Give An Old Patio Umbrella New Life With Paint

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

This umbrella doesn’t need painting… yet. Image via nancy_t3i

Beautiful plants and flowers to liven things up? Check.

Comfortable patio chair to relax in? Check.

Time to stretch out in the warm weather with a good book and just unwind a little bit. Check.

But, wait! Your old patio umbrella doesn’t match your new patio accessories and it’s throwing everything off. Or maybe last summer’s sunshine totally faded your umbrella and it’s looking a little sad. Home Depot Community member ShaunasMom had a similar issue, but she didn’t want to splurge on a brand new umbrella so she headed over to The Home Depot Forums for guidance. Luckily, Forums associate Aboveaveragejoe was there to lend a helping hand:

ShaunasMom:  We have a medium green patio umbrella that we would like to change the color of to match the rest of our furniture. Is it possible to paint a fabric umbrella, and if so, what kind of paint and suggestions do you have?

Aboveaveragejoe: An artist friend of mine some time ago painted something a bit larger than yours, a fabric couch, and it looked great!

Zinsser primer spray can image

Spray primer works best on fabrics.

So, yes you can repaint your outdoor patio umbrella. However, it needs to be executed with the right planning and preparation to make sure you won’t have a messy umbrella on your hands.

The type of fabric it is, and how often it is used, will determine what kind of paint you’ll use and where you want the paint to be put on the umbrella. Either way, the umbrella will require two things: preparing the surface with a primer, and most importantly, testing a small inconspicuous area of the umbrella to make sure the primer/paint top coat will work.

As for the primer, you can use spray, brush, or roller. Spray seems to work better I have found, but make sure to cover the opening mechanisms so as not to spray them. Zinsser Cover Stain Primer should work for your umbrella.

Test a small area to make sure the primer will not react badly to the fabric. If you are pleased with the results, you can spray the surface you want. A typical 12 oz. can of spray paint covers 15 square feet.

Next, choose whatever top coat you prefer, and again be careful not to get the paint into the lifting mechanisms or any parts you don’t want to have paint applied. Due to the storage and moving of the umbrella, you may have to reapply over time, however, with priming, planning, and painting it, you’ll get a new color patio umbrella to match the rest of your furniture!

The Home Depot makes it easy to refinish almost any surface with a wide variety of paint, primers and paint accessories. And be sure to check us out for outdoor rugs, patio furniture and anything else you may need to spruce up your outdoor space.

Want more advice from our experts? Join the conversation. Visit the Forums for DIY tips and tricks from our store associates. From the Forums Friday is our weekly column highlighting expert advice.