Painting The Patio Umbrella

3 Materials
1 Hour

Do you have a really ugly patio umbrella kicking around? Is it still fully functional, just covered in some old, mystery stains and is severely sun faded? Don’t worry about buying a new one. Read on to get the skinny on painting the patio umbrella!


  • Primer – I used the Zinser 1-2-3 which I had left-over from my  IKEA nightstand remodel this spring.
  • Small paint roller
  • Large (standard) paint roller
  • 1″ paint brush
  • Paint tray
  • 1 L of paint in whatever colour you’d like + enough to do the cap
  • 8 M Fringe/trim/tassel/bead work of whatever persuasion you’d like
  • Hot glue gun and 4 sticks
Step 1.

Make sure your umbrella is dry, clear of any debris or other icky things that stick and hide in umbrellas. I laid mine out in the shade of the garage so that I could paint without frying in the sun.

Step 2.

Start painting with the primer! You need fair bit of pressure to ensure even coverage of the toile, some of it will bleed through the toile to the other side, and getting all those nooks and crannies caused by the mechanisms underneath.

Take your time and try and get as much on there as possible. It’ll look absolutely hideous while you do it, but that doesn’t matter since you’ll be painting over it. I really can’t recommend the Zinser 1-2-3 primer enough – it helps prevent against told, rust, discolouration etc.

Step 3.

If not, paint away! It took me two coats like with the primer, but in the end everything was covered. I used some left-over house paint (that’s right – this colour is also somewhere in the PMQ!) so this project has cost me nothing so far. Put the little cap back on, which you can't leave as is or paint.

Step 4.

Let it dry overnight! Thankfully we had a rain-free evening so I was able to leave it out in the backyard to dry.

Step 5.

Hot glue your fringe/trim/detail into place. I found this beautiful trim at Fabricville and it was 50% off. I used clamps to hold it into place while it dried.


Remove the clamps and enjoy your afternoon underneath a beautiful new umbrella! For more DIY projects visit me at

Look at this beauty now!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Donna Bommer
    Donna Bommer
    on Apr 30, 2020

    I may try, but would love to see answer to above underside? is it staff? does paint crack with folding in and out repeatedly?

    • Amy M Goines
      Amy M Goines
      on May 6, 2020

      Following. I had planned on painting flowers on one of our old ones for a table surronded by new plant gardens for my nursery. We always keep our umbrellas in the garage. Im thinking this may not weigh down the umbrella as much and would add a focal point to each of my resting/chatting areas around the pools. Im painting a couple of glass table tops. Have fun ladies. I have a new blank slate of my backyard I have never planted in yet. Definitely its going go be a tropil area with homemade wood signs. My poece of heaven is slowly coming and building my Tic Toc's Nursery and Landscaping business.

  • Melany
    on May 1, 2020

    Doesn’t the paint crack with the folding and unfolding?

    • DC
      on May 1, 2020

      I did this before. The paint did not crack but when i tried to reopen in after having folded it up for storage in the fall, it stuck together in the painted places that had to touch each other, even after having been out all summer. I was able to unstick, but only by ripping the paint apart from each side. Had to do lots of touch up and realized could not store folded ever again. Looked amazing when opened up though :) .. oh and it looked rather a mess on the underside as the sun coming through showed the uneven stroke, the shade and areas of seepage where paint comes through aswell. I ended up painting both the top and under sides. That makes it heavy and solid and stiff, which was fine for me, but you no longer get a breezy feel to it and more solid shade... that was my experience anyhow.

  • Peggie Billadeau
    Peggie Billadeau
    on May 6, 2020

    After the primer has dried, can you use spray paint instead of brushing on the paint? And can you do the underside with spray paint, or will it have bleed-through to the other side?

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