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Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
#1397665 Wed Feb 17 2021 10:17 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 83
3800GUY Offline OP
I know this has been discussed before, but I'm looking to get as close as I can to the appearance the bed wood had when it was new. The truck is a 1950 1 Ton with the 9' bed, I have the 9 pine boards already to go cut to the correct widths and the edges milled. The pre-punched wear strips are being delivered today. I want to get the black appearance for the wood and was wondering what the best recipe is for this. This truck is completely stock and I want it to look that way. Thanks in advance! Tom

Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1397837 Thu Feb 18 2021 09:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 119
You might want to look in the truck bed section if this doesn't get moved there? I restored my original wood with a mix of Boiled Linseed oil and Marsblack. Lampblack would have been the original ingredient, but I couldn't find a small quantity. Here is a link to my post:

1947.2 Chevy Panel Truck 1 ton
1955.2 Chevy Suburban
1955.2 Chevy 6700 Bus/RV
Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1397859 Thu Feb 18 2021 11:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,092
1 lb of lamp black powder [] $13.00 plus $5 delivery.

Mars Black Pigment []. $6.60 plus $8.25 shipping

Tim []
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. []
Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1397917 Fri Feb 19 2021 11:24 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 83
3800GUY Offline OP
Thank you both for the response. I think I will try the Lamp Black for this project. The boards are new, so I'm sure it will take a couple of applications to get it to look good. I also have to get some more hardware and a bed mounting kit before I can get it all back together. Looking forward to it getting it done this Spring.
Have a good day! Tom

Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1398152 Sat Feb 20 2021 10:21 PM
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 34
Wrench Fetcher
When we wanted to stain wood a dark color we would wet it down with water in advance of staining. By doing this and letting it dry, we would be raising the grain ( or knapp ) of the wood. This provides more surface area and results in a darker look. This was usually done with hardwoods but you might do a sample pine piece, 1/2 wet down and 1/2 not, to see if it gives you a different look before the main event. Also if the wood has been planed it is more polished and will absorb less color so you might consider hand sanding with the grain to darken the boards. Again, sample pieces ahead of time could help you decide which is best. The coarser grit maybe 100 or 80 grit gives you more surface. Using the underside of your boards could work as your test area. Best of luck!

Last edited by Ricster; Sat Feb 20 2021 10:23 PM.

Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1398219 Sun Feb 21 2021 01:58 PM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,020
Unrepentant VW Lover
If all else fails, here's how used motor oil looks after 72 years (original bed wood) ...

Attached Files
bed-wood-3800.jpg (83.97 KB, 231 downloads)


"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis

'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1398365 Mon Feb 22 2021 11:27 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 83
3800GUY Offline OP
Ricster, great advice, I will use the underside to do some experimenting. Maybe do all of the underside first and see how it works out and hopefully learn something so the top sides look like I know what I was doing.

John, thanks for sharing the picture. Wow, the bed wood looks great after all those years. Amazing what a little used oil will do.


Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
3800GUY #1403183 Fri Mar 26 2021 11:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 500
For the bed boards on my 53 one ton I used Rustoleum semigloss black paint mixed 50/50 with paint thinner. Gave the boards about four coats on all sides with a day or so between coats. Soaked in pretty well, and looks pretty good.


I am currently digging back in to a 1953 3800 (one ton) with a nine foot bed. I've owned it since 1979, and drove it until 1982 (or so). My wife got me involved in restoring it back in 2002, got the body removed and the frame redone, then things came up. Now I am retired and starting again. If anyone is interested I have photos on Imagur ( ). I live way back in the woods in the Ozarks on 40 acres at the end of a 2 1/2 mile private road.

Re: Bed Wood in the 1 Ton
John Milliman #1410361 Tue May 18 2021 07:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 619
John Milliman Wow looks like those crankcase drainings done a good job !!!

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