I’ve told you about my husband’s family place up in the Adirondacks… it’s right on a lake. It’s rustic and amazing and we love it there. Being on the water, most of the families have a boat of some sort (if not more than one). His family has always has a few- what they call the “dingy”- which is a row-boat (it’s got to be at least 30 years old), a metal canoe (probably 20 years or so) and a 4 (yes, FOUR) horsepower motor. If you’ve never had the ‘pleasure’ of a trip with a 4 horsepower motor… well, you’ve obviously managed to get somewhere… ever. lol. A turtle moves faster, I just know it.
A few years ago we went to the local boat show and bought a 73 Glaspar boat. It was lemon yellow and horrid. We loved it. It was $500 for the boat, the motor, AND a trailer. We learned it was $850 a week to rent one so we figured if it died after the first year, we still made out. It didn’t it lasted 3 years I think and we had so much fun with it. Dragging the big girls all over the lake, going on whale watching california trips and just being silly. Then it died… a sudden and cruel death on the other side of the lake and my poor husband and oldest daughter had to grab the rope attached to the bow, jump in the water, and swim us all home… Ahhh memories…
The next year (two years ago- Summer of 10) we bought a new (to us) boat. It’s a 88 CVX something-or-another (this is where the “girl” in me rears its head) and it looks like this:
Did you see that middle photo? Yep, it’s got a super fancy- “custom” duct tape interior… We didn’t even have to pay extra for that! Sweet!! Brian promptly named it the “Redheaded Step-Child” in honor of my sweet Abbie (I mean, really, how many people actually HAVE one of those?) and she loved it. We drove it like that way for two years. Last year the Marina owner Tom asked Brian if he wanted his upholstery lady to have a go at the seats. Apparently Brian said yes and promptly forgot (this is not uncommon with my sweet husband).
In the meantime, I discovered Simply Spray Fabric Paint (see my purple chair post here) and immediately joined their facebook page (here) when I was so happy with the results of their product. A few months ago they started posting about Leather and Vinyl Cote. “Spray Paint” Type products for Leather and Vinyl… seriously?! How cool is that?! I was, of course full of questions and someone was kind enough to answer them all. I even sent an email with very specific coverage queries. Emily answered me and then asked if I would be interested in testing the Vinyl Cote product. Ummm, Would I?! That’s a certain YES!!
I sent her the before pictures of the boat- No surprise that she said “Those seats are pretty bad, I don’t think this product will work for you”. Ha! Remember how Brian forgets things? What an incredible surprise to get up to NY this year and see that indeed, the seats had been recovered… Check it out!
Stunning, right? Tom’s upholstery lady is amazingly talented and very fairly priced (ok, so we feel like we stole it). However, she only did the seats. The sides and glove box areas were still a mess. Emily was oh so kind to send me one can of spray and one can of primer to test. I chose white since that is what color the glove box was already.
Pretty bad up close. No amount of scrubbing was getting that off. What a perfect opportunity to try out Vinyl Cote!!
The process is a bit complex really and you have to pay attention to what you’re doing. I’m just warning you ahead of time. The first thing is to read the directions… and then read them again, then tape and mask- everything. I’m not kidding, EVERYTHING. It’s a whole lot “runnier” (thinner) than you would think it would be and it will be all over.
Then you spray the primer. (Step 1) It isn’t necessary to be heavy-handed, just a light coat is all you need. then it says to rub it in to the cracks and crevices with a lint free cloth. I used an old tea towel. I truly think it would have been SO much easier with an old paintbrush. Then wait at least 30 minutes to get the primer dry. This step allows the “paint” to have something to stick to. You cannot skip it.
Once it’s “tacky”, then you pull out Step 2- the actual color. You spray it on the primed surface and then the directions say take a lint free cloth and rub it into the cracks and crevices.. Once again, use an old paintbrush, you’ll be happier. It almost seemed like I rubbed most of it off. Honestly, I was getting nervous about the coverage. The can warns you will most likely need more than one coat. They aren’t kidding. I was covering a white surface with a white paint, so remember that if you use this to guesstimate how many cans you might need. In theory that would require even less paint than normal- this is after the first coat:
You let that coat dry for at least an hour and then you spray again. I was VERY limited on time so I had to speed up this process. I sprayed the second coat on a bit heavier than I would have preferred. and it looked like this:
not bad, right? Peeled off the tape after about an hour and got this:
I’m very pleased with the result. The splotchy-ness left over from the mold is gone. You can’t even see a trace of it. There is a little wrinkle where the paint gathered around the tape on the top handle. I really think with a fine sand paper I can get that out and spray one more coat. The bottom box has a bit of a drip because of the angle I was forced to contort to in order to spray the box.
All in all, I am very pleased with this product.
Pros: Easy to use, not labor intensive, MUCH less expensive than reupholstery, overspray came off very easily on the boat fiberglass.
Cons: more expensive than regular spray paint, much thinner than what you might except so be prepared, it may require more coats than you were expecting, and therefore quite a bit more time.
Just FYI- I do still have a half a can or so left of the color. I have nearly a whole can of the Primer product. I would absolutely use this again and recommend it. If you have the ability to actually remove the pieces you’re working on to lay them flat, DO IT. It’ll save you some trouble.
Here’s the before and after:
I would love to try out the Leather Cote on my girlfriend’s couch. She’s been complaining about it looking worn.. If the Leather Cote works like this… I think it’d be just the thing.