Can You Spray Paint Canvas Tent?

Can you spray paint canvas tent by yourself? That is one of the recent questions often asked by tent owners.

You might have already heard that painting the shelter does help improve its appearance and protect it better from weather conditions changes. However, some are unsure if you can spray paints on your canvas shelter or not and how to practice.

In this article, I would provide you detailed pieces of information related to the topic. Scroll down for more details!

Canvas Tent With Stove Jack

Can You Spray Paint Canvas Tent? A Short Answer

Of course, you can spray your canvas tents with different kinds of paints. But, to do it properly, you need to have some supplies and follow a few steps, including:

  • Spreading the shelter and making it clean
  • Have the seams sealed
  • Draw stencils
  • Using spray paints
  • Let it dry
  • Take utensils out and draw the gaps

Canvas Tent With Awning


Spray Paint Canvas Tent: Items required

Before coming to the detail of how to make canvas tent spay paint, you need to prepare some necessary items, including:

However, once you do not have one, you can add around 30% to 35% of thinning agent to the original paint. Then, you already have a perfect sprayer for decorating the shelter.

How To Spray Paint Canvas Tent

  • A set of paintbrushes
  • Stencils
  • A seam sealer
  • Painter’s tape
  • A paint gun, if possible, to accelerate the process

How To Spray Paint Canvas Tent? A Step-by-step Guide

What Is The Best Canvas Tent

1. Spreading and cleaning the canvas tents

First and foremost, you need to widely spread your shelter out on a flat surface, such as the backyard ground. That is to prevent any overlapping or wrinkle of paint from appearing while spraying.

Besides, if you are a newcomer in painting, I recommended you put cardboard, newspaper, or towels under the shelter. The extra stuff is to avoid paint drops from sticking to the ground.

How To Spray Paint Canvas Tent

Next, you remove dirt, dust, or any particle on your shelter. That tiny debris plays a crucial role in loosening the acrylic paint on the fabric.

To clean the shelter, do not use water in any way. You should slightly brush the dust off or use a hose to spray them.

2. Have the seams sealed

Waterproof Paint For Canvas Tent

Secondly, tightly seal all the seams with seam sealers. The step is to protect the shelter from paint drops accidentally dripping in.

Often, I use the Gear Aid Seam Sealant to save money and energy. Of course, choose whatever you want as long as the shelter is secure.

Wait a few minutes for the sealant to dry. After that, use painter’s tape to cover the tent’s edges. You can put it at the sides, bottom, and top, or over the seams. Make sure your tape looks clear organized with those tapes.

3. Add stencils/frames

Tent Painting On Canvas

Thirdly, to spray paint canvas tent, use your marvelous imagination to create any stencil/frame you want. They could be scenes of a high mountain with beautiful snowflakes falling or a peaceful river flowing through a vast city, or simply a name.

Another caution in this stage is the material of the stencils. They must involve removable adhesive so that they would not ruin your shelter.

4. Using spray paints to decorate the tent

Spray Paint Canvas Tent

After three preparation steps, it’s time to spray.

There are many ways to spray a canvas tent. The fact might result from its origination in the 1890s. That year, a decoration director called Joseph Binks made a hand pump to spray only white paint on the giant walls of the shop in which he worked.

But until  1949, the spray paint device was officially created by Edward Seymour. By adding an aluminum substance into an aerosol liquid/can, he could quickly cover any surface with a layer of paint.

Best Paint For Canvas Tent

Nowadays, the spray can have additional substances such as glass balls, metal, or marble, making it more dynamically functional.

Whatever method or hue you add to the spray can, you should follow two primary principles. First, do not spray a tent’s part twice, or you will smear it.

Second, you are suggested spraying from top to bottom, from left to right. The order often gives the painter the best effect.

5. Wait for the pictures to dry.

How To Paint Tent Canvas

Then, wait roughly from two to four hours for the paints to dry. You can use fans, an air conditioner, or just natural winds to decrease the time.

Luckily, acrylic paints dry relatively fast on canvas fabric.

6. Taking stencils out and filling the gaps

Paint Tent Canvas

Lastly, take the stencils out and spray or draw the gaps with brushes carefully.

Bear in mind not to make the acrylic paints overlap if it is not your plan.

Let’s take a look at this video to see how Shannon Elizabeth make a portable spray paint shelter by herself:

Valuable Tips For Spraying Canvas With Paints

Paint For Tent Canvas

The experienced painters often share those tips to have the canvas tents sprayed at best and protect themselves.

1. Use secure face tools:

There is a massive amount of gas fuel included in the spray can. Whenever you open the valve, the substance will be released, potentially harming your health.

To protect yourself from the risk, use face masks and goggles is the only solution. The device will help you stay away from diseases like headaches, throat, nose, eye irritation, nausea, and allergic skin.

2. Choose an airy place:

Paint a Canvas Tent

Another precaution you should deem to spray paint canvas tent successfully is where to decorate.

As I’ve just mentioned, you can spray paints on your shelter in wide places like your backyard. The well-ventilated spaces reduce the rate of gas fumes released into the air.

If you have to spray in a room, remember to pick up the room with an exhaust and ventilation system. Open all the doors and windows alike.

3. Stay away from hot surfaces and open flame.

Paint Waterproof Canvas Tent

The gas coming from the spray can is incredibly flammable. It means once you light a matchstick in a room full of paint fumes, it tends to blow up.

