How to upholster auto interiors

Written by cadence johansen
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How to upholster auto interiors
Reupholster your car seats for a new looking auto interior. (car interior image by supertramp88 from

Kids, pets, and other careless passengers can wreck your car's upholstery. A well-used auto will have stains, rips, and other damage on car seats. Hiring a professional upholsterer can sometimes cost more than your car is worth. You can reupholster your car for a lot less than the cost of professional reupholstering, and make your car look like new

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrench
  • Seam ripper
  • Chalk
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Sewing machine
  • Hog rings (optional)
  • Listing wires (optional)

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  1. 1

    Use a wrench to loosen the bolts holding the seats to the floor, and remove the seats. Remove the arm rests from the doors and pry the door panels off with a flathead screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Remove the upholstery from the car seats and the door panel. Remove the listing wires and hog seams from the seat before you remove the seat upholstery.

  3. 3

    Cut the seams in the upholstery with a seam ripper. The pieces can then be used as a template for the new upholstery. Make sure you label each of the pieces from the seat with a piece of chalk so you know how it connects to the other pieces.

  4. 4

    Choose an appropriate fabric for the new upholstery in the car. Lay the fabric face down on a flat surface. Set the pieces of the old upholstery on top of the fabric. Trace around the pieces with chalk. Cut out the pieces with scissors.

  5. 5

    Stretch the pieces of fabric for the door panels over each panel until the fabric is taut. Staple the fabric in place with a staple gun.

  6. 6

    Pin together the pieces of the new upholstery for the seat. Use a straight stitch to create a ¼ inch seam along the edges of each of the pieces. Repeat with each of the pieces until the upholstery is assembled.

  7. 7

    Pull the upholstery over the seats. Place the old listing wires into the new seat. Connect the upholstery to the seat with the existing hog rings.

  8. 8

    Bolt the car seats back into the car with a wrench. Pop the door panels back into place. Screw the arm rests back into the doors with a screwdriver.

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