Best Headliner Adhesive – Buyer’s Guide

The headliner is used to provide insulation, visual enhancement, and protection, just like door panels and carpeting in your car.
This part of the vehicle can have problems, such as sagging, which can be a nightmare to the car owner. It is also quite expensive if you do not repair it right away. The sagging of the headliner occurs due to the deterioration of the car’s glue. If the headlining gets wet, the original glue becomes moist and eventually dissolves.In this case, you need the best adhesive for your car’s headliner. However, this does not mean you need to break your bank. Well, you can fix it or even replace the whole headliner with just the help of a headliner glue.

What is The Best Headliner Adhesive in 2020?

3M Super Trim Adhesive, 08090, 19 oz Nt Wt
Design Engineering 010490 High-Temperature Spray Adhesive - Clear
Permatex 81850 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive, 5 oz.
3M Headliner & Fabric Adhesive, 38808, 18.1 oz, 4 cans per case
Permatex 27828 Body Shop Heavy Duty Headliner and Carpet Adhesive...
Can resist high temperatures. Has good plasticizer resistance. Can be used for new headliner installation. Not a problem when applied on surfaces where there is moisture.
Can take very high heat up to 160F. Works well on vehicle upholstery. Dries fast.
More affordable than other adhesives. Useful for those who need to apply weather stripping to their cars. Can be used on metal surfaces as well as painted ones.
Holds the surfaces very well. Effective for car headliners. Can be used on a variety of materials to be glued on nonporous materials. No staining.
Water resistant (for marine use). Easily bonds heavier-weight materials. Fast drying, high tack glue. Great for high-temperature to 160F.
Editor’s Choice
3M Super Trim Adhesive, 08090, 19 oz Nt Wt
Can resist high temperatures. Has good plasticizer resistance. Can be used for new headliner installation. Not a problem when applied on surfaces where there is moisture.
Best High Heat Resistant
Design Engineering 010490 High-Temperature Spray Adhesive - Clear
Can take very high heat up to 160F. Works well on vehicle upholstery. Dries fast.
Best Low-Priced
Permatex 81850 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive, 5 oz.
More affordable than other adhesives. Useful for those who need to apply weather stripping to their cars. Can be used on metal surfaces as well as painted ones.
Best Multipurpose Adhesive
3M Headliner & Fabric Adhesive, 38808, 18.1 oz, 4 cans per case
Holds the surfaces very well. Effective for car headliners. Can be used on a variety of materials to be glued on nonporous materials. No staining.
Best Water-Resistant
Permatex 27828 Body Shop Heavy Duty Headliner and Carpet Adhesive...
Water resistant (for marine use). Easily bonds heavier-weight materials. Fast drying, high tack glue. Great for high-temperature to 160F.

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You need the best headliner adhesive to make sure the fix lasts for years. Although there are several popular brands, you should not just settle for the most affordable or the most widely available headliner adhesive.
Best Headliner Adhesive
It is important to use the right type of adhesive, specifically designed for applications on automotive interiors. This way, the glue is compatible with the fabric and the vinyl materials of the car. Besides, the glue should withstand varying temperatures since the inner lining of the car’s roof can be subjected to hot and cold temperatures.
To get excellent results for reattaching your car’s headliner, here are five of the best products, specially designed for this kind of application.

1. 3M 08090 Super Trim Adhesive – Editor’s Choice

3M Super Trim Adhesive, 08090, 19 oz Nt Wt
  • Aerosol contact adhesive
  • Designed for bonding vinyl...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-06-01

When it comes to headliner adhesive products, the 3M 08090 Super Yellow Trim Adhesive is one of the most recommended. This contact adhesive t is useful for gluing tops made from vinyl, as well as heavy headliners. It is also used for bonding hood silencer pads. These parts of the vehicle all require strength and resistance to heat, which is why this adhesive from 3M is a good option.
The product is available in an aerosol can and is convenient to use. It weighs 1.55 lbs and contains 19 ounces of adhesive. It is also very easy to apply as a spray-on adhesive with neoprene rubber simply attaches itself to vinyl and fabrics, such as the headliner of the vehicle.

Usage

The 3M 08090 Super Yellow Trim Adhesive requires 15 minutes (at the most) to cure and takes less than five minutes to dry. The set time required for the product is 24 hours, and as the product’s name suggests, it has a yellow color after drying. Before the product dries up, it is advisable to use the adhesive cleaner first.

