A roll on bed liner seemed like one way to stop the decline of our old pickup. Old Mitsubishi pickups, in this case a 1980 Plymouth Arrow, are noted for becoming rusty as the years pass. This truck seemed like a good candidate for a do it yourself bed liner. You certainly couldn’t justify a professional liner on this truck. Here;s how it went.
The first order was to do some basic repairs to stop the rust. Before starting, we did a thorough cleaning. Now washing isn’t enough. We used acetone to get off any wax and grease. Wax and grease are not good bases for paint… After the washing came some heavy sanding to get rid of much of the rust.
After the sanding, we used some chemical rust converter to stop further problems. We even spray some primer on any bare spots, anything to help that paint stick.
At that point, we’ve got solid surfaces to paint over. We’ve got a clean surface and we’ve got a really well sanded finish. You might even call the finish scratched, not just sanded.
Now came the fun. Putting on the paint is about as easy as could be. See, this is really thick paint with lots of texture. That means it covers all kinds of defects perfectly. The spray on bedliner thing that disappears is any trace of brush marks or roller marks either. Quickly an old truck bed looks like it just got a new lease on life.
As this is written, that project is over two years old. The paint has held on just right. It is a bit scratched and scarred, but it’s been sorely tested. The damage is minor and hardly noticeable from a few feet away. Thing is, all the damage is easily repaired anyway.
The old truck we drive still looks presentable, partly because the bed liner has helped us stop further corrosion of the truck bed. A roll on bed liner is a fast, cheap way to make an older truck look much better. Preparation of the painted surface is the key to success. That takes some time, but it isn’t all that difficult.