Five Tips for Reviving an Old Awning

by Cheryl Dunn

If you have an old awning that you want to revive, there are numerous things you can do to it. Depending on the condition of your awning, any of these tips may help. Take a look:

1. Clean the awning.

If the awning has dirt or grease built up on it, a simple cleaning can work wonders. Detach the awning from its frame, and spread it out on a clean surface like a picnic table or a swept driveway. Then, using a solution of hot water and dish soap, gently scrub the awning with a soft sponge.

Don't use a pressure washer and avoid harsh chemicals. If you see mildew, add a splash of bleach to the cleaning solution. That will help to kill and remove the mold.

2. Restitch broken edges.

Awnings support themselves with a lip of fabric that is sewed over a frame. Look over the fabric on this part of your awning. If it needs to be repaired, use a heavy duty needle and a sturdy thread designed for outdoor use. You can stitch the awning by hand or by using a machine. If you don't have sewing experience, a bit of duct tape can work to hold these seams together in an emergency.

3. Patch the holes in the awning.

You can patch holes in the awning using fabric rated for the outdoors. Try to find fabric that is designed for making awnings or for covering cushions on patio furniture. Alternatively, you may buy the same type of patching kit you use for a tarp. Those patches can often be applied using patching tape, making the process easier if you don't sew.

4. Paint the awning.

Whether you want to hide patches or just improve a boring pattern, fabric paint can help. When buying your fabric paint, make sure that it will work on the type of fabric you have. Also, look for waterproof options so that the paint doesn't run off in the rain.

5. Apply a coating compound.

Finally, to revive an old awning, consider investing in a coating compound. You can buy compounds that are designed to improve the water or mold-resistance of your awning. Depending on the coating compound, you may be able to use it over paint or you may have to apply it directly to the awning. Look at the instructions carefully to ensure you are buying a compound that works with your needs.