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Restoring Marine Upholstery Using Pettit EZ Fabricoat

DATE POSTED:July 29, 2021

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Boat seats take a lot of abuse. And few things make a boat look shabbier than faded, dingy upholstery. At a certain point, UV ray damage from the sun makes cleaning a waste of time. You can reupholster, sure. But you can also extend the useful life of marine upholstery--such as boat seats, leaning posts and sunlounges--by refinishing them.

What? Paint vinyl upholstery?!!

My initial reaction was probably the same as yours. But then, I had this sun-damaged cooler seat backrest aboard my boat, Pettit’s EZ Fabricoat just hit the shelves and reviewing marine accessories is what we do. So, I called up our Pettit contact and requested some EZ Fabricoat.

The author's seat back cushion before and after application of Pettit EZ Fabricoat.
The author's seat back cushion before and after application of Pettit EZ Fabricoat. (Kevin Falvey/)

EZ Fabricoat is a flexible coating that refinishes marine vinyl seats, panels, wrapped dashboards, carpets, PVC tubes, simulated leather and other marine fabric materials.

It is a specially formulated flexible coating that, according to Pettit, provides excellent adhesion. Pettit said that will not rub off, crack or peel. They also said it is a high-grade marine formula that will hide stains, fading and UV damage while providing strong UV protection from the sun’s powerful rays. EZ Fabricoat comes in six colors and finishes.

Pettit EZ Fabricoat comes in six colors.
Pettit EZ Fabricoat comes in six colors. (Courtesy Pettit Paint/)

So, with a can of gloss white in hand, I set out to put Pettit’s claims about EZ Fabricoat to the test on my backrest cushion.

Application proved easy. Shake the can well and apply two-to three thin coats. EZ Fabricoat covered well, and the nozzle didn’t spatter or spurt. (Inverting the can and giving a squirt between coats keeps it clear). At 80 F/ 27 C it dried enough to recoat in about 15 minutes. I let it sit overnight before reinstalling aboard the boat.

EZ Fabricoat covers 12 square feet per can. Remeber you need two coats when factoring how much to buy for your job. You want to apply it in a well-ventilated space--I worked outside and still used a respirator. Also use gloves and eye protection whenever applying marine coatings.

EZ Fabricoat comes in Gloss White, Gloss Black, Flat Black, Satin Dark Khaki, Satin Dark Grey and Satin Grey. In addition to vinyl boat upholstery and panels, it also is claimed to be useful for refinishing Hypalon inflatable boats, and PVC products.

We’ll see how EZ Fabricoat holds up over time. But as for ease of use, the cost-to-effort ratio and the good looking end result, I can recommend this product for making faded and damaged marine vinyl upholstery look " good as new. "

Contact: Pettit Paint

Price: $17.88, defender.com