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Painted Tonneau Covers: Move From Utility To Luxury

Paintable hard tonneau covers bring style, strength, and fuel savings up a level. We’ll explain how, and show you some great product features you didn’t know exist.
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If you're like most pickup truck owners, you carry a lot in the bed of your truck. And if your truck bed floor is bare, you may have noticed the increasing numbers of scratches and dents that have resulted from loading and unloading cargo. Glancing back at your truck isn't as enjoyable any more - because the whole of it no longer shines with the unified look of a single, unadulterated color. Or maybe you've protected your bed with a bedliner and have come to feel its black appearance just doesn't blend with your truck's finish the way you thought it would.

Uncovered Dirty Truck Bed

We offer a workable solution to these woes. Imagine your truck’s bed, its scratch marks, and items you carry concealed under a smooth, clean-looking tonneau cover that’s color-matched to the rest of your truck. Throw in high strength and high theft protection, and you’ve got any of the painted tonneau covers we offer.

Few other accessories of any kind can do as much to dress up your truck while creating the sizable benefit as converting your entire bed into a lockable, concealed storage area. In this article, we’ll look at painted tonneau covers that give you the luxury of good looks to go with that healthy dose of utility.

Painted Tonneau Cover Installed
Pickup Truck Aerodynamics

As nice as they look, painted tonneau are actually more than luxury and utility. They’re also a great value, because your upfront purchase cost will be repaid over time through fuel savings. They perform that feat by creating smoother airflow across the back of your truck, which eliminates the drag and pockets of turbulence caused by open pickup bed areas. While all tonneau covers can claim this benefit, painted hardshell ones take airflow efficiency to a higher level.

In an experiment reported on by SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), it was found that adding any basic tonneau cover to a full size pickup truck reduced the Cd by at least 11.8% - with a resulting mileage increase of 1.0 to 1.5 mpg. They also discovered that hard tonneau covers provided the biggest gains because they did not flap or flex in the wind the way soft covers tend to. So even though they may be slightly pricier, hard tonneau covers are not money lost in the breeze.

And, unlike all other types of covers, painted ones can be waxed – improving airflow and reducing drag even more. If you think a good, slippery coat of wax doesn’t help airflow, consider that airlines save considerable amounts of fuel and money simply by keeping their planes well-waxed as part of the washing process. Within the tonneau cover industry, accepted fuel economy gains range “from 5% to 10%”. With a hard painted tonneau cover, you’ll likely be among those approaching the high end of 10%.

If you live in winter climates, hard tonneau covers offer unparalleled strength to withstand the crushing weight of heavy, piled-up snow that can be detrimental to flexible ones over time. Not only will your cargo stay perfectly dry, you won’t have to run outside in a blizzard every hour to clear snow off your truck.

Waxed Tonneau Cover
Painted tonneau covers are the only kind that can be waxed. But did you know that same wax also saves you more fuel?
Hard Tonneau Cover In Snow
If you live in winter climates, hard tonneau covers offer unparalleled strength to withstand the crushing weight of heavy snow.

Some say hard, one-piece tonneau covers do not match the convenience of retractable ones because they don’t roll out of the way when you need to carry bulky items in your bed. The truth is, they are similarly convenient – but in a different fashion. In the same amount of time it takes to roll up and cinch a retractable cover in place, hard tonneau lids can be opened, released, and lifted off the truck – because all the ones we sell are designed with ease of use in mind.

Lightweight Strong Hard Tonneau Cover
Hard tonneau covers are light enough to carry when removed. Thanks to reinforced framework designs, they’re also extremely strong.

If you're wondering about storing the cover with it off the truck, UnderCover's LUX Hinged Tonneau Cover and Elite LX Hinged Tonneau Cover make storage easier with wall mount hardware kits that let you store the lid safely on a garage wall or anywhere else where it's least likely to get scratched or damaged.

Truck Bed Cover Hanging On Wall
UnderCover's LUX and Elite LX Hinged Tonneau Covers make storage easier with available wall mount hardware kits.
Tonneau Cover Quick Release Strut
Features such as quick-release struts make it easy to detach and remove hard tonneau cover lids when large items need to be carried in the bed.

