Do-it-yourself or DIY projects are becoming popular nowadays, what with the growing expenses we face as economy changes. Aside from DIY for home, another popular kind of DIY would be for the car. There are many things to repair and upgrade in your car. Thus, it wouldn’t hurt if one would want to do upgrades or repairs by oneself. One of the things you can do on your own is how to repair vinyl in your car. It’s not uncommon to have cuts, tears, or cigarette burns in your vinyl or leather upholstery. But don’t worry. Those can be repaired such that you can make it look like new again. It’s not an easy thing like gluing torn vinyl upholstery, though. It is more complicated than that. Adhesive will only destroy the foam padding in your upholstery. So in here, you can learn how to repair vinyl in your car.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do to repair vinyl in your car is to purchase those commercial repair kits you’ll see in auto shops. There have been a number of manufacturers now offering those repair kits that will help you go along the repair process step by step. They offer the materials and the instructions all in one kit. However, if you opt to do it all from scratch, the following will help you go along the process.
Repairing your vinyl seat is the easiest among all those types of vinyl repair in your car. There are others that are more complicated and very much tricky. So, let’s talk about repairing your vinyl seat. Vinyl seating repair is the easiest because there is more padding beneath the area. You can make use of under patches to reinforce your repair. Thus, it is easier to mend. Just make sure that you have the patience and the skill to do this. Also, make sure that the hole or crack isn’t too large. Otherwise, it might actually be easier and cost effective to replace it rather than to repair it. Also, note that if the hole is more than 3 inches, it will need to go to an upholstery shop.
First thing to do in any DIY project is to prepare. Prepare the area that needs to be repaired. Clean it with a scrub like Scotch Brite pad and a spray cleaner. Then, sand the area using 240-grit sandpaper. Just sand the area and the surrounding parts up to an inch. Sanding it will allow your compound to stick to it. Now, wipe it clean.
Use wet paper towel to apply a thin layer of primer or a grip base to the vinyl. This will help prepare the area before the dye is applied.
Warm up the vinyl with a heat gun. Just make sure you don’t burn through the backing so you won’t have to put any patch behind it. If you need a patch, just get a coated under patch and cut it about ¼ inches in excess so it goes inside the hole. Heating the back of a coated under patch will bond itself in the hole.
Now, it’s time to put vinyl repair compound on the hole. You can check auto stores or hardware stores. You can choose from various types. Just ask about vinyl repair compound and see what’s best for your car. Use a pallet knife and coat the compound along the crack or hole. Smooth it out as you fill in the gap. You may need to smooth it out with your fingers if necessary.
Now, grab a grain pad that you will use later on after heating up the area. Get the heat gun and let the repair compound heat until it turns color and smoke is visible. Do not burn. As soon as it smokes, turn off the heat gun and press the grain pad to the area. Hold for a few seconds as you press firmly.
Dye the area with a light dry coat. Use a water based vinyl dye. Turn up the air in your heat gun to dry the coat. Now, apply another thin layer of repair compound and smoothen it out. Make it look like the vinyl repair compound is gone. Then if dye is needed, apply another coat and then it’s just a matter of perfecting it. You’re done!