Friday, February 8, 2013

DIY: Interior Car Door Makeover with Mod Podge

I’m just going to be blunt. I have an old car, it’s seen a lot, it’s been across the country 3 times. It was my college car and I still have it, partly because it is a Volkswagen and it will probably run forever and partly because I enjoy not having a car payment. I drive a 02 Volkswagen Beetle. I am able to do all my daily driving for our family including taking the kids and dog to and fro in this little car. I can even haul the guinea pig hay home from the feed store:

Ha! Pretty awesome for a little thing isn’t it? So the pros of the car are it will run forever and it is paid for the con of the car is the interior is starting to fall apart. I have been told by the Volkswagen mechanic that there is something about that crayon smelling glue that starts to wear down in the Texas heat. Such was the case with the pleather on the doors. Sadly, I do not have pictures of how the door was suppose to look so just use your imagination that it looked good and then, after the pleather fell off it looked like this:

See all that yellow foamy stuff? Yeah that stuff is sticky! It gets everywhere. It was very embarrassing to get out of the car and have that yellow foamy stuff stuck to my arm as it does not brush off easily.
This is where the Mod Podge comes in… I was sick and tired of having a ghetto looking car, partly held together by duct tape and sheer force of will. I don’t know much about cars or car doors but I know Mod Podge and I know fabric so gosh-darn-it-all I’m going to Mod Podge fabric to the door!
I started by scrubbing that sticky yellow foam off with the scrubby side of a sponge, no water, just sponge. It came off pretty easily. You could probably use some sort of Goo-Be-Gone to get it cleaner but I didn’t bother since I’m covering it with fabric.

Next cover the whole space with lots and lots of Mod Podge. I used Hard Coat Mod Podge. Don’t be stingy especially on the curves.

Followed by carefully placing the fabric on the Mod Podge. I used a piece of fabric that was much bigger than the space I was Mod Podging to make sure that I had enough to cover the whole area, trim where needed and still left a “seam allowance” to tuck under the door frame.

I tried to be careful to get it to lay flat over the bumps and curves of the door but it didn’t always work the way I wanted it to so I had to make a few snips here and there:

After the fabric was mostly in place I left it to dry. When I came back I trimmed the edges leaving about ½ an inch all the way around then carefully took a butter knife and rammed the edge of the fabric up under the plastic door thing. This was the part that worried me the most but ended up being the easiest.

Once that was done I applied about 10 more coats of Mod Podge in 30 minute intervals.  
My car door went from drab to fab! Star Trek fab! Maybe you won’t use Star Trek fabric but I figured I have had this car for 9 years, I’m probably going to have it for another year, so I might as well just make it my own.

Consider this car the ultimate in Geekery. ;-)


  1. Hi! We are considering mod podging some maps on the headliner of my husbands car. we have the fabric off and the foam scrubbed down, but I wasn't sure how the mod podge would hold up in heat. How have your door panels held up over the summer? Thanks! I'm also jealous that you can buy GP hay in bale like that. Is it Timothy Hay?

  2. This held up very well all through the summer. I didn't have any problems with it at all.

  3. does it matter what type of fabric you use?

  4. The Star Trek fabric I used was 100% cotton. I'm sure you could use other types.

  5. Why did you use more mod podget on top of the fabric? Does it make it better or not fabric material? I have a 99 bettle and I'm trying to do my headline and the doors

  6. Why did you use more mod podget on top of the fabric? Does it make it better or not fabric material? I have a 99 bettle and I'm trying to do my headline and the doors

  7. Why did you use more over the fabric after you were done? And how many coats?