How to Reupholster the Backrest of a Pontoon Bench Seat

Item # X-HT-300450

As part of our Pontoon Upholstery Series, we'll show you how to reupholster a pontoon boat's bench seat. This tutorial will highlight the reupholstering of the backrest. Follow along as we walk you through removing the old vinyl, cutting and shaping foam, patterning new vinyl fabric, sewing and stapling the vinyl to our frame. To ensure our project looks great and lasts a long time, we’ll be using only the highest quality tools and supplies from Sailrite®! Let’s get started.

For our upholstery project, we’ve chosen to use EverSoft Indoor/Outdoor vinyl. This waterproof vinyl is incredibly soft and supple, with a grain that closely resembles real leather. This vinyl is easy to clean, as well as resistant to mold, mildew, abrasion and fading. The Nanocide™ Silver Ion Antimicrobial Agent formulation enables EverSoft to withstand harsh conditions, preventing the growth of mold and mildew, while the proprietary Blockade™ special finish ensures years of abrasion and UV resistance. EverSoft promises a strong resistance to bacterial pinking, which can lead to unsightly pink stains on marine seating. Wherever you need a quality vinyl, look no further than EverSoft Indoor/Outdoor Vinyl Fabric, only available through Sailrite.

To cut our medium density polyurethane antimicrobial foam for this project, we’re going to compare using the Sailrite® Blade Foam Saw and a regular electric kitchen knife. While an electric kitchen knife will technically cut through the foam, it takes longer and leaves uneven cut marks because it cannot adequately secure the foam while it cuts. However, our dual-blade Sailrite Blade Foam saw has one stationary blade to secure the foam (no bouncing) and another blade to glide through the foam. This will make your next upholstery project a breeze!

If reupholstering your pontoon seating seems daunting, don’t worry! That’s where Sailrite comes in to save the day. We have tons of free resources to walk you through the process in easy-to-follow steps. Sailrite is also your one-stop-shop for all things DIY — between fabric, tools, supplies and sewing machines, we’ve got it all. And if you ever have questions, you can reach out to our knowledgeable customer support staff via email, phone or the chat function on our website.

Video Chapters:

  • Removing Old Vinyl Fabric – 1:14 min
  • Cutting Foam & Making Bolster – 3:44 min
  • Sewing Channeling – 13:33 min
  • Gluing Foam to Frame – 21:10 min
  • Patterning Four-Way Stretch Vinyl – 25:53 min
  • Making Piping – 36:12 min
  • Sewing Top Bolster Vinyl – 40:40 min
  • Sewing Lower Vinyl – 48:29 min
  • Adding a Fabric Pull – 55:29 min
  • Joining Panels – 58:04 min
  • Stapling Fabric Pull – 1:12:40 min
  • Stapling Vinyl Fabric to Backerboard – 1:18:45 min
  • Removing Wrinkles with Steam – 1:24:38 min
  • Materials List – 1:26:38 min

Materials List:

  • Medium Density Polyurethane Antimicrobial Foam (Medium) 3" x 24" x 80" - (#183M2480)
  • Medium Density Polyurethane Antimicrobial Foam (Medium) 4" x 24" x 80" - (#184M2480)
  • Medium Density Polyurethane Antimicrobial Foam (Soft) - (#181S4880)
  • Foam Lock Spray Adhesive 12oz - (#120464)
  • EverSoft Indoor/Outdoor 54" Vinyl Fabric Off White - (#122211) & Burgundy - (#122206)
  • Fabric Backed Sew Foam 58" ½” - (#121507)
  • Thread V-92 Natural Polyester UV 4oz - (#106386)
  • Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material 74"- (#103134)
  • Foam Piping/Welting Cord 5/32" (50') - (#105599)
  • Top Notch® 1S Forest Green 60" Fabric - (#121812)
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery (36Yds) - (#122065)
  • Cushion Wrap Silk Film 54" - (#103933)
  • 21 Gauge 3/8" (10mm) Staples 10,000/Box (Stainless Steel) - (#8010SS)

Tools List:

  • Sailrite® Blade Foam Saw V2 with Carrying Case - (#121244)
  • Tape Measure 120 Inch - (#102986)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" - (#102400)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" - (#101017)
  • McLube™ Sailkote 8oz - (#120679)
  • Sailrite® Fabricator® Sewing Machine, Table & Workhorse™ Servo Motor - (#400500)
  • Thread Clipper "Kuroha" - (#121908)
  • Cording Foot Set 1/4" for Fabricator - (#400414)
  • Scribe-All® Water Soluble White Marking Pencil - (#120681)
  • Scratch Awl Yellow - (#2354)
  • Sailrite® Upholstery Staple Gun - Short Nose - (#121410) or Long Nose - (#121411)
  • Knife, Tape Measure, Straight Edge, Pencil, Marker, Stapler, Tape, Steamer