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Old 02-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered panels

Hi folks,

I've done some searching on this topic, but still have questions (it's possible I missed some good threads because I couldn't think of any really definitive terms).

As I mentioned in a prior thread, I'm looking for an older-but-clean 2wd SMB. One disadvantage to that, I'm finding, is that neutral colors were apparently not in style. No, instead violent teal, power baby blue, etc. were clearly in vogue. Not my cup of tea.

So, I can do seat-covers for the front seats, and I'll probably exchange carpet for something smooth for the cleanability. That leaves things like the panels that surround the windows (not sure what they are doing? Hiding the top of the blinds? Just looking "good"?), the covering of the long panels just below the PH top, decorative panels around the loop door handles, and probably a few things I've forgotten to mention.

I don't want to do a long, drug out, expensive, complete reuphostering, but I am reasonably handy/crafty. Do most of these panels come off easily? Can they just be eliminated (door panels.... I suppose there are holes now behind the buttons)? Taken off, new fabric stapled on the back and re-applied?

Even if I could just reduce the tealage, it would help.

I'm not sure how those fabric "buttons" work?

Any tips or tales from those who have done it, or even just seen how they work, would be much appreciated. It might mean I could buy an otherwise fabulous SMB

Thanks,
Viva
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered panels

My 89 has dark pink shag carpet with light pink upholstery panels hiding the roof mechanism. All this is accented with blueish grey door panels and dark cabinetry. It sounds worse than it looks. Have thought about redoing the inside but have no garage to do it in.

To answer some of your questions

The fabric buttons just pop off.

The panels around the penthouse mechanism are held on with screws. On mine they are wood so new fabric can be stapled over he old.

To redo the carpet I would have to take out all of the cabinets and power converter. Not an easy job.

Have decided to live with the color scheme for now.


Larrie
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:04 PM   #3
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Re: Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered pane

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
My 89 has dark pink shag carpet with light pink upholstery panels hiding the roof mechanism. All this is accented with blueish grey door panels and dark cabinetry.
Okay, maybe power-baby-blue or teal are not so bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
The fabric buttons just pop off.
Okay. Since I don't have my own SMB yet, and sellers would probably not take kindly to me popping them off to experiment, can you tell me what they pop off of? What are they covering up? Screws? Some other fastener? Or?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
To redo the carpet I would have to take out all of the cabinets and power converter. Not an easy job.
Understood. That's one time when I might consider doing a less-than-ultimate job and just carefully cutting at the cabinets, then using some sort of quarter round or other trim. 'Course, there may be some obvious reason not to do that once I see it; I'm just speculating at the moment.

Thanks for the info on the PH top panels, too.

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Old 02-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered panels

The buttons snap on to upholstery snaps. They are fabric covered plastic hat just snap down. Do a search on upholstery snaps to see what the snap looks like. They have different length screws that hold them in.

I believe my carpet is glued down. I had to remove a small section at the engine dog house. It was a pain to take up.

My experience is on a 89 SMB. Construction methods may be somewhat different on the newer models.


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Old 02-29-2012, 11:20 PM   #5
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Re: Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered pane

Thanks, Larrie. Now that I know the term "upholstery snap," I'll go look them up.

Viva
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered pane

There are two different buttons. Don't know which one you are talking about.

First one is as Larrie mentioned, to cover screws. They snap on.

The other one is in seats and chairs. It has a little hook on the back and is held on by a heavy thread. Normally the thread is installed long, the button hooked on and then the thread is pulled (from the back) to tighten the fabric over the cushion. Fairly easy to remove - push it in, to the side to release the thread, and off. Impossible to reinstall.

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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Re: Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered pane

I was referring to the buttons that you see, say, around the window frames on some SMB's and conversion vans. There will be an extra "frame" of cloth surrounding the window with buttons (obviously covering some kind of fastener, but I was not sure what kind).

I understand what you mean about the sofa-type buttons with the thread.

I found some places that sold custom-upholstered button tops, but they never mentioned what was under the button!

When I searched "upholstery snaps," I saw things that looked a bit like regular... well, snaps (which I have installed on things so I know how they work). But some of the parts didn't look exactly like regular snaps or snap studs, so I'm still not sure. I can't really imagine those trims would be "snapped" on and off, but maybe?

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #8
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Re: Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered pane

My '94 buttons unscrew...like a large screw head covered with cloth.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: Questions about removing or re-covering upholstered pane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dango
My '94 buttons unscrew...like a large screw head covered with cloth.
Thanks for that info. I'm probably looking at a mid- to late-90's van, so there's a decent chance the buttons would be similar. (Now I just have to get a "cloth head" screwdriver bit )
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