Herculiner DIY Bed Coating

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Accessories' started by mhevezi, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. mhevezi

    mhevezi Rockstar

    So I saw a thread on here with a step-by-step on a FORD truck, so I thought I'd do my own, by a CHEVY owner on a CHEVY truck. Not that there's a difference, but come on!

    I did a similar bed treatment (using the Dupli-Color Kit) on a Mitsubishi Mighty Max last year and wrote up a how-to, on the Mitsu forum:


    (side note: you can only post 4 pics at a time, so I will use replies to add additional images)

    Since I needed a bigger truck, I bought a beat-up, 2004 Chevy that needed some serious love. It is a Work Truck that was definitely used for work. I wanted to have the bed professionally done with a Rhino Liner or Line-X, but after paying my property taxes (ugh), there was not much left, so I opted for the Herculiner Kit, after reading some good things about it. I was able to get the kit at a cheaper than retail price, but you can get the main kit, an extra quart of liner, and the UV protectant on E-Bay for $120.

    You will also need some gloves, solvent (acetone), a paint stiirrer, paint tray (or two), masking tape, eye protection & full coverage clothing. Oh and a day plus is recommended.

    So my truck bed was HEAVILY used, and the previous owner had a utility rack on truck and had a tool box in the bed. The top rails of the bed had 22 holes drilled on one side, and 24 holes on the other. The tool box didn't obviously fit in my truck and the owner had to beat the wheel fenders in with a hammer to make his toolbox fit. See how the bed was when I started?



    So I tool a sledgehammer and beat the fenders back into a normal-looking shape:

    Now, the most important part of these DIY bed coating kits is PREP, PREP and maybe some additional PREP. Don't skimp here. First wash all the dirt and grease out of the bed and dry it real good. Then you need to scuff up the paint for best adhesion. I took 50-grit sandpaper on a finishing sander and went to town. The kit supplies you with a cheesy brillow pad, but opt for some gritty sandpaper and scuff the bed real good, like so:

    (notice the top rails, I used JB-Weld to plug many of the holes on the top rails. It needs a while to dry, but otherwise worked great! I prepped one day, and did the application on the next day)

    Once you have washed and sanded the bed, rinse and dry it & then take some acetone or similar solvent and wipe the bed down good, to dissolve and remove any leftover oils that will compromise the coating. This is an important step.

    The kit comes with one gallon of coating (not enough in my opinion), a roller, with two rolls, a brush and instructions.

    The Duplicolor stuff is like thick jelly and brushed on quickly and easily. The Herculiner is thinner, but has a bunch of rubber beads that settle to the bottom, and it needs to be stirred real good at first, and all through the coating- keep stirring it. It doesn't coat well when brushed, but works much, much better when dabbed. You can spray this stuff on, but I chose to use the brush & roller method. I used the brush for the first coat & roller for the second. I also chose to coat the top rails, but that's a personal choice. The directions say to remove the truck tailgate, but you don't really have to.

    Now, the Duplicolor kit I used previously went on thinner and dried to the touch much quicker. I was able to crawl in the bed in just an hour to do the 2nd coating. But the Herculiner stuff was still tacky, and I had to wait 3-4 hours to do the 2nd coat. I applied the coating on a warm, sunny day, 65 to 70 degrees and light humidity. For the 2nd coat, I used the roller attachment on a long stick to roll on what I had left from the gallon. I used about 60% for the first coat and 40% for the 2nd.

    The day after I applied the main kit, in 2 coats, I bought the extra quart and touched up some spots, where I could still see the bed color showing, I used all of the extra quart. My bed is 6.5 foot bed and this was the bare minimum for adequate coverage. I still may add some additional coating to the floor for maximum protection. I used the gallon from the kit, and the entire quart and even then, I can still find some thin spots, but overall, it come out really good, and is SUPER grippy. Feels like rubbery sandpaper, but it also feels strong and durable. The Duplicolor kit I used on my old Mitsubishi was definitely an improvement over the old bed, but didn't feel near as tough and thick as the Herculiner. I definitly think the Herculiner is worth the extra dough.

    I ride motocros and will put the bed through it's paces, and I haul bikes, stands, tools, etc, etc. I will post how the Herculiner holds up. The Duplicolor coating chipped pretty easily, but it was also easily touched up. Herculiner can be touched up too, but I am willing to bet that I won't have to touch up the Herculiner much at all. It feels that tough.
  2. mhevezi

    mhevezi Rockstar

    Here is the bed, after my prep:



    The Kit
  3. mhevezi

    mhevezi Rockstar

    Here is the bed after the First Coat:


  4. mhevezi

    mhevezi Rockstar

    Aaaaaand the Finished Product!!




    Even the top rails of the bed came out looking nice:

  5. kcb37

    kcb37 Member

    How long did you have your Mitsu?
    The Silverado looks good. But I have heard long run it fades real bad. Just curious.
  6. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Looks really good.
    Too bad you couldn't do anything about the damage on the top of the tailgate. (dents)
  7. bzboardco

    bzboardco Rockstar 100 Posts

    Looks really nice great job!
  8. mhevezi

    mhevezi Rockstar

    Yeah, the tailgate is beat up pretty good too, but it's a truck so I'm not too worried about it. The handle and latch didn't even work when I bought the truck, but after some "home body repair", I got the handle & latch working again. Maybe someday, I'll scour some wrecking yards for a better tailgate, since they are so easy to swap.

    My Mitsu was an experiment that failed. I was facing some re-organizations at my work, and didn't want to wind up with a fat car payment and no job! :( So I bought a beater Mitsu for cash, and fixed it up. But without A/C, power steering and since I am 6'03" and not 19 anymore, I just wasn't feeling the mini-truck vibe. Sure it fit nicely in my garage, and got decent gas mileage (24mpg), it was just too small and too "cheap" feeling for me.

    My '04 V6 WT gets 20mpg on the highway and rides MUCH better and quieter. Plus it has the options I really missed on the Mitsu. And, I am just a full-size kinda guy. I could maybe do a 4-door Colorado, but that's about as small as I'll ever go. It would be nice to have an extra cab, or options like power windows and outside mirrors, but overall, I'm very happy with my truck.

    I don't know about the fading, but most of the spray-in liners fade in the sun. You can get a clear coating for the Herculiner that is supposed to block the UV rays that dull the finish, to keep it looking newer, for longer. Personally, I wouldn't mind it a little faded, and I might add the UV protectant later on.
  9. 95CTburb19

    95CTburb19 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Nice job. I used the same stuff for the interior of my jeep. I only got 1 coat on and that was last summer. I paid like $100 for a gallon of the goo and the two rollers at Autozone. Definitely some grippy stuff, I ripped my knuckles up pretty good bolting my seats back in :lol:
  10. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I was going to do the bed in my S-10 with this stuff, because my rollbar prohibits me from putting any kind of a bed liner in it. I have picked that box up so many times I can't count on one hand, but now that I have seen what it looks like I might just have to finally buy it. I would have to do a lot of masking though, I think it looks really good for the money you spent. I just can't believe that the previous owner drilled all of those holes in the bed rails, that is just so half as&^%$. Didn't that guy ever see the ladder racks that mount in the stake pockets, I know it was a work truck but that was a little excessive I think.

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