White Truck Bed

Do It Yourself Bed Liner Repair and Removal: The Ultimate Guide for Trucks

Truck bed liners are a great way to improve the durability of your truck bed. Liners help protect your truck against stains, damage, and rust.

Find out how to remove or repair your bed liner with this complete guide for trucks.

When You Need to Remove an Old Do It Yourself Bed Liner

Truck bed liners are great when it comes to protecting your truck bed and holding cargo in place. But unfortunately, spray-on bed liners don’t last forever.

If you notice any of the below problems with your bed liner, it’s time to repair or replace it.

Fading or Staining

Spray-in bed liners all fade over time. This is because most spray-on products are aromatic, which means they are sensitive to the sun.

The most common reason for that faded color is exposure to UV radiation. UV light breaks down the chemicals in the bed liner, causing it to fade.

Staining is another common issue with spray-on bed liners. Grease, oil, and even water spots can stain if left alone too long.

Wear and Tear

Heavy cargo can tear or gouge your truck liner even if you’re careful. For example, cargo may get caught on the truck liner when loading or unloading.

Another thing to look out for is bubbles, peeling paint, or cracks in your bed liner. These may be signs of an incorrectly installed product.

How to Remove a Truck Bed Liner

Removing a truck bed liner is difficult work and you need the right tools for the job. But if you want to remove your liner yourself, take the following steps:

Assess the Bed Liner

First off, how bad is the condition of your truck bed liner? If you have a bed liner with a lot of bubbles or cracks it should be easier to remove. Damaged liners tend to take less time to chip away.

Using Chemicals

If you have an in-tact bed liner, you may need a chemical stripper to help speed up the process. Aircraft Paint Remover is a popular choice, but it melts through plastic as well as paint if you’re not careful.

Keep in mind that many chemicals designed to remove spray-on bed liners are toxic. Always read the warning labels on your product before use and never use corrosive chemicals without taking proper safety precautions.

Start in an area with plenty of ventilation. Always use eye protection, protective clothing, and gloves.

If you’re ever in doubt, skip the chemicals. Another option is to use an angle grinder and wire wheel to remove old spray-on material.

Using a Heat Gun and Chisel

Use a heat gun or torch and grab a hammer and chisel for this next part.

Heat the pieces of your liner and start chipping away. Make sure you angle your chisel or you could dent your truck bed.

If you don’t have a heat gun and chisel another option is to use a paint scraper. Keep in mind that it will take longer to finish the job using a paint scraper.

Smooth the Surface

After you’ve removed most or all of your truck bed liner, you need to prep the surface.

Use sandpaper to even out the surface of your truck bed. Fine-grit sandpaper is good if you only have minimal smoothing to do. You may need a heavy-grit paper to remove any stubborn pieces left behind.

Now you’re prepared the surface for a new do it yourself spray in bed liner.

Truck Bed Repair

If you don’t want to remove your truck liner, you can repair it instead. Depending on the state of your liner, this tends to take less time than the removal process.

If your truck liner isn’t under warranty anymore or you bought your truck used, you’ll have to repair it on your own.

Here’s how to repair a do it yourself truck bed liner:

Start with Prep Work

You need to prep the surface of your truck liner before you can repair it. Start in a well-ventilated area protected from the elements.

Begin by cleaning your truck bed. Remove any rust with a rust remover or steel wool and then wipe away the shavings. Take a mild detergent and mix it with water and then wash out your truck bed.

Allow the area to dry. You can speed up the process by wiping it down with towels or rags.

Lightly scuff the surface around any damage with steel wool. This ensures the spray-on liner grips better. 

With plastic and painter’s tape, protect the areas of your truck you don’t want to be sprayed. Make sure you have gloves and protective eyewear before the next part.

Using a Paint Sprayer

Always read the instructions on your sprayer before use. Some will vary in the way you need to use them.

Prime the surface if you have to. Then, spray the liner repair product onto the damaged area following instructions on the back.

Let the product cure for 1-2 days.

Paint sprayers are best for large areas that need repair, but what about smaller flaws?

Using a Paint Tray

You can repair minor damage to your bed liner like scuffs or small cracks using a different method. Instead of using a sprayer, pour the liner repair product into a paint tray. Using a paintbrush, cover small flaws yourself.

You still need to let the product cure for the recommended amount of time indicated on your liner paint.

Leave major repairs to a dealer or professional for best results, sometimes it’s just best to get auto services.

Keep Your Truck Looking Good for Years to Come

A damaged bed liner not only looks awful, but it’s also not protecting your truck bed as it should. Removing or repairing a do it yourself bed liner takes time and effort, but the results are worth it.

With these simple truck bed repair tips, you can keep your truck looking good for years to come.

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