Everything You Need To Know Before You Use Bed Liner Paint

16 January 2023 Automotive

Everything You Need To Know Before You Use Bed Liner Paint

The load areas of pick-ups, drop-siders and panel vans all take a lot of wear and tear, and as soon as the paint layer has been penetrated the underlying metal will quickly deteriorate.

Making a plywood bed liner may be the best way of protecting the metal, particularly if the load area is protected from the elements, but it is expensive. Some manufacturers produce bespoke bed liners from moulded plastic but these are also expensive and are prone to cracking.

Another more versatile and cost-effective option is truck bed liner paint, available in either a smooth or textured finish. Quickly and easily sprayed on from an aerosol or applied by a roller, bed liner paint can also be reapplied as required at main areas of wear.

But truck bed liner paint can also be used to protect a wide range of surfaces, making it a perfect protective finish for marine, leisure and industrial use, and it is available in black and tintable formulations (the tintable can also be tinted white). Let’s look at the benefits.

The Pros Of Using Bed Liner Paint

  1. Bed liner spray paint in an aerosol is as easy to apply as any other spray paint and quickly creates a tough, durable finish that is ready to work hard. It is also available as black, white and tintable
  2. Bed liner paints all form a waterproof layer that is highly resistant to corrosion, UV radiation and other destructive elements of outside use.
  3. By adding a protective layer they protect against scratches to the original coating and exposure of the bare surface.
  4. As with all paints, they are also easily applied to the smallest nooks and crannies where dirt and moisture tend to collect and cause problems.
  5. Bed liner paint also creates an easily-cleaned surface that won’t splinter, crack or allow bacterial growth.
  6. If it is applied as a thick layer of several coats, bed liner paint will also contribute towards reducing sound and vibration.

As with all paint products, correct preparation and application are essential to achieve lasting and good-looking results with bed liner paint. Let’s look at how you need to prepare your surface.

Preparing A Surface For Bed Liner Paint

  1. Start by cleaning the surface thoroughly with a non-chlorinated household detergent.
  2. Key the surface to ensure good adhesion. The coarseness of the sandpaper you use for this will vary depending on the surface you are painting – we recommend you use:
  • 40 grit for epoxy, fibreglass, plastic, rubber, bare aluminium and bare steel
  • 60 grit for bare wood, plywood or fibreboard
  • 80 grit for painted surfaces if you’re using a textured bed liner paint, or
  • 100 grit for painted surfaces if you’re using smooth bed liner paint
  1. For all surfaces other than bare metal and laminated resin fibreglass, finish off by wiping the surface with a panel wipe on a clean cloth, and allow it to dry before applying bed liner paint.

Bare steel, bare aluminium and laminated resin fibreglass should be primed with bed liner primer: this is available in 1K, 2K and pre-adhesion primer formulations. This also applies where painted surfaces have been scuff sanded down to bare metal: the metal should be abraded with 40 grit and primer applied.

Applying Bed Liner Paint

Before applying bed liner paint, ensure you are working in a warm, dry and sheltered environment and mask off any areas that need protecting from the paint.

ToughOX bed liner paint from ProXL behaves in a similar way to conventional 2K automotive paints.

Using An Aerosol

With the ToughOX aerosol bed liner paints you simply remove the can’s base cap and insert the metal ring into the lug. Pulling the ring fully down and rotating it one full turn will release the activator into the paint, and after that, it’s simply a matter of shaking the can for a couple of minutes like a conventional aerosol. ToughOX aerosols are provided with two interchangeable nozzles – the red nozzle should be used at a distance of 40-100 cm from the surface to create a coarse finish while the white nozzle is used at a distance of 40-60 cm from the surface for a fine finish.

Using A Spray Applicator

With the ToughOX sprayable bed liner paints, you simply add one 200 ml can of TOG20-H ToughOX Hardener (included with the paint) to the 1-litre paint tin, replace the lid and shake it vigorously for 2 minutes. As soon as the paint is thoroughly mixed, remove the cap again and screw it directly onto an Underbody Schutz Gun (UBS) applicator or better still, the ToughOX Applicator.

Designed especially for applying ToughOX bed liner paint, this allows you to easily adjust the coarseness of the finish simply by turning the nozzle – no changing the nozzle or adjusting the air pressure to get the effect you want.

The ToughOX applicator is also an improvement on standard UBS spray guns in that it comes in two sections. While the trigger section is made conventionally from metal, the nozzle section is made from plastic and is designed to be semi-disposable. This makes it much more efficient to use, without the inconvenience and solvents of cleaning and giving the perfect results you would expect from a brand-new gun every time.

If you are getting started with ToughOX sprayable bed liner it is available as a kit. This contains the ToughOX applicator, four 1-litre tins of ToughOX paint and four 200ml tins of ToughOX hardener, and comes in two variations:

Using A Paint Roller

ToughOX sprayable bed liner paint can also be applied with a roller. You will need a roller tray, a stipple roller sleeve and some small paint brushes to access those hard-to-reach corners. Mix the paint and hardener as if you are spraying it and then pour it into the paint tray. Start by painting the corners and less accessible areas with a small brush, then use the roller to apply the paint over the larger, flatter areas. Stir the paint occasionally as you use it – this is particularly important if you are using the textured version as this will keep the rubber particles evenly suspended.


  • If you are applying bed liner paint to bare wood, plywood or fibre board use smooth bed liner paint for the first coat to ensure even absorption into the surface – you won’t get this as easily with the textured version due to the rubber granules. Textured bed liner paint can then be applied as the second coat.
  • While two coats of bed liner paint are generally sufficient for most applications, a third coat may be a good idea to increase durability around areas that are likely to see the most wear.

We hope this guide has been helpful and that you are pleased with the finish and durability of your results. If you would like further information, advice or details on stockists of ToughOX bed liner products from ProXL, contact us on 01634 823900 or via our online contact form.