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The continuous glare of ultraviolet rays from the sun is known to gradually weaken and degrade the materials of most, if not all, substances. It also makes even the best varieties of paints fade. This necessitates the repainting of various items from time to time, in order to maintain their physical appeal or restore their gloss.
However, while some objects can be readily painted, others cannot. In this article, we shall look at whether all bakflip truck covers can be painted or not, and if not all of them can be painted, which are the ones that can be?
Generally, there are the aluminium series of bakflip tonneau covers, the fibreglass type and finally, those made up of vinyl chloride. The aluminium series is the most durable of them all. Since these tonneau covers must ultimately fade no matter what, can we actually paint them?
The article aims to answer this question as well as many others related to it. You are therefore enjoined to just read on.
So can I paint my bakflip tonneau cover? Well, yes but not all types can be painted. The manufacturers of these items have confirmed that of all the types available, the one variety which can readily be painted are the aluminium series.
Though the vinyl type can also be painted in some instances, be sure to find out more from the manufacturers first. As for the fibreglass type, they are hardly painted, due to the nature of the substances used in producing them. Essentially, therefore, you can paint a bakflip cover, especially if it is the aluminium type.
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What Causes Tonneau Covers To Fade In The First Place?
There are many factors indicted in causing tonneau covers to fade and chief among these is continuous exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
This is one of the reasons why we are always demanded to wash our trucks in cool and shaded places such as a garage or under shaded trees.
Similarly, we should always make sure that we park our vehicles, as much as possible, in places where they are not likely to be overly exposed to the elements of inclement weather.
In addition, tonneau covers fade quickly when non-recommended or injurious chemicals are frequently used in washing them.
Recommended substances which are both good for the materials of your truck cover, as well as their paintwork, are always readily available on the market. Frequent use, dismantling, re-installing and maintenance are also contributive in truck covers fading.
What Do I Need To Know Before Painting My Tonneau Cover?
Before you embark on any truck bed cover painting, there are a few facts you ought to acquaint yourself with. To start with, you should know what colour (s) you want to paint it.
Do you wish to retain its former colour or you want a change. Also, will the colour you want to paint it hide properly any defects there may be in the cover. How durable is the colour you wish to use and what is its projected cost?
Finally, you should know what tools you require and how to use them. For instance, if you are going to use a sprayer, how far away from the truck cover should you hold it while painting and so on.
These items ate usually sold with an excellent guarantee and warranty agreements which not only promise free maintenance but also refund or replacement should there be any defects of production in them.
However, some companies warn that should you repaint the items after purchase, you risk voiding your warranty and guarantee offers. Therefore, before you embark on any painting, find out whether doing do that will affect any of these terms and if it will, are you ready for that.
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Which Bakflip Covers Can Be Painted?
Since bakflip covers are made of either aluminium, fibreglass or vinyl materials, which among them can really be painted? Well, you can paint most of these bakflip covers, but since the manufacturers have advised that you should paint mainly the aluminium series, I would also suggest that you paint only those.
This is because doing anything different from what the manufacturers have recommended, is simply putting your terms of warranty or guarantee on the line and you wouldn’t want that.
In conclusion, even though you can paint most bakflip covers, you should however paint only those allowed by your manufacturers, which is aluminium in most cases.
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How Do I Go About Painting My Tonneau Cover?
Tonneau covers fully enclose the otherwise open bed of a pickup truck, which adds value to the truck, gives it more aerodynamic stability as well as improved gas mileage. By their position and designs, they are always exposed to sunlight which makes them fade quickly.
They are both flat and also cover a wide surface area and as a result, painting them crudely will show even the smallest imperfections in the covers. So, they must be painted with great care. In order to paint them properly, the following steps are advised.
After getting all the tools you require for the painting such as the paint itself, a spray, a piece of cloth and so on, you should first, open and unbolt the truck bed cover from the vehicle with a ratchet and socket.
It is advisable that you have at least one other person to help you with lifting the cover and setting it on its stands, which will give you access to all its parts.
Sandpaper the surface of the tonneau cover with, preferably 600-grit sandpaper, while holding a running water hose over the sandpaper. This will prevent any build-up from the surface to dig into and scratch the cover.
Use sandpaper on the surface of the truck cover a second time again, this time with an 800 grit paper, which will minimize the scratches caused by the 600 grit sandpaper. While doing this, keep the sandpaper wet. Rinse the cover and allow it to open-dry completely.
