Things You'll Need
Protective face mask
Vinyl spray paint
Vinyl awnings are easy to care for, but over time may appear faded or dull. You can revitalize your awning's appearance by painting it with a product specially designed for soft vinyl. Two excellent choices are available for vinyl awnings: vinyl dye (sometimes called "vinyl dye/paint"), which is applied like paint and does not change the feel or texture of the awning; or a soft vinyl spray paint, available in 11 ounce cans and simpler to use when working on small surfaces. Both products adhere well and will not chip or crack after application.
Vinyl Dye Method
Purchase a vinyl dye such as Varikote, available in quart sizes for large applications, or Dupli-Color or VHT spray vinyl dyes, available in 11 ounce cans for smaller jobs.
Remove the awning from your home or camper and place it on a clean tarp. Scrub well using a soft brush dipped in warm soapy water. Rinse the awning and allow it to dry well.
Clean the surface a second time with lacquer thinner applied with a soft cloth to remove any remaining grease or silicones. Allow the awning surface to dry completely before applying the dye.
Mask or tarp any areas on or near the awning that you do not want sprayed. Put on a face mask and eye goggles. Always perform the application outdoors in a well-ventilated space.
Stir the can of vinyl dye well and transfer it to a clean paint sprayer for application. The spray gun should be set to a spray pressure of 25 to 30 psi. Test the sprayer on a small test board or tarp before applying it to the awning. Those using smaller spray cans may apply the dye directly out of the can.
Hold the spray nozzle four to six inches away from the awning and apply the dye in even strokes, slowly from one end of the awning to the other. Coats should be applied in thin layers with two to four coats total. Allow 15 minutes of drying time in between coats.
Allow the awning to dry for 24 hours in a clean area free from wind or blowing dust.
Spray Can Method
Purchase enough vinyl spray paint to cover the awning in several thin coats. Most spray cans average seven square feet per can. Soft vinyl spray paint is manufactured by Rust-Oleum, Painter's Touch, and Dupli-Color, and can often be found in auto supply stores.
Remove the awning from your home or camper and place it in an area for cleaning. Scrub it with soap and water and rinse well. Allow the awning to completely dry before proceeding.
Mask or tarp any areas on or near the awning that you do not want sprayed. Put on a face mask and eye goggles. Always perform spray painting outdoors in a well-ventilated space.
Hold the spray nozzle four to six inches away from the awning and apply the paint in even strokes, moving slowly in a back-and-forth motion. Coats should be applied in thin layers with two to four coats total. Allow 60 minutes of drying time between coats.
Allow the awning to dry for 24 hours in a clean area free from wind and blowing dust
Test to see if the awning is properly cleaned before applying the dye by affixing a 6-inch strip of masking tape to the awning. Pull off the strip; if it comes off too easily, reclean the awning; if there is some resistance, you can move ahead on the dye application.
After dyeing or painting, use a silicone-free protectant on the awning such as Armor All or Plastic Care 707. Apply only after the awning is completely dry.
Avoid spraying vinyl paints when humidity levels reach beyond 85 percent--it can cause adhesion and drying problems.
Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.