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Rustoleum Outdoor Fabric Paint review

I shared a quick review about Rustoleum outdoor fabric paint in a spray paint can and see how painting a small outdoor lumbar cushion turned out! 

A few years ago I was in the process of changing my “style” and I decided that our outdoor cushions didn’t fit my new vibe. 

Since cushions are expensive, I couldn’t just run out and buy new, so I decided to try my hand at using chalk paint to paint and wax outdoor cushions. Guess what! This outdoor fabrics painting project was a success!

how to paint fabric

Those cushions held up beautifully in the heat and outdoor elements for years. 

I’m not kidding when I said years. I eventually donated them, not because they were in bad shape, but because when we moved to our rustic beach cottage I didn’t have a use for them anymore. 

Fast forward about six years and I’m ready to breath new life into some old outdoor cushions again. This time I’m going to try an easy way to to paint outdoor furniture cushions with Rustoleum Outdoor Fabric paint!

P.S. If you would rather use regular old acrylic paint, check out my post on using acrylic paint to paint fabric here. This is also a great way to make new cushions out of old ones!

Let me show you the sad state of my current outdoor lumbar cushions. 

They had become very faded over the years and I wanted to give our outdoor cottage porch a quick makeover. 

I wanted a pop of color against the red cushions and I felt like the lumbar pillows were slowly fading into the background of the chairs.

Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links in this post.

Can you spray paint fabric?

Yes you can spray paint fabric. There are a handful of spray paint products on the market today that are made specifically with a unique spray paint formula. I would caution you to only use a paint made for fabric as the other spray paints may not adhere well. 

So which product should you use to spray paint fabric?

Enter Rust-oleum Fabric Spray Paint

Rustoleum outdoor Fabric paint
Rustoleum outdoor fabric spray paint

This will be my first time using this product and I’m excited to see how it turns out.

Rustoleum says this product has a few key points:

  • Ultimate UV Resistance
  • Long-Lasting Color
  • Ultra Soft Feel
  • Softer than regular spray paint
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Broad coverage

These points are what differentiates it from regular spray paint. 

How to use Rustoleum Outdoor Fabric Paint

Always prepare the surface before you begin the paint job for best results. I used a soap and water formula with a lint free cloth to wipe down the cushions. I let them dry overnight.

Make sure the surface is dry and clean before you begin.

First shake the can for at least one minute. Make sure you hear the ball rattling when you start your minute countdown.

Next make long even light sprays across the surface of the fabric. Don’t let the paint puddle in one area. I made this mistake.

Below is the first cushion that I sprayed. You can see on the left side where I was a little too heavy handed and used too much spray paint. 

Rustoleum outdoor spray paint 1st coat

Below is the second cushion I sprayed. It looks much better because I didn’t spray near as much product on the surface.

Rustoleum outdoor spray paint 1st coat

The key is long even light coats on the surface. Don’t get impatient and spray too much!

I sprayed a little too much on one end of the cushion and the paint started to puddle and drip. Don’t make this mistake!

After about an hour of dry time, the pillows were dry to the touch and ready for a second coat.

I repeated the same steps as before: shake the aerosol fabric spray paint for one minute, make sure surface is clean and dry, apply long even light coats to the surface and let dry.

Here are a few pictures with the second coat of spray paint on the cushions.

Rustoleum Fabric Spray paint 2nd coat
Rustoleum Fabric Spray paint 2nd coat

I’m going to let that dry and repeat the same steps again. 

After five coats this is what the cushions look like.

Rustoleum outdoor fabric paint after 5 coats

It doesn’t look a whole lot different than what the second coat looked like dry does it?

I’m guessing because this is a cushion and a good majority of the paint will be absorbed is why it’s taking so many coats? If my logic is wrong then tell me.;)

After the sixth coat, I felt like I could call it done. 

Also, I noticed the fabric started to feel less like fabric and more crunchy. That told me it was time to quit.

Outdoor cushions painted with Rustoleum outdoor fabric paint spray paint

I’m pleased with how they turned out even though it did take more coats that I ever expected it to. I really do feel like I have new outdoor fabric cushions now! They are supposed to have a great weather resistant barrier too. Time will tell. 

painted cushions with Rustoleum fabric paint
painted cushions with Rustoleum fabric paint
painted cushions with Rustoleum fabric paint

You have to admit the cushions look a lot brighter now with this outdoor paint. 

close up of painted fabric on outdoor cushion with Rustoleum

Here is a close up of the fabric. 

How does painted fabric feel?

It still feels like fabric! Like I said earlier, after six coats I could tell the fabric was beginning to get a little tougher and a wee bit “crunchy.”  I think over time it will soften and feel just like it did before I painted it.

How many spray paint cans were used?

I used one and a half spray paint cans to cover two small outdoor lumbar cushions. Was it cost effective? Not really but it was a lot easier than using chalk paint and wax to paint the cushions. 

Final thoughts

This spray paint for fabric is super easy to use and a quick solution for a small fabric paint job. l would caution anyone to use this only on a small job and probably only to cover light solid colors. 

Using this spray paint to cover a patterned pillow took way more coats of paint than I expected it to.

Since it is rather costly, using it for a big job would also be very expensive. There are other ways to paint fabric; I’ve previously shared about using chalk paint and wax to paint fabric and it was really cost effective. Also there are fabric dyes like Rit Dye. I did a project on how to dye a lampshade with Rit Dye

Overall I do recommend this product if you are looking for a small exterior paint job on a light or solid color fabric. This spray paint would also be a good option for painting fabrics like patio umbrellas and other miscellaneous outdoor fabrics. 

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  1. Patsy says:

    Rust oleum also makes a fabric primer in a spray that’s designed to use when you have a pattern to cover up. I haven’t used it yet because none my cushions had patterns but I saw it in the store next to the fabric paint. So far I’m loving this on mine.

    • Kevan with an a says:

      @Patsy, @[email protected], another thought is you possibly could use some type of color remover. I think rit has one or a quick Google search will bring up plenty of brands to choose from. Also, I wonder if taking some fabric softener and water in a spray bottle and giving it a once over after cleaning and drying would help the finished product stay soft. Or possibly as much as in between all the coats of paint. I compulsively bought the paint without seeing the price and was shocked, it took a 20 from my wallet so now I’m just going to wait till the perfect item becomes my fun project. Could be tomorrow, could be a year from now lol. Anywho, Thanks for the post! Over and out.

    • Oh wow, good to know! I might have to go hunt for that!

  2. Jill says:

    Thank you for this. I was thinking of trying this for an outdoor loveseat cushion, but I think it would take a whole of of paint based on your experience with just two small pillows!