How To Install Headliner with Kevin Tetz & Eastwood

How To Install Headliner with Kevin Tetz & Eastwood

hey thanks for watching kevin’s corner
you know out of all the DIY stuff that we talked about and preach about here automotive upholstery is one that
doesn’t get a whole lot of attention and there’s really no good reason why doing
your own upholstery work can be just as rewarding is doing paint and bodywork
and you can create pieces that look outstanding in your vehicle with limited
understanding and knowledge and some very basic tools and equipment let’s talk about this before we show you
how to do this now we do a simple project so all we need is simple
supplies including a spray aerosol single edge razor blades some simple
markers pair of scissors plastic resurfacer and rust encapsulator as well
as some acetone simple paper and I don’t know why we have a cordless drill but
you just never know now the big project we’re going to show
you how to do today is a headliner we’ve got an aftermarket abs headliner
478 camaro project said slit and we’re gonna use the same procedures on the
headliner as I views on these seat belt mechanism covers and the pillar panels
are going to cover up some of the nasty metal that’s still left on the inside of
the car arrest encapsulator looks great on these
pillar covers and it’s a nice tool to have but check this out this is rust we’ve
said lasted this and we’ve exposed some rust the rest encapsulated will cover
this up and give us a good foundation to where we’re not going to have any rust
through issues or delamination of our fabric using this as a foundation and a
base so that’s why we’ve got the rest and calculator kicking around now the
material that we’re going to use we got from TMI you can get it from
joann’s fabrics any fabric center it is a ultra suede material it’s a
synthetic suede it looks fantastic it’s got stretch in
two different directions and we’ll show you why that’s important later and it’s
got a fantastic look and it’s very strong very durable but we’re not ready
to rock and roll just yet there’s some surface prep we got to talk about now these are various trim pieces from
the interior and said these are metal these are plastic now the plastic parts
look like this this is oxidized plastic it looks
horrible but as you can see we sandblasted the oxidation exposed the
good plastic that we can actually blew our fabric – and got rid of this layer
is the stuff that is going to do is absolutely no good and probably cause a
failure in our fabric delaminating down the road so now we’ve got a surface prep we’ve
abraded all of the loose oxidized plastic off the surface wet everything
down with acetone and we’re ready to go so let’s talk about our ABS headliner
now the original headliner was absolutely toast and in the car from the
factory they came cardboard that’s probably why it went away so this
one is abs plastic we got it off an Internet auction site and it was
cost-effective got it delivered rolled up in a tube and we’ve trimmed it to fit
and we’re ready to put our fabric on even though it comes textured it’s
probably made where you can just put it in like this not really good enough team I really
kicked it up a notch with the interior and we’re going to follow suit especially since they sent us a couple
of yards of fabric that look great and will match the inserts to the sea but
you can’t just start slapping it on there there’s a technique for this and
it starts with making sure you’ve got enough fabric surprise it’s just the right size ok so we pre-cut it whatever my point is
this you want to make sure that you’ve got your pieces cut before you’re ready
to go sometimes this fabric is very expensive
to buy and you only really want to have one shot at this re doing stuff trust me it’s a pain in
the butt and you want to make it count the very first time so now that we’ve
got our peace established we’ve over cut the outsides by a couple of inches all
the way around which gives us plenty of fabric to either wrap it around or make
some mistakes make some relief cuts and pull and twist and push and all that
kind of stuff but we’ve established that our fabric is the right size roll it back up we’ve got a proper
surface just like painting the car just like every other aspect of restoration there’s some surface prep involved and
it’s really not that difficult this is a sheet molded plastic and the
release agent is typically silicon solvents typically don’t stick very well
to Silicon so we’re using some pre-painting prep spray and just doing a
simple wife down to make sure that there’s no more mold release agent left
on our headline it’s going to interfere with the
adhesion of the headliner material because we’ve all seen that the goofy
headliner hanging down nobody wants that now pre-painting prep
is a great thing to have kicked around your shop so while you’re buying the
rest your supplies to do this or another project stop at Eastwood make sure you get some
pre-planning prep if you don’t have any on hand you’re going to be making a trip to a
homestead or sooner or later anyway for a hardware store acetone is also a great thing to have
around it’s an aggressive solvent and it’s going to leach into your skin be careful be safe wear some gloves
whenever you’re working with solvents so you’ve got a surface prep we’re super clean I’m very happy with
this going to get this out of the way and now we’re going to lay down our
fabric there’s always going to be two sides to
your fabric there’s the backside and what I’m going to call the face side the
face side is the leather look or in our case the suede look so what we’re going
to do make sure our fabric is laid out exactly where we want it plenty of room around all the outside
edges to cut and trim you don’t want to short sheet yourself
you want to make sure that you’ve got ample around each side so that you can
you can have options I’ve got at least two inches of overlap
even a little bit more around all my outside edges so now what I’m going to
