Which Bedliner to Use – Roll-On or Spray-On?

Duplicolor Bed Armor Kit

What’s Better For You – Roll-On Bedliner or Spray-On Bedliner?

If you are looking into a DIY bedliner product to paint your truck bed, car, van, or whatever, you have probably noticed there are a lot of options. But which one do you choose? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? I’m going to keep it super simple and break down some of the key points for roll-on bedliners vs. spray-on bedliners.

First, the Roll-On Bedliners

Roll-on bedliner systems such as Dupli-Color Bed Armor are popular because they are inexpensive, don’t require the use of a compressor, and can be done at home by your typical enthusiast. This makes them an attractive option for many people, hence their popularity.

So what’s the down-side? Well, roll-on bedliners are made of a different type of material than the spray on bedliner, and may or may not be what you’re looking for. Most roll-on bedliners are essentially a thick epoxy paint that dries very hard. This is different than some spray-in bedliners which are composed of various types of polyurethanes, and may remain flexible after they cure. If you want the flexible coating, you will have to go with a spray-on system such as Raptor Liner.

Also, the textures are different. Because roll-on bedliners are a thick epoxy paint, the texture is generally created by the holes in the roller. Spray on systems use the splatter effect, and may give a more consistent texture. With a roll-on system, the texture may vary a little depending on how loaded up your roller is and your rolling technique. If an ultra consistent texture is important to you and you are concerned about your application skills, a spray-on bedliner may be the way to go.

Next, the Spray-On Bedliners

Basically, the advantages of the spray-on bedliners are the ease of application (spraying is not that hard), consistent textures, and the ability to use a hard but flexible polyurethane. Also, some spray systems are tintable, so you can mix a custom color and let your imagination go wild!

All of these advantages are very cool, but there are some drawbacks. Primarily, spray-on bedliners need spraying equipment – duh. It varies from system to system, but some require a compressor, some can be shot with an electric gun, and some even need an “airless” system.

The good news is that with the popularity if DIY bedliner systems, many companies have come out with “canister” systems, and don’t require a compressor or HVLP gun to apply the. The down side here is that they are still quite a bit more expensive than their roll-on counterparts.

So, What’s Best for You?

If you are on a really tight budget or just don’t want to spend a lot of cash on your bedliner paint job, the a roll-on bedliner is your best option. You can get great results with a little work and you won’t spend much money to completely transform your car.

On the other hand, if you have a little more money to spend (quite a bit more if you are painting your whole car), you may want to go with the spray-on bedliner. You will end up with a consistent texture, and you’ll have the option of using a flexible polyurethane. You can even get a tintable system and customize your bedliner application. You may also find a spray-on system is a little less labor intensive. Either way you go, be sure to follow the guidelines in my step-by step guide. Take your time, do it right, and take pride in your project!

Dupli-color Bed Armor gives you the advantages of both roll-on and spray on bedliner systems. It is a flexible polyurethane and doesn’t require expensive equipment to apply

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