Welcome back to Patty’s Garage, mate! Today we’re talking about car upholstery repair for classic cars with quick step-by-step guides on how to do it yourself. Repairing the upholstery of classic cars is one of my favourite car repairs I do with Classics for a Cause and I’m keen to share my tips.
So, before we get into the actual types of car upholstery repairs you might want to do on your classic cars, you’ll want to have a think about why you would do these kinds of repairs in the first place.
In my eyes, the three main benefits of DIY car upholstery repairs include:
One of the best parts of doing car upholstery repairs on classic cars is the fact that the end result is fully in your hands. Sure, you may just want to fix a rip in your seats but if you’re looking to totally start new, you’ve got full control and can personalise your interiors however you’d like.
From installing sexy velvet or creamy leather, there are heaps of options for custom upholstery to make your beauty of a car that much more eye-catching.
Choose your favourite patterns and materials and completely revitalise the inside of your classic car. Especially because, in most cases, classic cars will be overdue for an upgrade, repairing the upholstery is a fun way to make it your own.
We’ve all probably experienced the discomfort of sitting on car seats full of rips and stains. Sure, the exterior of your car might be absolutely stunning but if the interiors are torn or simply gross, that’s not on, mate! Plus, if your dashboard is falling apart or the carpets on the floorboards are beyond salvaging, it’s time you thought about some repairs.
So, to improve the comfort of driving your classic car, car upholstery repairs are a must. There are easy ways to fix rips and tears in your upholstery and more complicated ways to redo everything from the seats to the floors to the dashboard. But overall, if you want to improve the comfort of your classic car, upholstery repair is the way to go.
If you’re like me, you’re probably looking to hold onto your classic car for dear life. No way would you sell her unless absolutely necessary! But, sometimes life happens and you just never know when you’ll need a valuable asset on your side when times get tough.
Car upholstery repair is a killer way to add resale value to your classic car. Switch out the deteriorating seats for new leather or upgrade the centre console to have modern features like USB ports and more.
But, beware that if your car upholstery DIY project isn’t up to snuff, it can also decrease the resale value of your classic car just as easily. So, make sure you do a bloody good job!
Ok, so there are a few potential downsides of doing car upholstery repair on your classic cars so let’s go over them quickly. Then, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of how to actually get started.
In my garage experience, the biggest downsides of car upholstery repairs include:
As with any DIY car repairs, there’s always a chance that you’ll run into issues with your car insurance.
And it makes sense since your insurance is there to protect you from mishaps and if you do a dodgy job at fixing something, there’s no way to prove that the DIY repair wasn’t the cause of the issue.
So, if you’re not super skilled in the garage, you may want to leave it to the pros.
Another potential downside of doing your own car upholstery repair is the fact that these kinds of fixes can be tricky and if you don’t have certain DIY skills, there’s a chance that you won’t be happy with the job you’ve done.
So if you’re a perfectionist or you want that super profesh look, you may want to stray away from DIY altogether. Nothing wrong with leaving it to the mechanics.
So, what are the most common car upholstery repairs you might need to DIY? The truth is, a full upgrade of your upholstery is a massive job. It’s possible, but you’ll probably just want to leave that to the guys who know what they’re doing.
That means that minor upholstery repairs are what we’ll go over here. Let’s go step by step through how to do some of these common fixes.
It’s so easy to get rips and tears in your car’s upholstery, especially if you own a classic car with older seats.
Gashes from rogue car keys or simple wear and tear can mean rips in the upholstery. Here, we’re showing you how to repair rips in both vinyl/leather and fabric/cloth seats.
In most cases, a DIY seat repair for vinyl or leather seats can be done by an average hobbyist. It’s time to say goodbye to ugly duct tape and drawstring seat covers!
For damages when the vinyl or leather splits and you have access to both sides of the rip, you can glue the torn piece to the back of the rip and firmly hold the gap closed while waiting for the glue to dry.
As an old-school guy, I prefer glue over other adhesives, but you also have this option. Professional upholsterers can set up adhesives quickly. For non-professionals, glue is easier to apply and remains flexible after drying. It is also water-soluble for cleanup.
After repairing the tear with glue, it’s time to refinish it with Liquid Leather! I’ve provided steps below:
The way to repair cloth seats is much quicker! If you have to fix a simple tear in fabric seats, you only need to purchase an upholstery needle and some extra-strong thread which matches the colour of your seats. After that, follow steps below:
It might be a good idea to practice on another piece of fabric until you master your stitch if you’ve never sewn upholstery before.
The process to repair car upholstery floors is pretty straightforward. The whole operation can take much less time than ordering new carpet and removing everything.
Here we’ll be going over how to fix a hole in your car’s carpet. Grab yourself some carpet that matches the colour and texture of your car’s current flooring (you can usually find some that you don’t need up the dashboard or in the backseat) and follow these steps:
Pumped to try out these new repairs? Save heaps on essential auto parts with our VIP club membership, which provides access to discounts from over 200 Auto retailers and services providers within Australia; as well as getting exclusive access to classic car giveaways.
It makes those DIY repairs that much cheaper and puts you in the running to win some of the most iconic classic cars on the market.
If this all sounds pretty sweet, then be sure to sign up today! Join now and I’ll see you next time.