My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!! in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; So this weekend I overlayed my headliner and pillars in suede. I thought this was gonna be a easy process, ...
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    Adam3882's Avatar
    Adam3882 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    So this weekend I overlayed my headliner and pillars in suede. I thought this was gonna be a easy process, damn was I wrong. It took me hours to get the headliner out of the car. Not only was it glued in but it was hard to figure out how to get it out of the car without tearing it up, folding it in half and damaging it...it turned out really good, the suede was kinda hard to work with, it doesn't stretch but it conforms good to curves with a few coats of adhesive. It took 3 yards at 60" wide to complete this and thats all i ordered. I want to do the door inserts and take the center console in and have it resown in suede.


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    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    damn that looks awesome.. do you have any sort of experience prior to this?
    where did you buy the suede from?

    love the rims too

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    Adam3882's Avatar
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Thanks, I have done this once before, not with suede though. I watched a few youtube videos and consulted my local upholstery shop where I ordered what was in his opinion the best quality suede i could get, which cost $35/yd, not bad...the whole project cost about $150 and took 12-14 hours.

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    52brandon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    WOW... that looks amazing

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    telefanatic is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    you got no sunroof ? i thought all CTS came with one.

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    52brandon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by telefanatic View Post
    you got no sunroof ? i thought all CTS came with one.
    not mine...

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    Adam3882's Avatar
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    i knew i was gonna get a sunroof comment...haha...yeah it's an option...i never really cared for a sunroof, although i am liking the panorama roofs on the new Audi Q7.

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    Bluehaze07's Avatar
    Bluehaze07 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam3882 View Post
    Thanks, I have done this once before, not with suede though. I watched a few youtube videos and consulted my local upholstery shop where I ordered what was in his opinion the best quality suede i could get, which cost $35/yd, not bad...the whole project cost about $150 and took 12-14 hours.
    Looks Great!! I was just talking to a neighbor that is gonna do that to his car. Any tips? Are you gonna do up a DIY?

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    Adam3882's Avatar
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Thanks, yeah i never thought about doing a DIY, but I guess i could if anyone else is interested in doing this...there is quite a few tips that would make removal process much easier. As for gluing the suede to the headliner and pillars is pretty easy, just takes patience and several cans of headliner adhesive and an iron for a few incidental wrinkles..

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    52brandon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam3882 View Post
    Thanks, yeah i never thought about doing a DIY, but I guess i could if anyone else is interested in doing this...there is quite a few tips that would make removal process much easier. As for gluing the suede to the headliner and pillars is pretty easy, just takes patience and several cans of headliner adhesive and an iron for a few incidental wrinkles..
    I would be interested in a how-to

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    Bluehaze07's Avatar
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 52brandon View Post
    I would be interested in a how-to

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    Adam3882's Avatar
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehaze07 View Post
    ok, ill write one.

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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!! DIY

    Ok so this will be a DIY for removing the headliner and 6 pillars for the 03'-07' cts with no sunroof and applying a suede overlay. Without the sunroof the headliner is glued on so I’m not sure how the headliner is ultimately attached with the sunroof, motor, and everything that goes along with that, as far as I know it could just be held up with the weather stripping. If someone wants to fill that information in later that would be cool. I’m writing this from memory so if I forget something….my bad.
    Well to start, just make sure you have plenty of time, patience, and everything you need to start.

    Here is a basic list:

    • At least 3 yards of material/suede with no backing (your local custom upholstery shop)
    • 4 cans of heavy duty headliner/carpet adhesive (found at Autozone, orange can, $10.99 ea.)
    • Screw drivers big and small
    • Utility knife with new blades and scissors
    • Basic socket set
    • Goop contact cement/super glue
    • A few 3 foot polls or pieces of wood
    • A clothes iron with steam (hopefully you won’t need it)

    *So a few things to go over before you begin: All the plastic parts that are on the headliner, dome light covers especially, are very fragile. Meaning the tabs will break off very easily if you’re not careful; you don’t want to have go to the dealer and pay a ridiculous amount to replace them. Also, keep your parts organized; there will be quite a few. Take everything out of the car as your working and put it in an open and clean area where you’re not going to loose or misplace a screw. You will be working very close to the side curtain airbags, take caution when pulling the headliner down as to not damage there sensitive parts and tons of wires *

    1. I started by removing everything from the headliner. Unscrew the sun visors and unplug them.
    Carefully unsnap the center dome/map light cover. Unsnap the rear passenger handle covers and slide them towards the center of the handle. Remove handles. Unsnap rear passenger dome light cover carefully!! Unbolt the rear light, one bolt with a metal tab.

