How to Upholster Auto Interiors

by Cadence Johansen

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

Use a 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Items you will need

About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera car interior image by supertramp88 from