A friend of mine is celebrating her birthday next week, and since she is kind of an art person, and I love giving hand made gifts, I decided to add some color to a white, plain umbrella.

I have searched the web for instructions and one such can be found on Instructables. Here the maker suggests using acrylic paint, which I believe would be prone to cracking due to folding the umbrella. After much research I however did find what seems to be the Solution. Here a user suggests using fabric paint, which is much more elastic. I have found a local dealer which sells Iberia fabric paint. I had in mind to use waterproof markers to outline the design I will be putting on the umbrella, then fill it with color using the above mentioned fabric paint.

Does anyone have suggestions on other kinds of paint that are both waterproof and durable that could be used for this little project of mine? If I do end up using the fabric paint, do I still have to add a protective, waterproof layer on top of the fabric paint? If so, please feel free to leave any suggestion you might have.

  • 3
    It might matter what sort of fabric the umbrella is made out of and if there are any waterproofing coatings on it. Some fabrics accept dyes or paints differently than others. It might also be useful to know if you have a second umbrella to test with.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 21:34
  • 1
    Also, depending on the fabric type, this may be a duplicate of this question.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 21:36
  • Umbrellas are rarely actually "waterproof." They're just a tight enough water-resistant weave and appropriate shape that it's extremely unlikely water will drip through.
    – Allison C
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


That's an imaginative gift!

The silk screen industry has been applying paint to fabric (umbrellas included) for some time. You might be able to by a small amount from a local shop.

The inks (paints) used are reducible to some degree and may be your answer, as they are both flexible and impervious to water. Your timeline is problematic though, as it does not allow for experimentation and I will not give you a guarantee that one can paint with the medium.

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