We Painted a Patio Umbrella with Chalk Paint®

Yes- we all know that Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is some amazing, crazy paint.   It started out just in England- and then it came to North America around 2010-ish….and now it is in United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, all of Europe, etc   Social media and customers who use it, love it and post about it and that …..created this phenominal global paint revolution.

Ok, sorry- I was thinking about that and had to share my thought.  So, The Purple Painted Lady is located in western NY.  (just need to say also- that if you do not have a local stockist then …..purchase from us……we ship your on-line orders out the same day that you place them and paint sold in the USA, is made in the USA!  Kansas City, Missouri in fact!)

Here is the story of the painted umbrella: I have a friend who had a patio umbrella that structurally was in great shape.  The fabric of the umbrella was a dull unter green- and not quite going with the new “brighter spring green” cushions she loved and bought for her patio chairs.  One day- when the “Mr. Purple Painted Lady” was at their home- she told him about the umbrella.  It was Steve who suggested, “let’s paint it!”

So, at The Purple Painted Lady~  we are fortunate that a couple of the women who are part of our team – were very enthusiastic about painting this umbrella as an experiement to see how it goes and how it holds up once done and placed back outside.

Intro to Courtney (on the left) and Britni! (aren’t they beautiful!)

Courtney Britni Patio Umbrella The Purple Painted ladySeriously- I struck the lottery having these two walk into my shop to be hired a couple years back.  Granted, they didn’t come in together- because Britni referred Courtney- (thank you Britni!)  …but I can honestly share- that they are two of the most mature and grounded high schoolers (and now…college students) I have ever met!  They are both enthusiastic, disciplined in working significant hours and still maintaining top of the class grades, and I have never had to call them once for missing work or coming in late!  (well, okay- I did have to call Courtney the first week she was hired- but that was only because I did a terrible time communicating her schedule)   They are both go getter’s and are always eager to do anything and to help and with a big smile on their face. (okay- I just needed to share that because I am very grateful for them and am feeling a bit meloncholy since they are spreading their wings and leaving for college.  I am not even their mom , but I cry as I write that.  Tissue please!)

Now- on to Chalk Paint®  and focusing on this project.


2 quarts of Primer Red (ctually less than 2 quarts- but it was more than one!)

2 quart plastic bucket

Annie Sloan’s SMALL paint brush (ps – I love the small size.  I find that the brush gets a bit too heavy in my hand wihen the brisles are loaded with paint on the medium or large)

Spray Bottle

The hunter green umbrella is big.  It has a solid wood base and the arms that extend out – are these non-bendable metal.  The umbrella is made of some sort of water proof-ish thicker canvas-like fabric that almost looks like it has a basket weave texture to it and can be removed from the top.

The Purple Painted Lady Courtney Patio Umbrella Chalk Paint Primer Red


We did not measure the diameter when we had the umbrella, but I am guessing it is 9 feet.

The color the umbrella fabric was going to be painted was Primer Red by Annie Sloan.

Primer Red The Purple Painted Lady


This image shows Primer Red with both clear wax and (on the right) dark wax over it. (no wax was used during this project)Primer Red Sample Board

Britni and Courtney started this project by laying the umbrella fabric out onto a plastic drop coth.

The Purple Painted Lady Patio Umbrella Primer Red In Process Courtney


Then they spritzed the fabric with water.  We used a spray bottle like this:

The Purple Painted Lady Spray Bottle Paint Fabric Chalk Paint


They poured some paint into a bucket and dilluted it with water.  Almost a 1:1 ratio.  Then, using Annie Sloan’s small “domed top” brush they began to paint.  Ths brush is awesome in helping to get the paint into grooves of the fabric’s texture.


The Purple Painted Lady small Annie sloan Chalk Paint brush domed top


The best way to apply the paint, is using your Annie Sloan domed top paint brush:

1. Work in sections and paint from the center, out.

The Purple Painted Lady Patio Umbrella Primer Red In Process 2

2. Swirl your brush initially in circles, using the bristles to get into all of the textured grooves.

3. Immediately, after getting nice coverage with circular strokes – lay your paint smoothly in linear, straight lines going from the top center to the bottom.  Watch a video here about “laying your paint.”  Hopefully the iage below conveys linear finished strokes.

The Purple Painted Lady Patio Umbrella Primer Red In Process

This project took a good three coats.

The Purple Painted Lady Patio Umbrella Primer Red In Process on loading dock


Courtney and Britni painted BOTH the top of the umbrella and flipped it over and did the underside.


They used a quart and a half of paint on this project.

We left the umbrella on our loading dock for about a week to allow the paint to fully set and cure before exposing it to the night dew and rain.  It is now back at the Van Gorden’s home.  Pretty cool, huh? And it’s already been down poured on three times and all looks good!

The Purple Painted Lady Patio Umbrella Primer Red after 2 close up


The Purple Painted Lady Patio Umbrella Primer Red after

Now- some are you wondering- what did we top coat it in?


I painted my exterior porch floors with Chalk Paint® without a top sealer back in 2013 and they still look great. It really does work well outside.

Most canvas umbrellas are water resistent, but will eventually start to drip a little water through their fabric if they are in a continuous down pour.

I did not want to add a variable that could change the umbrella’s basic fuctionality- since the Chalk Paint® allows the moisture to breathe or escape. If I had sealed the umbrella’s fabric on top- it would trap the moisture beneath- and then I would be concerned about mold growing when the umbrella is closed tight. I am not sure if I communicated my thoughts clearly there, but in my opinion – this would be the best path. : )


Annie Sloan created her paint for furniture and walls.  But it is so amazing, we have pushed the envelope on what we use it for many times.

Since fabrics of umbrellas vary- always do a test spot.  We can guarantee across the board that this will be a success for your umbrella or patio cushions, but many have done their boat seats and outdoor pillows.


First- if you have a local stockist- go visit them and build a relationship with them.  Go to them with your questions and project issues.  BUT- if you do not have a local stockist- we invite you to try our customer service!

As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady™ to be your one stop resource!  We have two locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.  This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them.  The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  But, if you are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit www.anniesloan.com to find a stockist near you.
We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!  And, just so you know, when you place an order with The Purple Painted Lady:
*  We sell Chalk Paint® for $34.95
*  If you order before 3 pm EASTERN TIME any day Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that SAME day.
*  We ship orders out every since week day all over the US.
*  We offer the lowest flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.
*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!
And- it is my paint sales that keep me in business and allow me to be here to help you.  (my shameless but honest plug)    Here is a link to our on-line shop=>   http://shop.thepurplepaintedlady.com/
: )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!  Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=>  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Purple-Painted-Lady/291882785710    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)

The Purple Painted Lady™ ~ the serial no. is 86/641,416 with the US Trademark Office


our MAIN STORE at 77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502

77 Main street with phone number



3200 West Ridge Road in Rochester, NY 14626 (The Shops On West Ridge)