How to Fix a Sagging Car Headliner in 5 Easy Steps

Is the headliner of your car sagging?

At best, this is a minor annoyance. At worst, it can become a serious distraction while you’re driving–which could lead to a serious accident.

The good news is that as far as DIY car repairs go, this is one of the easiest. Of course, if your headliner is severely damaged (and distracting you while you drive), you should consult a professional car upholsterer for a permanent fix.

In the meantime, though, here are 5 DIY tips for how to fix a sagging headliner.

1. Glue It

If your headliner has only started to sag around the edges, you may be able to preserve it with glue or double-sided tape.

Hot glue or super glue may do the trick. But there’s also a special headliner adhesive glue available in spray form–if you want to do it right.

Another option is old-fashioned double-sided tape. If the climate where you live isn’t too humid, this may be all you need to resecure the headliner.

2. Pin It

Pins can be either a quick fix or–depending on how you do it–a longer solution.

Use push pins or sequin pins to reattach the headliner to the foam backing board beneath. This is ideal for small fixes around edges or the rearview mirror mounting.

What if the entire roof is sagging? You could get creative with decorative pins and arrange them in a diamond pattern. It solves the problem–and it looks nice too.

3. Spray It

This is one of the more unusual methods on our list, but some people swear by it.

Start with a staple gun and a can of hairspray (yes, you read that right). Staple the headliner in place and then douse it with a can of hairspray. Once everything is dry, carefully remove the staples.

This is a great semi-permanent fix if you need to reattach the headliner but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

4. Steam It

Here’s another odd pairing that just may work–a steamer and a paint roller.

Use a steam cleaner (or a hair dryer on high) to moisturize the existing glue behind the headliner. Once the glue has softened, use the paint roller to redistribute the glue and “iron out” any wrinkles.

Make sure you don’t overdo the steaming or the heat, as this could burn or shrink your headliner.

5. Replace It

If none of these methods work, you may need to remove the headliner and replace it altogether.

Carefully peel off the headliner, then use a wire brush to remove any remaining foam. Select some airy fabric from a craft store and cut it in the shape of your car’s roof (leave a few extra inches on the sides just in case).

Use the special adhesive spray we mentioned in step one to attach the replacement headliner. And remember–if it seems like too much work, you can always take it to a professional.

How to Fix a Sagging Headliner: Now You Know

We’re usually good about keeping up exterior maintenance on our vehicles. Sadly, interior maintenance–like headliners–often fall by the wayside until it’s too late.

Now that you know how to fix a sagging headliner, you’re one step closer to keeping your car’s interior in tip-top condition.

Does the rest of your car’s upholstery also need attention? Check out our recent post about DIY car upholstery repair.

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