How to Upholster With Vinyl

Vinyl is a durable, easy-to-clean material used for many purposes.

Vinyl is a durable fabric ideal for indoor and outdoor furniture.Vinyl is a durable fabric ideal for indoor and outdoor furniture.
For example, vinyl is ideal for vehicle upholstery and commercial seating as in restaurant booths. Marine-grade vinyl is also primarily used in boats and outdoor furniture. Upholstering with vinyl is not unlike using most other upholstery fabrics for indoor and outdoor furniture.

Lay a piece of muslin cloth over the area you would like to cover. If you are reupholstering a piece of furniture, remove the old fabric by unhinging the staples with a flathead screwdriver or needle nose pliers. Your old fabric can be used as a pattern for your vinyl fabric.

Trace out the shape of the area you need to cover on the muslin cloth. Remove the cloth and fold in half vertically, checking for symmetry if applicable. Add one to two inches along all sides of your traced shape and cut out your pattern.

Pin your muslin pattern to your desired vinyl fabric. Trace along the outside of the muslin onto the vinyl and cut out your shape. Position your vinyl over the area you are going to recover.

Use a staple gun to staple your vinyl to the frame of your furniture. Pull your vinyl as taut as possible as you walk along the edge of your fabric and staple in place. Use a liberal amount of staples to secure your vinyl in place, otherwise it has the tendency to pull away as you staple the next section.

Apply low heat with a hairdryer to help walk your vinyl along curved edges. This will help mold the vinyl in place while avoiding any puckering in the fabric. If necessary, cut short slits in the fabric to fold your fabric onto itself for stapling.

Things You Will Need

  • Vinyl
  • Muslin cloth
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Scissors
  • Hair dryer

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.