I am installing a Headliner, ABS Smooth, No Retainer, (#5355) from Mid Fifty in my 56 f100 sm. window. I have dry fit it and got it in just fine.
I was thinking b4 i fit it that i would have it painted to match the original gray cardboard. After fitting it im thinking that painting it b4 install wont be a great idea... you really have to bend and tweak the snot out of this thing to get it in. Not sure the paint would hold up?
What about headliner fabric, would that wrinkle as I bend and tweak to put it back in?
Looking for any ideas on what the best method would be so I dont have to leave it Black.
For anything plastic, I like Krylon Plastic paint. It has many colors and seems to flex better than most. Might also try a paint made for plastic bumpers (also abs). They put additives in the paint to allow some flex. Just my .02. Good luck!
I hope your headliner fits a lot better than the one I got from Mid-Fifty. Mine leaves a lot to be desired, not nearly enough material in the front corners. I would much rather have to trim to fit than have a gap, which is my problem. Not sure what I am going to use for trim to cover this up.
ABS used to be a real PIA but there are now on the market specialty paints for plastic such as the aformentioned Krylon. I have used the Krylon on plastic patio chairs and was very satisfied with the adhesion and durability. I don't think that you could bend the headliner enough to cause the Krylon to crack if you did paint it first...this paint is very pliable. Another option that I would consider is any of the SEM vinyl coatings...I used to use a lot of those products in the 70's on vinyl tops. The last option, and maybe the best, would be to contact Leatherique and take a look at their wide variety of dyes. I use them on ultraleather and various other materials. They work just fine on plastics as well and IMO have a much nicer finish than many of the paints. If having a finish that closely resembles a leather or vinyl is important to you then I would encourage you to look into Leatherique. BTW, their products are not cheap but nothing worth having ever is.
My headliner man glued a thin sheet of foam over the abs and then covered it with cloth. The corners where it turns was done the same way but when he installed it the foam wrinkled so bad that he had to recover the abs without the foam on the corners only. The rest of it has a foam layer under the cloth.
I used headliner material that I bought from JoAnne Fabrics. I used plenty of adhesive and I like the results. My ABS panel fit pretty well, but one clip popped off when I installed it. However, it stays in place just fine and if "it isn't broken, I'm not fixing it!"
Thank you all for such great tips, this really helps in the decision making process. I had no clue about the new specialty paints. I actually went and checked out some headliner material yesterday after posting this and found some that matches the cardboard really close. I am thinking I might go in that direction.
So the doors and kick panels would be the gray cardboard, the roof would be the same color but fabric and the bench seat..... Im thinking black on the passenger and driver side with a stripe down the center that matches the doors and roof. I have the black rubber floor mat and a black under dash firewall cover so the black gets pulled into the mix nicely. I think it should look pretty sharp. Cant wait to share photos when completed.
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