View Full Version : Has anyone used a vinyl dye?

04-25-2006, 11:05 AM
I want to "freshen up" the interior of my '86 Tri Star without reupholstering the whole thing ... has anyone ever tried any of the vinyl dyes available? There are spray can products from SEM, VHT, Duplicolor, and Plastikote; as well as more professional spray-gun products such as Vinylkote. Are any of them any good? I don't expect everything to look new, just presentable and not peel or flake off. Yeah, I know the right way to do the job would be to have the boat reupholstered, but right now that's just too expensive. Spray cans go from about $6/can up to $79/qt for Vinylkote.

With proper prep, is this a good idea?


04-25-2006, 12:15 PM
Most of them work fine but like any other paint job, the prep is all-important. The vinyl needs to be really clean and there can be no grease, suntan oil, wax, etc. The problem with that is most solvents will dissolve the vinyl or the threads used to sew it together. Some of the dye makers will have recommendations on what to use for cleaning.

OTOH, if some does peel, it can be touched up after being cleaned again.

04-26-2006, 10:19 AM
The local NAPA auto parts sells SEM vinyl dyes, so I bought a can (along with the adhesion promoter) and tried it out last night. Santa Fe is a near perfect color match. WOW, the seat cushion looks like new - I just hope it holds up for a little while. Now to go and buy another dozen or so cans ...

04-26-2006, 10:59 AM
"Now to go and buy another dozen or so cans ..."

Preferably from the same dye lot. The lot numbers are on the can.

05-05-2006, 11:45 AM
Well, this project is going well, so far ... The dyed (painted?) seats look great. The picture below shows one done and one that still needs a little TLC. The total job will end up under $100. Now, the test of time.