View Full Version : Spray-In Bed Liner Installation

01-27-2012, 06:12 PM
I did a little research around the web for spray in bedliners kits that you can do yourself. I used the Gator-Guard kit for my Tacoma a few years back and considering the small amount of prep work I did the liner turned out VERY durable and has lasted a long long time. I called around to my local suppliers and determined that the best kit for the money was called "Shake and Spray". If you are contemplating a spray in liner have a look at my experience and you will learn a lot of great tips to help your project look as good as possible. I did a quick and painless spray liner in my Tacoma and I did it the long and hard way on my Dodge 2500 diesel which is a much much larger bed with more detail.


Why do it yourself? Well simply for much less money I can spray in a liner AND add a thick rubber mat to cover the floor of the bed. The Line-X and Rhino type liners are indeed better, come with a warranty and will be applied in a thicker coat. BUT you will be spending over three hundred more dollars.

I would ALMOST paid to have a liner sprayed by a local place and I wanted to... but it's just more money than I want to spend since I still need a new set of tires. So continuing on with the do it yourself theme on my truck I went a sprayed it myself.

01-27-2012, 06:45 PM
For the quick and dirty spray in bedliner "how-to" check out the other section of this forum as I sprayed my Toyota Tacoma a while back with very good results.

The Gator Guard spray in bedliner kit BARELY covered my 6ft Toyota bed which is very small compared to a full-size truck. You have been warned.

01-27-2012, 06:49 PM
A couple months back I did sand down my whole bed with 120 grit sand paper. I was planning on just painting the bed with primer and doing a single stage black paint on the inside. I had a bunch of black paint available that I could have used up but it just wouldn't have been a smart thing to do. I just couldn't waste the time and paint on something I knew wasn't going to be a long term covering for this Dodge 2500 bed. Going into this spray in bedliner job I was pretty happy because I had already sanded the bed down quit a bit. But I have been using the truck in the meantime spilling oil and other things in the truck recently so I knew I had to sand the whole thing down again.

Me and my buddy Joe transported this Audi A8 engine block in the back of the Dodge the past weekend and did a great job spilling oil ALL over the bed. We were slipping and sliding all around and I did the splits over the side of the bed at one point. :P I knew in the back of my mind that I would have to go the extra mile to make sure the bed was prepped for the bedliner that was to come.


The guys at the shop I did the work at gave me a LOT of tips on how to do a good job on the bedliner.

WEAR A DUST MASK! Or you will be spitting sanded paint in no time!
Make sure and sand the whole thing down with 80 grit paper
Use a 3M 80 bodymans rotary sander to get around the curves
Use the coarsest sand paper as you really want to scuff it up good
If in doubt that you didn't sand it good enough... do it again!
Use a sanding block to get between the grooves in the bed floor
Make sure you have a BIG air compressor or one that can keep up with air tool and paint gun volume and demand.
Grab a DA sander to speed sand as much of the flat area
Use a welding type wire brush for rough, cracked grooves or welded areas
Use high quality painters tape the is tough but flexible for curves
Sand to the edges and then tape it... then sand along the tape

01-27-2012, 07:31 PM
Now down to the business. I was pressed for time the afternoon I first started prepping for the bedliner so I took the pictures here after I went over the bed with a rough sanding technique and then once again when I had went over it again by hand.

Here are the basic tools I used:


The the long sanding block is key! I felt like Cinderella scrubbing the floor but it allowed me to sand in between the ribbed strips of the bed really quickly and it saved me from having to abuse my fingers so badly. The dual action sander quickly sanded down the tops of the long ribs and the sidewalls. The little 3in sanding pad from 3M got in and around some of the grooves that I would otherwise have to sand with my fingertips. I could have easily gotten along without the 3in disk but I wanted to try one out. There are a lot of other production oriented tools for roughing up truck beds but if you are only doing one or two then sanding it down with some rotary sanding pad and doing the rest by hand is just fine.


01-27-2012, 07:39 PM
To get in the corners you just have to fold the sand paper and do it the old fashioned way. I went a little crazy sanding everything down smooth because I just wanted to make sure the liner would get the best adhesion possible. One of the body guys in the shop said the liner would stick well whether I sanded it very good or just a little. One bodyman told me to sand the whole thing by hand but there was no way my hands could take the abuse. I recommend using any tools you have at your disposal! If I had any wood blocks around I would have made a long 2x1.5" block with different shape corners to get in near different contours along the bed floor and walls. But the long sanding pad worked much better than I thought so it went pretty quickly... mostly because I was in a hurry to get as much done as I could before the shop closed. :)

Here are some more details to see.


