Spray On Bed Liner Or A Rusty Mess
Spray on bed liner coating for your truck is a great way to protect that big investment you made in your vehicle. Not only does a bed liner protect your truck from rust and corrosion, but it looks good while doing it. If you use your truck for hauling, even just casual personal items, eventually your truck will get some scrapes and scratches on the bed paint. As long as your vehicle stays in the dry all the time, a few scratches are OK. A little touch-up paint and the damage is minimal. But if your truck bed ever gets moist, those scrapes and scratches will turn to rust and it’s a downhill slide.
For heavy duty hauling, with inevitable bangs and dents, an original factory finish truck bed is a mess in a short time. A bed liner spray coating will let a professional really do some heavy hauling and still keep a truck looking decent for a long time. Plus a liner is non-skid and cushioning too.
Two leaders in professional bed liner installation are Line-X and Rhino Coatings, though there are many competitors. The big companies do guaranteed work that is repairable too. The professional coatings are so durable because the coatings are applied very thick, up to 1/4 inch. The coatings are a two part material that spray on bedliner on to dry almost instantly. The coating material contains rubber-like granules which provide the tough cushion feel. The material is so tough and thick that it’s very difficult to penetrate down to the paint underneath. In the past a problem for bed liners has been color fading upon exposure to the sun. This is improving with better UV resistant finishes.
Key to a quality installation is proper bed surface preparation. The coated surface must be etched, usually by heavy sanding, to insure the spray coat will stick. Especially for a brand new truck, this is disturbing. The beautiful original bed finish is sanded and ruined. But, never fear, the spray on coating is permanent and beautiful too.
Another alternative coating is an owner applied coating. Many companies make a material that is a combination of paint and texture material ready for application by spray equipment or rollers and brushes. These coatings are especially suited for older trucks with existing bed damage. In just a few hours and for hundreds of dollars less than the big name liners, you can apply a finish that looks much like an expensive professional job. The downside is that these finishes cannot match the durability of the pro liners. The do-it-yourself finishes aren’t nearly as thick as the pro liners and are thus much easier to scrape and gouge.
Other alternatives to protect your bed are rubber mats and carpet liners as well as drop in liners. Each has advantages and the rubber mats and carpet liners can even be used with a spray on liner as double protection.