How to Paint Vinyl Upholstery

Written by jaimie zinski
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Vinyl upholstery is used to cover several surfaces, from motorcycle seats to outdoor lawn furniture. Over time, the upholstery's colour can become faded and will lose its original lustre. Normal paint used to cover furniture or wood will not adhere properly to vinyl upholstery. Instead, a paint that is specifically formulated for vinyl upholstery should be used to cover the piece. The vinyl must also be prepped to ensure the paint adheres properly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tarp or newspaper
  • Scrub brush
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Painter's tape
  • Safety goggles
  • Particle mask

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  1. 1

    Lay a tarp or newspaper onto a flat surface. An ideal spot is outdoors or in a room that is well-ventilated.

  2. 2

    Place the upholstered piece onto the covering.

  3. 3

    Clean any vinyl conditioners, skin oils or dirt from the piece more thoroughly with a scrub brush that has been covered with lacquer thinner.

  4. 4

    Tape off any areas that you do not wish to be coated with the vinyl paint with painter's tape, such as trim or a frame.

  5. 5

    Wearing safety goggles and a particle mask, hold the spray can 6 to 8 inches away from the vinyl piece and spray the paint in an even back and forth motion. Shake the can thoroughly before applying the paint.

  6. 6

    Allow the paint to set for 10 minutes before adding a second coat.

  7. 7

    Apply a second coat and allow the paint to dry completely before removing the tape and using the piece.

Tips and warnings

  • The ideal temperature to spray paint the vinyl piece is anywhere between 15.5 and 29.4 degrees C.
  • Inspect any seamed areas after the first coat of paint has been applied. Many times, paint does not enter the seams, which could leave the original colour exposed.

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