Restoring a Faded Red Patio Umbrella

A red patio umbrella that has been exposed to the sun for a long period of time often becomes faded. The length of time your umbrella will retain its original color depends on many factors, including the type of material the umbrella is made of as well as how long it is in the sunlight each day. The shape of the umbrella only matters so far as how much of the umbrella is exposed to the sun; all other things being equal, a rectangular patio umbrella will fade just as quickly as a round one. While some brands of patio umbrella claim to be more fade-resistant than others, you may find that after a year or two of use even your expensive, top-of-the-line umbrella has faded from bright red to a duller pink color.

At that point, what are your options? You could just live with the color, which is the easiest way to deal with the problem. However, if the rest of your patio d├ęcor is red, or you just do not like the faded pink color this option will probably not be appealing. You can of course just buy a new umbrella, which is a quick and simple solution but also the most expensive and wasteful. Between these two extremes is the possibility of restoring your umbrella to its original color, using dye or paint.

Whether it is possible to dye a faded red patio umbrella depends on what material the umbrella is made from. Natural fibers, such as canvas, can be dyed, while synthetic fibers such as nylon will prove more of a problem. Many patio umbrellas are made with synthetic fibers so as to be water-resistant, making dying them a time-consuming and difficult, if not outright impossible, task. If you have a natural canvas umbrella, you will need to find the correct dye to use. Craft stores are a good place to find what you need, and they can help you choose your dye as well as explain the procedure to use it.

For synthetic fibers, you will need to paint your umbrella to restore its color. This can be done either with spray paint or fabric paint. Spray paint is the quicker option, but fabric paint allows more design and color choices. In either case it is important to choose a paint that will not only adhere to the fabric, but can also stand up to different weather conditions. Painting your red patio umbrella, whether it is made of synthetic or natural fibers, allows the opportunity to make your umbrella more personalized, by painting stripes or other simple designs instead of a solid color. You can even choose to use parts of the faded color in the design.

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Choosing the Right Size Rectangular Patio Umbrella

When buying a rectangular patio umbrella, one of the first things you need to consider is how big your umbrella needs to be. For this, you have to know what your umbrella will be covering. Is it going to fit in a table? Or is it going to be freestanding? Do you want an offset patio umbrella? These are all questions that must be answered, in addition to maybe the most important one: how much space do you have?

If your rectangular umbrella is going to fit on a balcony, deck or patio, or even in some lawns, there are going to be space restrictions. If your balcony is 8′ x 8′, you can’t buy an umbrella that’s twelve feet long on one side. So, unless the umbrella is going to be in a wide open area with nothing for many yards in any direction, you will need to measure the space where you plan to put the umbrella before you buy it. This will save you from any unpleasant surprises when you try setting up your umbrella only to realize it hits a wall or tree when you open it. When measuring, remember to leave at least six inches on each side to be sure that the umbrella can open and close fully, without snagging on anything.

The next measurements to consider are what you are going to be shading with your rectangular outdoor umbrella. If the umbrella will be sitting in a table, you definitely want it to be big enough to cover the table. If it will be freestanding, measure the approximate area you would like for it to shade. In either case, remember that the sun will not be directly overhead for the majority of the day, so you need to add extra space on all sides to determine the true size to buy. If you are planning to purchase an offset umbrella, the umbrella does not necessarily have to be quite as large, since you can move it according to the position of the sun.

One last consideration to make is for the umbrella’s pole size, if it will be set into a table. Make sure to measure the hole in the table, and only buy a rectangular patio umbrella with a pole diameter that will fit. Rectangular patio umbrellas are a great choice because they are stylish and can fit longer, rectangular outside dining tables. For rectangular umbrellas to serve their purpose, however, they have to be the right size, so if you have any trouble determining the correct size for your umbrella be sure to contact a salesperson for help before you buy.

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