flatbed. If you use an aerosol can formula, you can stay well under $100. Spray-on formula kits cost anywhere from $100-$150, though certain ones that achieve a thicker, more durable finish can cost close to $200.

Truck bed coating FAQ

Q. What are VOCs, and do truck bed coatings contain them?

A. VOCs are volatile organic compounds, which can have negative effects on your health as well as the environment. While most products are free of VOCs, including most truck bed coatings, it’s best to read product information carefully so you can steer clear of them.

Q. How do I know how much truck bed coating is necessary to cover my flatbed?

A. Fortunately, many coatings list the length of flatbeds they cover per bottle or package. Other coatings may list the coverage area in square inches or square footage, in which case you need to know this information as it pertains to your truck bed size.

What’s the best truck bed coating to buy?

Top truck bed coating

Al’s Liner’s One-Gallon Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit

Al’s Liner’s One-Gallon Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit

Our take: Easy-to-use kit which includes a premium spray-on coating formula.

What we like: Materials cover an eight-foot flatbed and dry with a black finish. Can be used for trailers.

What we dislike: Coating is durable, but other options may last longer.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top truck bed coating for the money

Rust-Oleum’s Truck Bed Coating

Rust-Oleum’s Truck Bed Coating

Our take: Wallet-friendly option for a paint-on liner from a reputable brand.

What we like: Gallon is enough for a couple coats of a regular-size flatbed. Dries faster than other coatings.

What we dislike: Requires some touch-ups to maintain an even finish.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

U-Pol’s Raptor Black Urethane Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit

U-Pol’s Raptor Black Urethane Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Kit

Our take: Comprehensive spray-on kit with a long-lasting finish.

What we like: Efficient and easy to operate. Finish is thick and durable, and holds up to extreme use.

What we dislike: Pricey option and can stick to unwanted surfaces if you’re not careful.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

 

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