This spray-on adhesive is fast-acting, which makes it ideal for bonding your headliner right away. It will keep your car top in place even if it is a heavyweight one. The product is also good for adhering to either open or closed-cell foams.

Most people prefer aerosol adhesive products because they can tolerate changing temperatures better than other types of glue. In the case of this 3M adhesive, the manufacturer claims that the product can take temperatures from -20F to 200F.

Easy to use

In general, this 3M adhesive is quite easy to use. Make sure that you shake it well and hold the can at least six inches from the surface. Apply two or more coats uniformly, which should overlap each other. Also, give it at least four minutes to dry before you press on the surfaces together. You need to use pressure on the bond to secure it. Do so for 24 hours and try to apply on the surface if it is between 60F to 80F.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Can resist high temperatures
  • Can resist cold temperatures as well
  • Not a problem when applied on surfaces where there is moisture
  • Has good plasticizer resistance
  • Designed for a number of materials, including insulation, foam, vinyl, padding, rubber, and even metal
  • Can also be used for new headliner installation
  • Can also be used for installing car hood pads
Cons
  • More expensive than other products
  • Cannot be used on some materials, specifically polypropylene, styrene foam, and polyethylene
  • Can leave a stain on the vehicle’s interiors, particularly fabrics that are thin and light colored

You can also find a 3M product – 3M 08008 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive Tube – in our Best Glue For Rubber – Buyer’s Guide!

The 3M™ Spray Adhesive advantage

2. Design Engineering 010490 High-Temperature Spray Adhesive – Best High Heat Resistant Headliner Glue

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One of the most common complaints among vehicle owners is that the adhesive they use only holds for a few days or weeks. After that, their headliners start sagging once their cars are subjected to high heat again. Therefore, they either need to reapply the adhesive, or they have to replace it.

Usage

For those with such problems, the Design Engineering 010490 High-Temperature Spray Adhesive may just be the answer to this common issue.

Strength bonding

The Design Engineering 010490 High-Temperature Spray Adhesive offers high strength bonding. You can use it on a wide variety of materials, such as foams, fabrics, and trims.

Unlike most products, this high-temp adhesive uses a three-way valve that is specially designed and adjusts smoothly. The valve gives the user the ideal spray pattern that is most applicable to the job.

For very high temperatures

If you have problems with your past adhesive, which may not have done its job once the headliner gets exposed to high temperatures, this spray adhesive may be what you are looking for. It promises to provide bonding effects for very high temperatures up to 160F or 71C.
Besides its resistance to high temperatures, this product also forms a bond that is resistant to water or moisture. You can also use the spray adhesive on the DEI Heat Screen.
Just like the 3M product above, the Design Engineering 010490 High-Temperature Spray Adhesive also comes in an aerosol can, which is convenient for use. However, the product is applied liberally on both surfaces for it to work. To use, you should clean the surface first and make sure it is dry before applying. It is also important that there is no dirt, grease, wax, or any other substance on the surfaces of the application process.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Can take very high heat up to 160F
  • Has a special three-way valve for choosing the pattern for the area to be covered with the adhesive
  • Works well on vehicle upholstery
  • Dries fast
Cons
  • Not cheap
  • Can have issues with bonding headliners to surface
  • Surface is not clear after product dries
  • May cause staining
  • May require liberal application to work

3. Permatex 80638 Super Weatherstrip Adhesive – Best Low-Priced

Permatex 81850 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive, 5 oz.
  • Professional, superior...
  • Effectively bonds a variety of...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-06-01

The headliner adhesive you choose does not have to be super expensive. With the Permatex 80638 Super Weatherstrip Adhesive, you may be able to fix that sagging headliner fast, easy, and without spending too much.

Other products use different colors that may not match with your car. However, this product uses black, so that it can blend with your auto. This lessens the need for a clean up after application. Additionally, the Permatex 81850 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive enables the user to reposition the parts even after contact is made.

Usage

This adhesive is useful for those worried about high heat or cold temperatures. The adhesive can withstand extreme heat and is water-resistant. It is also resistant to solvents, along with kerosene, gasoline, and antifreeze. The manufacturer recommends using the adhesive on cut gaskets and moldings of your car trunk and door.

