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How to Reupholster a Vinyl Booth

Allison Edrington

Vinyl booths are comfortable and traditional seating often found in restaurants in the U.S., but the material needs to be replaced periodically. Vinyl stiffens and cracks over time, and proactive restaurant owners will reupholster seats as soon as the vinyl begins to show these signs of wear. Working with vinyl is similar to working with other fabrics when reupholstering, but some points must be taken into account to effectively replace the covering on a vinyl booth seat.

Cracked, old vinyl booths can degrade a restaurant's image if not reupholstered.
  1. Remove the vinyl-covered sections if possible. For booths that have the cushions built in, remove any obstacles in the area to give you plenty of working space.

  2. Remove the old vinyl and the staples that held it in place from both the back and the seat. If the foam padding is in working condition, leave it intact. However, if the padding is damaged, remove it and replace it with new padding of the same size.

  3. Cut out new pieces of vinyl for the seat and back, using the old booth coverings you removed as a template.

  4. Wrap the seat vinyl material tightly around the seat cushion foam so that the edges of the material go around the frame. Staple one side of the material to the seat frame to secure it in place while you fit the covering.

  5. Apply heat to sections of the vinyl to wrap it around curved areas without creasing. Set your blow dryer on low heat and aim it at the section that will wrap around a curve, holding it about a foot away. Slowly move the dryer closer to the vinyl until the material is pliable enough to conform to the curve without creasing. Staple the remaining sides of the covering to the bottom of the frame as you fit the curved areas.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the back cushion. Place both cushions back in the booth, if applicable.

  7. Tip

    Marine vinyl is best for booths that are outdoors, but any vinyl type will work indoors.


    Do not touch the vinyl while it is hot -- it could burn you.