Waterproof Expert

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dye sunbrella fabric

Can Sunbrella Fabric Be Painted? Here’s the Answer

Sunbrella fabric is a type of acrylic woven fabric that is completely waterproof, as well as resistant to mold and stains.

Sunbrella is a highly versatile material suitable for a wide range of uses. Many storefront awnings are made of a special Sunbrella fabric dyed with a UV solution, which makes it fade-proof and stain-resistant.

Since Sunbrella awnings are exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day, it is essential for them to be resistant to UV light.

Sunbrella is the standard material used for boat covers. Thanks to its UV light and water resistance, the fabric keeps your boat safe and dry.

When you’re sailing on the sea, your Sunbrella boat cover keeps you protected from UV light.

You can use a Sunbrella cover on your patio to create a cozy spot where you can rest during rain showers or find some shade when it’s too hot outside.

These are some of the most common uses of Sunbrella fabrics. Naturally, after a few years, you may want to re-dye your Sunbrella awning or boat cover.

But is it safe to do so? Or will applying a new coat of dye ruin the fabric?

Is there a way to paint Sunbrella?

Can Sunbrella fabric be dyed?

You can paint Sunbrella fabric, but this process is not easy and does not guarantee results due to the fabric’s water and liquid-repellent properties.

Chalk paint or water-based acrylic paint can be used to dye Sunbrella, but it’s important to understand that dyeing this fabric is essentially an experiment.

Sunbrella fabric has been chemically treated to repel liquids, which can cause the dye to remain on the surface of the fabric.

As a result, applying firm pressure may be necessary to force the paint into the fabric.

For this reason, I recommend seeking the services of a specialized company that specializes in graphic applications on fabrics.

They have the necessary tools, types of paint, and experience to achieve the desired results.

Risks related to painting Sunbrella

Applying a coat of paint to your Sunbrella boat cover, awning, or patio cover may cause the fabric to become rigid.

Over time, this rigidity can lead to cracking, especially if you need to fold the fabric.

Essentially, by painting Sunbrella, you risk reducing the fabric’s flexibility.

There was a time when I considered dyeing my Sunbrella patio cover to perfectly match the design of my house.

However, I ultimately decided against it for the reasons mentioned above.

In my opinion, the best solution is to take more time to consider the desired Sunbrella color when making the initial purchase.

Alternatively, if you feel the need for a change in color, it may be better to invest in a new Sunbrella cover that matches your current needs.

How Waterproof Is Sunbrella Fabric?

Sunbrella fabric is highly water-resistant, but it is not completely waterproof.

The fabric is engineered to have water-repellent properties, meaning it can resist water penetration to a significant extent.

Sunbrella fabric is made using a special manufacturing process where the fibers are treated with a water-repellent finish during production.

This treatment helps the fabric repel water and prevents it from absorbing moisture quickly.

In light rain or brief exposure to water, Sunbrella fabric will typically keep you dry and provide some protection.

The water will bead up on the surface of the fabric and can be easily shaken off or wiped away.

However, in heavy or prolonged rainfall, some water may eventually start to penetrate through the fabric, especially if there is pressure or the fabric is not properly maintained.

Can Sunbrella Fabric Get Wet?

Sunbrella fabric can get wet. Prolonged exposure to heavy rain or constant water contact can eventually result in some water penetrating the fabric.

The level of water resistance may vary depending on factors such as the condition of the fabric, the age of the fabric, and the specific Sunbrella product used.

If Sunbrella fabric gets wet, allow it to air dry thoroughly.

Avoid folding or storing the fabric while it is damp, as this can lead to mold or mildew growth

Alternatives to Sunbrella

Here are a few alternatives to Subrella that are often praised for their performance:


Outdura is a well-known outdoor fabric brand that offers a range of durable and fade-resistant fabrics. It is known for its excellent color retention and resistance to fading.


Bella-Dura is a high-performance outdoor fabric that is known for its exceptional durability and colorfastness. It is designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and is resistant to fading, mold, and mildew.


Crypton fabrics are known for their exceptional stain resistance and durability. They have a moisture barrier built into the fabric, making them highly resistant to liquids, stains, and odors.


Phifertex is a versatile outdoor fabric that offers a balance of strength, durability, and breathability. It is often used for applications such as outdoor furniture and mesh screens.

It’s important to note that the “better” option may vary depending on specific requirements, such as desired characteristics, budget, and aesthetic preferences.

Updated in July 2023.

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