DIY umbrella painting AKA How to refresh a faded outdoor umbrella with paint…
I’ve got this old friend who’s down on his luck.
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I guess I’m using the term “friend” loosely here. That’s my friend in the picture above. My patio umbrella. And we’ve been through a lot together.
I bought this guy for my first apartment, back in college. No longer a freshman confined to a dorm, I was a mature sophomore. Moving on and moving up. Up into a real person, adult-like apartment, with three of my friends from high school. And we NEEDED this guy.
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Admittedly, my definition of both “friend” and “need” are perhaps a bit skewed. College-aged dudes would probably use “need” to refer to things like Ramen Noodles and shot glasses. But I’m no dude. We college women, we needed things like fun shoes (fun = as uncomfortable as possible), salad dressing, mascara, and patio umbrellas.
So I figured out a sneaky way to use campus dining dollars at Pier One Imports. True story. And our fabric friend here came to college with us.
Then fun times were had by all.
But alas, just like college, all good things must come to an end, right? And perhaps our umbrella’s best times were no behind him.
WRONG! I wasn’t giving up on my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.
Because just like Rihanna sings…
when the sun shines we’ll shine together.
Told you I’d be here forever.
Said I’ll always be a friend,
took an oath I’m gonna stick it out till the end.
So we’re sticking this out and giving this guy a second chance.
We’re gonna dye him.
Just to make this long story, short, short. Dyeing didn’t work. Don’t waste your time if you were thinking that could be a good option for your outdoor umbrella. Trust me. After about $40 worth of different dyes, and several days of trying alternative dyeing methods, all I was left with was the same, faded, banged up umbrella I had before, plus several newly, unintentionally dyed garments.
Whoops a daisy. Luckily, I don’t just believe in second chances, I believe in third chances, too.
We’re gonna paint him.
Here’s a super quick video overview:
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And here’s what you’ll need to tackle this project…
Umbrella Painting Supplies:
- banged up patio umbrella
- latex exterior (we used a porch/patio type) paint
- fabric additive (if you’re concerned about stiffness, you can add this to your paint)
- outdoor fabric paint (can be used in lieu of outdoor latex. it’s more expensive, but won’t leave umbrella as stiff)
- foam craft brushes (2 or 3)…we found these to work best in combo w/ the foam roller
- foam paint roller and tray
- fabric medium (if you wanna get fancy…I didn’t)
Umbrella Painting How To:
1.) Clean your umbrella.
Sooo…this is what I would tell other people to do if they were trying this project for themselves. Me? I just dusted the umbrella off with a wet cloth, and that was all she wrote. Clean (enough). Moving on.
2.) Mix in some fabric paint medium.
If you really want to preserve that fabric-y quality of your umbrella, then this is the point you’d want to add the fabric additive to your paint. This product will help the fabric stay more flexible. Now my umbrella was already made of fairly stiff canvas (or some other fairly rigid, thick fabric), AAANNND I had already WAAAAY overspent on this project due to Plan A not working out. So I bagged this step.
3.) Paint your umbrella.
It’s umbrella painting time. Go ahead, get wild. Slap that paint all over the umbrella, inside and out. There’s no technique to speak of here. I rolled most of the umbrella, and then used a cheap, foam brush to put extra paint around the edges of the umbrella.
Chances are, you will need a couple of coats of paint to get a good, even covering of paint on your patio umbrella.
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We needed 2, then I spot checked the umbrella with a bit more paint wherever it needed it. Just like the magic of makeup can take off ten years (ok, maybe two), good ol paint has this guy lookin’ like he’s good as his college-aged self again.
Young, vibrant and full of life is that painted umbrella, right?
Sure wish I could find a similar trick for me!
Our old friend now fits perfectly into our newish DIY outdoor living space.
Only real difference being nowadays, instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Zima and Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill, we’re drinking slightly more sophisticated adult beverages underneath his lovely canopy.
Come on over, friends! We’ll have a little uber mature vino, talk about the good ol days, and you can stand under my old, new again umbrella, ella, ella ,eh eh eh…
Like the home state pillows? Want an umbrella without the painting pain or a bistro set that’s not so banged up? Shop our outdoor space here:
Links below to items purchased, or similar products if an exact match is no longer available.
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