How to Fix Faded Vinyl Upholstery


The solution for repairing faded vinyl upholstery is to apply vinyl paint to bring the vinyl back to its original color. Vinyl paint is available in most automotive supply or automotive paint supply stores. Paint guns can also be purchased or rented at many home improvement stores. With a little preparation and elbow grease, you can repair faded vinyl at home with satisfactory results.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl paint
  • Spray gun
  • De-greaser
  • Bristle brush
  • Cloths
  • Lacquer thinner (optional)
  • Painter's tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Particle mask
  • Select a vinyl dye color that most accurately matches the color of your vinyl before it faded.

  • Clean your vinyl thoroughly by applying a de-greasing product.

  • Scrub the vinyl meticulously with a soft bristle brush taking care to get in all the nooks and crannies. The faded vinyl must be completely free of dirt and grime in order for the vinyl dye to adhere.

  • Remove the de-greaser with a clean damp cloth and allow the vinyl to dry completely.

  • Repeat the cleaning process as many times as necessary to achieve a clean vinyl surface. Lacquer thinner may be applied sparingly in place of a de-greaser in severe cases.

  • Disassemble any removable parts, such as car headrests, and plan on painting those separately.

  • Select a well-ventilated area for painting and wear a particle mask while you are painting.

  • Cover any exposed surfaces that you do not wish to paint with protective coverings such as painter's tape or drop cloths.

  • Shake the vinyl dye according to the label instructions before pouring it into the paint gun.

  • Pour the shaken paint into the gun paint cups and spray onto the vinyl from about 12 inches away.

  • Allow the vinyl to dry for 10 minutes in between light coats to allow the paint to properly adhere to the surface.

  • Repeat steps 11 and 12 until you achieve the vinyl color you desire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your vinyl paint merchant as to the amount of vinyl paint necessary for the size of your job.
  • Use mineral spirits to remove paint, heel marks, ink, grease, crayon and nail polish stains from vinyl.
  • Use alcohol to remove ballpoint pen stains from vinyl.
  • Using anything other than vinyl paint for restoring vinyl surfaces will produce unpredictable results. Avoid the use of paint that is not specifically intended for vinyl projects.
  • Nail polish remover can cause damage to vinyl surfaces and should not be used in stain removal.

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