What Can I Do About a Faded Canvas RV Awning


Our awnings take the UV ray beatings they save us!—and they get just as sun-dried and crisped as we would, in the process!

Our awnings take the UV ray beatings they save us!—and they get just as sun-dried and crisped as we would, in the process!

Hi Everybody!

If your RV’s awnings are faded from the sun and look— well—terrible, what can you do? —Buy new ones, comes to mind! But 2 or 3 grand also comes to mind!! You really don’t have to buy new awnings unless you rip one open with your screen door or Dad forgets to take it down before leaving the campsite!

Now, you can easily DYE your awnings and make them look brand new! You can even dye them to match your new deck furniture, or dye your old deck furniture to match a new awning! As long as they are cloth and relatively healthy, you can make them look like new for a surprisingly small amount of $money$ and an easy to use kit from a company called Renovo! And by relatively healthy we just mean not actually falling into shreds, because here is where you are going to learn how your can raise your awning from the nearly-dead almost no matter HOW sun-dried it is.

One thing though, it has to be a solid color. You CAN do stripes but because fabric wicks, or bleeds, color, it is tough to get crisp lines between colors. So even Renovo can’t provide you a guarantee there! Unless your awning is made of Sunbrella®—it actually isn’t too bad for bleeding color.


BUT—for the rest of us. What many do is just go ahead and dye their striped awnings one color so that THEN, they can start thinking about new accent cushions or new deck furniture. Or—you can even dye your old awning and your old furniture to match! Or dye your old awning to match your new furniture, or even—the awning on your brand new motorhome! And dye your pillows! Aw, heck, dye everything!


Renovo makes its famous covers-everything Reviver dye in five colors: Dark Blue, Dark Green, Dark Brown, Burgundy and Black! Although you can buy a kit, it is often better to just give Bob at Top Renew a quick call and just order what you need directly from him. A hundred-dollar kit gives you enough cleaner, dye and waterproofer to do about 40 square feet with one coat. If the canvas is really faded and sun-dried, you will need to give it more than one coat to get even coverage.


The best way to do this job is as follows:

  • Take your awning down and lay it on a big tarp, preferably on a hard surface—not the lawn.
  • Spray it wet, scrub in some cleaner with a deck brush or floor scrub brush and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Then, if it is available, get a pail of hot water and  scrub the canvas thoroughly with the hot water before rinsing with a hose. If you can’t get hot water out there to your work area—well then just go ahead and use cold! Cold works!
  • Next, hang the awning to dry or drape it over picnic tables or whatever you can find, so that it dries really well. Drying is important.
  • Now shake the Reviver dye well, and pour it into a little bucket. Begin applying the dye with a small roller or a paint brush. The company usually includes the proper brushes to do the job. Start at a corner and dye the canvas just like painting a fence, easy! Now, and again, this is important, really let the awning and the dye DRY WELL.
  • Once the canvas is dry, you can determine whether or not you need another coat of Reviver. Most people find they do need two coats because the canvas is so sun-dried that the first coat just can’t do the job.
  • When the awning is the color you always dreamed of,  it’s time to move on to waterproofing the awning. This is super simple! Just pour the Ultra Proofer into a pail and apply it the same way as you did the dye. Most convertible car soft tops require two coats of Ultra Proofer and your awning is likely to be no different! It is IMPORTANT to let each separate coat dry thoroughly so that it “sets” properly.


TADAHH ! You are done and your awning looks brand new! Better yet, the Ultra Proofer will make water bead off of it like wax paper. The Ultra Proofer’s rrrreally important purpose is to also protect the new dye from fading and drying out from UV rays in the future.


Here’s a bonus—who hasn’t rolled up a wet or damp awning and—uh—sorta—forgotten about it? And when you unroll it, what do you find? Mildew City!, and the smell to go with it! Yecchh! The good news is that Ultra Proofer has a built in mold and mildew inhibitor which prevents this from happening. And by the way—if you already HAVE a mold or mildew problem,  Renovo’s Soft Top Canvas Cleaner will make short work of it, AND its smell!


So this is great information for you about what to do about faded canvas awnings or mold and mildew. You can see more about the products suggested at Top Renew or call directly, toll-free, at 1-888-697-0089. A pretty good alternative to spending a bunch of dough on new awnings—especially if you are thinking of selling the RV!


See you next time, and—


Let’s Play Cars!


—Soft Top Bobby