Best Headliner Adhesives Review in 2021

Best spray adhesive for headliner

A sagging headliner will give your car a shabby, unkempt look. Luckily, there’s a neat solution to this – a spray adhesive that will reattach the headliner back to your car ceiling. With the right type of headliner glue, you will have your car looking new again in no time.

We rounded up the best spray adhesives for headliners for you. Here are our top 3, but scroll deeper to our buying guide and FAQs for more helpful information.

The 3 Best Headliner and Fabric Adhesives

1.    3M 0809 Headliner Adhesive

If you want professional-level results, you should pick the best 3M spray adhesive for headliners; the 3M 0809. It comes in a 19 oz aerosol can that sprays the glue evenly on your car’s ceiling and fabric. Once the glue is tacky (in about 5 minutes), mate the two surfaces with firm, uniform pressure.

3M Super Trim Adhesive

The result is a neat and wrinkle-free repair job, with zero adhesive bleed-through. Besides, the adhesive is resistant to humidity and heat and works great in both hot and cold environments.

Other than headliners, this top auto upholstery adhesive is also useful for bonding carpet, foam, and other materials in your car and home.

Overall, one of the best adhesives for headliner repair to restore your car’s interior.

2.    LOCTITE Quick-Dry Headliner Spray Adhesive

LOCTITE Quick-Dry Headliner Spray Adhesive

If you want quick results, you might want to go for this quick-dry spray adhesive. LOCTITE offers a quick and easy repair of your car upholstery by forming a strong, instant bond within 3-5 minutes of application.

Plus, we also like it dries clear and neat, which makes it great for other projects in your car or home. Beyond headliners, you can use Locktite adhesive to fix trunk linings, carpets, door panels, and trunk linings. Be sure to tape off any area that might get overspray as the glue is super sticky.

Another thing is that it retains strong bonding features even when in contact with automotive fluids such as oil and antifreeze.

3.    Permatex 27828 Heavy Duty Headliner Glue

Permatex 27828 Body Shop Heavy Duty Headliner Adhesive Aerosol Can

Other than fixing your headliner, you can use this professional headliner adhesive to repair loosened carpets, trunk linings, and inside door panels. When applied correctly, the can dispenses a controlled, even layer of adhesive on surfaces, leading to a clean, wrinkle-free repair job.

For best results, you want to let the Permatex 27828 bond set for at least 24 hours at 70°F(21°C). The result is a high-strength repair job that handles extreme weather well. We also like that this adhesive allows the repositioning of the fabric within the first few minutes, so be sure to realign any errors as soon as possible.

Overall, a solid product that, if well applied, lasts for a long time.

Things to consider

Here is a couple of things to consider when deciding on what adhesive to use for headliner repair;

Temperature Resistance

Before buying a headliner adhesive, consider the kind of environment where you stay. If you live in hot climates like Florida, it’s a good idea to buy the best heat-resistant headliner adhesives if you want to keep your fabric intact. You also want to keep clear of rubber-based adhesives as they are likely to melt in extreme heat. Be sure to buy the right product to avoid having to do the job all over again!

Liquid adhesive or aerosol spray?

There are many types of headliner adhesive on the market to choose from. However, they come in two forms: aerosol can and liquid. The aerosol can is favored among the DIYers for its quick-dry and easy-to-use features. However, if you are skilled in handling adhesives or have a larger area to bond, you may want to use the liquid adhesive. Both headliners adhesives work in the same way to bond your fabric to your car headliner.

Repositionable adhesive or not?

This feature allows you to correct any alignment errors when fixing your headliner.  You will appreciate those extra minutes you get when working with a repositionable glue to straighten wrinkles and align your fabric – before the glue sets permanently.

Look out for this feature if you want a professional look to your completed job!

Strong, permanent hold

You want a high-quality headliner adhesive that is specifically designed to fix damaged headliners. Standard glues will not suffice, because they lack the temperature tolerance, durability, and bonding power required to repair a headliner.

Fabric compatibility

If your headliner is made of a light-coloured fabric, then strong coloured-adhesives will probably leave ugly stains on your headliner. Another thing to consider is the fabric material. It is a good idea to scan the glue product label to ensure that it is compatible with your headliner fabric and any other surfaces you may want to bond.

How To Fix Headliner With Adhesive Spray

Fixing a faulty headliner is fairly easy and quick. But if you are worried about doing it yourself, you can have it done in a body shop.

Step 1

Prep your work area by using masking tape to cover all surfaces that need to be protected from this glue can spraying. The adhesive may attack some plastics or painted surfaces. The masking tape should be removed immediately after application.
Note: If your headliner only has a small tear or is sagging a little at the edges, fixing it may only involve detaching a small section of the fabric. Removal of the headliner may even not be necessary in some cases.

Step 2

Remove the headliner. Start by detaching the attachments holding the fabric in place, like the lights, roof handles, clips, etc. Gently peel back the fabric from the car’s ceiling to expose the metal. For partially damaged headliners, you only need to detach the area that needs repair.

Step 3

Make sure both the surfaces are clean, dry, and free from contaminants like dust, water, or loose debris. 

Step 4

If using an aerosol can adhesive, shake before use. Turn the nozzle to select the spray pattern width on low, medium, or high. Then, holding the can 6-8 inches from the work surface, apply the headliner adhesive directly to your ceiling board. Carefully follow the instructions given on your adhesive as to how many coats to apply as well as the prescribed drying times.
Note: Some headline adhesives contain toxic elements that can be harmful to your health. It’s a good idea to wear protective gear like a mask, gloves, and goggles when fixing a headliner. Also, keep your car’s windows to improve airflow.

Step 5

Once the adhesive dries or is tacky, position and press the fabric to the headliner board, eliminating air pockets and wrinkles as you go along. You can use pins and tape to keep your headliner up as it dries

Step 6

Leave the bond to set or cure. Some adhesives take up to 24 hours at 70°F(21°C) to fully set, while others are ready to go in just 30 minutes or less. Follow the instructions on your chosen adhesive to find out accurate drying time.

Be careful not to spray too much adhesive on the headliner board. Excessive headliner glue may damage your fabric. Instead, apply evenly across the surface. 

How To Fix Headliner With Liquid Adhesive

Fixing sagging headliners using liquid adhesives pretty much follows the above steps. However, the application method differs. Instead of spraying the adhesive using an aerosol spray can, the liquid adhesive uses a sponge, paintbrush, or other applicator to uniformly spread the adhesive on the surface.

Final Thoughts

While there are different types of headliner adhesives on the market, our favorite pick is the 3M 08090 trim adhesive, a quick-drying high-strength adhesive that is also resistant to heat. The easy-to-use aerosol will dispense an even coat of adhesive for a wrinkle-free bond. We also liked that this multi-purpose adhesive is useful for bonding fabric, plastic, and foam to metal.

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