Revamp an Old Patio Umbrella With This DIY Painted Umbrella Makeover

6 Materials
$10
1 Hour
Easy

Often, household items past their prime end up in landfills and trash bins. This doesn’t have to be the case! I had a very old faded sun umbrella that was headed for the trash. While it was quite old, it was still in great shape, so I decided to spruce it up a bit for the summer! With a bit of paint, I was able to not only save this umbrella from the trash, I was also able to take it to the next level and brighten up my garden. Even better, this project only takes a bit of time and money to complete. Want to see how I did it? Follow my step-by-step tutorial below!

Tools and Materials:

  • Patio umbrella
  • Dixie Belle chalk paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Chip brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Waterproof sealant 
Clean the Umbrella
Clean the Umbrella

Before I could start painting, I had to clean the umbrella fabric. I unscrewed the top cap, popped the end pieces off, and threw it in the washing machine. 

Remove the Umbrella

Most materials used in umbrellas can be machine washed, but if you prefer to clean it by hand you can do that as well. If you do use the washing machine, make sure not to use a fabric softener as it will add a coating to the material. 

Paint
Paint

I considered adding polka dots to my umbrella, but once I realized just how long it would take me I scrapped that idea. In the end I decided to add some stripes. 

Spray with Water

First I sprayed the fabric a bit to help the paint go on more smoothly.

Add a Stripe

Then I added a short stripe with a chip brush. I love how you can see the bristles on the very end of the stripe.

Add More Stripes

I added different colored short stripes to the umbrella. I used four colors, a white, pale yellow, faded pink, and a turquoise that was slightly darker than the color of the umbrella. Make sure to continue spraying the surface with water before you paint to help the paint go on more smoothly.

Work in Sections

I worked in sections, curving the edges as I went because the bottom is wider than the top. Once I had finished painting I let it fully dry before reattaching it to the umbrella.

Seal
Seal

While the umbrella fabric is waterproof, the paint is not, so once I had reassembled the umbrella I went ahead and sprayed it with a waterproof sealant. Now it is ready to be used in all seasons!

Patio Umbrella Makeover
DIY Patio Umbrella Makeover

This project saved my umbrella from the landfill, and I hope that it will help you too! It’s always fun to breathe new life into old items. How have you revamped things in your house? Let me know in the comments below!

Resources for this project:

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Fiona Debell
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  15 questions
  • Patricia Patricia on Jun 25, 2020

    Can you use any kind of paint since your going to seal it? Thank you

    • Sharon Gehrke Wolf Sharon Gehrke Wolf on Jun 30, 2020

      I would cover it in spray paint first then add decoration if if was me.

    • Leslie Leslie on Jun 30, 2020

      Hi Patricia, I think you could use any acrylic paint on this project the Sealant protects the paint AND the original fabric. Hope this helps.

    • Leslie Leslie on Jun 30, 2020

      Hi Sharon why would she have to paint the whole umbrella if the fabric is still good after washing it. That fabric is tough stuff and is made to withstand fading for a long time. I am curious as to why you think that would be necessary. Thanks for answering :)


    • Shirley Barnett Shirley Barnett on Jun 30, 2020

      WHY? and why do we care?


    • Phyllis Phyllis on Jun 30, 2020

      Great job. Very cute idea! This gives me ideas about faded patio pillows.

  • Karen Karen on Jun 30, 2020

    Could the material be dyed back to the original color? Mine is a faded red.

    • Carol Rudo Carol Rudo on Jun 30, 2020

      i have a faded aqua color umbrella. I found an almost identical Rit dye to match which I put in a spray bottle with hot water and salt as per the directions. After a few coats of the spray it brightened up my umbrella nicely. I didn’t waterproof it yet so I take it down when rain is expected, otherwise I think it will wash off since the polyester material doesn’t absorb dye. Rit now has a dye for synthetic fabrics - maybe you can find one to match your umbrella.

    • Esther Susan Avila Esther Susan Avila on Jun 30, 2020

      Sprayer bottle - Great idea! Did you have any issue with solution just blotching or running?

    • Jo Jo on Jun 30, 2020

      Look it up on the manufacturers web site

    • Carol Rudo Carol Rudo on Jun 30, 2020

      Esther, I opened the umbrella and laid it on the lawn so I wouldn’t have to take it apart. The first spray looked great until it dried. It was a little splotchy. After it dried I did a second coat, spraying heavier on the more faded sections. Some spots I even sprayed a third time. It didn’t take long at all and it looks great. I was lucky the dye matched so well. Of course I’m concerned all of the dye will wash off in the rain since if I touch the umbrella with wet hands some transfers to my hands. But I don’t mind taking the umbrella down when rain is expected. If it washes off I’ll do it again. Cost only $3 for the dye. Don’t know if water proofing will seal it on polyester. I wish the new Rit dye for synthetic material was made in the color I need. It’s supposed to adhere to polyester which most patio umbrellas are made of.

  • Pineapple Pineapple on Jun 30, 2020

    Great project Fiona. I would be nervous about taking my umbrella apart. Is it easy to remove the fabric and put it back on?

  • Ede Ede on Jun 30, 2020

    Does anyone know if the plastic top cap can be replaced? My umbrella is in great shape except for the round plastic piece that holds all the expansion brackets together. It still opens ok but will not stay open. Hope someone knows knows?

  • Joyce Joyce on Jun 30, 2020

    Trying to figure out the sealant. Is it a caulking?

  • Joan Joan on Jul 01, 2020

    I clicked on this thinking it was how to make use of a patio umbrella in a different way. My patio umbrella's string broke. So while the fabric is in great shape, it won't stay open. Does anyone know how or where to fix it or what to do with it otherwise? Thanks!

