Fabric Covered Window Molding Tutorial
I have talked in the past about covering door window moldings with vinyl, leather, or Ultraleather to match the rest of the interior work. Here are some pictures showing the process.
First of all, just like painting, the surface being covered needs to be clean to accept the contact adhesive. This particular front door window molding had a lot of wear on it, so it was going to have to be painted or covered anyway because it had a lot of flaking paint which the rest of the moldings did not have. I once again used the wire wheel on my bench grinder to remove any loose paint, rust, etc. Also, pay attention to the areas around the screw holes used to attach the molding. I also use the wire wheel on the back of the molding. After the wire wheel, which is very fine, I blow away any debris with an air nozzle, and then clean the molding front and back with mineral spirits and let it dry.
After drying, the molding is ready for contact adhesive. I use DAP Weldwood Landau Top and Trim Adhesive. The gun I use is a cheapy from Harbor Freight. It is an HVLP external mix type gun which has a 2.0MM nozzle. The HF item # is 43760, and it sells for $16.95. Glue does not come out smooth, it has kind of a pebble-like texture to it. Make sure it's over 70 degrees when you spray, or you may have trouble getting the glue to go through the spray gun.
The fabric here is dark blue Ultraleather. I cut a piece of it 3" bigger than the outside dimension of the molding, and also cut out an inner piece which left 3" on the inside also.
This particular molding has an angle to it at the bottom, so to start with, I only sprayed glue on the bottom of the molding and the bottom area of the Ultraleather. After letting the glue set up until it was dry to the touch, I applied the Ultraleather to the molding as smoothly as possible. You don't need to stretch it, just lay it on smoothly. Depending on the fabric, if you stretch it too much side to side, you may lose some give top to bottom. Lay it on loosely at first, don't press down on it until it's exactly where you want it to be. If you make a mistake, remove the fabric, re-glue both pieces, and start over. Don't wait, because this glue gets stronger the longer it sets up. You can see where I had to make relief cuts in the curved corners to allow the fabric to go around the inside corners. Next,repeat the process by spraying the rest of the molding and the fabric with glue. This fabric was not very stretchy, so I had to do a lot of jockeying to get the fabric to lay down on the molding. This job is a lot easier with fabric or leather which stretches more.
No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.
Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 09-02-2008 at 01:48 PM.