How to fix the interior roof of my car

Written by brenda priddy | 13/05/2017
How to fix the interior roof of my car
(Nissan 300zx interior image by MichMac from

The interior roof of a car, otherwise known as a headliner, can become damaged due to wear and tear. The fabric can sag, giving the car an unsightly appearance. The fabric may also get stained by mould, mildew or food. In some cases, the fabric may tear, rip or burn. When this occurs, repairing the damage can help the car look years younger. Repairing the headliner of a car is a simple process, and it can be completed in one day.

Remove the frame holding the interior of the car top in place, often called the headliner. Unscrew the screws holding the frame in place, as well as the coat hangers. Remove any covers over seat belts and other trim with a flathead screwdriver. Unscrew the screws holding it in place. Set all pieces and screws aside.

Open the doors, as well as the boot, if it is a part of the main cab. Remove the entire headliner from the inside of the car. It should come loose in one large cardboard piece. Some vehicles may have several smaller headliner pieces.

Inspect the condition of the headliner. If the only the material is sagging, simply pull it tight and reglue. If the material is badly stained or has holes, replace the entire liner with a new fabric liner.

Remove the fabric from the headliner completely. Use a putty knife to scrape away glue residue from the cardboard. Use a vacuum to suck up the foam glue pieces after scraping the residue off of the board.

Cut the new fabric so that it is about 2" larger than the headliner board on all sides.

Spray the surface of the cardboard with spray adhesive. Stick the fabric onto the cardboard, and use the putty knife to spread the fabric over the board. Allow the board to sit face up for about two hours.

Flip the board over. Staple the edges of the fabric to the cardboard to add additional stability. Replace the headliner inside the car, then screw in all of the frame pieces. Add the plastic covers.

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Vacuum
  • Headliner material
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • Staple gun

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