    2. Pull the weather stripping down (not necessary to completely remove) around the doors

    3. Remove front pillars by unsnapping the “airbag” tab. There will be a Phillips head screw in the hole to remove and the pillar will come right off. Unplug the bose speaker and carefully remove the speaker from the pillar. My speakers fit in there kind of tight so it took a few minutes.

    4. Remove the center pillars. Start by unsnapping the bottom piece of plastic and removing it from the pillar, it just snaps on to it. Next, carefully pry off the pillar starting from the bottom, it’s held on by a combination of plastic and metal tabs. The top of the pillar has a plastic piece that slides into a slit on actual metal part of the frame of the car, not hard to remove.

    5. Remove the rear pillars by unsnapping the airbag tabs, just like the front, there will be screws that hold it on and a couple metal tabs on the bottom, unsnap the plastic seat belt guild. Now you’re supposed to unbolt the seatbelt and push it through the hole in the pillar but I actually cut the pillar near the bottom and slid the belt right out. When it goes back in you can’t tell its cut because the cover goes on it, seatbelt and seat cover up the rest. Obviously that part is up to you.

    6. Now you’ll be ready to start pulling the headliner down…there will be two airbags on either side of the headliner and foam filler pieces. Be careful not to damage them. I stated from the back and firmly pulled down. It will winkle and make some crackling noises. No need to worry, it will retain its shape. Now as its coming down there will be wires glued all along the sides, front and back…it’s a mess. Just carefully pull the wires from the headliner.

    7. So this part kinda sucks. I semi-folded one of the edges and pulled it out the passenger side door. I thought for sure I was breaking it but it seemed ok once I got it out.

    Applying the suede:

    So this part takes a little bit of skill. I watched a few videos on you tube and practiced on the pillars before I went for the headliner. Start by reading the label on the can. I sprayed the surface let it dry for a few minutes. Sprayed it again and lightly sprayed the back of the fabric, let it dry for another few minutes then started from the middle and worked my way towards the edges pulling it tightly around corners and curves. If you start messing up, pull it back and do it again. You might need to add more glue as you go…just don’t flood it. Be patient and keep pressing and working it in with your hands. You might get a few winkles in the side of the headliner. As long as there small they can be steam pressed out with an iron. The pillars need to be cut a half an inch bigger around the edges, sprayed and, folded over.

    Re-install:

    Once everything is good to go, slide the headliner back in the passenger door. Apply some contact cement to the original glue spots. Use a few of those short poles to push the headliner back up into place and hold it while you screw all the parts back up and the glue sets. After all the lights, sun visors, and handles are back in place you can snap the pillars back on, make sure to cut the holes out for the airbag tabs and speakers. After the pillars are back on push the weather stripping back into place and YOUR DONE!!!

    I hope this helps…any other question, just ask.

  15. #14
    txbest1980's Avatar
    txbest1980 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    damn that looks sick and a hell of a write up also...got me thinking about this mod for real

  16. #15
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    Re: My weekend project, Suede Headliner, PICS!!

    man ive actually been thinking about doing this for over a year now, the thing is i have the tan interior and want it all black, ive even been looking for new carpet, but to do the full black interior it would just cost me wayyy too much. it would be 800 for seats then the headliner and pillars.. (i actually thought it woulda cost you more for the swede), and then carpet and all the small plastic pieces and the rear deck lid.... it would be too big of a job... i may just do a tan swede headliner... the part that worries me is the sunroof... doing the cutout and then covering the sliding section would be a PAIN.

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