Custom Suede Headliner
By Jon (carbon_blue_gt)
Before you begin, make sure that you have the following:
** A yard and a half (60" wide) of the fabric of your choice. I used black polyester suede. Price will vary by fabric and location. (a great place to get started at is http://www.joann.com
** 3M General Trim Adhesive n. 08088
Approximately $11.00 at Checker Schucks, Kragen, Pepboys, Autozone or Home Depot.
** A flexible plastic paint guide
$.79 each at Wal-Mart (may be handy to have two or three in case one gets glue on it
** a friend
First, you need to remove the headliner. It's helps to have the back seats folded down for this. Pull the covers off the A-pillars, remove the dome light housing and unplug it. (also a good time to paint it!!) Remove the screws that hold the sunshades up, and unscrew the sunshade latches. These take a little effort to pull out once they are unscrewed, but do not fear, they are almost indestructible (as far as I cal tell).
Next, unscrew the top seatbelt guide (behind the front seats). Pull this panel away from the frame and set these aside. There are also three pins across the back of the headliner; pry these off carefully with a flathead screwdriver. Next, there are two plastic screw-rivets (one on each side) they are located just behind the front seat on the roof, they're black, and hard to miss. Take these out, and the headliner should pretty much fall down (you may have to gently pull the edges away from the weather-stripping around the door.
Now, carefully lift it out of the hatch.
Find a good, large, clean area to work, and cover it with plastic; this can get messy.
Lay the headliner face up on the table
Next, spray the 3M adhesive on a strip about 6 inches wide down the middle of the headliner. Make sure you get good coverage.
Have a friend hold the material up above the headliner while you use the plastic paint guide to smooth the material onto the glue. Don't use too much pressure, because you could force the glue through the cloth. Smooth away from the middle, being sure not to get any creases or bunches in the cloth.
After a couple of minutes set time, pull the material back so that you can spray one of the sides that does not yet have glue on it. Spray the adhesive, and repeat the process of smoothing (with your friend holding the fabric again). Make sure that you smooth around the complex curves of the headliner first, then stretch the fabric away from that. This allows the fabric to conform to the curves.
Continue with this until the fabric has been glued down on the entire surface ot the headliner.
After the glue has had a night to set up, turn the headliner over. Cut some slits in the fabric to make it easier to wrap around the edge. Use your best judgment where these should be, I don't really have any specific way for you to do this. After you've cut the slits, use an industrial strength glue (I used E-6000, available at most hobby shops like Hobby Lobby), and, working in sections, run a bead of glue along the edge of the headliner and fold the fabric over and press it down. Try to make the fabric conform as closely to the edge as possible.
Cut holes in the fabric for the dome light, sunvisers, and the clips that hold it up.
Replace the headliner in the car using the opposite of step 1.
Enjoy your newly re-upholstered headliner.
My next guide, "Reupholstering the sunvisors"
Any questions, please feel free to email me at "RaderStudios @ hotmail.com"