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  1. Hi Guys, While some might think that upholstering a car is something that you should leave to the professionals, there are many parts of upholstering that can be done at home with very few tools and little effort. We’ll be looking at restoring cracked upholstery and this is specifically rexine. My illustration is for door cards, but this can very well be applied to dashboards and other rexine surfaces as well. I’ve always avoided applying strong cleaning solvents on my dashboard and other surfaces inside the car, but even when I bought the car I noticed that the rexine on the door cards were starting to crack. Probably years of strong chemicals plus the car being in the hot sun at times. Anyway, this is the issue I have had: As you can see, the rexine is cracked and is lifting off from the door card. I’ve already taken off one door card for my experiment and I’m not go into details about how to get the door card off because it varies from vehicle to vehicle. Just mind the electrics, keep track of where the clips and bolts go and you’ll do fine. So we have our panel at hand now. Let’s begin. What you need: New rexine. I got mine from Wijerama (Nugegoda) and it was 550 bucks a Meter. A Meter is more than sufficient to cover all four door cards in my case. Had to hunt a lot to find the exact shade and pattern. Contact adhesive (aerosol can preferred but even a tin of Multibond will do. I couldn’t find a spray can so I stuck with Multibond) A small brush to apply the glue A (very) sharp blade and scissors A heat gun (or hairdryer. Heat gun is better in this case) Measuring tape, Marker/Pen Step 1: Preparing The Surface In my case, the door card was two panels held together. The panel with the rexine finishing, which is the top part, needed to be taken off from the other panel in order to complete the job neatly. Otherwise the new rexine needs to be tucked in between the panels which might cause it to come out with time. I’m not gonna go into the details of how I managed to get the panels parted, but after the rexine panel was removed, I Carefully peeled away the rexine (in such a way that I can get measurements if needed). Also, underneath the rexine was a very thin Styrofoam kind of layer I was able to remove only the rexine without damaging this spongy layer. Step 2: Cut The New Rexine Using the old rexine as a rough template, make markings using the pen and measuring tape. Make sure you leave about an inch or two of a margin because the rexine has to go over all the contours on the panel. You do not need to worry about openings and screw holes in the panel. Those can be worked out at the very end. Just cut the outline. In my case it was a rectangular piece of rexine. Step 3: Paste The Rexine Start with one edge of the panel. Apply a layer of glue using the brush onto the panel. Apply a liberal amount of glue onto the underside of the rexine and align them properly. Place them together along the edge first. Leave to dry. After the edge has dried up, start pulling the rexine along the contours of the panel. Keep applying glue on both surfaces (more onto the rexine side) and keep applying pressure and stroke the rexine as if you are pasting a sticker while preventing air from being trapped inside. It’s highly unlikely that air will get trapped under the rexine as the spongy layer kind of lets the air out. Where there are edges and lines on the panel, use the heat gun on the rexine and apply pressure. This causes the rexine to form itself well around the panel. Make sure you don’t overheat the rexine or it will start to melt. I tried heating a piece of rexine before actually trying this on the panel to get an idea about how long it can last with the heat gun pointed onto it. Cover the entire surface and you’ve got a neatly covered panel. Now’s the time to cut away the parts that are no longer necessary (in my case, the opening for the door handle). Cut the excess parts along the edges with a blade and fold them inside. Use glue to make sure that the folded edges don’t come off. Step 4: Put Everything Back Together Install everything and you’re done! I’m really happy with how mine turned up. I had to spend about an hour or so for just this one small panel. Takes a lot of time and patience. It was dark when I finished, so I couldn’t install the door card back into the car. Will do so tomorrow and snap another pic or two. Here are some (not so clear) photos until then. That's about it for now gents. Thanks for reading! EDIT: Continued here (more photos and information).
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