DIY Installing leather seat covers

Discussion in 'Interior DIY' started by FG3_drv, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. FG3_drv

    FG3_drv Well-Known Member

    I have a 2012 Civic EX coupe that had some sort of ugly dark grey cloth interior color. I bought the car used and it came with several suspicious stains on the driver's seat that I could not wash off no matter how hard I tried. Aside from those stains I really did not like the color of the interior, it dated the car, made it looks even cheaper and it was depressing to drive it like that.

    So, I decided to switch to leather. My search started on craigslist where I looked for a parts car with leather interior, after a while I gave up. There was absolutely nothing in 2015. Then I looked into reupholstering the existing interior and watched a couple of videos on how to do it. It’s fairly straight forward, takes a lot of patience and “elbow grease” and below I will do my best to recall everything that needed to be done 4 years after it happened.
    1. You will need to find a set of aftermarket custom fit seat covers for your car; obviously if you have a coupe or sedan it will make a difference. Based on my research at that time Katzkin offered very high quality leather kits but they were outside of my budget $699+. But I got lucky, I found a complete set made by Katzkin on ebay for $199. It included everything I needed: all seats, center console cover and even inserts for door panels. I didn’t get much choice on color, they only had light grey but at that time any color was better.
    2. Prepare the tools you’re going to need: which include hog ring pliers and lots of hog rings; you can buy a kit on amazon with 3/8" hog rings. Also, get some leather glue, I used it for door panel inserts and center console. Have needle nose pliers and regular pliers handy.
    3. Dedicate the entire day to this, it takes a lot of patience and you have to be careful not to rip anything.
    4. Disconnect your battery first (This will prevent airbag warning from coming on after you remove front seats.)
    5. Remove front seats
    6. Start removing the seat cover from the seat, seat belt buckle can stay in place as everything else on it. The bottom seat cushions are removable, the back rest is not due to sensors and airbags and so on. Seats cover holds the seat cushion in place with hog rings, it takes a while to tear them out but be patient. Once you remove all of them, bottom cushion will come off.
    7. Remove seat cover from the cushion, they are held by hog rings you will see plastic channels that seat covers use to create that seat bucket effect and give form to the seat. Watch this video it’s very helpful: View:
    8. Find the corresponding Katzkin cover and install it over the cushion (watch the video above).
    9. After you install the backrest cover on your seat you will notice that it does not have holes for your headrest.
    10. The headrest is probably the toughest thing to reupholster, it’s small and very difficult to stretch over. After you’re done with it, put it where it goes on your seat and mark areas in leather where to make holes for it.
    11. And now you should be done with your first seat. The rest are the same; except that back seats use the most hog rings you will remove in your lifetime. The bottom part is a nightmare, it’s easy to install the cover over it, but those rings just so many of them….
    12. Center console cover is straight forward; I used some glue on top part to prevent it from sliding off in future as there are no hog rings to hold it in place, except for the piece of plastic.
    13. Door inserts are the same way, use glue to hold them in place because they will come off in future otherwise.
    14. download_20151108_222044.jpg download_20151108_222051.jpg IMG_20151108_131236.jpg IMG_20151108_131241.jpg IMG_20151108_131250.jpg IMG_20151108_144652.jpg IMG_20160402_164721.jpg IMG_20160402_164728.jpg IMG_20160402_164744.jpg IMG_20160402_164936.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    webby likes this.
  2. homegrown

    homegrown Well-Known Member

    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    FB6 Sedan
    Looks really nice.
    Good job!
  3. webby
    • Staff
    • 2019 Toys For Tots

    webby Administrator

    Nice upgrade and great find on eBay!

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