Low-Cost Bed Liner for your C/K Series Chevy Truck

Jul. 01, 2007 By Jarred Meyer
Let me first tell you that by no means is this comparable to that of Line-X or Rhino Liner, but before you have any doubts please read on and you may be enlightened on a cheap and easy alternative. One day I decided to remove the pre-molded plastic bedliner out of Project ’93 K1500. I realized that the plastic liner had actually caused some damage by rubbing the paint off of the bed. Where the paint had been rubbed away rust began making a new home. I decided it was time to do a little maintenance to prevent any further rusting.
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The bed of Project ’93 K1500 was in serious need of some rust protection.

            After doing some research and determining that any type of spray in, or specialized paint in bedliner such as Herculiner (which can be found at the local auto parts stores), would not be an option for me at this point do to financial restrictions. Concluding that I would need to come up with a cheaper alternative, I headed up to the local hardware store. I told one of the paint associates there what I was trying to do and he led me to some oil-based outdoor paint. I chose black of course and also decided to pick up a bag of sand that I could mix into the paint to get a rough texture similar to that of the other bed liners.

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Using the sand as an additive to the paint appeared to be the look I was going for after spreading some of the paint/sand mix across the paint tray.

I added a little bit of sand to the paint and mixed. I then dumped that into a paint tray and started painting the passenger side rail. After a few attempts I eventually got the texture just right. It did end up taking up quit a bit more of the sand than I thought but it turned out just the way I had hoped.

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When I finished the passenger side rail I stepped back to take a look and was ecstatic to see how good it turned out.

Once the test section was complete and I was satisfied with the results, I prepped the rest of the bed by cleaning it thoroughly with the hose. Cleaning the bed of the truck out turned out to be a more difficult and time consuming job than actually painting the bed itself. Eventually I was able to get the bed clean enough to where I was satisfied the paint would have a good enough adhesion.

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With the passenger side bed rail complete I decided the custom bedliner would work and began prepping the rest of the bed.

Once everything dried out I began painting the inside of the bed and working my way backwards. Although I ended up with some inconsistencies in the texture of the paint on the bed due to the fact that I begun rushing to get finished in the extreme summer heat, it still turned out much better than no paint at all and would do the job for the time being.

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I first painted each side of the inside of the bed and then started in the front and worked my way backwards on the floor itself.

Although the job was a success, there was one key aspect that could have been changed. The oil-based paint I was lead to turned out to not sit well with the sand and would take what seemed like an eternity to dry. This is because that near every granule of sand the paint has to pond up around.

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The oil-based paint we used does not dry fast when you add sand to it because it thickens up around each granule.

Next time we will be sure to select a paint that is designed to be used with a texture additive and that way we can put on multiple coats in one or two days.

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The completed new custom bedliner looked great, minus all of the dents in the bed floor of course.


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