Blogging buddy Daddybear learned the hard way about the economics of spray-on pickup truck bed liners the other day.
In a comment to his post, Mr. B. pointed out that using do-it-yourself paint-on truck bed liner can save a great deal of money. I've written about it before in the context of sealing trailers, and can confirm that paint-on liner is amazingly versatile. Some uses I've personally seen for it:
- A storage shed in Alaska made out of the cheapest grade of plywood and discarded scraps of lumber, then painted all over (inside and out) with salvaged remnants of tins of truck bed liner. It had stood up to six or seven Alaskan winters at the time I saw it, with no visible damage, rot or decay at all.
- A boat in Louisiana that had been 'rode hard and put away wet', to quote the old cowboy saying. It apparently leaked like a sieve, but the owner was too 'cheap' to fix it properly. Instead, every duck season he simply slapped on another coat of truck bed liner over all the seams, inside and out. He reckoned that waterproofed it well enough to get him through the season and bring his 'catch' home to momma.
- A lightweight tarpaulin used to repair a roof in Alabama after a hurricane had passed through. The tarpaulin was far too thin and flimsy to last long under the assault of wind and weather, so the homeowner tacked it in place then applied a hurried layer of Herculiner. That strengthened it enough to last for three weeks until more permanent repairs could be made. It kept his home dry and usable during that time.
If you need a really tough coating for anything, not just pickup truck beds, take a look at paint-on truck bed liner. It's amazingly versatile stuff. Even better, if you know someone who owns a shop that applies the commercial version to pickups and other vehicles, see whether you can get from them the dregs of one of the big drums of the stuff they use. It's even tougher - although there are health warnings associated with it, and it may need special care in handling it. Check its MSDS for details.