A pickup truck bed is one of the most versatile things you’ll find on a vehicle. Capable of hauling a variety of things from tools, equipment, dirt, debris, and weekend adventure toys, it is hard to overestimate the versatility a pickup truck bed offers truck owners. With that said, it is also easy to damage the bed over time. From basic scratches to irreparable dents and holes, protecting the bed can be a worthwhile investment for any owner wanting to preserve the value and usability of their vehicle.
This is where protective options like spray-on bed liners come in. If sir are searching for a way to protect your truck bed, read on for our bed lining helpful guide for some of the best bed liners to do just that.
Why Buy a Spray-On Bedliner
- Preserve the condition of the bed. It should go without saying that a used truck bed is going to look less than ideal. Anytime you slide things in and out of the bed, scratches are bound to happen. A good bed liner takes the brunt of the abuse so the metal underneath remains untouched.
- Prevent scratches. Some materials are just more scratch-resistant than others. While the metal and paint of a typical bed do a best job of protecting the surface from outdoor elements, scratches, dings, and dents are different altogether. Spray-on bed liners, however, use different materials that are more scratch and impact-resistant, so damage is less likely to show up in the first place.
- Install the bed yourself. It’s pretty easy to find good, professional service to get a bed liner installed correctly. If you do this, however, be prepared to pay extra. In addition to the bed liner itself, the service will likely be billed on an hourly or project basis. You can save some money, however, by doing it yourself. This is the main benefit of spray-on kits, which often come with nearly everything you need to get the job done yourself.
Types of Spray-On Bedliners
When it comes to spray-on bed liners, most types are similar except for one major difference: quality. Aliphatic spray-on bed liners are higher in quality than other types. This is largely due to the pigmentation that’s included in the spray formula. This pigmentation does a better job of blocking harmful UV rays that are common when a truck is outside. Sunlight can fade the color of the bed liner and reduce its protective properties over time if left exposed. Aliphatic bed liners last longer, preserving the durability and longevity of the layer.
Unfortunately, extra longevity and protection also lead to a higher price tag. This is why many people on a budget turn to aromatic bed liners instead. Lacking the quality pigmentation of aliphatic varieties, aromatic bed liners still have a decent lifespan at a lower cost. Ultimately, if you don’t plan on keeping your truck for a long time, aromatic options may be the better option to save money in the long run.
Top Brands of Spray-On Bedliners
Owned by Old World Industries, the Herculiner brand is dedicated to a whole line of truck bedliners intended to work in extreme conditions. The company has a history of creating automotive products that last where others fail. Bedliners like its Herculiner Spray-On Liner are prime examples of the results of the company’s four decades of experience.
Focused on what goes onto a vehicle’s surface, U-POL has a line of products that ranges from fillers and coatings to heavy-duty bedliners. For more than 70 years, the company has been a popular choice for professionals wanting to create a solid, protective layer over a vehicle. Check out the Raptor Black Urethane Liner Kit for a sample of the company’s design philosophy.
Rust-Oleum is a global name brand in virtually anything having to do with paint. Started in 1921 by Captain Robert Fergusson, the sea captain unintentionally started the company looking for a way to keep his ship protected from rust and corrosion. Today, Rust-Oleum has an expansive range of paints and primers, including convenient spray can bedliners like the Truck Bed Coating Spray.
Spray-On Bedliner Pricing
- $50 and under: Singular cans and bottles of spray-on bedliner are common in this price range. This is a good place to start if you have the equipment and experience necessary to do a good DIY job right from the start.
- $50-$100: Smaller bedliner kits start to creep up around this price range. The kits tend to be small with only a few bottles of liner for smaller truck beds or fewer coats.
- $100 and above: To have it all, this is the price range to consider. For the extra money, you can easily find large kits with multiple bottles for multiple coats. Included spray guns are also common here.
Bed Liner Finish
The most important part of any bed liner is the finish. The quality of the protective layer needs to be as perfect as possible (or as you can afford). The finished results depend on the protective qualities of the liner and the final look. The color should be either matched or, at least, mixed with the vehicle’s color. Since it is difficult to remove a spray-on bedliner once it has been applied, it’s smart to research ahead of time to see which kits offer the best results.
Beyond just the look and general protection of a liner, quality protective layers offer resistance against the elements. In particular, this comes in the form of water resistance. Since most truck beds use metals like steel that can eventually rust, water protection can extend the life of the bed itself.
- Quantity: The amount of bed liner will determine how much surface area you can cover in the truck bed. Thankfully, most bed liner manufacturers design their kits around a specific truck bed size. This means you’ll find some kits that can cover a 5.5-foot bed, while others will have enough to cover 6- or 8-foot beds. Obviously, it’s important to know the size of your truck bed ahead of time so you can buy the right kit with the right amount of spray in it.
- Ease of Use: Although many kits are labeled as easy DIY products, the ultimate measure is how easy it is to apply in the first place. Included accessories influence ease of using the most. For example, if a kit comes with a basic application gun to spray the bed liner on, this is one less tool you’ll have to buy. On the other hand, more experienced users may prefer or have their own equipment, making included accessories redundant.