Can You Paint Over Rustoleum Bed Liner: Let’s Find Out The Answer

Can You Paint Over Rustoleum Bed Liner

Rustoleum bed liner is a popular product used by many truck owners to protect and preserve their truck beds. The thick, textured coating helps to prevent scratches, rust, and damage from heavy cargo loads. Over time, though, the bed liner can start to show signs of wear, and you may want to freshen up the look with a new coat of paint. But can you paint directly over the Rustoleum coating?

The short answer to this question is yes, you can paint over the Rustoleum bed liner. However, there are some essential steps to take first to ensure the new paint that you are applying adheres properly and lasts longer. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of preparing and painting Rustoleum bed liners. 

Steps For Preparing And Painting Over Rustoleum Bed Liner


  • Thoroughly clean the bed liner by using soap and warm water to remove any dirt, grease or other contaminants. 
  • Use a plastic bristle scrub brush and an all-purpose cleaner to scrub the entire liner surface, and rinse thoroughly with a hose.
  • Let the bed liner dry completely before moving to the next steps. At least 24 hours of drying time is ideal.
  • Lightly scuff up the shiny, smooth surface of the bed liner by using a 220-grit sandpaper. This will help the new paint to bond. Focus on scuffing any exceptionally smooth areas as well.
  • Wipe down the sanded surface to remove any dust. From my experience, tack cloth is the best piece of material for this.
  • Mask off any areas that you don’t want to have a paint on, such as the edges along the top of the truck bed. Use a high-quality painter’s tape and press it down firmly to cover up those areas.


  • Apply a coat of adhesion-promoting primer to the sanded bed liner. This will really help the new paint to stick perfectly.
  • Allow the primer to dry per the instruction marked on the can, usually at least 24 hours.
  • Lightly scuff the primed surface with 400-grit sandpaper to heighten mechanical adhesion.
  • Clean again with a tack cloth to remove any dust.


  • Apply 2-3 thin coats of spray paint by allowing proper dry time between coats. Lightly sand with fine sandpaper between coats for best results.
  • For spray paint, shake the can vigorously for 2-3 minutes before spraying. Hold the can 6-10 inches from the surface while spraying.
  • Evenly apply light coats by using a sweeping motion and allow the paint to dry between each coat.
  • For roller applications, use a short nap or foam rollers designed for smooth surfaces. Make sure that you roll in small sections for a better look.
  • Allow the paint to dry thoroughly, at least 24-48 hours, before applying a protective clear coat.


  • Apply 2-3 layers according to the product’s instructions by allowing proper dry time between each coat.
  • Allow the clearcoat to dry out thoroughly, at least 24-48 hours, just like in the painting process, before regular use of the truck bed.

Following these steps properly will allow the new paint to adhere tightly and last a longer time on your Rustoleum bed liner. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Paint Over Rustoleum Bed Liner

Q: What mistakes should I avoid when painting?

A: Rushing the prep work, not allowing proper dry times, applying too thick coats, and not properly cleaning and deglossing the surface first before painting.

Q: How long will the painted bed liner last?

A: With proper surface prep and application, it should last at least a few years before needing any touch-ups. Using a clearcoat will helps to extend the life for a longer period.

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