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How to Remove Bed Liner: Spray-In or Roll-On

A quality bed liner is durable and long-lasting. That’s why undertaking the task to remove bed liner, whether it be a spray-in or roll-on, can be difficult. We are going to suggest some of the best ways to remove a spray-in or roll-on bed liner so you can find the task to be easier.  

Why You Need to Remove Bed Liner

It is a common misconception that you’ll never need to remove a bed liner. Many people assume they are meant to last forever, but that isn’t the case. While products like Durabak are made to be durable, there are others that tend to be of a lower-grade material and can leave you needing to replace it. Here are some things you might run into when using a bed liner and how you can prevent it:


Thankfully, most of the staining occurs either from water spots or grease and oil. To avoid this from becoming permanent on the bed liner, it is important that you clean your bed liner often. Be sure that you remove any trapped dirt and debris promptly. With proper care, staining will not be an issue to the quality of your bed liner.


As a result of UV radiation, a lower-quality bed liner can fade over time. That’s because the sun will break down the chemicals which produced the liner’s color. With Durabak, you get a formula that is UV-resistant for your bed liner.

Peeling & Cracks

If your bed liner suffers from damage such as cracks, peeling and bubbles, you might be covered under the warranty, but they are normally limited to the original purchaser. If you’ve purchased the truck used, you probably won’t be able to get coverage.

Important Note about Removing a Bed Liner:

Now seems to be the best time to tell you that we don’t personally recommend removing a bed liner on your own. It is a job best left to professionals if it needs to be done at all. It is a far better option to install another liner directly on top of your existing spray-in bed liner. This will fix your cosmetic issues without the need to refinish the bed. We are quite partial to the Durabak formula if you want to get the job done right. Keep in mind that applying a new Durabak liner to an existing one is easy and doesn’t require removal. Simply cut out any damaged parts and then thoroughly clean and rough up with a 60-grit sandpaper. Once you’ve cleaned the area with Xylene, you can apply a new coating of Durabak because it bonds to itself. This is a good reason to make the switch now to Durabak. If you still feel that removing the bed liner is the way to go, for example, if you need to restore the truck to factory condition, then read on.

Steps to Remove Bed Liner

If you are ready to jump in and begin the process, here are some tools and equipment you’ll want to keep handy.
  • Chemical stripper
  • Heat gun
  • Grinder
  • Hammer and Chisel

Step One to Remove Bed Liner – Evaluate the Material

Before you begin the task of attempting to remove a bed liner, it is important that you know what materials you are dealing with. If you are using a Durabak Bedliner, they are polyurethane-based. These have a different process than many other options. You can also take a few minutes to look at the overall condition. If you notice flakes or bubbles, it might be easier to remove. If the bed liner looks completely intact, you need to prepare for a lot of work ahead.

Step Two – Prepare Yourself & Area

Before you begin removing the bed liner, it is imperative that you protect yourself and the area you are working in. Wear protective clothing that keeps you safe from hazardous materials. In addition, you want to work in an area where there aren’t other items affected. It is also important that you work in an area with adequate ventilation.

Step Three – Use Chemical Products to Remove Bed Liner

Chemicals will make the removal process much easier. If you are using a Durabak liner, apply a urethane remover such as Peel Away. Put the thinner onto the liner and let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will soften the bond and make the material easier to scrape off. Consider doing this in small sections at a time for the best results. If you are working with other types of bed liners, aircraft stripper seems to be effective. It is a potent chemical stripper that comes highly recommended. If the bed liner is made of other materials, you can use Aircraft Remover instead. It can effectively strip away any paint it comes in contact with, but it can also melt plastic. It is important that you use these chemicals wisely. Simply paint the chemical on your bed liner. Then, allow it to soak in for five to fifteen minutes. Once it begins to loosen up you can start to scrape away what is removable. This process can take multiple coatings and will require some patience on your part. Take your time because this is the ideal way to remove the bed liner without damaging your truck’s bed.

Use a Grinder to Remove Bed Liner

Sometimes you are going to face a thick section of material that needs to be removed. Other times, people prefer to go about the removal process without the use of chemical products. While this journey will take longer, it is possible. You could also utilize an angle grinder fitted with a wire wheel.  This process is going to require a large amount of patience for completion.

Use a Heat Gun and Chisel to Remove Bed Liner

Another option is to get out the heat gun and chisel. Once you’ve heated the pieces of the liner, you should be able to slowly chisel them away. You may find that a paint scraper is a less aggressive approach, but could take longer. Pro tip: Be sure you angle the chisel or you could dent the bed.

Don’t Forget to Sand

After you’ve completed the process of using chemicals, heating, chiseling or grinding, you need to be sure and sand what is left over. Sometimes you can opt for a fine grit if you have minimal smoothing left to accomplish. Other times, you are going to require the use of a heavy duty grit to help remove the final pieces of bed liner.

Other Important Notes

Here are a few points that weren’t mentioned above but need to be said.
  • Consider working in an area other than your garage. Removing a bed liner can be messy and hard to clean up.
  • When you are factoring in the cost to remove a bed liner, add in a new paint job as well. If you are not planning to install a new bed liner, the truck bed will most likely need to be repainted.
  • Prepare for damage to the truck bed. Most often, DIY bed liner removal will leave you with dents or melted trim pieces. These occurrences can even happen to the professionals.
  • Prepare for the cost of doing it yourself. You might find that after you purchase the equipment you need and the chemical products, you might be spending almost as much as hiring someone.
  • I can’t say it enough! Wear the proper safety equipment. This includes a mask and coveralls to protect your body.

Hire a Professional Instead?

Do all of these seem like too much work? Sometimes, it pays to have a professional complete the process for you. Sure, you are looking at a hefty bill, but it is better than causing damage to the bed of your truck. Alternatively, you could still skip the whole process and apply Durabak instead! Wouldn’t that be easier?

Do You Think Removing an Old Bed Liner is Worth the Trouble?

The majority of people we’ve spoken with agree that removing an old roll-on or spray-in bed liner isn’t worth the trouble. What are your thoughts on having to remove bed liner? Would you personally put forth the effort to accomplish such a lofty task? It could be necessary if you need to restore a factory paint job. Otherwise, why not just cover up that beat up liner with a new Durabak?

Why Durabak?

There are plenty of options available to you on the market today. So let’s take a quick look at why Durabak is the best choice for your truck:
  1. Durabak is Designed to Durable and Long-Lasting – Your truck takes a beating! That’s why you need a tough and resistant option. Durabak offers extreme impact protection as well as resistance to UV rays, weather and heat.
  2. Durabak is Easy to Apply – It only takes a few hours and simple equipment for you to have a new truck bed liner. Use a paintbrush, sprayer or roller and get the job done fast.
  3. Durabak is Trusted – Durabak is used by some of the biggest companies out there. This includes The United States NAVY, Costco and Kenworth.

In Closing

Tackling the process to remove a bed liner may seem daunting and for good reason! It is a lot of work. You don’t have to walk through this process alone. Your friends at Durabak are available to help you with all your truck needs from removal to application. If you have questions or concerns, contact our experienced team members so we can help find a solution for you.

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