How to Make Fiberglass Headlinersby Brenda Priddy
A car's headliner is the piece of board attached to the ceiling of the vehicle that separates the interior ceiling from the roof itself. A headliner is typically covered in fabric or carpeting that matches the rest of the interior. One after-market upgrade that you can make to a vehicle is to switch out the original headliner for a customized fiberglass headliner. You can cover the new headliner in cloth like the original, or leave it exposed for a different look.
Remove the original headliner from the car. Typically, the headliners are attached under the trim surrounding the car's ceiling and attached by screws. Pop the trim off of the car, unscrew the screws holding the headliner in place and pull it out from the back door of the vehicle.
Remove any cloth and foam covering the headliner, revealing the board underneath. You can place the fiberglass over this original headliner, or trace the original headliner onto a large piece of cardboard and cut it out.
Cut the fiberglass mat into sheets about 12 inches by 12 inches square. Wear work gloves when touching the mat to prevent the fiberglass from sticking into your hands.
Apply a layer of resin over the headliner with a paintbrush in a section slightly larger than one fiberglass piece. Place the fiberglass sheets onto the resin. Paint a second layer of resin over the fiberglass sheet. Place a new sheet onto the headliner, overlapping the first piece by about 1 inch. Continue to lay new sheets until the headliner is covered. Overlap the edges of the headliner, completely hiding the material underneath the fiberglass mat.
Apply a second layer of resin over the fiberglass sheets. Roll the paint roller over the headliner to flatten the fiberglass mat and remove any air bubbles. Allow the resin to dry for two hours.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 two more times. Allow the resin to cure overnight. Flip the headliner over and apply three coats of fiberglass to the other side. Apply one final layer of resin over both sides of the headliner to smooth the fiberglass. Allow the headliner to cure for 24 hours.
Drill a hole into the edges of the headliner where the screws should attach. This will make it easier to install the fiberglass headliner back inside the car.
Things You'll Need
- Car headlinder
- Fiberglass mat
- Work gloves
- Fiberglass resin
- Metal paint roller
- Drill with diamond-cutting bit
Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.