Painting Vinyl Motorcycle Seats by Dale Wagler on 4Strokes.com
4Strokes.com Technical: Painting Vinyl Seats By Dale Wagler
you tired of that old faded seat? Do you have a late 80's KLR with a color scheme
designed by Kawasaki's watercraft department? You don't have to buy a new seat
or new seat cover, you can paint the old one!
My Honda XR400R came with a red vinyl seat. I don't like red at all, especially
not for upholstery, so I decided to do something about it. I painted it black.
Relax, I've done this before and I'm almost a professional!
Things you'll need: nylon bristle brush, soapy water, towel, SEM Professional
Vinyl Prep, SEM Color Coat, Bulldog Adhesion Promoter, piece of cardboard, and
something to keep the seat up off the ground (I used a few empty soda cans).
1. SEM and Bulldog products can be found at your local auto paint supply store
(not auto parts). You want a place that caters to professional auto body shops.
2. Remove the seat from your bike (this is important) and clean it with a
nylon brush and soapy water.
3. In a well ventilated area, apply SEM Vinyl Prep to the portions of the
seat that you'll be painting (basically, all the vinyl). Follow the directions
on the can, but don't worry, it's not rocket science.
4. Prime vinyl with Bulldog Adhesion Promoter. Follow can directions--you
want several light coats. Bulldog is extremely tacky and ready for recoat
in 3-5 minutes. Ensure that all vinyl to be painted is covered with Bulldog.
5. After waited 10-15 minutes for the Bulldog to cure, you can now paint the
seat. It's the same process as the Bulldog--several light coats. It took me
half a dozen coats to fully cover my seat.
7. You will want to ensure that you spray as deeply into the stitched areas
as possible to cover your previous color, be careful not to overspray in these
areas; it is easy to do.
8. You're basically done now! If any of you are concerned that it won't look
"real", worry no more. It will look exactly like a fresh piece of
vinyl. Here is a close-up of the texture showing through the paint.
9. Be sure to let the paint cure for at least 24 hours before reinstalling.
If it doesn't have time to cure, it will rub off. If left to cure long enough,
it will become one with the vinyl and will never wear through.
I've put 35,000 miles on a seat that I painted and it still looks like
new. This is what the professionals do when they repair or refurbish vinyl
upholstery. I don't have my receipt for the cans, but I believe it all
ran around $20. One can of Bulldog is enough to prime a half a dozen seats
and one can of SEM Flexible Coating is generally good for one seat.
Credits: Article written by Dale Wagler, edited by 4Strokes.com