Strength Tech, Inc. Weightlifting Equipment
Reupholstery Installation Instructions

P.O. BOX 1381
(800) 443-6543


  1. Find a suitable work area with a work bench or large flat top table in an area that is well lighted, ventilated, and temperature controlled. It will be easier to clean up later if you are not on a carpeted floor. Some gyms put down a large heavy tarp over a carpeted area and work there.

  2. Assemble the tools listed in the UPHOLSTERY TOOLS LIST.

  3. Bring your new vinyl and foam. If the foam has been rolled up, unroll it so it will straighten back out. Cover it from the light. (It will yellow upon long term exposure to light.) The foam can easily be covered with a tarp.

  4. Find yourself a helper. Two people are sometimes needed for stretching and stapling simultaneously. Large jobs (many pieces of equipment) can seem overpowering to one person. With two people one can be doing a lot of the upholstery work while the other is retrieving the pieces to be reupholstered, ripping the old stuff off, preparing them to be reupholstered, and reinstalling the finished pieces.

  5. Read the instructions below completely through before beginning.


  1. Remove upholstered board from equipment. Repaint the equipment if desired.

  2. Strip off vinyl and foam.

  3. Evaluate condition of board.
    1. Replace if necessary
    2. Drill any required holes, install T-nuts if desired
    3. If edges of board are rough, sand them. Round corners with a hand file.

  4. Paint black if desired. Those using equipment outdoors (prisons) may wish to paint it with Thompson's Water Sealant before or instead of painting.

  5. Cut a strip of vinyl about 3 inches wide (you might use some of the old vinyl you removed earlier) and as long as the perimeter of the board. It can be in a few pieces that add up to the perimeter of the board.
    1. Staple this strip around the edge of the board. Install the staples with their midsection parallel to the edge of the board (this helps hold the vinyl better.)
    2. Install it to overlap both faces (top and bottom) about 1 inch.
    3. This will provide additional protection to the top vinyl against the board edges and corners.

    4. Cut foam to fit the board with an electric carving knife. When cutting large sheets of foam hang it over the edge of the table and get some assistants to support it so you can cut it near the edge of the table (if the foam "droops" over the edge of the table your cut will not be vertical), or you can use two 2x4's about 3 feet long. Lay them up in the middle of your table about 6 inches apart with the gap between them running under the marked area to be cut. Now cut the foam with the electric knife.

    5. Secure foam to board with spray on surface adhesive. Some units need bolts through board before foam is glued down.

    6. Cut vinyl to proper size to wrap around foam and board.
      1. If you are cutting bench press tops see the VINYL LAYOUT page.
      2. Vinyl is cut with a carpet knife or scissors. Use extreme caution when using a carpet knife. They are dangerous. Put some cardboard on your table to protect its surface. Then carefully cut the vinyl by pulling the knife along the edge of a long straight ruler.
      3. With foam on board, the vinyl wraps over the foam and overlaps the back of the board 2 to 3 inches on each side.

    7. Vinyl is installed on the equipment with the smooth, dimpled side up. The side that appears weaved goes against the foam.
      1. Usually the vinyl is laid on the table upside down (the smooth dimpled surface) is placed against the work table). The board with the foam glued to it is placed on top of the vinyl with the foam against the weaved side of the vinyl. This allows you to wrap the vinyl around the foam and board and begin stapling it on the back of the board. Typically the boards are rectangular. They have two long sides and two short sides. Begin working on one long side, stapling the vinyl to the back of the board allowing a 2 to 3 inch overlap of the vinyl. Begin at one end and staple the vinyl all the way down this long side. Then stretch the vinyl to the other long side and staple it. Begin at one end and stretch and staple it all the way down this long edge. If you make an error the staples can be removed by edging them up with a screw driver and pulling them with needle nose pliers.
      2. Many pieces (bench presses) have a fairly narrow width. On these pieces the short ends have their corners tucked like a Christmas package. You bring the long end around the corner and staple it to the end of the short side of the board. Then fold the overhang down over it and staple it.
      3. Some pieces have long rounded shapes. Imagine this is a part of a circle (many will be). Determine where the center of this circle would be. Put a mark on the back of the board at this center. As you bring the vinyl over the board try to stretch it toward this center and staple it down. You will need to cut the material occasionally after it comes over the board or it will "bunch up." This is done by making a cut along the direction you are stretching the material. It allow you to put this stretched batch a little bit on top of the last stretched batch.
      4. Always try to keep the vinyl stretched for a snug fit.

    8. Reinstall upholstered board on equipment.

    9. Store unused foam in a dark area, wrap it up to keep the light out, or cover it with a tarp. Long term exposure to light will turn it yellow.

    10. Clean up the area, thank your assistants, and admire your good work.

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