How to Reupholster an ATV Seatby Mia Carter
An all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, has a seat that takes a lot of wear and tear due to exposure to water, sun and other elements. Vinyl cracking and tearing is commonplace, particularly as the ATV ages, requiring reupholstering. A vinyl material makes an effective choice for that replacement as it's durable and stands up to destructive facets. ATV seats are fairly easy to reupholster, since they're typically flat and rectangular in shape. Also, a new seat cover can be created using a single piece of vinyl.
Remove the screws from the metal plates or hinges that affix the seat to the ATV at the point where the seat lifts up.
Use pliers to remove the staples that attach the upholstery to the underside of the seat by grasping each staple and pulling it from the seat bottom. Remove the material.
Slice away the damaged foam cushion beneath the vinyl, separating it from the seat bottom by using a loose, single-edge razor blade.
Turn over the seat bottom and place it atop the new foam, tracing its outline on it.
Cut the new piece of foam, using the pencil marks as a guide.
Apply contact cement to the top side of the seat bottom using a synthetic paint brush. Affix the foam to the top of the seat bottom and allow it to dry per the directions on the contact cement packaging.
Place the new vinyl on a flat surface, with the underside facing up. Lay the old seat cover on top of the new fabric to serve as a template, then trace around it. Include any material slits that are present at the edge of the old seat cover for greater give after re-attachment. The old seat cover can be discarded after this step.
Cut the new seat cover out of the new piece of vinyl, using the pencil outline as a guide. Cut any slits that were also added within the edges.
Place the new piece of vinyl facedown on a flat surface. Flip and center the seat on top of that, so that the foam meets the vinyl's backing.
Wrap the fabric around the top edges of the seat and use a high-powered staple gun run by air compressor to insert tacking staples into the underside of the seat bottom. If you visualize the square seat bottom as a clock face, the staples should be situated at approximately 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Insert a staple every half inch, securing the new cover in place. As this progresses, periodically flip the seat over and ensure that the vinyl is taut and unwrinkled.
Screw the metal plates back onto the seat bottom and re-attach to the ATV.
- Geno Storey, Owner ABC Automotive & Interiors, Cape Coral, Florida.
- Some old seat covers will have slits in the fabric edges on the seat's underside. Be sure to duplicate these slits in the new seat cover, as it will make it easier to secure the fabric, without creating wrinkles.
- Marine-grade vinyl is ideal for seats that will be exposed to water, though any grade of vinyl will suffice for this project.
Things You'll Need
- 1 yard of marine-grade vinyl
- Phillips head screwdriver
- High-powered staple gun, attached to an air compressor
- Roll of 1-inch foam rubber
- General-purpose contact cement
- Single-edged razor blade
- Synthetic paint brush