There are all sorts of contours on the sidewalls of the Dodge bed but they aren't too bad. The front of the bed is definitely the worst part to have to sand. It's just awkward to sand with your hands and you'll find out why. Just grit your teeth together and go as fast as you can to get it over with!


01-27-2012, 07:41 PM
This is one of the sections that I welded up due to cracking. I did drive around with this weld exposed for a while so when I prepped the bed I made sure to grab a wire brush and give it a good scrub. The wire brush also came in handy in some of the corners.


Don't forget the tailgate of course. Just remove it and strip the hardware out of it on both ends. It's pretty easy. Sand all around the unit and enjoy standing up straight for once. I swear you will be bent over the whole time sanding the bed and spraying the darn thing! Make sure and stretch out each time you begin to work on your truck because it will put the hurt on your back.


01-27-2012, 07:53 PM
Now let's get to the fun part! Taping the bed off for spraying. When I sanded mine down I just sanded up to the top of each side of the bed without going over the rails. I went ahead and taped it off around the edge while leaving about a quarter inch of space for the spray liner to cover. I just didn't want to cover the color on the top of the rails but I wanted SOME sort of protection in case something sat across the top of the bed. I'll be putting diamond plate around the bed rails later on. I was also concerned with the amount of coverage the kit would allow for. The bed rails would have taken more material and I had been warned to be conservative.

Here are a couple shots of the tape I put around the bed. I wanted to make sure and get the Shake and Shoot spray liner thick up the sides of the rear of the bed and the insides of the upper rail. I used 3M tape that happened to be green. It was really really strong and I was amazed at how pliable it was as well. I could make curves with it and it really held down.


The guys at the shop had also warned me not to spray the liner in the areas where the tailgate would mate with the truck bed. Basically the area where the latch connects to the receivers doesn't have much room typically on trucks to spray a thick bedliner and not cause problems. I had remembered how wide the gaps were on each side of this tailgate so I left the receiver area painted but I sprayed the tailgate latch area as I will easily have enough space with this particular truck. If you have a newer truck then you probably won't have enough space for the spray liner. Just be careful and double check how much rooms you have before you take the tailgate off.


01-27-2012, 07:57 PM
With the truck bed sanded down finally I moved the Dodge over to the paint prep booth to do some more taping and prepping. Cover the truck with sheet plastic as much as possible because the spray liner will instantly start grabbing hold of anything that it might splash onto! A couple of notes:

Final wipe down of bed before spraying - use Acetone and some rags
Any overspray - have paint reducer ON HAND for cleaning or removing splashes


01-27-2012, 08:02 PM
Don't forget the tailgate! Here I'm just taping the whole thing so that I have a half inch of spray liner on the top of the tailgate and I'm spraying it all down the sides and the bottom too.


01-27-2012, 08:08 PM
And here we go! Get all your cans out and your catalyst to get ready for mixing. You can buy a cheap spray liner gun at many stores for 20 or 30 bucks and online for $10. The Shake and Shoot directions call for pouring in the reducer into each can filling them up to the upper line printed on the label. Basically you fill up each of the 4 spray material cans equally with the reducer until it's all gone. Simple.


Then you shake up the cans to mix them all up. You can imagine shaking those heavy cans around gets old REAL quick so trick one of your friends into helping you. It's good to shake them up really well and to have your friend shaking each one up as you shoot the bedliner.

I highly recommend getting some cone filters to pout the catalyst into the cans. Pouring from the catalyst can will spill all over if you don't have a cone type funnel to use to make sure and grab one from the store or from online while you are shopping. They are super cheap and you don't want to spill a drop.


Easy does it!! Don't want to waste anything here.


01-27-2012, 08:11 PM
Now for the pictures you've all been waiting for. Here is my friend Robert telling me to stop screwing with the camera and help grab the tape for him! haha


01-27-2012, 08:17 PM
I sprayed the Gater Gaurd spray liner into my Tacoma years ago by myself and it came our just perfect. This time around I was surrounded with pros that had years of experience spraying paint and bedliners so I didn't have a problem finding someone to volunteer to help spray the Shake and Spray onto my truck bed. A fullsize truck bed is a bit more challenging since there is a lot more area to cover and it's more difficult to reach to the middle of the bed and over the bedwalls to get into the corners. I made sure to take HD video with my Canon so you could check out the techniques Robert shows off while spraying. He didn't drag the hose in the spray liner ONE TIME during the whole process which was amazing. Plus he sprayed the liner evenly throughout the whole application which isn't so easy. You must watch all the footage and get a crash course on spraying truck bedliners. Video of Robert spraying bedliner into the Dodge truck bed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKNE8rb8n0E&feature=youtu.be).



01-27-2012, 08:39 PM
Now to peel off the plastic and tape.




01-27-2012, 08:39 PM
Tailgate was the easy part.