wikiHow to Replace Single Wrap Vinyl Straps

Four Parts:Removing the old strapsPreparing the new strapsSoftening the vinyl strapAttaching to the frame

Many types of outdoor furniture use vinyl strapping stretched over a frame to provide comfortable support for the seat and back. These straps become brittle and discolored over time, and may need to be replaced. This is an easy operation and will make your furniture look like new.

Part 1
Removing the old straps

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    Remove the old straps. Using a pair of scissors, cut off all the old straps and fasteners.
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    Clean the chair frame at this time.

Part 2
Preparing the new straps

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    Measure the frame. With a cloth measuring tape, take the hole-to-hole measurement. Wrap the measuring tape around the frame as if it were a strap.
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    Calculate the strap length. Take the hole-to-hole measurement and multiply it by .85 (85%). Then add one inch. This number will be your cut length.
    • For example: Hole to hole measurement = 22" Hole-to-hole measurement x .8" = 17.6" Add one inch. Cut length: 18.6".
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    Cut the vinyl straps. Using scissors and a measuring tape, cut the desired number of straps at the cut length.
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    Drill or punch holes for rivets. Using a leather punch or and electric drill with a 3/16" bit, carefully drill a hole in the center of the strap, 1/2" from the end of the strap. Make sure to drill a hole on both ends.
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    Trim the corners. Once all straps are cut and drilled, trim off the corners of both sides of every strap.

Part 3
Softening the vinyl strap

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    Heat the vinyl strap. This is done to soften it. There are at least two possible ways to achieve this satisfactorily:
    • Use boiling water to heat it. Using a hot plate or other heat source, boil a large pot of water. Once the water has come to a boil, insert several straps. Reduce the heat so the water remains hot but not boiling. Allow the straps to stay in the water at least two minutes, although leaving them in longer will not hurt them.
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    • Use a heat gun. Move the heat gun around frequently; do not allow it to rest at one place. Thirty seconds of moving it around the strap and it should be heated enough to use.
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    Insert the fastener. From here on, gloves are recommended to be worn as the straps can be very hot coming out of the water or after heating under the heat gun. Remove one strap with a pair of tongs and dry it with a towel, or simply lift up the hot heated strap with the tongs. Insert rivets into both ends of the strap.

Part 4
Attaching to the frame

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    Attach the fastener to the frame. While the strap is still hot, approach the frame from underneath. Push the rivet into the hole in the frame and bring the strap around the outside of the frame.
    • If the rivet is difficult to insert, use a rubber mallet or hammer to tap it in.
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    Pull the strap. Using one hand to detain the chair, grab the end of the strap with the other. Stretch the strap evenly and steadily over top the opposite side of the chair.
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    Wrap the strap. Using heavy thumb pressure, hold the vinyl in place and attach the rivet to the frame with the other hand. Release thumb pressure and the strap will contract as it cools.
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    Repeat for each strap requiring fixing. When it's all done, the chair is ready to sit on again.

Tips

Warnings

  • Do not cut all of your straps at once, you may want to adjust your strap length after you see how the first few straps fit around the frame.
  • If using a heat gun, do not let it sit too long in any one part of the strap or the heat will start to melt the vinyl.

Things You'll Need

  • Chair which has vinyl straps in need of replacing
  • Scissors
  • 3/16" drill and drill motor, or a leather punch
  • Rubberized gloves
  • Baby powder
  • Hammer or rubber mallet
  • Pot of boiling water, towel; or a heat gun
  • Tongs

Article Info

Categories: Furniture and Cabinets