well, I had the right product on hand and did not even know it!
rustoleum truck bed liner.
it adheres to the plastic, the plastic paint, the metal, the metal paint and to whatever kind of tape was used behind the old trim that used to run along the bottom of the jeep.
its flat black and textured to feel kinda like emory cloth . its perfect for what I want. both the flat black and the texruring hide any imperfecions and its adheres to and prevents rust.
it also looks really sharp now, instead of seeing the remnants of the old trim I have a nice black strip along the bottom of the doors.
I have ordered the wheel well inserts for the front. once installed they will go a long way to preventing rust issues in future.
the problem is that the new plastic fender flares I wanted are 165 bucks, each!
I m not paying that, but I need to have them becsause they bolt up with the inserts and I have to remove the old flares to install the insert.
the studs on the old flares are breaking off when I try to remove the nuts. darn it! I think they are soft stainless but I may be wrong.
I don t know if I can re drill and re use the old flares or not. the inside metal bolting frame is pretty bad on the front ones where the wheel well inserts were broken and allowing water from the tires to infiltrate them.
I ll figure something out. maybe there are some that are cheaper at an off road place. the price for the standard ones is ridiculous.
but I m happy about the truck bed coating working so well. its not a plastic type coating. it supposed to resist abrasions and inhibit rust. it feels pretty tough and is sticking great to everything