When using the Permatex 80638 Super Weatherstrip Adhesive, it is important that the surfaces are cleaned thoroughly. A thin, even coating should be applied on both surfaces, which are then allowed to dry before bonding them. Another coat adhesive should also be applied before bonding right away.
It is important that the adhesive is not applied on painted surfaces that will be exposed to the sun or are uncovered.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • More affordable than other adhesives
  • Useful for those who need to apply weather stripping to their cars
  • Can work effectively for bonding polymers together
  • Can be used on metal surfaces as well as painted ones (as long as the surface is not exposed)
Cons
  • Does not work on polypropylene
  • End result can be quite messy
  • Nozzle may be problematic when used on thin surfaces
  • Needs more time to dry than most other products

4. 3M 38808 Headliner and Fabric Adhesive – Best Multipurpose Adhesive

Sale
3M Headliner & Fabric Adhesive, 38808, 18.1 oz, 4 cans per case
  • Exceptional strength bonds...
  • Versatile formula effectively...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-06-01

The 3M 38808 Headliner and Fabric Adhesive is quite useful if you are looking for a formula that can bond your headliner as well as other materials in your vehicle, such as foam, plastic, fabric, and metal. The headliner adhesive product comes in an aerosol can that allows the user to spray in a controlled even layer. This way, the surfaces may bond without problems.

Recommendations

The product weighs 1.43 lbs. and is mostly used for gluing automotive trims, fabrics, and headliners. Chemically, it is made up of a solvent and cures in about 30 minutes. The product’s total drying time can take as long as an hour but will not stain because the dry color is clear.

3M 38808 Headliner and Fabric Adhesive can also resist the effects of heat, cold, humidity, moisture, and the other effects of environmental conditions. The manufacturers recommend the use of the adhesive for installing fabrics in the vehicle as it is specially formulated to create a strong bond to the fabric without staining or causing discoloration.

Usage

The aerosol spray can distribute a consistent layer of the adhesive coating; hence you do not have to worry about oversaturating the surfaces. The product also comes with an adjustable nozzle, which provides help in applying the adhesive on the parts of the vehicle.
Although it can take 30 to 60 minutes to dry (depending on the conditions of the environment), you can use the extra time to complete other tasks you may have to do for your vehicle. The product promises to set fast enough, especially if you only have a short time for the completion of your vehicle restoration project.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Holds the surfaces very well
  • Effective for car headliners
  • Can be used on a variety of materials to be glued on nonporous materials including metal and plastic
  • No staining
Cons
  • Mostly requires liberal application and may need two to three cans for one full-size headliner
  • Takes a little more time to dry
  • More expensive than other products

5. Permatex 27828 Headliner Adhesive Aerosol – Best Water-Resistant

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-05-18

If your headliner has loosened or has become detached, the Permatex 27828 Headliner Adhesive Aerosol may just be what you need to fix the problem. It is a high-strength adhesive that comes in an aerosol can and is useful for repairing the interior parts of your vehicle.

Other than the headliners, you can use this adhesive on carpets as well as the interior door panels and the trunk linings of the vehicle. It can resist high temperatures and is also water-resistant, which is useful for those who live in regions with wet climates.

Similarly, this glue can be used to attach upholstery cloth for boats, as well as carpets, floor mats, and insulation. The product can be applied to the kick and silencer pads, which can be bonded to wood or metal.

Automotive adhesive

The product weighs 1.20 lbs. and is mostly used to bond automotive materials as well as foam, fabrics, and rubber. Chemically, it is mostly comprised of acetone. It has an amber finish, although the dry color is straw. The curing time is quite long – typically four hours. For the product to dry, it will require 24 hours but will set in about five minutes.

It is important to note that the Permatex 27828 Headliner Adhesive Aerosol may attack painted surfaces as well as plastics. For these surfaces to stay unaffected, you should protect them using masking tape. You can remove the tape immediately after you have applied the product.

In order for this upholstery glue to work, you should follow its instructions thoroughly. Just like with other adhesive products, the surfaces in which this particular adhesive will come in contact with should be completely clean and free from any contaminants.

Usage

While using this headliner adhesive, shake the can first before turning the nozzle. It has three spray pattern widths for you to select from a low, medium, and high. You can choose from them depending on the surface where you will spray. It is advised that you hold the can at least six inches from the surface and then apply a maximum of three overlapping coats uniformly. Make sure that you wait at least five minutes before you reapply in between the coats to allow the adhesive to dry.