do let’s peel it back roll it back we’re going to expose as close as i can
figure 2 half of this fabric now it’s blue time this carpet in
general purpose adhesive is perfect for the project we’re doing because our
fabric is like and it’s a fairly flat surface we’re not demanding a whole lot out of
this adhesive and it’s a perfect DIY project anything like this requires
being shake and Shake until your balls rattle and here’s where the paper comes
in handy this is not expensive body shop masking
paper this is just home center paper that we got for cheap where it comes in
handy it’s just for masking everything that
you don’t want your spray adhesive to get on such as the face side of your
fabric make sure you spray it in a
well-ventilated area and what we’re going to do is we’re going to spray the
first half of our headliner first then we’re going to spray our headliner
fabric and work our way through this project just like a spray gun you want
to use a 50-percent overlap and make sure you get a good coat of the spray
adhesive on you don’t want any holidays are holes as you want a good contact
patch just like a high performance tire on the road yeah and just for good measure and go back
the other way make sure we got a good coat of glue
because this is a contact cement when it comes into contact with something
similar is going to stick like crazy so you want to have it tacky and have your
other surface match up to it now here’s the other thing to you don’t
want to over saturate your fabric with the adhesive because sometimes if your
adhesive I’m sorry if your fabric is fairly thin it can map through and kind
of look kind of like butta sh all right we’ll let that sit and dry at
least until it’s tacky listen it’s tagging is ready now there’s
a strategy here you want to kind of start in the middle
and work your way out so here’s the fun part we’re going to take the fabric and start
working it a little at a time I’ve got my hand on
the inside of it and I’m rolling it on we’re tacking here we are tacky there we’re ready coming from the other side
doing it like this I can feel whether it’s smooth it on it’s given me a good idea where i need
to be see right here I’m goofing up but I can take it from
the inside and i can smooth it on a little bit at a time I want to get in a hurry no Jack Rabbit
upholster here it’s just a smooth simple almost as an
like process it’s really not that difficult but you
got to take your time while you’re taking your time gotta pay
attention for instance right here I’m running out
of glue this has no adhesive on it so we need to
start again here’s where another piece of paper comes in and I don’t want to
use it on the face side so I’m talking this underneath making sure that i’m
covered here over here so now I don’t have to worry about being surgical with
my glue application I don’t even have to be careful and that
leaves me the ability to focus on the job at hand and not applying the product remember we’re waiting to this is tacky
again so it stacked up and again i’m working
my way from the middle just rolling this fabric out if you got an extra set of
hands sometimes you can take advantage of your
buddy in the best possible way and have one person at each end and then one
person smoothing down from the middle you can get the job done even faster but if you’re a one-man band
like I am an awful lot of time just taking your time and working your way
through it well it works out ok now that looks outstanding so while
this side is curing the two parts the glue or sticking together now we can roll this side back to where
there’s no adhesive at all and now we can safely and easily do the
back side without having to handle the giant 2-yard piece of fabric and getting
a freaking hurry and make a dang mess so what I’ve done right here is pulled
my adhesive back and expose the glued edge so now i can overlap that and I
don’t have a gap right here that will hang down in my face later on not hit another direction again another
fifty percent overlap I just want to make sure I’ve got an even layer of
adhesive now if you see you’re getting some
debris every once in a while on your fabric you can just take up a brush rid
of that sometimes just sleeping off and it’s a better idea all right we’re ready now it doesn’t
take long for the adhesive to set up as a matter of fact we’re ready that’s about a minute maybe a minute and
again I’m starting from the middle and I’m smoothing with my fingertips working
my way onto this headliners rolling the fabric out of which i can show you from
the bottom side but I can’t yeah that’s it get your fabric down we’re just running my hands over to make
sure you don’t have any bubbles or fold and we’re good so now since i use my paper and I
protected my work top now i can safely put my headliner over
and address the back side without having to worry about dipping this into freshly
applied adhesive the end up with areas like this don’t freak out I was a little bit light
on the adhesive application here just give it a spritz make sure you get on
both sides again a little bit more right here let it sit a little bit whyalla there’s a repair now here’s where you’re single edge
razor blades come in handy you’re going to trim this outside edge
with scissors what the glue is going to come up your scissors single edge razor
blades they don’t come up very much what you want to leave is about a half
to three quarters of an inch of overlap all the way around so that way you can
fold this over and have a nice finished edge so we’re going to start a trim the
single edge razor blade please be careful we’ll show you how to do corners in a
minute yeah you don’t want to over cut you always
want to make sure you have enough to wrap around the outside edge it creates a nice finished edge even
though these guys are not exposed they’re covered by moldings you still want to have a nice
professional look just in case there’s a peek a boot and somebody sees something
underneath where you have an edge that you didn’t count on being exposed to