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Proceed to wipe the cover with a tack rag or cloth before the painting proper. This will basically eliminate any remaining particles on its surface, which can easily be seen underneath the dried paint if they are not removed.
Begin to spray a thick coat of paint primer over the truck cover and allow it to dry in thirty minutes. Once the primer is believed dried, apply at least three to five thin coats of paint.
Be sure to hold the sprayer at about 6 to 8 inches away from the surface and spray the paint thinly to prevent runs in the paint. Give it at least thirty minutes to dry completely.
You should apply between three to five coats of clear paint, using the same procedure as in the case of the regular base coat paint. Finally, allow the paint to dry over four or five hours before handling.
What Do I Do To Keep My Paint From Fading?
In order to reduce the rate at which your paint fades, the first thing is to make sure that you do not use injurious materials which are not recommended by the manufacturers in cleaning your vehicle.
Secondly, you should not always park your truck in the sun and even when washing, make sure that you do so in a shaded area under a tree or in a garage.
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Always rinse your truck cover thoroughly with water after washing to prevent fading due to leftover chemicals or paint on it. Finally, before you paint your truck cover, make sure that you get a good type of paint that is not likely to fade quickly that is also affordable to you as well.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Tonneau Cover?
To paint a tonneau cover, you do not really have to spend much. The primary expenditure is accounted for in the cost of the paint, spray gun, paint primer and sandpaper.
Other than these, little else cost money. So, all in all, it will cost you just a few dollars to get your tonneau cover fully painted and looking anew.
However, this may not be so in cases where you choose to get them painted by professionals, in such instances, you have the cost of workmanship to grapple with.
How Do I Repaint A Fibreglass Cover?
Though it is not always recommended to paint fibreglass truck covers, where you must, the procedure basically remains the same as that in other cases. Simply follow the steps explained above and it will be accomplished nicely.
How Do You Make A Tonneau Cover Look New Without Painting?
There are many ways through which you can effectively make your truck covers look good even without actually washing them. (Read Also: Can You Take A Truck With A Tonneau Cover Through A Car Wash?)
For example, with the aid of a piece of cloth, you can wipe down your truck covers a few times to remove any dirt or dust particles. After this, you can proceed and apply recommended and good shiner by spraying them evenly on the surface of the truck cover.
After this spray, gently wipe the shiner off with a clean piece of clothing. Doing this diligently will keep your truck looking and sparkling as good as new, even though you have not washed it.
Common Types Of Tonneau Covers
There are two basic types of tonneau covers and these are the hard tonneau covers and soft tonneau covers. The hard fibreglass materials used in the production of hardcover tonneaus are able to withstand a lot of stress, both while washing and in all cases. This makes them a little bit more expensive than the soft variety.
Read Also: Do Tonneau Covers Stretch?
They also fix rigidly to the body of the vehicle and hence have the ability to overlap the bed rails and tailgate. In addition, the hard tonneau cover provides more security than all other types of tonneau covers can do. You also have a variety of styles to choose from.
The soft tonneau covers, on the other hand, are also very weather resistant, although water can still find its way into them during washing or after a heavy downpour.
They are however comparatively flexible and not as rigid as the hard type, just as their name implies. One good thing about them is that you can easily remove and install them on the go, though some hard truck covers also have this property as well. They are fixed to the vehicle either using Velcro or straps.
Can I Paint My Bakflip Tonneau Cover – Conclusion
Brand new sparkling tonneau covers are a sight to behold indeed. However, it takes a lot to keep them that way. This is mostly because they are often exposed to the barrages of inclement weather and the hot ultraviolet rays of the sun. This makes them very prone to premature fading and consequent loss of appeal.
Well, that issue has been amicably resolved since you can very conveniently get them repainted. Other factors are also complicit in keeping our truck bed covers looking good always. You should be very careful in selecting the types of cleaning agents and shiners you use on your truck covers.
There are very good and highly recommended cleaning agents and shiners that you can use on your truck bed covers, especially from branded outlets like Amazon.
When it comes to selecting the correct truck bed covers for your vehicles, always remember that such choices are solely dependent on what uses you plan to have for them.
This is because there are appropriate truck bed covers for all kinds of uses. Simply know what you want to be done and the rest is taken care of.
Tonneau covers are supplied under excellent and user-friendly terms. However, you can easily void these terms, if care is not taken and for this purpose, you are advised to go through the accompanying user manual very well.
Finally, you are expected to make adequate research on the matter and hence know how well or more properly you can use these items so that you will get value for money spent and excellent durability too.