At some point when you are contemplating a custom auto upholstery project for your vehicle, you may decide to replace or repair the headliner. The headliner is that part of fabric that is attached to a board on the inside roof. Humidity and heat can affect the foam binding the material and this can result in sagging or falling fabric. This is particularly common in cars that were manufactured in the 70’s but can happen to any car.
It can cost upwards of $200 to get the headliner replaced (possibly less, if you do it as part of a larger custom auto upholstery project) so it is something you may want to consider doing yourself. It is not difficult but can be tedious and may require two people. Don’t try to do it on a day when the weather is against you. You want it to be warm but not too hot as that will make the glue too tacky.
Remove all the screws you can see i.e. those holding the lights and visors to the headliner. Keep these in a safe place as you will need them when you are putting it back together. You then remove the headliner which as we have seen is simply a board covered in fabric. You will need to remove the existing covering and scrape off as much of the old glue as possible. If you don’t do these steps you will affect the uniformity of the new finish.
When choosing your fabric, it would be a good idea to tell the fabric shop assistant what you want to use it for. Some materials just aren’t suitable. You can change the color scheme but it would be wise not to change the texture of the fabric too much. Don’t go from thin to very thick as this would make putting all the pieces back together that much more difficult! You also need to choose a covering that is suitable for use with glue adhesive.
Don’t skimp on the fabric. It is always best to have too much rather than too little. Spray the board with glue adhesive and put the covering over it. Keep it taut to avoid any crinkles or gaps. You will need to pay attention to the corners and make them very neat. You then need to let it dry completely before putting back into the car. If you’d rather not chance doing it yourself and messing it up, however, any decent custom auto upholstery specialist who’s worth anything can do it quickly and easily for you.