How “Professional-Grade” Spray-Lining DIY Beats any Roll-on, Undercoating Gun Spray-on Bed Liner and all Drop-in Plastic Bedliners
Knowing truths on types of truck bed liner to install, here’s all of the painful facts.
Drop-In Bed Liners are cheapest, as are DIY urethane or epoxy bedliners sold retail, auto parts stores or bedliner website brands: *
The choice of drop-in vs spray-on bed liner is a worn out story. Drop ins are still popular but so were snow chains when 4WD was new. Searching any spray in vs drop in bedliner articles on the net and you’d likely surmise the inherent problems with all drop ins. Professionally sprayed bedliner cost more with DIY urethanes being cheaper, but isn’t there a Professional-grade, spray on bed liner that’s DIY? Yup! Price for the “good stuff”, with good spray gun “appears” higher but if you read between the lines, the high-grade DIY gives you control of thickness where professionally sprayed liner doesn’t. AND DIY SPRAY-ON BEDLINER IS LESS MONEY! The main issue with a polyurea is thickness; better stated: “How much coating do I buy to create high quality?” In store-bought DIY bedliner, one gallon or less is commonly displayed as a full size truck bed. This is false, see http://spray-lining.net/how-much-bedliner-truck/.
The next issue is epoxy, urethane or polyurethane vs actual polyurea, see http://www.spray-lining.com/diy/compare-diy-bedliners.php.
What is Polyurea? The Real McCoy.
Polyurea: a type of, “elastomer” resulting from reaction product of an isocyanate and a synthetic blended resin components through what’s known as, “step-growth polymerization”. Developed initially for tabletop edge protection, this lead to development of two-component polyurethane and polyurea spray elastomers. With patent US 5534295 patent, its quick reactivity and good insensitivity to moisture this evolved to the strongest coatings for giant area projects; secondary containment, manhole / tunnel coatings, truck bed lining, large interior tank protection, blast mitigation. With its superior adhesion, polyurea is now used for spray molding and various armor applications.
Another factor is that polyurea Spray-Lining forms is a “polyurea hybrid”, allowing manual mixing of parts A & B. This prevents specialized equipment (many thousands of dollars) to apply it. The hybrid forms permanent bond, etching passed truck’s paint, through primer with the metal to remain water, dirt, and chemical resistant. The number one complaint of a drop-in liner is they warp, vibrate and move around, scratching the bed paint. Rubber pads are better slip-proofing but gaps allow water, grit and other materials to seep between the liner and the truck bed. That creates corrosion always. Thick polyurea spray-on liners prevent this problem. All one-part polyurethanes have less adhesion, ergo they’ll break free from the bed much sooner. Bonded polyurea cleans by simple wash-rinse only, remaining flexible (not brittle) even in coldest of temperatures. In extreme heat and sunlight, they do soften, but cannot become tacky or fade… Compared to bed paint, drop in liners, urethanes or epoxy bedliners, polyurea has “Tear Strength” measured in thousands of PSI. With reasonable skill, cosmetically a high-quality DIY spray-on bed liner will have that sanitary, attractive look the pro’s do… It may be a working truck, but neat bedliner creates better slip-proofing & easier cleaning.
Now, because a high-quality spray-on liner lasts, it actually adds value to a resale. So low cost DIY’s & drop-in liners often tout price-savings, but in the end cost more in damage to the truck. And, given the overall cost of the truck and maintenance, if a thicker, high quality spray-on is few dollars more, the top-grade this pays off. In summary, as much as a crummy bedliner decreases the truck value over time, a high quality lining retains more market value when you sell it or trade it in.
By: Ben Dexter, Zone 3 Distribution Manager, Vancouver Lining and Coatings, of Spray-Lining and Coatings
* In this article by, “Roll-on or Undercoating Gun”, this refers to amateurish application tools sold as professional and/or standard quality spray-on bedliner equipment or proven systems,
* by, “retail, auto parts stores”, this refers to: Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Napa Auto Parts, Auto Zone, similar retail outlets,
* by, “bedliner website brands”, this refers to domains designed mainly for inexperienced consumers, Rustoleum Road Warrior Truck Bed Coating. Monstaliner.com, Herculiner, Whataliner, Raptor / POR-15 POW-R-LINER, SEM / Rocket, Defender, Als Liner (Scorpion Coatings), PlastiKote, Grizzly Grip, Durabak, Hippo, Duplicolor / Bed Armor, Gator Guard II
* by, “DIY urethane or epoxy bedliners” bedliners”, this refers to: venues or brands same as above,
* by, “High or Professional-Grade Spray-Lining DIY”, this refers to materials manufactured by Flexible Lining Systems, sold and distributed by distributors and dealerships of “Spray-Lining and Coatings”. No polyurea or similar hybrid formulated Spray-on Lining as such is sold on consumer basis, at retail stores, retail domains or simplified venues due to familiarity required to apply vs simple, consumer-based DIY products.