How To Reupholster A Guitar Case: All You Need To Know 

Reupholstering the guitar case becomes necessary when the existing upholstery shows signs of wear and tear. You know what I’m talking about – those frayed edges, faded colors, or even a tear here and there. It’s a natural consequence of your guitar case’s constant exposure to the elements, relentless travel, and the hustle and bustle of every day of music. When you notice any of these signs, it’s time to give your case a well-deserved makeover. Let’s get into all the details of how to reupholster a guitar case and give your guitar case a refreshing look. 

How To Reupholster A Guitar Case? 

Step 1: Gather the materials 

Gather all the necessary tools and materials you need. You’ll need a fabric scissor, a staple gun, a fabric marker and upholstery fabric. Don’t forget to protect your work area with a drop cloth or newspaper. 

Step 2: Clean the guitar case  

Wipe down the guitar case with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. 

Clean the guitar case

Step 3: Measure and cut the new fabric 

Now, measure and cut your fresh fabric. Lay the old upholstery pieces on top of your chosen fabric, trace them around with a fabric marker and then cut the marked fabric with a scissor. Ensure to keep extra fabric around the edges to fold over and staple. 

Step 4: Upholster the case 

Take your cut fabric pieces and begin upholstering the case. Start with the main interior section, pulling the fabric taut and using a staple gun to secure it to the case.  

Step 5: Finish the edges  

Once the new fabric is attached, you’ll need to finish the edges. Just fold the fabric and staple or tack it in place. It’s best to use a staple gun to do the stapling. 

What Material Is On The Outside of A Guitar Case? 

The outer shell of a guitar case is typically made of hard, impact-resistant material. Some common materials include: 

Plywood: A resilient and cost-effective material, it boasts impressive strength and durability. However, it is not as light as some of the other options. 

See Also: How To Choose A Guitar Case

Artificial wood laminates: Artificial wood laminates are made from thin wood layers bonded together with resin. This material is strong and also lightweight. 

ABS plastics: ABS plastic, a versatile and cost-effective material, has gained popularity among budget-conscious musicians due to its exceptional strength, lightweight nature, and resistance to weather and temperature fluctuations. 


Aluminum: A strong as well as lightweight material that is resistant to weather and temperature changes. It is also more expensive than some other options, but it is a good choice for musicians who need a durable case that can withstand rough handling. 

The outer shell of a guitar case is typically covered with a protective finish on top of the exterior, such as a clear coat or paint. This finish helps to protect the case from scratches and other damage. 

How To Repair Hard Shell Guitar Case 

First things first, take a close look at the guitar case and identify the areas that need repair. Check for loose hinges, broken latches, detached handles, or damage like scratches and dings. Next, gather all the essential tools and materials. To repair your guitar case, there are a few items you’ll need to have on hand. Here’s a list of what you might need: 

  • Screwdriver or power drill 
  • Replacement screws, bolts, or hardware (if necessary) 
  • Toothpicks and wood glue (for stripped screw holes) 
  • Sandpaper (fine grit) 
  • Mild soap and water solution 
  • Acrylic paint (matching the case color) 

Now, let’s get to know how to fix the different types of damage. 

How To Repair Hard Shell Guitar Case 

Repairing loose hinges 

If your hinges are loose, start by removing the screws holding them in place. Use a screwdriver or power drill (set at a low speed) to tighten the screws back into position securely. If the screw holes are stripped, apply a small amount of wood glue to toothpicks and insert them into the holes. Once the glue dries, trim off the excess toothpicks and insert new screws. 

Fixing broken latches 

For misaligned latches, loosen the screws holding them in place and gently adjust the latch into the correct position. Once aligned, tighten the screws back up. If the latch is beyond repair, find a replacement latch that matches the size and style of your case. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the new latch securely. 

Repairing the handle 

If your handle is loose or detached, check for any loose screws or bolts and tighten them up. Ensure that the handle is securely attached. If the handle is beyond repair, it’s best to take the hard case to a luthier. 

Scratch repairs 

To fix minor scratches, gently sand the scratched areas by using fine-grit sandpaper. Be cautious not to sand too aggressively and damage the case further. Once smooth, clean the outside of the guitar case with a mild soap and water solution to remove any dirt or grime. To touch up the color, you can use acrylic paint that matches your case’s color. Apply the paint carefully to fill in the scratched areas. 

How Do You Restore A Guitar Case? 

1. Clean the case. Use a mild soap and water solution to clean the outside of the case. If any dirt or grime is difficult to remove, you can use a soft brush or cloth to scrub it away. Be sure to dry the case thoroughly after cleaning. 

2. Repair any damage. If the case is damaged, you may need to repair it before restoring it. It can involve fixing any cracks or tears in the fabric or replacing any broken hinges or latches. 

3. Condition the case. Once the case is clean and repaired, use a conditioner to condition the guitar case to protect it from further damage.  

4. Polish the case. Once the case is conditioned, you can polish it to give it a shine. You can use a mild polish, such as furniture polish or car wax. 

See Also: How To Store Guitar cases

Final Words 

Over time, the original upholstery can show signs of age, and even the most durable guitar cases can lose their luster. The fabric or material may become threadbare, the stitching may start to unravel, or unsightly scratches and scuffs may mar the exterior. Reupholstering the guitar case gives you a chance to maintain its integrity and aesthetic appeal of the guitar case. So, follow all the steps of how to reupholster a guitar case properly when you need it and keep the case’s reliability intact. 

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