One thing that makes using a riding lawn mower enjoyable is the cushioned seat with its thick foam padding. Unfortunately, after a fair bit of use, the seat padding can come loose, and eventually, the inner part of the seat can even fall off.
So, before you drop a couple of hundred bucks on a new seat, let’s look at how you can stick the seat back on and get more hours of comfortable use out of your riding mower.
What You’ll Need to Glue Your Lawn Mower Seat Back On (Equipment List)
So, before you start this repair, you’ll need to get hold of a few tools and some adhesive. I picked up all of these items at the local box store for less than $40. Definitely cheaper than going down the new seat route.
- Upholstery Contact Adhesive
- Paint Brush
- 3 x Trigger Clamps
- Shop Rags
- Masking Tape
- Face Mask
- Latex Gloves
Make Sure You Get the Right Glue
Now, most adhesives will stick your seat back on your lawn mower, but some adhesives are going to work much better than others. Also, some adhesives will actually damage the foam and eat it away. So, always check the label on the back of the product you intend to use and make sure that it is suitable to be used on the material your seat is made of.
Usually, lawn mower seats are made of some type of flexible polyurethane, but you’ll need to be 100% sure before you start to apply adhesive. I use a contact adhesive commonly used in the automotive industry designed to work with a variety of materials, including foam and vinyl.
How to Glue a Lawn Mower Seat Back On (Step By Step)
If you have either a Husqvarna or a John Deere riding lawn mower, then you’re probably familiar with the seat coming loose. Even though these are both awesome lawn mower manufacturers, they still have problems with keeping the cushioned part of the seat in the hard plastic seat shell. So, if you have a lawn mower seat with this design, then you can follow my guide on how to glue a lawn mower seat back on. Let’s take a look.
How to Glue a Lawn Mower Seat Back On – The Steps
- Clean the Cushion
- Clean the Seat Shell
- Mask Up the Cushion & Seat Shell
- Apply the Contact Adhesive to the Cushion & Seat Shell
- Let the Contact Adhesive Dry
- Check if You Need More Adhesive
- Do a Touch Test
- Install the Seat Cushion
- Install the Clamps
- Allow the Contact Adhesive to Dry
Clean the Cushion
The first job is to clean the underside of the cushion. This is so that the adhesive has a strong surface to stick to. If your seat has old flaky glue, then the next contact adhesive isn’t going to do as good of a job as it could.
Peel off what you can, then take a piece of sandpaper and give the area a light sanding. Finally, take a damp shop cloth and wipe down the area so that any remaining dirt and foam dust from sanding is removed.
Clean the Seat Shell
For this step, you basically want to repeat the same process as cleaning the cushion. So, remove any flaky old glue and dirt, then give the area good wiping down. Take your time with the prep work, as this can really help the contact adhesive do its job.
Mask Up the Cushion & Seat Shell
Next, you’ll want to mask up both the seat and the seat shell with some masking tape. This will prevent the adhesive from getting on places that you don’t want it to. I recommend that you mask up the parameter of the cushion where the seat meets the seat shell. Then do the same on the seat shell. Mask up the shell where it meets the cushion.
Finally, take your masking tape and cover over any hole in the seat shell from the outside. Usually, there are some holes in the bottom of the seat for water to drain. If you accidentally glue over these holes, then the seat won’t be able to drain in the future.
Apply the Contact Adhesive to the Cushion & Seat Shell
With all the prep work done, it’s time for the contact adhesive. So, take a paintbrush and give both the seat cushion and the seat shell a good coat. You should apply the contact adhesive just the same as if you were painting a wall.
Basically, a good amount of coverage, but not over the top. Keep in mind that contact adhesive can give off some pretty hazardous fumes, so I always like to wear a face mask. Also, it can be pretty messy, so a pair of latex gloves will come in handy.
Let the Contact Adhesive Dry
For contact adhesive to work, it needs to be nearly dry. Well, dry to the touch, at least. So, depending on where you are working, this can take a while. If it’s warm out, then it could be ready in 20 minutes or so. But products vary, so double-check the back of the label for the wait time.
Check if You Need More Adhesive
If I’m using any contact adhesive on foam, I always check once it’s dried to see if I need to apply any more. This is because the foam can absorb a lot of the glue. So, check if the surface of the seat cushion still has plenty of adhesive. If you think it needs another coat, then grab your paintbrush and apply a bit more glue.
Do a Touch Test
Everything is prepped, and both the seat cushion and the seat shell have a coat of adhesive. Now, you’ll want to make sure the adhesive is dry enough to use. You want both surfaces to be glossy and dry to the touch. So, just touch the adhesive and see if it’s dry. If it’s tacky and you get adhesive on your fingers, then you’ll want to wait a little longer.
Install the Seat Cushion
The next step on how to glue a lawn mower seat back on is to position the seat cushion on the seat shell. Now, contact adhesive starts to work once both surfaces come into contact with one another.
So, you need to position the seat in the right place on your first go. There is a little bit of wiggle room, but as soon as you put pressure on both surfaces, they are stuck. If you try to pull them apart, you’ll probably pull some of the foam out of the seat cushion.
Take your time and try to get it right on the first attempt.
Install the Clamps
Now it’s time to clamp the seat into position so that the adhesive can completely set and dry. I use two trigger clamps on the bottom of the seat and one on the rear. Before I position the clamps on the seat, I like to wrap the ends of the clamps. This will stop the clamps from puncturing the vinyl covering and will also give the clamp a bit more grip on the smooth plastic of the seat shell.
Wrap the clamps, then install them on the seat. I find it works best to get the clamps into position and then tighten each of them a small amount one after one. This helps apply even pressure to each clamp and prevents the cushion from pulling away from the seat shell.
Allow the Contact Adhesive to Dry
The final step in this lawn mower seat repair is to allow the contact adhesive to fully cure and dry. So, if you can, leave the lawn mower overnight.
Things to Be Careful of When Repairing a Lawn Mower Seat
Before I repaired my lawn mower seat, I did a bunch of research and watched a ton of videos on how to glue a lawn mower seat back. What I noticed was that most of the repairs were messy, didn’t look very good when they were done, and some even used the wrong adhesive.
My best advice is to get the right glue, do your prep work, and follow the instructions on the adhesive label.