  • Lorraine Measor Lorraine Measor on Jul 01, 2020

    What kind of paint did you use??

  • Sandra Sandra on Jul 01, 2020

    Hi. That’s a great idea!!! I was going to put the umbrella in the garbage tomorrow!!! I will try to find the paint at Home Depot. If O can’t find it...which other paint would you recomend? Thanks 😊 🙏🏻

    • Amy Fritts King Amy Fritts King on Jul 02, 2020

      or oil paint...

    • Lisa Gloe Palacios Lisa Gloe Palacios on Jul 02, 2020

      Annie Sloan chalk paint would work I think.

    • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Jul 02, 2020

      Any kind of chalk paint would work, just keep watering it down. I paint material all the time with chalk paint, never thought of doing an umbrella, what a great idea

    • Erika Erika on Jul 07, 2020

      What a fantastic job! I love the colors. I wouldn't have ever thought of this- great job!


    • Jim Stanley Jim Stanley on Jul 07, 2020

      Chalk paint is everywhere anymore. The big box stores have it, craft stores. Rustoleum made Their own. You won’t have issues.

    • Pat S. Pat S. on Jul 07, 2020

      Umbrella looks brand new. Your colors work well with each other. Nice job ! 😳

  • Joyce Dean Joyce Dean on Jul 02, 2020

    Why Chalk Paint? I would have guessed Fabric Paint of some sort.

    • Bettilynn Gay Ford Bettilynn Gay Ford on Jul 04, 2020

      Heirloom Traditions has an all-in-one paint that paints anything...wood, metal , fabric, even leather.

    • Christine Christine on Jul 07, 2020

      You can use ANY paint, even plain old latex...If you use exterior vinyl acrylic paint, there's no need to seal it. I painted my beige umbrella with black stripes using exterior vinyl acrylic paint 4 summers ago and it's still holding up!

    • MIck MIck on Mar 28, 2021

      Amazing....and it didn't peel? Wow - who knew?

  • Melinda Speaks Dagenhart Melinda Speaks Dagenhart on Jul 07, 2020

    When was this project posted? If it’s been a while, let us see if the paint held up?

  • Mary Dodge Mary Dodge on Mar 28, 2021

    The link shows several different sealants. Which one did you use?

  • Patty Patty on Mar 28, 2021

    Hi I have a very faded umbrella. What do you do with that. Can I paint the whole umbrella and then add decorations to it. Oh the umbrella is red and I guess 4 years old.

    • Toby Toby on Mar 28, 2021

      I was thinking the same thing.. and if so, what kind of paint would be best??

    • Laura Laura on Mar 28, 2021

      Rustoleum now makes a outdoor fabric paint and so does Tulip. Haven’t tried yet.

    • Gwen Gwen on Mar 28, 2021

      I tried to paint my whole umbrella and it just kept eating the paint and still looked faded. Used spray Rustoleum and paint on neither worked. I any one has sucessfully paint what did you use?

    • Theresaisom Theresaisom on Mar 28, 2021

      I spray painted mine red

    • Debbie king Debbie king on Mar 29, 2021

      I was wondering about dyeing it?

  • Ruby Lear Ruby Lear on Mar 28, 2021

    What can I do with an umbrella that is still in good shape but the braces are broken?

    • Patty Smolen Patty Smolen on Mar 28, 2021

      Could try to remove fabric and string up as a sunshade (Our family had an old parachute that was our camping kitchen shelter for many years, attaching the center to a tree branch and then spreading out and tying off as needed to tent stakes, other trees, etc.)

    • P P on Apr 09, 2021

      try using chopsticks or even paint stirrers cut into strips lengthwise to reinforce the braces when you glue them with Duco cement if plastic or Elmers wood glue if wood - you might not be able to collapse the umbrella but just have it in open position if you use other wood to reinforce - maybe even use tape to hold together until glue dries. You can make new tips for umbrella ribs out of bic pen caps - heat an ice pic over open flame - we use our gas stove - then pierce 2 holes in bic pen cap (minus the pen itself) & after it cools, sew it on where the rib cap is missing & the rib fits in fine.

    • Buffi.vega520 Buffi.vega520 on Jul 02, 2021

      I removed the ribs and used it to cover plants when there is a chance they may freeze. Easy to use and store.

  • Lori Lori on Mar 28, 2021

    You say in the beginning of your how to do's that you SPRAYED the fabric to make it easier to paint..sprayed with what? Water???

  • Patty Patty on Mar 29, 2021

    If I spray paint it, what type should I use? Can I change the color to any color?

    • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Jul 01, 2021

      I have read other DIY posts that have mentioned that either Krylon or Rustoleum have spray paints for fabric now. You may want to look into that. One of my umbrellas is looking rather old so I will be looking into those paints when I'm ready to take on that project. I only have a couple of hundred projects in front of it!

Comments

Join the conversation

2 of 62 comments
  • Kay Kay on Mar 30, 2021

    regular old exterior latex house paint works much better for a job like this on fabric. Do NOT remove it from the frame. Leave the umbrella fully opened and set it on a clean spot on your patio or concrete driveway. Have at it with a bucket of warm water and krud kutter or fabuloso and a scrub brush on the top side of the umbrella. Rinse very well and set it back up to dry. It must be completely dry before you start painting with latex paint. Any leftovers you may have in your garage will work fine.Do not spray the fabric before or after painting with anything. With this method you need NO sealant or anything when finished.. It will hold up for some years using this method and exterior latex paint. PS...You can use any finish paint desired (ie: matte, gloss, satin or eggshell) just as long as you make sure it says "exterior" on the paint can.

  • Patty Patty on Jul 01, 2021

    Love the design! Looks like it came that way. Great job!

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