Preferred DIY paint for sliders/skids?


Looking at buying a set of sliders and skids for my vehicle. Since they're doing to get dinged up, I'm ordering them in raw steel. Is there a preferred brand/type of paint people like for this application? I understand bed liner is a common option, but even within "bed liner" there are a bunch of brands.

I'd like something easy to spray on evenly, and easy to touch up once they get beat up.

Robert Bills

My preference for rattle can paint for an offroad rig is something that will be readily available nearly everywhere such as Rust-oleum. My sliders are powder coated with a textured matte black finish and I've found that Rust-oleum black textured spray paint is a fairly good match.

If I wasn't trying to match a particular textured powder coat I would probably use Rust-oleum black satin enamel.

I am not a fan of bedliner for sliders, but that is purely personal preference.

Whichever paint you choose, preparation is key. Clean the steel to bare metal and remove all scale. Sand as necessary for a smooth surface and to ensure good adhesion. Use a good rust inhibiting etching primer.

Ducky's Dad

I'm not a fan of Rustoleum, much prefer Krylon products in the rattle cans. Once dry, they are both OK, but Krylon dries so much faster that you can often paint and go the same day. Some of the ROL products take overnight to dry and stay tacky for a while, so may collect dust on items that are outdoors. Krylon is harder to find, but worth it for me. I would order the sliders with powdercoat and then repaint as necessary.

I have used ROL rattle can bedliner on aluminum truck bed tool boxes and it's good once it is on and cured. But getting it on might be a problem. About half the cans I bought clogged up partway through and had to be discarded because no amount of cleaning would make them functional again. I called ROL and they knew about the issue, so sent me a refund. I did paint over the bedliner when it was fresh, so that probably added to the longevity.

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I use Rustoleum bedliner spray on my sliders and bumpers. It's dry to the touch really quickly here in dry Colorado.

The textured finish doesn't really offer much grip for your shoes when they are wet. I strongly recommend getting a sheet of skateboard grip tape and putting that in key areas.


One option that can look good depending on the vehicle is getting a nice consistent look on the steel (brushed, sanded, or otherwise) and just clearing over that. Certainly makes touch ups harder to spot!

EDIT: I wanted to add that I'm typically a Rustoleum user. Good prep, primer, and gloss black has worked well for me and is easy to fix.
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Expedition Leader
I've had good luck with Rustoleum Professional in rattle cans on bumpers and sliders. Just follow your regular good prep process: clean, acetone, primer, top coat. I usually powdercoat now but my experience was that Pro stuff wasn't bad, rust didn't seem to spread from scrapes too fast anyway.


Active member
+1 on POR-15. Very tough, good adhesion and rust protection. Use it on the frames, running gear, bumpers, etc. on my off road vehicles.



The best rattle can paint I have found is Dupli-Color Engine Enamel, I use it on every thing sliders-bumpers-skid pls and frame touch up. It has good adhesion, very durable and easy to apply plus readily available at any parts store. Dave

Ducky's Dad

The Dupli-Color Engine Enamel is very good stuff, but in my experience it tends to be a bit brittle because it is a very hard finish. May lead to chipping on sliders, but easy to find and easy to respray.


I did some searching and ended up with rustoleum hammered on my skids. You can spray or brush it on. The black is actually a dark gunmetal color. I may end up using it on my sliders when they arrive.


Overlanding Nurse
I asked this exact question over on ADV Rider a couple of years ago and got excellent advice from some professional painters. No rattle can will give the same thickness and durability as a good brushed-on finish. I actually had fair results with spray Rustoleum (and am very careful about prep and priming), but it was nowhere near as durable as the brushed-on Rustoleum I now use for the skids.

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New member
I used por 15 metal prep on my all pro apex skids and sliders. Then 2 coats por 15 followed with self etching primer then a few coats of rustoleum.

Holding up well, but only one trip to moab on them yet.