How to Paint Tonneau Cover? 5 Easy Steps & Ways

Do you ever paint a tonneau cover? This year I wanted to paint my tonneau cover a matte black color to make it look more classic. I am always into DIY but never got a chance to spend my leisure time doing what I always wanted. So, this year I decided to invest my free time in exploring and trying new things and focus on my passion.

As I have never painted a tonneau cover, I explored the various tools and methods that will help me in the painting process. I gathered all the tools and supplies over time and also hours to make it a budget-friendly project. In addition, I learned the process of DIY painting because I did not know How to Paint Tonneau Cover?

Using a tonneau cover for a long time may harm the paint over the surface. In such a situation, what would you do next? Paint a Tonneau Cover? Let’s find the answer on which I have deeply elaborated so you can take the next step to paint the truck bed cover. Besides, painting a tonneau cover will improve your vehicle’s overall value and style. 

Can you Paint a Truck Tonneau Cover?

A tonneau cover’s primary and foremost intention is to enclose the truck’s open bed. Further, it protects the bed and its content from the outer elements while reducing drag. 

The tonneau cover stays flat over the bed. Due to this, it is affected by the Ultra Violet rays and makes them highly prone to fading due to exposure to direct sunlight. It is why the damaged paint on the tonneau cover is highlighted more. 

But the best part is you can repaint the tonneau cover. All you need to do is gather the right tools and instructions for painting a tonneau cover. The supplies include:

  • Ratchet
  • Socket 
  • 600 grit Sandpaper
  • 800 grit Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Microfiber Cloth


The first thing I did was open and unlocked the tonneau cover with the help of a ratchet and socket. I Lifted the tonneau cover-up from the truck and placed the bed cover in an upright position for the next step. It will help to reach all four sides of the tonneau cover. You can ask for help if needed. 


Next, I grabbed the 600-grit sandpaper and sanded it on the cover. What it does is remove the scratches and prevent showing any scratches through the new paint. While sanding the grit, I constantly hose the water upon it, so it protects the tonneau cover from building up digging. 


When I was done with 600-grit sandpaper, I took the 800-grit paper and re-sand the tonneau cover. It removes the sanding scratches or marks left by using 600-grit sandpaper. 

Note: Make sure that the 800-grit paper is wet while using it over the tonneau cover surface. Wash the cover and let it dry completely. 

Wipe the dust 

When the cover dried out properly, I wiped the cover with a microfiber cloth before painting. Doing it will remove all the dust and, first, above the tonneau cover surface and make it clean and acceptable. Otherwise, the dust particles will be visible under the new paint.


Priming the tonneau cover top surface will even out the layer and make it get ready for further application. I applied 3 coats of primer and sanded it with 800 sandpaper for better results. I never suggest you use a spray can because it does not yield the desired results. 

Remember: Wait for 30 minutes so the primer gets dry properly.

No special primer is needed for the tonneau cover. You can use any good quality-based primer. If you are unsure what primer to use, ask your local paint shop. 

Paint the Tonneau Cover

When I was done with the priming thing, I sprayed the paint 8 inches away from the tonneau cover and applied a thin coat of the paint. It prevents the runs in the paint. Then again, I waited for 30 minutes to dry the paint. 

I sprayed 4-5 coats of the paint using the same method. Before touching the tonneau cover, I waited for 3-4 hours, so it got completely dry. 

When it comes to the number of coats, it depends on the product you use. You may do well with 3 coats of paint. 

What about the Spray Gun? 

When you have to choose between paint or a Spray Gun, remember that you will get what you have paid for. It is a good deal to buy a spray gun to paint your tonneau cover. But remember to purchase a better gun so it will give you better and desired results. 

Keep the gun 6 inches away from the tonneau cover when painting it. The spray gun should also parallel the cover surface you will be painting. 

Why need to Paint a Tonneau cover? 

A tonneau cover is an excellent accessory for your vehicle that you install over your truck bed. It protects the inside cargo from harsh outside elements and thieves. Moreover, it improves gas mileage. 

Tonneau covers are essential to protecting and securing the cargo. Apart from that, it will save money on fuel. However, the bed cover is exposed to UV rays and bad weather, and then paint over the surface gets dull and damaged. 

So the question arises why do you need to paint a Tonneau Cover? For starters, it will add value and style to your truck. For example, if your tonneau cover looks dull and old, you do not want to move around with the damaged tonneau cover on your truck. So, you must paint a tonneau cover to enjoy all its benefits. 

If your tonneau cover is in the best condition, it increases the Resale value. If you later think about selling your tonneau cover, you will be able to sell it at a better price since the bed will be in good condition. 

After painting the tonneau cover, it looks new, and you always want to have it on your truck bed. 

How to Paint a Bakflip tonneau cover?

If the BAKFlip tonneau cover is painted metal, you can surely repaint it with your favorite color. All you need to do is smooth out the top surface using green or red grit sandpaper. It removes all the scratches on the bed cover. Wipe a tack rag to clean away the gunk. After this, paint the cover using Rust-oleum Bed Liner. 

Painting a fiberglass Tonneau cover

You can repaint the fiberglass tonneau cover, but before the painting, you must have all the needed supplies that you will use in it. Firstly, sand the fiberglass bed cover using an orbital sander. Do this until everything smooths out. 

You can start with 120-grit sandpaper. Then move to 320 and then finish with 600 grit sandpaper. 

Using multiple sandpapers will make sure that all the scratches are smooth. However, do not take sanding too far. If the tonneau cover does not have many scratches, you can start with 600-grit sandpaper. 

Where to Find your Truck’s Paint Code?

The Ford, Toyota, Nisan, and Dodge paint code is labeled inside the driver’s door. While GM vehicles like Silverado, Sierra, and Colorado, the color codes are located in the glove box. 

How to restore faded Tonneau cover?

Fading of the tonneau cover is caused due to direct sunlight and other weather conditions. As I have already mentioned, the cover is lying flat over the truck’s bed and is affected by UV rays

For starters, wash the tonneau cover with detergent. Scrub the tonneau cover gently with a microfiber cloth, so it does not damage or harm the surface. Afterward, rinse the bed cover with water and let it completely dry. Next, take Protectant Spray and hose it all over the tonneau cover.

The protectant spray helps to clean, condition, protect and extend the life of the tonneau cover. By hosing down this spray, your tonneau cover will be less likely to fade.

Conclusion: Do you Paint a Tonneau Cover?

Painting a tonneau cover extends its life and look. Repainting the tonneau cover is the only maintenance process that offers the owner a new shiny look. Besides, keep the cover protected from the high ultraviolet rays. 

Now, you have learned the whole process of painting the tonneau cover. So use the steps to make the truck bed cover look new and last longer while saving the money that may have cost professional help. 

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