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3 Ways to Protect Your Truck Bed

With a little sweat equity, you can keep your truck bed looking like new for a fraction of what you’d pay a body shop to do it.
With a little sweat equity, you can keep your truck bed looking like new for a fraction of what you’d pay a body shop to do it. (Bedrug/)

A bed liner is the easiest way to protect the most abused part of any pick-up truck. Both factory and aftermarket liners are expensive, but fortunately there is another way to shield your truck’s cargo space from the inevitable dings and scratches. DIY bed liners are available in a variety of systems, all within the abilities and budget of any do-it-yourselfer. Here are a few approaches to consider.

Spray Liners

Spray-on liners can look and perform fantastic if you properly prep the surface of the bed.
Spray-on liners can look and perform fantastic if you properly prep the surface of the bed. (U-Pol/)

With a little patience, a spray-on product can give you a factory finish for a fraction of the cost. Just remember the prep work of cleaning and sanding is critical to a good bond, and you must wear protective clothing, eyewear, and a respirator when handling these products. Several light coats are better than one heavy coat.

Roll-On Liners

You can apply a roll-on liner to almost any clean surface.
You can apply a roll-on liner to almost any clean surface. (Herculiner/)

A roll-on bed liner is a little easier to control than the spray variety and can be applied to almost any surface. So, one advantage of having it in a gallon can rather than as a pressurized delivery system is the long shelf life of a product you can use down the road for other projects.

Carpet Liners

A carpet bed liner is a great idea if you plan to add a bed and cap to create a makeshift camper.
A carpet bed liner is a great idea if you plan to add a bed and cap to create a makeshift camper. (Bedrug/)

Lining your truck bed with carpet might seem a bit antithetical to the whole idea of owning a pick-up. But carpet-liner kits make it easy to install a durable, cleanable, and somewhat padded surface that is perfect for everything from hauling cargo to setting up a bunk right in the bed of your truck. The carpet also forms a bridge over the gap between the bed and the tailgate, extending the useable sleeping surface of your truck's bed.

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