Vinyl is a popular and cheaper alternative to leather upholstery. Even though vinyl is durable, it can still get torn or ripped by belt buckles, writing instruments, other common items or even pet claws. When your vinyl seat develops a tear, it is best to deal with it as soon as possible. The longer you wait to fix a torn vinyl seat, the larger the damaged area will become. Fortunately, with the help of a vinyl repair kit, you can fix the seat without paying a professional restorer.
Use a pair of sharp scissors to remove loose threads from around the damaged vinyl. Dampen a lint-free cloth in rubbing alcohol. Wipe the area of the torn vinyl seat with the damp cloth. The rubbing alcohol will clean the vinyl and get it ready for repair.
Make a cut that is a few inches larger than the damaged vinyl in the backing fabric. Push the cut backing fabric gently inside the torn vinyl. Make sure the backing fabric is lying flat inside the damaged area. Stuff the excess backing fabric under the undamaged vinyl. The backing fabric acts as a replacement material for the vinyl, so you are not required to pull the vinyl together to cover the gap.
Create the correct color using the color match guide that is included in the kit. The color match guide will help you create the proper color combination to match the vinyl seat. Mix the appropriate colors together with the spatula in the mixing container. This is the colored repair compound.
Spread a small amount of the colored repair compound on an inconspicuous area of the damaged vinyl and let it dry. Examine the color of the dried compound. If it does not match the vinyl seat, refer to the color guide once again and remix the repair compound until you achieve the correct color.
Spread a layer of the colored repair compound with the spatula over the torn vinyl. Cover the gap -- as well as the backing fabric -- completely with the repair compound. Make sure you spread the compound smoothly and evenly before leaving it to dry for one hour.
Add a second, thin layer of repair compound over the tear and place the grain paper on top. Press the grain paper gently into the repair compound and set a book or other heavy object on top of the grain paper. For damaged vinyl located on an area where a heavy object will not stay -- such as the back of a seat-- press the grain paper into the compound. Rub the grain paper with your fingertips for several minutes until you have firmly embedded the grain paper into the compound. Continue on to Step 7.
Let the compound dry for four hours before carefully pulling the grain paper off the colored repair compound. Replace the grain paper back on the repair compound if the compound is still wet and let dry for another three to four hours.