Herculiner Pros and Cons

Herculiner truck bed liner kit
(Photo from Amazon)

Whether you use your truck for work or play, your truck bed leads a rough life and gets very little respect for a job well done. But you can protect your pickup truck bed or Jeep/Bronco tub from scratches and rust with an affordable do-it-yourself brush-on bed liner kit from Herculiner -- for years of heavy duty use.​

The kit includes everything you'll need to do the job yourself:

  • one gallon of Herculiner textured polyurethane coating (covers one 6-ft. truck bed with two coats)
  • one application brush
  • two rollers
  • one roller handle
  • one abrasive cleaning pad
  • one can opener
  • detailed instructions for priming your truck bed and applying the liner

NOTES: Before you start the project, it is strongly advised that you purchase one Quart of Xylene, Acetone or MEK (to finish the prep work by deglazing the surface of the truck bed before coating), an extra quart of Herculiner (just in case), some chemical-resistant rubber gloves, a stir stick (or use a drill with a paint mixing attachment), a paint tray and some rags, 2" wide blue painters tape for masking off areas.

Xylene can also be used to remove the Herculiner product if it spills or gets on your skin.

For faster results from roughing up the surface before you apply Herculiner, consider using the sanding attachment on your drill.

Best Reasons To Use Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner Kit on Pickup Truck Beds - Jeeps - Broncos

Among the many options for applying a bed liner to your pickup truck, Jeep, or other off-road vehicle, the Herculiner Brush-on Bed Liner Kit ranks among the best for a number of reasons:

  • An affordable alternative to plastic drop-in and messy spray-on liners. You can complete the project for $100-$150 in a day or a weekend.
  • Adds a skid-resistant surface to your truck bed and a tough, textured finish from a proprietary polyurethane and rubber formula.
  • Bonds and seals all surfaces to prevent rust.
  • Waterproof, non-flammable (when dry), and resistant to damage from oil, gasoline, solvents and chemicals.
  • Flexible—won't chip, flake or peel.
  • Can withstand years of heavy-duty use.
  • Helps to dampen some of the road noise.
  • Used in vehicles like Jeeps and Broncos, it eliminates the ongoing worry about damaging your carpet.
  • Makes cleaning up after hauling or four-wheeling much easier, since you can simply rinse out the entire area with water.
  • Available in black, gray, red and white.
  • Easy enough to do it yourself.
  • The first coat forms a good base. After allowing 1 to 1½ hours to dry, apply a second coat that will cover any open pores. Then after 90 minutes of drying time, your truck bed is ready for light use.
  • Within 24 hours the bed liner is fully cured and able to handle whatever you might throw its way. (Curing begins when the Herculiner is exposed to atmospheric moisture. Therefore, with higher humidity, curing time is shorter.)
  • Can be applied between 32 F and 95F. The colder the temperature and the lower the humidity, the longer the curing process will take.
  • It's repairable. Just touch it up with more Herculiner... it bonds to itself. Other bed liner coatings would have to be removed to repair gouges.
  • Can also be used as an automotive undercoating, for protecting trailers, hitch receivers, grill and trim around headlights, bumpers, door jams, flares, roof racks, mirrors, nerf bars, roll bars, wheel wells, skid plates, ramps, 4x4 tubs, marine decks, walkways, steps and more.
  • Bonds to most clean/dry surfaces, including painted or primed steel and adheres quickly to metal, aluminum, concrete, wood, asphalt, plastic, rubber and fiberglass.
  • Can be applied with a brush/roller or with a spray compressor.
  • Has a long shelf-life. If unopened, a can of Herculiner can be stored for several years.
  • Is so professional in appearance, that most people think it's a spray-on bed liner, and that you paid several hundred dollars more than you did.
  • Preparation is the key to the entire process and will ultimately determine how long your Herculiner "lasts."
  • The satisfaction rate among those who've applied the Herculiner themselves is extremely high.
  • No risk of overspray -- a common problem with spray-ons (such as Speedliner or Line-X).
  • Prevents things from sliding around in the back due to its slightly bumpy texture.
  • After applying the Herculiner and letting it cure a couple days, you could also go over the entire area with black Rustoleum paint for a more shiny, finished look.

Things To Consider Before Applying Herculiner Brush-on Bed Liner To Your Truck Bed - Jeep - Bronco

While the Herculiner Brush-on Bed Liner Kit ranks among the best when it comes to do-it-yourself bed liners, there are a few things to keep in mind before you begin:

  • Must be applied in a well-ventilated area.
  • The Herculiner smell lingers for up to a week later.
  • Nearly impossible to remove from skin. If you get some on you, clean it off immediately with Xylene, then wash the area with soap and water.
  • Red, gray and white kits cost more than black.
  • It is critical that you do NOT rush the prep phase. The more time you take scuffing the paint, the better the Herculiner will adhere to your truck bed.
  • When you think you've scuffed the surface enough, you haven't. It takes several passes to get the appropriate "roughness" which causes the Herculiner to adhere properly. The places you did not rough up enough are the places the Herculiner will begin to wear away first.
  • The instructions state "preparation & application takes about 4 hours." More typically, the prep work is done over the course of a few days -- a little bit at a time. On average, it takes about 4 hours to "rough up" the entire surface which you intend to coat with the Herculiner -- that is AFTER you've spent a considerable amount of time cleaning out the vehicle to the bare bones first. Of course, this process takes longer when applying Herculiner to the interior of Jeeps, Broncos, and such.
  • It takes about an hour to apply each coat. Plus allow for 2 hours of drying time in between coats.
  • The can of Herculiner itself is made of a soft, pliable metal which makes opening the can quite a procedure -- without damaging the lid, that is.
  • Has a tendency to fade to gray with prolonged exposure to sunlight (causes UV damage to the Herculiner). To restore the luster to Herculiner, simply clean it with Spic'n Span and rinse thoroughly. Then you can apply Armor All (surface will become slippery).
  • Eventually, all liners made from polyurethane materials (like Herculiner, Rhino Lining, etc.) will begin to turn a chalky white/gray color. This is a form of fading that can be cured with a special conditioner that brings the black gloss back out.
  • After the first coat alone, you might question the results, however, you just need the full 2 coats to get the real look and durability of the Herculiner.
  • The finished product, after the recommended 2 coats isn't quite as thick as that of a sprayed-in liner.
  • May tend to get tacky (gooey) in the summer's heat.
  • You cannot let the liquid pool up too much in any spot, as that will lead to cracking in those places.
  • Most of the "negative" comments tend to revolve around applying Herculiner to fenders. In many cases, it tends to flake off; though that could be due to poor prep work.
  • It cannot be removed. While you use Xylene while the Herculiner is still wet, if it dries, it's permanent (which is also a GOOD thing).
  • For repeated heavy-duty use of the truck bed, an additional coat or two would be recommended.
  • The ultimate thickness of the Herculiner coating on your truck bed depends on the number of coats you apply. Most are happiest when they go a step further and apply a 3rd or even 4th coat to the bed of the truck for even greater durability and longevity. At the very least, you might consider applying an extra coat on the tailgate because that is where most things are placed (or dropped) first. If desired, you could go a bit thinner on the sides, since most items don't hit or rest there.