make sure that you’re covered and have a nice professional look all right here’s another thing i want to
point out nothing is ever wasted this piece right
here it’s my overage from the other edge but
it’s also going to be my roof rail piece right there so don’t waste if you plot it out and
you plan it out correctly and properly then you can really make the most of
your expensive fabric right here we’re going to overlap this but obviously
won’t stick without some adhesive got my table protected and I’m coming back in
with a round of adhesive around the entire border because that’s what we’re going to stick
to and attacks up real quick so we’re going
to just roll it over keeping pressure on this edge now we have a nice finished edge now we
don’t want to fold this over because we’re gonna have a big giant lump right
there so now we’re gonna cut and trim along the top edge I’m going to trim here to show you a
trip here cut it off like so now I can roll it over I can minimize my build up right there but here’s another trick I’m going to
take and cut a 45 degree angle BAM right through there that guy’s
coming off trimmed to fit now it’s a super-nice bevel with almost no build-up
and that’s not going to stack up same thing on that side trim it back
roll it over carefully cut my bevel and minimize my age but what about right
here what about this sometimes your fabric
has got enough stretch this has got some stretch but not enough there so since this is the back side we just
do a simple relief cut their i relieved cut there and since we’ve left ourselves enough
room to push and pull right there we’ve got a beautiful finished edge
since i know i need a relief cut here full work my way around that corner
again another Ron Mangus rockstar edge right there yeah you don’t want that overlap so we’re
going to make a nice finished corner and again we’re just working our way around now you can make some progress I’m just going to give a light refresh
of my adhesive just to keep it good and tacky so I can take my time in doing things
down the relief cut their big flats fold over easily right there got some nasty
there I can trim it right now come over there leaf cut you’ll figure out a rhythm seems like I’m in a hurry but I’m not
have just done this before and not racing against time with the adhesive
but i do know there’s a window now on this corner i’m going to sneak up on it I’m going to come with the flat on
either side of it work my way in now this is my opening for the dome light
and i’m going to apply the same technique on here I’m going to split it right down the
middle and then I’m just going to see what the fabric wants to do I’m going to relieve cut when I need to
do a bunch of reliefs where I can spread this around open it up like a flower petal and have an easy job of folding this
back an easy job of folding this back and creating an opening i can install my
dome light from the other side now it’s always a good idea to clean the back
side or the perimeter as well because it’s probably the same mold release
agent as the front side did so now we can fold it around and this when you see
my dome light you’re going to see that I didn’t have to go through this kind of
seemingly unnecessary step of creating a finished edge but it it reads to the integrity of the project
and I’m not really even doing this for this car I might be even doing this for the guy
that might come behind me and pull the headliner out and see that i actually
did a pretty good job on every corner and every crevice so invest your heart
into it as silly as it seems when something as simple as a headliner
installation make sure that you’re going the full nine that you’re you’re doing
this the right way and creating a work piece that you’re proud of all my edges
look good don’t let hole looks good flip it over
so we’ve got that my friends that looks fantastic there’s a couple
little places here and there again i’m going to take my soft bristle washington
rush ok I’ve got a little bit of adhesive
right there I don’t know well no it went away
sometimes when it dries it will just roll off especially on this ultra suede okay well in case you get as some
adhesive on the surface side especially on ultra leather or even leather itself
you can take some pre-painting prep and just gently dab it on and roll that he’s
evolved but for now we got a real nice result not going to say lucky because
luck has nothing to do with it it’s just simply applying a few little
skills one last thing i want to show you here’s
my dome light look swanky in there from a late model
Buick I like it you look good in that old
Camaro tell you what I’m proud of that now you might be asking yourself if it’s
not a flat panel or a very simple curve something like a Sun Visor what can i do
what’s a good DIY project from my sun visors well unless you have a sewing
machine and really know how to do it something like a Sun Visor which is a
three-dimensional project it’s very difficult to do with with the glue and
the light duty fabric because there’s no real way to join it however Eastwood’s plastic resurfacer is
a wonderful product I’m going to do that on the Sun visors
ivory finish the entire restored the entire dashboard of Zed slit my
headlight bezels stuff into the engine compartment because the plastic
resurfacer becomes part of the plastic itself it’s translucent is black and
bites in its not paint it’s not vinyl die it won’t roll off it
becomes part of the surface itself so that’s going to be a very acceptable
finished job on this is going to tie in perfectly with the black accents and the
rest of the interior this stuff will live up to the high
level of interior that TMI products provided us with the seat covers and
door trim panels and quarter panel kick panels so a simple DIY project hope
we’ve shown you something that you can take and run with and apply to your
vehicle all of this stuff short of the fabric you can pick up at so come and check out that sled keep on watching hands on cars and
thanks for watching heavens quarter remember Eastwood do the job right yeah ok yeah yeah

