Tired of finding dings and scratches on your prized Jeep Wrangler JK? Consider applying a coat of bedliner protection to it. This simple material is a great option for protecting your vehicle’s fenders and bumpers from the damage caused when you take it off-roading. There are several brands out there, but the following are three of the more popular ones among Jeep owners. Also included are fairly simple how-to instructions, so you can do it yourself at home.By Jeffrey Bausch – November 11, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
While Jeep Wrangler JK owners take tremendous pride in maintaining the look and integrity of their vehicle, it doesn’t mean they’re going to protect them from every possible damaging situation. Most like to take their cars off-roading, which, after all, is what these cars are built for. But this activity can results in a multitude of scratches and dings to the car’s fenders and bumpers. Over time, it can become a true eyesore. One popular solution, which is also tremendously effective, is to apply a coat of bedliner paint to these exterior components. It’s essentially spray-on plastic, but does your car a world of good in protecting it from rocks, branches, and other Earthy objects that might be fun to drive over, but will do a whole lot of damage to the car.
Figure 1. Jeep Wrangler.
Continue reading for the how-to instructions on using bedliner paint, and keep reading for the more popular brands to choose from.
Table of Contents
How to Paint Your Wrangler Using Bedliner Paint
- 100 grit sandpaper
- Rubber gloves
- Metal coating tray
- 4″ coating roller cage
- 2″ coating brush
- Masking tape
- 2 quarts of preferred bedliner material
Step 1 – Prepare the area
First you will need to prepare the area where the bedliner material is going to be applied. Begin by cleaning off all heavy dirt and grime with the sandpaper. Next, mask off all bolts, brackets, screws, and anything else that you don’t want the material to adhere to.
Figure 2. Prep the bumper for bedliner treatment.
Step 2 – Sand the area
Using the 100 grit sandpaper, sand down all surfaces to which the material is being applied. A good rule of thumb is no area should appear glossy. Everything should be dulled down. When complete, blow or wipe out all remaining sand dust.
Figure 3. Bumper after sanding.
Step 3 – Apply bedliner material
Open the quart and stir the material to create a smooth consistency. Pour a portion in the roller tray, cover the can, and begin application. Apply a thin first coat just to cover the area; allow to dry. When complete, apply Xylene or similar material to prevent “dry out.” After an hour or so, apply the second coat—when the material is a bit sticky/tacky. The second coat is the one that will begin to “color” the area. Fill in all seams and corners with the coating brush as necessary.
Repeat steps as desired, whether it’s to create a consistent coloring of the area, or to ensure greater durability/longevity. Most Jeep Wrangler JK owners report having applied four coats to protect against off-road conditions.
Figure 4. Panel cleaned and ready for bedlining.
Step 4 – Remove masking tape
When you’ve applied your last coat, immediately remove all masking tape from the area. Allow the bedliner material to dry for several hours. This could be longer in cold/dry conditions, and less in warm/humid environments. Do not clean or expose the area to chemicals for at least one business week.
Figure 5. Fresh bedliner sprayed on rocker panel.
Bedliner Material Reviews
It doesn’t matter if you go to Pep Boys or Amazon, there are a TON of bedliner materials to choose from. Here are three of the more popular brands to choose from among Jeep Wrangler JK owners.
|DupliColor Bed Armor||Rustoleum||Plasti-Kote|
|Warranty||Very limited||“No-peel Promise,” adhesion guarantee; if product fails, company will replace product||Will meet and exceed your expectations; if not, company will replace product|
Best Quality: Plasti-Kote
Best Value: Rustoleum
DupliColor Bed Armor
Price – $40
Size – Quart
Performance – Sufficient
Warranty – Very limited
All in all, customers who bought this product comment on how it’s easy to apply, but that it’s easy to peel/chip off. As such, it is recommended you apply multiple coats to protect it from dings and scratches. This is not entirely out of the ordinary, but the ease with which one can get their fingernails into this material and scratch away at it leads to many questioning the integrity of the product. In the end, you may wind up spending a lot of your time applying and reapplying the product, which can prove costly. Recommended for those looking for a more temporary solution.
Price – $20
Size – Quart
Performance – Adequate
Warranty – No-peel Promise, adhesion guarantee; if product fails, company will replace product
The case of Rustoleum’s line of bedliner materials is one where the products actually backs up the reputation. Rustoleum is a bargain compared to the other two materials compared on this page, is just as easy to apply, and performs adequately enough. Multiple applications are necessary, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Customers comment on the longevity of the material as well, saying that it far succeeds their expectations. Recommended for those looking for the budget option.
Price – $60
Size – Quart
Performance – Superb
Warranty – Will meet and exceed your expectations; if not, company will replace product
Plati-Kote’s line of bedliner protective paint is by far the best reviewed. Customers most oft-cited comments include the ease with which one can apply the material, how well it adheres to all of the nooks and corners of the vehicle, how durable it is against bangs and scratches, and how long it lasts. If you are looking to perform this chore on your Jeep Wrangler JK once every few years, invest the few extra bucks into Plasti-Kote, and know that you’re doing your vehicle a world of good by applying this material to it. Recommended for those looking for the highest quality results.