Outdoor umbrellas, canopies and coverings are subject to harsh weather conditions, and often these hardworking summer companions begin to fade under strong sunlight. If the covering is inexpensive it may be reasonable to replace the umbrella, particularly if there are also signs of fabric rot such as hard and brittle spots. If the covering is more expensive or has no other signs of wear, then dyeing the fabric may improve on the faded appearance. This may be difficult to achieve depending on the fibres of the umbrella.
Remove the umbrella cover from the support stand. Often umbrellas are designed to be removed during the winter, and they are attached with snaps and screws.
Place the umbrella face-up on a large painter's tarp or canvas. Use painter's tape to cover any white plastic fittings or any part of the umbrella you don't want to paint. Most outdoor umbrellas are made of polyester fibres that are difficult to dye, so a fabric dye paint will be more effective than a fabric dye dip or wash.
Clean the surface of the umbrella well to remove all dirt, webs, sap or anything which may affect the colour application. Spread out the umbrella on the tarp.
Spray the umbrella with a fabric dye paint. These are available at auto parts stores (for use on carpets) and in craft stores. Select a colour that is a close match to your original umbrella colour. Start near the centre of the umbrella and spray within the pie-shaped section. Keep the can 12 to 18 inches from the fabric and paint with even strokes.
Paint around the perimeter of the umbrella systematically so that you gain a good view of the coverage and appearance of the umbrella. Touch up thin spots after applying the first coat to the entire umbrella. Allow your umbrella to dry for 24 hours; do not place the umbrella in a moist or wet environment during this time.
Spray with a fabric protectant to enhance waterproofing and to deter future fading of the umbrella.
Consider applying a Krylon non-yellowing crystal clear fix over the fabric dye to assist the dye in clinging to the umbrella fabric. If you umbrella fabric is mostly polyester, the fabric paint dyes may also deteriorate quickly.