How To Paint A Faded Umbrella To Look Like New!

How to paint a faded umbrella to look like new! Easy DIY makeover that will give new life to an old umbrella. Simple and budget friendly.

I am in love with our gigantic 15 foot umbrella! The amount of shade it provides is amazing and since our patio isn’t covered, it’s the only relief from the hot summer sun.

And what a relief it is. Somehow this huge umbrella provides a temperature difference that is remarkable and since it’s extra large, everyone has a spot in the shade.

So when it started to fade and look like an eye sore, I knew it was time for a makeover.

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But, can you paint an umbrella to look like new?

Table to Contents: How to paint a faded umbrella

Of course they do have a few umbrella replacement canopies on Amazon, but those don’t always fit like a glove like the original canopy.

After a little research I hopped in the car to pick up some paint at our favorite home improvement store. And I’m here to tell you exactly how we were able to paint our faded umbrella to look like new!

Before and after photos. Faded, burgundy, umbrella on top and bright burgundy umbrella on bottom.

This is our own personal experience. Be sure to see professional guidance and read manufacture instructions.

HOW TO PAINT A FADED UMBRELLA

Materials and Tools

  • Clean canopy
  • Several cans of spray paint
  • Spray paint handle for added comfort
  • Drop cloth (optional)
  • Mask and gloves

Condition Of The Umbrella Canopy

There are a few things to consider before deciding to paint an old faded umbrella. First off, you need to examine the condition of the umbrella canopy. Are there any rips or tears you might be unaware of?

Check the final top points where the canopy connects to see if there are any rips, along with the pockets where each rib rests.

Color Match The Canopy vs. New Color

Color match- For this project we decided to color match the canopy. Since this is a 15 foot umbrella, having to spray paint both sides would have cost a lot of money in spray paint alone!

To color match, take a photo in good lighting of a portion of the umbrella that shows the original color. In our case inside the creases and underneath still had the original color. Compare the photo to the spray paint at the home improvement store to get the best match.

Since we color matched the original canopy, we were able to spray paint just the top since the underside still had perfect color.

Faded umbrella canopy with deep sun faded lines.
Underside of faded umbrella showing no wear or tear.

New color- When choosing a new color it’s important to keep a few things in mind. The first thing is the size of umbrella you’ll be painting. If it’s extra large you’ll need quite a few cans of spray paint to paint both the top and underside of the umbrella.

Estimate about 3-4 cans of spray paint per side to get full coverage on a 9 foot umbrella.

What Type Of Paint To Use On A Faded Umbrella

Spray paint will be the best option for painting a faded umbrella. It’ll go on much lighter and allows for better control. It also ensure the canvas doesn’t get too heavy or stiff.

For this project we used Rust-Oleum Satin Protective Enamel 5 in 1 Spray Paint in Red Heritage.

Spray painted used to spray paint the faded umbrella.

Spray Paint

  • Easy to control
  • Goes on lighter
  • Won’t bleed through
  • Keeps canopy from getting stiff

Paint + Roller

  • A lot more paint is used
  • Bleeds through canvas bottom
  • Heavy and stiff
  • Longer dry time

I also want to note that because we were able to color match our canopy to the spray paint, we didn’t need to paint the entire canopy to bring it back to it’s once vibrant color.

We only spray painted the faded areas while using one extra can for blending. I would highly recommend color matching as it only took a few cans of spray paint vs. many more.

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Clean The Umbrella Canopy

Before you start spray painting you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a clean canopy. Start by using soapy water and give it a good cleaning with a damp cloth. Allow to fully dry.

Mildew on umbrella- If there is mildew on the umbrella you might be able to clean it with a water and vinegar mixture. Otherwise it’s best to read the manufacture instructions on cleaning.

Note- You may find that you can remove the canopy and wash it in a large washing machine.

Burgundy color faded umbrella being prepped in yard.

Step By Step Spray Paint Directions

Now that the canopy is clean it’s time to start the fun part. If the canopy is able to be removed from the umbrella you may find it helpful to fully remove the canopy and spread it flat on the ground. Be cautions of over bleed and use a drop cloth if necessary.

  1. Start from the center vent and spray paint each section/panel.
  2. Allow to dry.
  3. Repeat until desired coverage is achieved.
  4. Spray paint underside if needed.

For our 15 foot umbrella we decided to keep the canopy intact and prop it up using a chair, making it easy for us to spot spray paint each section that was faded. We then allowed each layer to dry before starting another coat.

To spray paint our 15 foot umbrella canopy it took 3 cans of spray paint with the third can helping to blend the areas together.

Note- Tape off any portion you wish to leave untouched. For us, we masked off each black umbrella tip.

Large umbrella leaning agains patio chairs to paint easier.
Beginning to spray paint the umbrella by starting at the top vents.

Is The Umbrella Stiff After Being Spray Painted

The last thing anyone wants is a stiff and heavy umbrella canopy. I’m happy to report that after being spray painted the umbrella is not heavy or stiff. It’s still lightweight and no spray paint bled through to the underside.

However, even though it’s not stiff, it is a tad different to the touch. The once smooth umbrella is a little more course and not quite as soft. The change is so minimal that it’s not something you can see.

Note- Be aware that if you’re painting both the top and underside you’ll be using a lot more spray paint, making it a little more course than ours as we described.

Did the spray paint bleed through– We blended a lot of the faded areas of our canopy and because of that we used more paint in certain sections than others. Once dry it was only slightly noticeable underneath where we used the spray paint vs. the original color.

Faded umbrella before and after photos with a vibrant DIY spray painted umbrella.

Does a Spray Painted Faded Umbrella Look Brand New?

Yes! and no. Our spray painted faded umbrella looks 100 times better than before. It’s given it new life and has added many more years to this umbrella. But I wouldn’t exactly say it’s perfect.

When the umbrella is closed you can’t tell that some parts were spray painted. The shadows and folds hide any flaws you may have encountered. Once open it’s pointed up towards the sky and unless someone is 9 feet tall, they won’t be able to see it from the patio.

However, it may be seen from a second story window.

What the umbrella looks like from the second story after being painted.
Umbrella from patio view.

Remember that the time, effort, patience, and amount of spray paint you use will affect the results. So take your time and enjoy the process.

Replacement Canopies You Might Like

If you’ve decided that spray painting your faded umbrella just might not be cost effective, then maybe a replacement canopy is all you need!

Tell me what umbrella you have in the photos!

Our umbrella is a 15 foot Tangkula double sided patio umbrella in the color burgundy. We purchased it along with a cement filled base and it is absolutely amazing. It’s held up well through bad weather and is sturdy even on slightly breezy days.

It did fade over time but with the sun being so harsh here, fading was unavoidable.

Before and After – DIY Faded Umbrella Makeover

Before and after photos of an open, painted, umbrella.
Before and after photos of a closed umbrella canopy on the patio.

This was an easy weekend project that really brought our faded patio umbrella back to life. With a little spray paint, and some patience, we were able to give this umbrella a makeover that was budget friendly and easy to do.

On to the next DIY project! We’ll see you there.

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