Vinyl is used to cover car seats, dashboards, stools, infant carriers, marine upholstery and many other common items. Vinyl does become damaged occasionally, however that doesn't mean it is no longer any good. The vinyl can be repaired with the use of a vinyl repair kit. The damaged vinyl can look new again. Repairing the tear or cut in the vinyl will prevent the tear from getting worse and, if done properly, the repair will not even be noticeable.
Things You'll Need
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton balls
- Utility knife
- Vinyl repair kit
Prepare the area to be repaired. Clean the area with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Cut off any hanging strings or fraying vinyl with the utility knife, so that the area to be repaired is free of any hanging material. Remove any burnt or charred material if repairing burn damage. Allow the area to dry.
Apply cloth backing fabric if the area to be repaired is cut all the way through and over 1/4 of an inch long. Cut the fabric so that it is a 1/2-inch larger on all sides than the area to be repaired. Press the cloth backing fabric beneath the hole using the tweezers so that the fabric lays between the vinyl to be repaired and the foam padding. Center the cloth fabric under the vinyl repair area and make sure the cloth backing is lying totally flat.
Choose the grain pattern paper for your vinyl repair job from the kit. Match the grain of the vinyl repair area to the grain paper choices, or get as close as possible.
Fill the damaged area with the vinyl adhesive using the spatula and allow the area to dry for four hours, if your vinyl repair kit has this step. Some vinyl repair kits will instead have you heat the repair area using the grain paper and curing tool to ensure the vinyl is lying flat. Lay the grain paper over the area to be cured and place the heated curing tool on top of the grain paper. Move the curing tool in circular motions on top of the damaged area for 20 to 30 seconds. Allow time for the grain paper to cool before removing it from the vinyl.
Match the color vinyl repair compound. Determine if one of the colors that came with the vinyl repair kit matches your vinyl repair job exactly, if so, there is no need to mix colors. Mix color compounds to get your exact color following the repair kit's color mixing instructions.
Plug in the curing tool so that it will be hot when it is time to cure the color compound. The tool may plug into the car's cigarette lighter or it could need a traditional outlet.
Apply the color compound to the vinyl area that needs repair with the spatula. If no filler was used previously, apply the color compound to the undersides of the cut or repair area, sliding the spatula underneath the vinyl slightly. Apply to the rest of the damaged area. Apply only a small amount at a time. Use a feathering motion to move the compound from one area to another. Apply in thin, smooth layers.
Lay the grain paper on top of the color compound. Apply the curing tool to the top of the grain paper and move in quick circular motions for 30 to 45 seconds. Remove the tool from the grain paper. Allow the vinyl to cool completely, which will be a minute or two.
Remove the grain paper. Check to see if the vinyl repair job looks complete. Repeat steps seven and eight as necessary until the vinyl area that was repaired doesn't look different than the rest of the vinyl. These two steps can be repeated as many times as necessary.
Tips & Warnings
- Never allow the curing tool to touch the vinyl directly as it will melt your vinyl.
- Photo Credit still life of diner booth with vinyl seats and sun image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com
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