Repairing a Saggy Headliner


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 555 Posts
November 13, 2015

Glueing Droopy Car HeadlinerThis is not the first car that I've owned that's thin ceiling material started to droop down, but I finally created a way to fix it!

After experimenting I found one glue that worked along with a little help from a few pieces of cardboard to hold it in place until it dried.


Check it out!

Total Time: 1 hour including dry time


  • Gorilla glue
  • a few pieces of cardboard
  • spritz of water


  1. After trying both tacky glue and rubber cement (neither worked) I tried Gorilla Glue for this project.
  2. Glueing Droopy Car Headliner
    Glueing Droopy Car Headliner
  3. You must "lightly" moisten, with water, one side of the project that you are gluing together. Don't use tons of glue, it expands a bit bigger when it makes contact with the moisture. Read glue instructions.
  4. Use the glue nozzle to run some glue along one side of the loose material (or preferably directly onto the ceiling where the material separated from in the first place, your choice) and push the two pieces together.
  5. The "trick" I used was to squeeze the two pieces together using a piece of cardboard wedged in between the top and bottom of the window. See photo. That was like clamping them together in a very awkward spot. This project needs the clamping/pressure to adhere the two materials.
  6. Glueing Droopy Car Headliner
    Glueing Droopy Car Headliner

  7. Leave it for 30-60 minutes and remove the wedge!
  8. Good to Go~
  9. Glueing Droopy Car Headliner
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4 Questions

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November 17, 2010

I have a 1995 Volvo 850 wagon. The headliner is coming down. I have an estimate for $400. for repair. I can't afford that. Any ideas on how I get it to stay up?

By Erika


November 17, 20100 found this helpful

A long time ago (back in the 80's?) we had this happen with one of our cars. We got some upholstry tacks and tacked it up in several places.


The pin part of the tack was corkscrew shaped, and I think that helped keep them from working back out.

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November 17, 20100 found this helpful

My husband had this happen to one of his cars several years ago. He went to the auto parts store and got some kind of adhevive that was an aerosol can. Worked pretty well for awhile but seems to me he ended up taking it to the place and having somebody redo it for a pretty penny.

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November 17, 20100 found this helpful

Check with auto stores, there is an adhesive made specifically for headliners. I think it is made by 3m, the king of adhesive products.


What didn't work years ago will likely work well now.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 109 Feedbacks
November 17, 20100 found this helpful

This is kind of an odd solution but it has always been an idea of mine I have just never tried it. First I would suggest the adhesive spray mentioned below. It will work unless the surface that your cloth lining sets up against ... well... it will be kind of crumby. like cookie crumby. Or more like it sheds to the touch. It it does have that kind of surface the adhesive won't stay very long if at all.

The next suggestion would be the tacks mentioned below.
If you really don't like the way that looks here is my far-out idea. I had a car for a very short time with the headliner falling. My plan was to rip it all out and spray paint the entire ceiling of the car.


The idea was a dark color paint wouldn't be as noticeable. An idea that just came to me is a velvet paint. I knew a guy that had a '59 corvette and he painted the entire car in a blue velvet paint. That's the only way I know it exists. The velvet paint would give it a "cloth" feel to it when touched. The only downside to painting the interior of the roof is it may not keep heat in the car as long or cold OUT of the car as long. That is my theory. Like I said, never got the chance to try it but it is an idea. You can always have the thing reupholstered when you have the money later on.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

Check on YouTube, there are videos, including one which talks about replacing the headliner for $20. I would Google "car headliner" and see what you get. I did and found several possibilities!

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

I am having the same problem. I am going to ebay and clicking on motors. I think it might be there that you can enter your auto make, model and what you are looking for and find it. Shouldn't be as expensive if you do it yourself.


They also have the glue to attach the headliner with. I think I saw on there that you could choose the color too. Good luck. Connie

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 270 Feedbacks
November 18, 20100 found this helpful

Been there, done that. That special glue was not so special but expensive. And difficult to use. And it did not last very long. What happens is a batch of bad glue gets on it. The environment the car sits in, part of the country where you can bake inside a closed car to the -40 degree temps in the winter. This had adverse affects on the glue. Best you can, take a mini hot glue gun and try to do some tacking. Nothing is going to be a permanent fix.

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November 19, 20100 found this helpful

Reading this gave me a smile! Many years ago, my grand-dog pup, Ollie, a boxer with separation anxiety, chewed the headliner of my new car while waiting for my son! I mean chewed it to pieces!! I took an old quilt, folded it to something resembling the stripped area, and held it in place with several tight tension rods. It worked for the life of the car and was an interesting (and, insulating) conversation piece.

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November 19, 20101 found this helpful

I had the same trouble with my 1991 Chev. S10. Truck. I went on the internet to DIYS searched for Auto Headliners. It told me exactly what I had to do, which was easy. I took the whole headliner down (just follow the screws where headliner is attached, take old material off. Clean form real good. I then bought headliner material and spray at Joann's Fabric or any fabric store usually sells it. It cost me about $60.00 to do it right. If I can do it, anybody can, as I am 72 years old woman.

Ps: It turned out beautiful and still is looking good.

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November 6, 20160 found this helpful


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April 3, 20190 found this helpful

That 3m headliner spray does not last very long. I know from experience.

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August 3, 2007

Help, my headliner in my pick-up fell out. What kind of glue can I get to put something up there. The top really gets hot and so the a/c really isn't as cold as it could be.

Thanks for your help.


By Dean (Guest Post)
August 7, 20070 found this helpful

You could go to an automotive parts store and ask them for some ideas.I know 3M makes spray adhesive for that purpose.Just be careful if it is styroform as some adhesives could melt the styroform. Or you could visit a bodyshop that makes those repairs all the time and ask them what they use.

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

Another suggestion; The same thing happened to my dad's '51 Ford that he restored. This worked great! He took the headliner down, removed the fabric and bought some vinyl from the fabric store and applied adhesive (probably a liquid glue) and applied it to the headliner "board", which on newer vehicles is almost like cardboard anyway. It worked and looked nice. Also, depending on the thickness of the backing, you can try using thumbtacks or the types of tacks that are are used to hold slipcovers in place that kind of screw into the fabric. I've seen this work in some cases also. Finally, check a junkyard for the same year and model truck you have for a replacement. Good luck!


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By vbquotes (Guest Post)
August 7, 20070 found this helpful

Had a good laugh from this one! Years ago, my granddog (then, a puppy), chewed up the entire headliner in my car-he had separation anxiety! Anyway, I used an old quilt, which I suspended with the use of tension curtain rods (the kind with springs which make them adjustable), place at both ends of the headliner area and a couple of more in the middle area to keep it elevated. I couldn't even be angry with him!

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

years ago I used 3m spray adhesive and it held for quite a long time.Just be careful of the wrinkles

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Answer this Question

January 31, 2015

How do I tighten an 2003 H2 headliner?


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