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I have not done this before but am considering it because I'm a DIYer. Is there a paper template for the shape of the headliner or did you just use a tape measure? The car has no headliner to use as a template. Thanks!

  2. I don't know where to begin to tell you how wrong you are installing this headliner this technique is horrible. been installing headliners for 20 years and this way of doing it is horrible you will mess up your headliner don't do what he is doing. He is using a flat piece and your headliner has lots of curves. Please do not do the way he is doing it.

  3. Good thing you got that release agent all over the back side of the fabric before you prepped it. Just bustin' your balls ; ) thanks for the vid.

  4. Kevin, prep that ABS with Acetone, tell me what happens… (caution: don't do this, acetone dissolves ABS. Even for a quick wipe down, it can deform the surface and that plastic sheet looks pretty thin!)

  5. Doesn't using the same pair of gloves touching the face side after testing for "tackiness" transfer some adhesive to the side you don't want to? EDIT: Commented before hearing your surface prep method of removing that occasional adhesive

  6. One BIG thing that really bothers me about this whole video (and this is only one of them) is that he keeps pressing, rolling or spraying glue out of the can with his hands and not cleaning them off or getting new gloves before touching the shown surface. Right after applying the glue he goes and touches a shown faux SUEDE material. I don't know if you guys have ever worked with that stuff but glue sticks to it like shit on velcro and will not, WILL NOT come off. Even if he's not using that material, you shouldn't spray glue out of a can and then go and touch the shown side. That's just a recipe for restart. I've seen Kevin do some nice work, but this has to be one of the worst explanations on how to do it

  7. definitly going to change my head line fabric on my 2008 dodge charger rt. the kids kinda messed it up with finger prints plus i been wanting to change it out for years

  8. Great video. Thanks a lot. But I found a perfect headliner at U-pull it. Couldn't I just swap them out. I mean it's immaculate. Thanks for your help

  9. Great video. Just wanted to see how they do it cause I'm getting someone to redo my head liner in my 96 Honda Civic EX.

  10. I've watched a couple of videos about this and I like your method the best. I'm going to redo my headliner. Thanks for the info. Good video.

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