Best headliner glue?

2drx4

Greasemonkey
May 28, 2022
121
43
The middle of BC, Canada
My headliner is falling down badly, Ultimately I'd like to redo it with new material, but for now I'd like fix it enough it's not flapping in the breeze.

What glue works best? I tried 3M Super77, but it didn't work at all well, but maybe I did it wrong.

Thoughts?
 

79 USA 1

G-Body Guru
Sep 2, 2011
928
93
Cheektowaga, New York
Years back I was buying the green "Gorilla Snot" as it was referred to from a local upholstery shop, since his closing the closest I found to that adhesive is DAP Weldwood contact cement. Comes in quart cans and can be sprayed with a pressure/siphon spray gun or even rolled on with a foam roller.
I've had real good luck with this product and after 10+ years the headliners I recovered are still holding strong. Cleaning the backer board EXTREMELY well and following the directions on the can are the key to a successful job.
There is no real way to repair the headliner once it starts to fall. It is usually due to the foam under the thin color material layer breaking down.
 
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John Canon

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 19, 2022
49
18
Vancouver Canada
Here is a quick fix until you can do a full dismantle and repair.

It is 10 percent glue type and 90 percent technique. The glue I have used is Krylon Low Odor Spray Glue. Here is the technique.

When the fabric sags, it also stretches. Smaller individual sags can be coaxed into place, with larger sags there needs to be a well-placed incision and an overlap. Using both hands, pinch a long fold that will take up most of the slack, but not too tight. Use a chalk to mark the cut, then cut it with scissors. Choose front to back or side to side for the cut, whichever looks best. Now you have 2 halves hanging down ... you will glue one first, then the other. Use a cushion or small pillow just like a large palm to raise the fabric into place. Practise first without the glue so you can see how the fabric behaves.

Now the glue technique. The original sprayed latex foam has disintegrated, causing the sags. The crumbly foam will continue to disintegrate if you try to glue it normally. So you need to apply a good glue coat to the top side only and let it dry. This will consolidate the crumbles and make a more solid skin. Now you are ready for the spraying and the push up. Do the smaller bubbles first to get some practise. Put down some drop cloths or plastic, and cover your hair. Maybe put a fan alongside the car, blowing in, but not too fast. Just do some small ones the first day.
 
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liquidh8

Comic Book Super Hero
I only use DAP weldwood, usually with a disposable sprayer since I don't do headliners and interiors everyday. You can also roll or brush on the stuff for small jobs.
 
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81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 16, 2009
4,227
113
Western MN
3M foam fast #74

lay out headliner fabric over entire board after you have cleaned all the old foam off

fold the headliner fabric over itself in about the middle and spray both the board and fabric with a generous but not dousing amount, make sure to get the corners/edges especially well, let the glue tack up slightly (it should be sticky/stringy like hot cheese if you use a rubber glove to touch it)

starting from the center use a rolling pin and work to the front or back edge and then to each side. Fold the other half of the fabric back on itself and repeat.

Make sure the glue is a full, new can. It doesn't take an entire can but the nozzle tends to plug and if you have 1/3 a used can it won't be enough.
 
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wayoutthere007

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Feb 2, 2022
21
13
3M Headliner Adhesive has held up when doing my headliner over 10 years ago. The way I did it was spray the headliner and spray the underside of the fabric, let it set for a few minutes, the press them together. Great bond so far.

3M Headliner Adhesive

headliner01.jpg


headliner02.jpg
 
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2drx4

Greasemonkey
Thread starter
May 28, 2022
121
43
The middle of BC, Canada
Here is a quick fix until you can do a full dismantle and repair.

It is 10 percent glue type and 90 percent technique. The glue I have used is Krylon Low Odor Spray Glue. Here is the technique.

When the fabric sags, it also stretches. Smaller individual sags can be coaxed into place, with larger sags there needs to be a well-placed incision and an overlap. Using both hands, pinch a long fold that will take up most of the slack, but not too tight. Use a chalk to mark the cut, then cut it with scissors. Choose front to back or side to side for the cut, whichever looks best. Now you have 2 halves hanging down ... you will glue one first, then the other. Use a cushion or small pillow just like a large palm to raise the fabric into place. Practise first without the glue so you can see how the fabric behaves.

Now the glue technique. The original sprayed latex foam has disintegrated, causing the sags. The crumbly foam will continue to disintegrate if you try to glue it normally. So you need to apply a good glue coat to the top side only and let it dry. This will consolidate the crumbles and make a more solid skin. Now you are ready for the spraying and the push up. Do the smaller bubbles first to get some practise. Put down some drop cloths or plastic, and cover your hair. Maybe put a fan alongside the car, blowing in, but not too fast. Just do some small ones the first day.
Okay, I'm going to try this. I only want a temporary repair, I don't have time/material to pull it and do it right for now.

Unfortunately I can't get that adhesive (Live in Canada), but I'm guessing there isn't really anything special about it versus the other foam safe adhesives?
 

John Canon

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 19, 2022
49
18
Vancouver Canada
Okay, I'm going to try this. I only want a temporary repair, I don't have time/material to pull it and do it right for now.

Unfortunately I can't get that adhesive (Live in Canada), but I'm guessing there isn't really anything special about it versus the other foam safe adhesives?
I bought the glue in Vancouver. Can't remember if it was from Canadian Tire, Michaels, or Walmart.

Temporary is OK ... for years I used sewing pins stuck in at a low angle.
 

2drx4

Greasemonkey
Thread starter
May 28, 2022
121
43
The middle of BC, Canada
I bought the glue in Vancouver. Can't remember if it was from Canadian Tire, Michaels, or Walmart.

Temporary is OK ... for years I used sewing pins stuck in at a low angle.
Probably from Michaels, they list it, but do not carry it in their store here. Canadian Tire has other brands. I grabbed a can of Gorilla Glue spray adhesive as it is listed as "Low VOC". The 3M Super77 was unpleasant to use in a confined area.

I'll probably mask up proper for it next time anyway.
 

Str8sixfan

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jul 17, 2022
24
3
Honestly I'm about to do my 3rd headliner, this time on my 79 Grand Prix. Finding fabric is dirt cheap (should be easily under $30).

The problem with trying to reglue the old material is the foam backing integral to the fabric itself has dissolved over the years. Highly recommend buying new headliner fabric. Also you're likely going to do about 75% of the same work if you try and make the existing one last longer, just reset the shot clock! It's easy and you'll be happy you did it.

First time I did it I used roll on contact cement (found at hardware stores). It actually worked great. One lesson I learned the hard way though was as I went on through the task I started to get lazy and pour glue out of the can onto the fabric and then roll. This creates saturation "pucks" that soaked through the foam and therefore I had flat spots on the finished product at those contact points. So always roll the glue onto the roller first from a paint tray, don't do what I did. This was on a Ford Fairmont.

Second headliner, I sprung and bought the Weldwood/DAP brand aerosol can from the upholstery shop. While the theory was great and the can sprayed in a good pattern, it was really hard to gauge how thick I was actually putting on. I followed the directions for recommended distance and number of passes. And this was for a regular can truck, so small surface area. But found after putting the headliner on portions didn't stick. I'm not saying stay away from aerosol versions, just not this one. I will probably go back to roller method on my GP
 

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