Consider these five points in comparing factory bed liners to spray-on ones. First is the thickness, the biggest complaint with factory coatings. They are usually very thin, usually 1/16 inch and more for slip resistance than protection. Leading spray-in bed liner applications specifies spraying up to 1/4 inch. This ensures against scratching, cracking and chipping even under heavy usage. If a bed liner scratches or bubbles, rusting starts in no time.

Second, factory coatings are what’s termed “aromatic” and will fade over time. Thirdly, while most manufacturers simply offer black, while leading brands can match any automaker color, even metallic.

Another point is that many truck owners want more than beds sprayed. By going to aftermarket applicators, they can also add protective or decorative coatings to bumpers, fenders, grills, rocker panels, undercarriages, and floors.

Finally, if a bed liner has to be repaired after an accident, it can’t be taken back to the manufacture. With a spray-in bed liner, the original product is easily repaired by a dealer.