How Can I Replace Worn Carpet in My Vehicle with a Bed Liner?

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Answered by: Marie, An Expert in the DIY Repairs Category
How to Replace a Vehicle’s Carpet with Bed Liner

Leaks, spills, and stains can all ruin the integrity of a vehicle’s carpet. Even with the best care, your carpet may become worn and in need of replacement. Replace worn carpet before it becomes unsightly and odorous. Even if you replace worn carpet with new carpet, it will end up in the same tattered condition in no time. Fortunately, an application of bed liner eliminates the need for a carpeted surface. The fast and simple application process encourages even the novice to try it. Allow a full two days time to prepare and paint your floor pan with bed liner.

Tools Needed

1 gallon Herculiner (or equivalent bed liner brand)

     4-½” angle grinder with brush attachment

     Ammonia based cleaner

     Blue masking tape

     Needle nose pliers


     Paint roller

     Stir stick



1. Remove Old Carpet

Unbolt and remove all the seats from the vehicle. Remove door sill guards, center console and other trim pieces near the floor of the vehicle. Grab one corner of the carpet with your needle nose pliers and peel it back. Ensure that the carpet pad comes up with the old carpet.

2. Prepare Surface

After carpet and pad removal, use your 4½” angle grinder with brush attachment to scrape the remaining carpet material and paint from the floor pan. The action from the grinder will lightly score the surface to promote better adhesion of the bed liner. Vacuum the entire surface and then wipe it down with any brand of ammonia based cleaner. Allow to dry for 10 minutes. Affix the blue masking tape along the upper perimeter of the floor pan to protect areas you do not want painted.

3. Apply Bed Liner

Use a stir stick to mix the bed liner until the rubber particles are evenly dispersed. Paint the mixture on the floor pan with either your brush or roller. Start with the edges and work toward the middle. For the best finish, apply several thin coats instead of one thick coat. Allow paint to dry for two to three hours before each subsequent application. Touch the surface of the dried paint to ensure it's no longer tacky before adding a new coat.

4. Dry and Reassemble

After the last full application, lightly touch up any areas that look too thin or uneven. Allow the bed liner to dry for at least a week to ensure a durable, long lasting surface. After the floor feels dry to the touch, reinstall all the interior trim pieces. Reinstall your seats and make sure they still slide easily.


Work in a well ventilated area and wear proper safety equipment at all times. Apply bed liner in warm, dry weather for faster drying times. Application of bed liner in cold temperatures slows drying time significantly. Humid conditions actually speed drying time though. Do not touch or disturb the bed liner while it dries. If handled improperly while drying, the finish will not remain uniform. Bubbles and other imperfections may form if pressure is applied.

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