DIY Boat Upholstery: Redo a Bench Seat Backrest

Item # X-HT-300651

Welcome to another project in our Speedboat Makeover Series! In this tutorial video, we’ll show you how to reupholster the backrest of a bench seat with two different colors of vinyl. We recommend EverSoft™ Indoor/Outdoor Vinyl for its four-way stretch feature, waterproof quality and incredible softness. EverSoft stands strong against UV rays, mold and mildew, and other environmental factors while maintaining its suppleness and vibrant color. It’s the perfect fabric for a marine project and will ensure that your boat seat backrest stays comfortable for years to come!

EverSoft is the perfect fabric for a boat seat vinyl replacement.

When we redid our backrest, we found that it still had the original cushion foam in it. But since the original foam was full of mold and mildew, we couldn’t reuse it. Instead, we replaced it with brand-new CushionRite® Standard Antimicrobial Foam from Sailrite®. This seating foam is ideal for marine cushions because its antimicrobial properties make it resistant to mold and mildew, even in the dampest of environments.

Sometimes projects call for layering foams with different firmness levels together. That was the case with our backrest project and may be true for your boat bench seats as well. Layering foam may sound daunting, but it’s really quite simple! We'll walk you through all the steps of layering foam of different thicknesses and firmness levels to get the support your seating application calls for.

Ready to dive into this DIY to learn how to make a worn bench seat backrest look and feel brand-new? Watch the video below to get started on your bench seat reupholstery project!

There are many more projects to see in our Speedboat Makeover Series! We gave a used Malibu speedboat a new lease on life by overhauling it with new upholstery, hull liner and flooring. If any part of your speedboat could use a refresh, make sure you browse all the videos in this series to find exactly the right DIY for your vessel.

This speedboat renovation series will teach you how to reupholster boat seats.
Watch all the videos in our Speedboat Makeover Series to see the incredible transformation from start to finish!

Chapters List:

  • Intro — 0:00 min.
  • Removing Old Fabric — 0:52 min.
  • Cutting & Gluing New Foam — 3:48 min.
  • Cutting Fabric Panels — 14:11 min.
  • Sewing Quilted Panels — 21:11 min.
  • Sewing Piping — 28:13 min.
  • Cutting & Sewing Fabric Pull — 29:50 min.
  • Sewing Panels Together — 32:10 min.
  • Stapling Cushion Cover to Backer Board — 36:24 min.
  • Materials & Tools List — 48:06 min.

Materials List:

  • CushionRite® Standard Antimicrobial Foam (Firm) (#124229)
  • CushionRite® Standard Antimicrobial Foam (Soft) (#124216)
  • Foam Lock Spray Adhesive 12 oz. (#120464)
  • EverSoft™ Indoor/Outdoor Black 54" Vinyl Fabric (#122217)
  • EverSoft™ Indoor/Outdoor Teak 54" Vinyl Fabric (#122218)
  • Fabric Backed Sew Foam 58" (#124306)
  • Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material 74" (#103134)
  • Tex 90 White UV Bonded Polyester Thread 4 oz. (1,350 yds.) (#100079)
  • PremoBond® Tex 90 Black UV Bonded Polyester Thread 4 oz. (1,350 yds.) (#123338)
  • EverSoft™ Vinyl Welting / Piping Black (#122597)
  • Top Notch® 9 Charcoal 60" Fabric (#120455)
  • 21 Gauge 3/8" (10mm) Staples 10,000/Box (Stainless Steel) (#8010SS)
  • Cushion Wrap Silk Film 54" (#103933)

Tools List:

  • Staple Lifter (#120037)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Sailrite® Blade Foam Saw V2 with Carrying Case (110V) (#121244)
  • Professional Stainless Steel 10" Scissors (#123615)
  • Scribe-All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl (#121977)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Tape Measure 120" (#102986)
  • Chalk Pen White (#123131)
  • Sailrite® Deluxe Fabricator® Sewing Machine Package (110V) (#400600)
  • Cording Foot Set 1/4" for Fabricator® (#400414)
  • Deluxe 5-1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide (#103597)
  • Left Edge Guide Foot Set 4mm for Sailrite® Fabricator® (#400111)
  • Sailrite® Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun (#121411)
  • Tape Measure, Permanent Marker, Rag, Box Cutter