Should you prefer a one-piece hard tonneau cover that’s not painted, Undercover will ship it that way for certain make and model trucks. This allows you to custom paint it yourself, or have a bodyshop match the color of your truck if fading has occurred over time. It’s important to remember that all tonneau covers that are painted before shipping will match the brilliance and color hue of your truck’s paint when it was new, and not necessarily be a perfect match for the way it looks now. In Product Options fields, paint code choices offered will match original vehicle manufacturer colors, and will appear after all specifics about your truck are entered.

FMVSS Label
Your vehicle's paint code is a unique set of alphanumeric characters, often found on the FMVSS label as shown here.
UnderCover Elite LX Hinged Tonneau Cover
UnderCover offers an unpainted cover for certain make and model trucks. Shown here is the UnderCover Elite LX Hinged Tonneau Cover.

If you’re not sure what the paint code of your vehicle is, your owner’s manual should provide guidance where to look. Most often, paint code is printed on a sticker or plaque that’s mounted on your door, doorjamb, trunklid, in the glove box, or under the hood. If you need further assistance, your vehicle manufacturer is the best source to contact in order to be certain. Once a tonneau cover is painted per your order, it’s non-returnable unless there’s an error or defect on the part of the manufacturer.

Painted ABS Tonneau Covers

UnderCover LUX Hinged Tonneau Cover
The UnderCover LUX Hinged Tonneau Cover.

When it comes to product, we've got two painted tonneau covers from UnderCover that are both crafted from lightweight ABS plastic. The LUX Hinged Tonneau Cover features a lock cylinder with a small, built-in twist knob surrounding it. There's also a built-in LED light in the inside of the tonneau lid. UnderCover's Elite LX Hinged Tonneau Cover adds a lock cylinder that can be custom-coded to match your vehicle's ignition key, underside carpeting, a separate grab handle for raising the lid, and a removable LED light with a built-in magnet and legs that allow it to be positioned in a variety of useful places.

Painted Fiberglass Tonneau Covers

Gaylord Truck Lids Butterfly Hinged Tonneau Cover
Gaylord's Truck Lids Butterfly Hinged Tonneau Cover is shown with both halves closed, and opened.

We’ve also got Gaylord’s Truck Lids brand fiberglass tonneau covers, which are all available in painted or unpainted form – with standard carpeting underneath the lid for sound absorption. Their Butterfly Hinged Tonneau Cover offers the distinction of being composed of two separate lids, both of which are hinged at the vehicle’s centerline. Unlike most covers that are hinged at the front, items at the front of the bed can easily be accessed from either side.

Tonneau Cover In Standard Form / With Integrated Spoiler
Gaylord offers the O.G. Series Hinged Tonneau Cover in standard form (left) or with integrated "Speedsturr" spoiler (right).

For a traditional front-hinged setup, Gaylord offers the O.G. Series Hinged Tonneau Cover in standard form, or with integrated “Speedsturr” spoiler that includes an optional center high-mounted brake light. And if you’ve got a full-sized G.M. stepside pickup from 1947-2006, Gaylord’s Traditional Hinged Cover is built specifically in the narrower sizes needed to fit these models. Similar to the O.G. series, Traditional Hinged Covers are available in standard form, or with integrated “Speedsturr” spoiler and optional center high-mounted brake light.

Tonneau Cover Paint Code Options
Paint code choices will match original vehicle manufacturer colors, and will appear after all specifics about your truck are entered.

When you add up the convenience features, style, and security benefits that painted hard tonneau covers offer, you'll realize they're simply in a class by themselves. And because there's no sagging, fraying, stretching, or tearing to worry about, you can install a painted tonneau cover on your truck today secure in the knowledge that it will look and function equally as well years down the road. When the day does come that you decide to sell or trade your truck, a matching painted tonneau cover will bring you a higher resale price - assuming, in all likelihood, that most buyers will find it as desirable as you do! We hope that you will enjoy your new painted tonneau cover.

Gaylord Traditional Hinged Tonneau Cover
Gaylord's Traditional Hinged Tonneau Covers are designed specifically for full-size GM "stepside" pickup beds from 1947-2005.
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