How to Restore Pontoon Boat Upholstery Like a Pro
Posted on December 21 2022
Lately there is has been a boom of interest in outdoor activities and adventures. People are hiking, camping, overlanding, and boating more than ever. In turn sales of new and used RV’s, campers, and boats has increased. For those wanting a boat, pontoon boats have presented an especially attractive option as they typically offer a more versatile and economical alternative to other types of boats. However, with this increase in use comes wear and tear and some pontoon boat owners may find their vinyl seats and cushions becoming stained, faded, and discolored. Maybe this is you and you want to restore your upholstery’s appearance? If so, check out how to restore your pontoon boat upholstery like a pro.
Mildew-stained pontoon boat upholstery looking gross
How to Clean Pontoon Boat Upholstery
Of course, the first step to getting rid of discoloration and stains on vinyl boat upholstery is to see if cleaning will do the trick. It’s best to start off by removing dirt, mold, mildew, and stains with a gentle cleaning, and see what that does, before moving onto more aggressive cleaning.
- Start by vacuuming the seats and other upholstery to remove dirt and debris trapped between cushions and in seams. This will keep dirt and debris from becoming a muddy mess when liquid cleaner is used.
- Wash the upholstery with a mixture of warm water and soap appropriate for vinyl, or a marine grade vinyl cleaner. A clean cloth, sponge, or a brush with soft bristles can be used to scrub the vinyl in a circular motion. Of note, Dawn dishwashing detergent is a good choice as it is mild yet works well removing, dirt, grease, and oil.
- If mildew stains remain you might want to use a spray cleaner specifically designed for mildew removal. Just be sure it is safe for use on vinyl.
- Rinse the upholstery with warm water
- Dry the upholstery by wiping down with a soft terry cloth towel or microfiber cloth
How Much Does It Cost to Have Pontoon Boat Seats Reupholstered?
If discoloration and stains remain, and it’s really bothering you, the seats and cushions can be reupholstered or replaced. However, this can be expensive. For example, a ColorBond customer told us of a quote for having his Sea Ray pontoon boat seats reupholstered. He said the vinyl fabrics used in marine upholstery cost about $40 to $60 per square yard. The upholstery job including labor for layback seats using the existing hardware and seat box would cost between $600 and $1200 each, while the cost to reupholster a typical 25-foot boat could be several thousand dollars.
How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Pontoon Boat Upholstery?
If discoloration or stains remain, an economical and cost-effective option is to refinish the pontoon boat upholstery and restore its appearance with ColorBond LVP. This paint was created for use on leather, vinyl, and plastic. With proper preparation it bonds strongly with the vinyl to avoid blisters and peeling, and its flexible to avoid cracking. Perhaps best of all is that ColorBond LVP looks great, and its appearance is hard to distinguish from actual vinyl.
Using ColorBond LVP is simple and easy:
- First clean the vinyl with isopropyl alcohol (avoid anything over 50%), acetone, or ColorBond Prep Cleaner to remove any remaining dirt, oils, or residues so the paint has a clean surface to grab onto.
- Apply a light mist coat 12” from the surface
- Apply additional light coats as desired, allowing two minutes drying time between each coat
- ColorBond LVP bonds after ten minutes drying time
- As the pontoon boat upholstery will see a lot of exposure to the sun, it should be top coated with ColorBond Dash Clear UV Protectant. This will guard against fading, cracking and heat deterioration that could be caused by the sun.
The same boat owner mentioned above used ColorBond LVP to restore and renew the appearance of his mildew-stained pontoon boat upholstery. Using ColorBond OEM Certified Sea Ray Cutty White, he painted all seats and other interior upholstery. Of note, the teal and purple trim panels on the seats were masked off before painting and their finish remains original. Overall, four cans of ColorBond LVP were used at a cost of $93.40. Compare that to the thousands of dollars for new upholstery!
Mildew-stained pontoon boat upholstery refinished with ColorBond LVP
With use of your pontoon boat comes the opportunity for stains, fading and discoloration to damage your upholstery. But with ColorBond LVP you can restore your pontoon boat upholstery like a pro.