How Do You Make a Canopy Waterproof?

A canopy is a huge, but free-standing cover that is used as shade and sometimes to protect people from rain when they are seated outside. There are two main types of patio canopies, which are, gazebo canopies and polyester canopies.

Both these canopies need to be waterproofed. Each type has its own way of waterproofing. 

In this article, I am going to give you two procedures for waterproofing both types of canopies. Canopies need to be waterproofed to avoid embarrassing situations when you have guests around. 

How to Waterproof a Gazebo Canopy 

A gazebo can be said to be an oval or hexagonal-shaped structure that is mainly found outdoors. 

A gazebo has a solid roof that is already fixed, but the sides are open and sometimes covered. This structure can also be found in parks and other public spaces. The following procedure is used to make a gazebo canopy waterproof; 

What You Need 

  • Paint that is waterproof
  • Rust prevention spray (1 can)
  • A ladder if the gazebo is tall
  • A face mask because you are going to spray
  • Find an open field so that you can spread the gazebo canopy 

Step 1

Use a ladder to reach the top and then unhook the snaps so that the cover can fall off. Spread the canopy material in an open field. If the ground is wet and muddy, make sure you make the tarps and place the canopy material on top of it. 

These tarps also protect the gazebo canopy cover from being torn by sharp objects such as stones.

Step 2

Clean the canopy material by using a hose and ordinary washing powder. Use a hard brush or a broom to scrub some hard stains. Try and wring off the excess water when you finish scrubbing. Turn the canopy cover onto the other side and repeat the process.

Step 3 

The canopy material sometimes can be too huge. In this case, roll down the edges until the space in the middle is small. Once you start treating it you will roll out up to the end. Take the waterproof paint can and shake vigorously until you hear the ball bearings inside clanging.

Step 4

Hold the can at 45 degrees and about one foot above the material that you want to treat. Hold down the nozzle of the spray can and move your hand back and forth in an even motion. 

Step 5

Make sure you apply a very heavy coat of waterproof paint because the gazebo spends most of its time outside. Allow the gazebo canopy material to dry up. 

Many manufacturers differ from time to time hence make sure you read carefully the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the waterproof paint.

Step 6 

Apply a nice second coat of waterproof paint. This time pay good attention to areas that have stitches and can allow some leakages. Finally, allow it to dry completely.

The Gazebo Frame 

You should ensure you are putting back your newly waterproofed gazebo canopy material on a good frame. Hence you should first check if the frame has some new rust developing on it. If there is any, sand it off using steel wool or a wire brush or sandpaper. 

Then spray the frame with the rust preventive paint while holding the can at 45 degrees angle and one foot away from the frame post. Allow the frame to dry up and put back the newly waterproofed canopy material.

How to Waterproof a Polyester Canopy 

What you need 

  • Hard brush 
  • Garden hose 
  • Waterproof paint 

A polyester canopy is a protective cover that is already made waterproof from the manufacturer. But due to the strong sun rays, the waterproof ability normally decreases over time hence the following steps will help you to make it waterproof again. 

Step 1

Remove the polyester canopy from its frame. Lay it down in an open field and if the field is dirty use the tarps. 

Use a hosepipe and some washing powder to wash both sides of the polyester canopy. Make sure the surface underneath does not have any sharp objects that can tear the polyester canopy cover. This surface should not also collect the waterproofing paint hence grass is the best option.

Step 2

Use a hard brush to remove the stubborn stains. Rinse the canopy cover with some clean water and allow it to dry completely. 

Step 3

After it has dried, make sure there are no folds on the canopy by spreading it tightly. In this step, the main caution is that no moisture is allowed to be present. 

Step 4

Shake the waterproofing paint can vigorously until the ball bearings in the can start clanging. Hold the can at 45 degrees and almost one foot above the ground. Start spraying the surface while moving your hand back and forth until the whole surface is evenly sprayed. 

Make sure you spray in a pattern that is consistent.

Step 5

Allow the first coat to dry and then apply the second coat, which is the last coat. Then allow the canopy to dry in the sun. After it has dried, put it back on the frame and your polyester canopy is now fully waterproof like a new one.

How to Make a Canopy Last Longer 

  • Remove mold and mildew 

Most canopies are made of canvas and vinyl. These materials are prone to mold and mildew. You should remove these molds and mildew frequently because if you allow them to grow they will lower the quality of the canopy and even sometimes discolor the canopy. 

  • Use waterproofing sprays 

These are sprays that create a light film of coating on the canvas or the vinyl material. This coat protects the canopy from strong sun rays or excess moisture. With this, your canopy will last longer.

  • Always repair any tear 

However little the tear on your canopy may look, make sure you repair it on time. Because a big tear can develop from this little tear hence making your canopy useless. In repairing also use the approved thread and needle that do not destroy the canopy material.

  • Store when not in use 

You can take down the canopy and store it when it is not in use. This is because of the strong sun’s rays called the ultraviolet rays that can make the color on your canopy fade. Also, make sure before you store it you have cleaned it thoroughly.


Waterproofing your canopy is a simple, easy, and fast process that leaves your patio looking nice and refreshing. This will help you not to worry about your patio furniture when it starts to rain or even your guests getting soaked.