Another tip is that you should apply on both surfaces for better results. When applying additional coats, the second one should be in the opposite direction from the first coat. Do not forget to allow the adhesive to dry, which generally takes five minutes (or until you see that the adhesive is tacky). After that period, you can set the material.

The next step is to press the surfaces together. To eliminate air pockets, make sure that you apply even pressure. The bonds will typically be made within 30 minutes, but the full cure can be achieved after 24 hours of application at 70F or 21C.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Water resistant (for marine use)
  • Easily bonds heavier-weight materials to metals, woods, and plastics
  • Fast drying, high tack glue
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Great for high-temperature (160 degrees Farenheit)
Cons
  • One can may not be enough for the whole headliner
  • Not paintable

How to Repair a Sagging Headliner

Headliner Adhesive Buyer’s Guide

Headliners do not last forever, just like the other parts of your car. You need to take care of them to enjoy their services, such as sound reduction and aesthetics for long. As the headliner grows old, it may start to come off the roof or sag. If this becomes a problem, you may have to replace it or simply apply a good headliner adhesive.

The headliner adhesive bonds things together using either natural or synthetic material in its makeup. There are several adhesives that you can choose from, but not all of them can be used on the headliner – or even your car. This is because they may have materials or components that could ruin your vehicle.

The adhesive you choose should be designed for headliner use. Typically, they come in spray cans, so you can easily apply them. The right adhesive product will help restore your headliner not just for a few months but for a long time. This can help you save a lot of money since you do not have to replace the whole thing.

What to Look for in Buying a Headliner Adhesive

A visit to your local store or quick online search will show you that there are tons of headliner adhesive to choose from. Not all adhesives are right for your car’s headliner, though, which is why you should be careful in choosing one.
Here are some of the most important features to look for before paying for a product.

Temperatures

Resistant to high and low temperatures. The interiors of your vehicle can be hot or cold, so make sure the adhesive is temperature resistant. You should never go for a rubber-based adhesive because it will easily melt when exposed to heat, causing the headliner to sag or even fall off.

Stronghold: If it cannot hold the headliner well, you will have to keep reapplying the adhesive. It is not only time consuming but also requires a lot of effort on your part.

Surfaces

It should be usable on fabric and vinyl. Many adhesives will tell you they are compatible with a lot of materials, but if you do not see vinyl and fabric in the list, skip that product. Headliners are mostly made of vinyl and fabric so it would be useless if the adhesive does not support these two materials.

Aerosol or liquid

Should you go for aerosol or liquid adhesive? The adhesive can either be liquid or aerosol. You can use both on vehicle headliners, so choose whichever you prefer.
Liquid headliners can be used with a paint gun, while aerosol adhesives are in aerosol cans that have been modified for easy use. You only need to remove the cap and begin using the spray. If you do not have a paint gun, an aerosol adhesive may be more convenient for you.

When searching for the right adhesive, take note of the tips mentioned above so that you do not have to buy another product or waste more time in restoring your vehicle’s headliner.

Some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Is there a need to remove the headliner before using the adhesives?

While it is not required to remove the headliner of the car to bond it with another material, it would make the job much easier if you do. Just take out the screws to detach it from its clips. You can use a flathead screwdriver to pry it off. You can apply the adhesive to the headliner and the foam below it.

If necessary, can you reposition the headliner?

Some adhesives can bond on contact. However, there are others that allow the user to reposition the headliner if needed – as long as it is still wet. You will usually have a few minutes before the adhesive becomes tacky. Once it does, you will not be able to move the item.

How long will it take for the adhesive to dry and how many cans will you need?

The amount of time required for drying will depend on the adhesive and its composition of materials. Normally, it will take about an hour or less before it bonds. However, there are others that require a whole day before drying.
You will need to apply pressure on both surfaces to make sure they bond well hence avoiding the need to redo it. The number of cans you need for reattaching the headliner will depend on the restoration project itself. However, you would usually need two to three cans if it is a full-size headliner.

How to Fix Car Headliner – Video Guide

Conclusion

Some headliner adhesives may work for other people but not for you. It is always useful to check what the product is for, including its recommended applications. The process of using the adhesive on headliners is not as complicated as it seems, but it is important to read the instructions provided by the product’s manufacturer for the best results.

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