Therefore, keep in mind to avoid flame or spark while spraying your shelter with paints. If you forgot, not only your tents but you might burn out.

4. Not make small holes on the spray can:

Is Canvas Tent Waterproof

If you notice the rush can is out of fuel, get rid of it right away.

Do not puncture the can as some funny clips on Youtube. I heard someone try to save to the milliliters of paints, so they poke the can. Do you know what the consequence is? They lose their houses and pay expensive hospital bills.

So, stay away from some look-like-funny tricks on social media platforms, especially making holes on your spray paint bottle.

5. Priming first:

Can You Paint Tent Canvas

In many cases, when you use gesso to prime the tents before 24 hours of painting, you would be significantly surprised by the subsequent effect.

Not only does it make a more solid layer to keep the paints attached to the tents, but it also gives you stunning art.

6. Put the spray paints far from the canvas:

Canvas Tent Paint Color

While painting, many artists frequently pass on the technique to spray far from the picture to have the best effect. Enough long distance can make the paints have more space to atomize, leading to a thinner layer.

Painting Canvas Tents: Maintenance Recommendations

While you have succeeded in spraying a stunning shelter, that is only half of the work. The rest is to maintain it and ensure its longevity.

To help you achieve the goal, I would like to provide some valuable tips and tricks as below.

Canvas Tent With Stove

  • Frequently waterproof your shelter and use sealants. Since it is inevitable for a shelter to break apart or crack easier in the sun or rain over time, you can improve the situation by giving protective substances. Besides, please put it in your house and away from sunlight whenever it is unused.
  • Roll or fold the tent. To avoid the paints chipping and weakening, you should not directly stuff it in bags. Before that, take time to fold it down or roll it.

Is a Canvas Tent Better

  • Check paints, seams, and the tent’s interior parts after using: With some cheap or low-quality paints, it can weaken at any time. More importantly, even with high-end products, they could be torn or chipped in the long term. Consequently, it would be best if you inspected the shelter every time used.
  • Get your tent maintained when it needs. When you see any tear, wear, or chip of the sprayed layer, remove them and add a new layer. Remember to use the same color, or you can destroy the art. Besides, avoid letting the chip unfixed since it might get worse over time.

What Is The Best Canvas Tent?

Canvas Tent Repair


Cause it is not easy to make a canvas shelter by yourself, most people choose to buy one and draw their favorite pictures on it subsequently.

Therefore, I would prefer to show you some of the best canvas tents on the market these days, helping you with the best picnic trips.

How To Paint Tent Trailer Canvas

The first one is the Happybuy Bell Canvas Tent. It is a four-season belt tent, weighing 61.7 pounds, being made from cotton material, and having various sizes to choose from. It is highly rated for being easy to use, breathable, and comfortable as well.

Secondly, a Psyclone canvas tent is also an incredible choice. It is wide enough for up to eight people, and the tent is suitable for any season. Other than that, there are four windows involved with vinyl mesh, two utility pockets, and solid seams stitched.

Lastly, a WhiteDuck Regatta tent would be best if you have a high budget. It comes with a tremendous beige color with water repellent, huge spaces, four-layered doors and windows, high-quality PE groundsheets, and others.

Other Ways To Decorate A Canvas Tent

Can You Paint a Canvas Tent

Besides painting, you can make your canvas shelter more fantastic in other ways, such as:

  • Buy new rugs for floors: Not only does rugs help your interior shelter more beautiful, but it also keeps the place’s bottom clean.
  • Use a small table with flowers: Secondly, buying a table with beautiful flowers is an attractive way to make your tent more gorgeous.
  • Hang strings of light: Using lines of light for decoration is relatively popular. Since the items are cheap and they have significant effects, especially at night.

Spray Paint Canvas Tent: People Also Ask

Can i Paint a Canvas Tent

1. Can I paint for tent canvas?

Of course, you can decorate a canvas shelter with various kinds of paintings. All you need to prepare is pens, markers, and acrylic paints. According to professionals, acrylic paints with a medium viscosity give you the most effectiveness. It dries fast on canvas, and hold on to it well.

2. What spray paints are best for canvas?

Can You Paint Camper Canvas

Montana BLACK is the best one with high-quality color and a remarkable ability to cover more expansive areas.

Besides, Montana Gold also works well on canvas due to its low-pressure flow.

Alternatively, if you focus on the water-resistant feature, the Montana MTN water-based would not disappoint you.

3. Can you paint camper canvas?

Can You Paint Tent Trailer Canvas

You absolutely can draw any camper canvas. First, clean the canvas with soap, water, and rugs.

Let the surface dry for around one hour.

Then, use acrylic paints and a typical brush to decorate your canvas.

Finally, wait at least a day for the paints to completely dry and stick to the fabric.

4. Are spray paints weather resistant?

Best Waterproof Canvas Tent

My answer is yes. Most spray paints for outdoor purposes are waterproof.

For the reasons, several people spray paint on their shelters, cars, bicycles, and others.

If you want to spread by yourself, however, keep in mind to check the color can.

A few of them might be for indoor activities, making it less weather resistant.

Canvas Tent Spray Paint


In summary, above are bits of knowledge about the question “Can you spray paint canvas tent.”

Canvas shelter is relatively easy to spray paints on.

However, remember to prepare well and place the tent’s surfaces flat before spraying.

Do not forget to clean it, seal the seams, make stencils alike. After spraying, let your art dry. Lastly, take the stencils out and draw the rest.

Further Reading: