How much bedliner do I need?

Comparing the recommendations for truck bed coatings from the pros

Spray lining complaints can be avoided by ensuring you bypass fake names or titles some spray liner companies can use. We expose some of the common mistakes and misunderstandings below with some simple advice.

These issues summarize coating truck bed requirements:

  1. Cost of product (the natural sprayable liquid per sq. ft. at certain height)
  2. Cost of the service for bedliner applicator
  3. The specific coating qualities and application method employed
  4. Ensuring enough liquid is being applied to provide correct thickness
Go Directly to our Convenient Online Calculator for Accurate Bedliner Product Needs:

Calculator for truck bed coatings

While the cost of any product you choose is your first consideration, it is easy to understand that you can avoid many problems which lead to complaints by also considering other factors.  There are coatings for “general” applications and more specific coatings for exacting requirements.  For a successful and complaint free Pickup Truck Bed Lining, consider the other requirements which affect quality.

A good truck bedliner includes materials with very high strength and a slip-proof texture; other issues like UV stability for long term protection and color should be considered as well. Specific application method, i.e. spray-on technique may also differ, but no bedliner of any quality is ever rolled. There are products offered which the promise of providing complete coverage with one gallon, but we consider these claims to be a scam and encourage others to avoid them.

A gallon of truck bedliner or any liquid has only so much coverage capacity.  One gallon covers 1,604 sq. ft at 1 mil high (1 mil = 1/1,000 of an inch). Even the lowest coverage recommendations from Spray-lining competitors suggests 63 mils.

Just to cover the bed flooring of a compact truck (approx. 24 sq. feet) with no waste requires 1 gallon of material with no waste. To cover the inside walls and wrap over the rails (approx. 65 sq. feet) requires 2 ½ gallons of the same compact truck bed.

Recommendations for truck bed liners from the experts:

1- Under 1/16 inch or 63 mils is lower  quality    

2- 1/16 to 1/12 inch or 63 to 83 mils is good quality  

3- 1/12 to 1/8 inch or 83 to 125 mils is high quality  

4- Over 125 mils is best quality                                                                                             

While many factors determine you coverage needs and the actual area of coverage, you can estimate your square footage requirements with three measurements.

  1. Measure the inside of your truck bed at the longest point for length, width, and depth (in inches).
  2. Multiply the length by the width and record the number.
  3. Add the length plus the width and multiply by 2 (this equals all four sides of bed).
  4. Multiply that by the depth (if you are wrapping over top of rails, add 2 inches to the depth before multiplying).
  5. Add the result to the measurement in step 2 and divide the results by 144.

This calculation will provide a rough idea of the total square footage, but it is always recommended to add for overspray, waste, and surface irregularities. Spray-Lining provides a quality product and wants your truck bedliner to be complaint free. For this reason, we suggest estimating 10 to 20 percent additional materials. If the additional is not needed, it can be applied later to provide even more truck bed protection.

It’s easy to see that the amount of product required can vary greatly, but whether you choose Spray-Lining, or another brand, the required product for proper coverage remains the same. Don’t be misled by false claims of coverage.  Be sure to always factor in the actual product required, not the promise to protect your truck bed with a single thin layer of coating.

When deciding on what product and/or application professional to use, while certain qualities should be clearly stated, printed or displayed, the actual amount of sprayable liquid can be seemingly unclear. In USA this amount translates directly to the thickness known as “mil height” (thousandths of an inch which may be in millimeters in Canada). Mil height is measured with a mil gauge, or you’d simply grab a thick needle with pliers and push the needle through the liner until it hits the metal bed, mark the needle to measure that distance. 

You can avoid misrepresentation by other spray on bedliner dealers by better understanding the amount of sprayable liquid needed for your spray lining to function correctly in your truck bed.

AVERAGE TRUCK BED: Using a wall height of 24 inches this dimension chart (for pickup bed tops) will suffice ( ).

Other relevant images or specifications on size of various truck beds:

* Polyurea or Polyhybrid material has usual range of tensile or tear strength specs of 1,400 to over 4,000 PSI along with high levels of elasticity, elongation & hardness.

*** Finally, truthful quality related to Spray-Lining and Coatings thickness has been revealed ***

* Averages within USA & Canada, mill heights are recommended by polyurea manufacturers, spray-lining bedliner vendors and professional applicators

* Shop applied sprayed linings only were  reviewed, not DIY bedliners or kits as spray lining complaints exist on DIY notwithstanding spray lining-industry, DIY scams.

* Professional spray-on lining applicators; Line-X, Ultimate Linings, Rhino Linings, SPI, Speedliner, Langman, Scorpion Coatings, Vortex Spray-Liners with Spray-Lining were  reviewed.


How Much Bedliner Do I Need For My Truck — 18 Comments

  1. A body shop using product called Scorpion bed-liner stopped spraying it. I needed it thicker so they sold me a few “liters” of stuff named, Als Liner. That helped but I need it thicker stronger, both would be best. Is there a Spray-Lining Coating dealer certified I’m NYC?

  2. Spray-Lining & Coatings stated that a good Polyurea truck Bed Liner includes materials with very high strength and a slip-proof texture. Can most trucks have the same bed liners or are there certain ones for specific types of beds? My brother is thinking about buying a truck for his wife’s birthday and someone suggested that he get one with a bed liner. Finding a lower cost Spray-Lining & Coatings Dealer who can install high quality Polyurea bed liner could be very beneficial.

  3. I have a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 4 door full cab short bed , how many gallons do you think it would take to cover my entire truck including bed, grill, bumpers, everything covered.

    • A full size truck like the Ram 1500 has approximately 377 sq ft of surface area on a 4 door short bed, less glass- (28 sq ft = 4 windows + 20 sq ft windshield, 15 sq ft rr window, so 377 less 63 sq ft) = 314 sq ft minimum painted surface. Add misc parts & waste, (approx 50 sq ft with nothing on under-body) makes the total approx. 364 sq ft. At 63 mil = 14.5 spray-able / at 125 mil = 29.0 spray-able gallons. General protection is only 63 mil. Over 100 is applied at stress zones like bed bottom, gate, fender wells. Under 40 mil is Ok on hood, upper parts; mostly decorative. Don’t need 125 mil everywhere unless plan is to beat living daylights out of it. Whats so cool is how polyurea (actual bedliner formula) is a FRACTION of cost of quality paints.

      • Hi Marc. Actually 3 gallons of our 100% solids products is a pretty good general estimate for many trucks. It really all comes down to how thick you want it and how many square feet of coverage you need. The truck bed coverage calculator here on this page can make that simple to determine. Remember that most products are NOT 100% solids, so you lose volume by drying. Raptor for instance, is only 57% solids, so you loose 43% as it dries.
        Always be sure to provide actual protection suited to your needs, don’t just “paint” your truck bed.

    • Paul,
      While you can paint a truck bed with 1 gallon, it simply is painting. Better to save money and buy a gallon of exterior oil based enamel. The results would be about the same. Reality is that ALL single part coatings dry, and are only about 50% solids, so they shrink as they dry. Add that to the fact that a full size 6 foot bed is at least 70 sq ft, and you find that these bedliners like Herculiner, Raptor, etc. cannot give you more than 11 mils (11/1000th inch) coverage with a gallon. Automotive paint is approx 1.5 mils, so you do get a coating that is about 7-8 times as thick, but try asking your Line-X dealer if he would apply truck bed liner at that thickness. He will certainly laugh at the proposition and tell you to paint your truck.
      In fact… although Raptor is only 57% solids and they recommend 3 coats at 8 mils each which they tell you will dry to 5 mils each (15 mils total), they still recommend 2 gallons. Raptor does not recommend more than 3 coats, so you can NEVER get any true truck bed protection according to their own directions.
      Plan for 63 mils (at least on the horizontal surface) and don’t “paint” your truck.

  4. Thanks for the information about bed coating. I am trying to decide what kind of bed lining I want for my truck. I like your idea to choose a bed liner with materials that can hold up to UV rays. It makes sense that that could help it last longer in the sun. I will have to look for a liner like that.

  5. I have 2003 dodge ram 1500 with a full leer cap on the bed.
    How much do I need to cover the whole truck, cap and bed?

    Fyi, bed I want it to be black and the outside different color.

    Thank you in advance.

  6. Why do different spray-on DIY Bedliner products claim different coverage amounts? Why does your SLC DIY Bedliner contain 2.3 or 4.6 or 6.9 gallons, whynit 1, 2, 3, etc gallons?

  7. Thank you Nat: 2.3 gallons per “small bed” is minimum because mathematically 60 square feet @ 63 mil or 1/16 inch thick equals 2.36 gallons. Considering waste and the fact that 1/16 inch is (technically) NOT too thick (according to SLC), that was chosen as “small or economy bed”… That’s because a small bed is less than 60 sq ft. 4.6 gal is advised for larger truck beds approx 75-80 sq ft and thicker @ 125 mil. For Large trucks, with bed, rails, rocker panels, fender flares, frontal bras or roll bars 6.9 gal is advised. Finally: Most professional shops who spray bedliner apply at only 40-60 mil. Many of these shops use the “Full Size” or “3 bed kit”, the 6.9 gallon deal to complete up to 4 truck bed liners.

  8. That’s good to know that one gallon of truck bedliner covers 1,604 sq. ft at 1 mil high but that it’s recommended to have a spray that works with 63 mils. This is helpful since my son wants to spray the bed of his truck, so I’m looking into what we need to get. We’ll have to figure out the measurements of his bed and then find a company that sells spray that will cover the mils and square feet of his truck.

  9. I am going to spray the interior of my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK. Does the canned Duplicolor spray on liner work well enough for this? Should I can spray it all, or roll on, then do a finishing coat with canned spray? I want it to look even. Doing myself as costs here in Tampa are high for companies to do so.

    • Hi Chuck,
      We would NEVER recommend you paint your vehicle with a spray can if you want real protection. Protection requires not only a good product, but thickness. Thickness requires volume. A spray can with about 1/2 pint of actual product after drying means you need 16 cans for a gallon. At a cost of about $12 each, Duplicolor Truck Bedliner would cost you $192 a gallon. Our Compact Truck Bed Liner provides real protection, has about 1 1/2 gallons total product after combining with the powders and only costs about $109 without the spray gun: . You can apply with spray gun (recommended), brush, or roller.
      Why would you pay twice the price for a low quality rubberized paint with far less volume?

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