Most soft tonneau covers marketed as leather truck bed covers are actually made of vinyl. Even though vinyl is tougher than leather when exposed to the elements, these covers are not indestructible. Without careful maintenance, leather-look vinyl truck bed covers can become dry and prone to cracks and tears. When this happens, you can use a leather and vinyl repair kit to fix the damaged area if it's small. While it won't look like new, you can make the problem area less noticeable and stop it from getting bigger.
Things You'll Need
- Cloth or sponge
- Razor or scalpel
- Leather and vinyl repair kit
- Leather and vinyl touch-up kit
Clean the area around the tear thoroughly to remove dirt and oil that might prevent the vinyl from bonding properly with the repair material. Use soap and water first, then swab with alcohol.
Remove any rough edges from the tear with a razor blade, scalpel or scissors. You want the torn edges to lie flat.
Insert a piece of canvas backing from a vinyl and leather repair kit under the tear with tweezers. Some kits require you to apply glue between the vinyl and the canvas and press them together to seal them; with others, you apply heat with an iron or a special tool.
Mix the pigments provided in the leather and vinyl touch-up kit to match the color of the truck bed cover as closely as possible. Mix the pigment with filler material from the repair kit.
Fill the tear with filler material. Apply it in several thin layers rather than one thick layer. Press the embossing stamp which most closely resembles the grain of the bed cover to the final layer of filler material.
Tips & Warnings
- Test the color of your mixed pigment on an inconspicuous area before applying it over a larger area. It can be difficult to match colors other than black.
- Leather and vinyl repair kits are not 100 percent effective in repairing tears, though you can become more proficient using them with practice. Don't expect perfection on your first attempt.
- Photo Credit Arthur S. Aubry/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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