Vintage Pram Fan

For Fans of Silver Cross and all Vintage Prams

Posted by Lucy On March - 19 - 2014

Recently a lady rang to ask my advice about her pram, so off I went to see if I could help. The pram is a Silver Cross Tenby, black coachwork and black hood and apron, a change from the usual navy blue.

When this lady bought the pram it was immaculate, used for only one baby and kept safely stored in a bedroom until it was sold on. It was bought to use for visiting grandchildren and lovingly buffed and polished after each use. The problem was that the new owner had kept the pram in her conservatory between grandchild visits, and the hood and apron had faded with the sunlight. The grandchildren were too old for the pram but she wanted to keep it for display purposes.

Such a shame it had faded, as the rest of the pram is still pristine.  If the hood and apron are in good condition, apart from the fading, it is cheaper to paint spray them rather than go to the expense of having them recovered.

If you decide to treat the hood and apron, you can buy hood reviver spray, but I shopped around to see if there were similar products before deciding. Some items on E Bay are listed as being for prams, when in fact you can find the same product at a lower price, listed as something else.

Some people have used the sprays available on E Bay and others recommend shoe dyes, I shopped in all the local shoe repairers and shoe shops and couldn’t find any shoe dye, although I understand this is available at Timpsons shoe company.

I experimented with spray colour that is sold for florists to dye fabric flowers, the result on a piece of hooding material was not good, the material was hard and brittle.

This proves it is vitally important to do a test piece before spraying the rest of the fabric, and do be careful what kind of paint you use,  make sure it is colourfast and waterproof and non toxic.

(Picture  of my Silver Cross Kensington,edited to obliterate baby’s face,copyright

Spray paint is available on selling sites and is listed as hood and apron restorer, but I have recently used a product called Simply Spray,  listed as “upholstery spray paint” available from E Bay. I have used this on a faded hood and tired looking apron and have to say I am delighted with the result! As it is intended for use on upholstery it is ideal for pram fabric.

In fact if you have a fabric body pram, the spray could be used to rejuvenate that  as well as the hood and apron.

The spray is colourfast and non toxic, this is extremely important if the pram is to be used for a baby, and is available in several colours. It is a trigger spray can, not an aerosol,  and when you first spray on the paint the colour may seem lighter than you had expected, but don’t worry, once it soaks into the fabric it will be the true shade.

Before spraying the fabric, brush it with a stiff brush or vac it, to remove any accumulated dust, and the fabric must be dry before you commence the painting.

I sprayed my pram on a fine, still day out in the garden with the apron up but I took off the hood arms and masked other areas, either with masking tape or by covering with dustsheets. The apron was laid flat on the ground so that was easier to spray.

If you spray the pram indoors then do make sure you are in a well ventilated place and cover the surrounding area with dustsheets. You can use masking tape (available from a decorators’ supplies shop or B & Q) to cover the hood braid and hood arms if you are not going to remove them. This tape will protect the surface and is easily removed afterwards.

Once the fabric has been sprayed leave it outside on a dry, still, day if possible, otherwise leave it in a spacious area, where the fumes can easily disperse. I left mine outside for a few hours then brought it inside and left it overnight before replacing the hood arms, although the spray instructions do state it will dry in a few hours.

It may take two attempts at spraying to ensure even coverage. It is far better to spray two thin coats of paint rather than one thick one. Ensure you leave the hood to dry thoroughly between coats. And remember you cannot spray on a colour that is lighter than the original fabric, such as trying to dye navy blue fabric with a paler blue spray paint.

If the pram is to be used for a baby do ensure the paint odour has completely disappeared as this could cause respiratory problems or allergic reaction for a baby.

The hood and apron on my pram now look like new, even minor snags don’t look as obvious as they did previously and an area of fading has been covered satisfactorily. The fabric feels just like it did before, and this was a stylon material.

You really have nothing to lose if you want to freshen up the colour of faded fabric, if the paint spray doesn’t work you have the other option of having the hood and apron renewed, but I am sure you will be happy with the product mentioned.





Categories: Silver Cross

55 Responses

  1. jacqui legge says:

    this has been a great help as i have heard of this but was very unsure, thank you very much x

  2. Janet says:

    Hi Lucy
    ,Can I ask if you found that one can/bottle of Simply Spray was sufficient to spray a full sized hood and apron or will I need two? I have a white bodied Balmoral with navy hood and apron which are faded–not too badly but look a bit ‘greyish’ I am quite nervous of spraying them but will probably have a go! Love the website!

    • Lucy says:

      Thank you, glad you enjoy the website. I just used one bottle of Simply Spray and this was sufficient to do the hood and apron on a Berkeley (detachable chassis), and there was enough to give the hood a second coat as it had faded quite badly. Perhaps if you have a Balmoral it would be better to purchase two bottles to ensure complete coverage as this is a bigger pram. It is very easy to use the spray, it isn’t an aerosol more like the trigger sprays as used on household cleaners. Don’t be nervous, but do be aware that the liquid may look as though it is “flooding” at first but this soon disperses as it soaks into the fabric. Hope this helps.

  3. Janet says:

    Thank you for the advice-I will wait for the weather to improve a bit so I can do it outside. ‘Nothing ventured nothing gained’as they say!

  4. zoe says:

    I am wanting to try this, the spray won’t go through to the cream plastic lining will it , thanks

    • Lucy says:

      The fabric has a waterproof backing so the spray won’t soak through to the lining. Remember to spray evenly and don’t worry if the paint seems to form into a pool as this will soon disperse.

  5. maureen says:

    i bought recently a 1968 s.x “normandie”,a white body with a metallic burgundy trim,the hood and apron are an unusual pinky/purpley colour quite vibrant with a navy lining.
    i bought this spray in a shade called “raspberry/fuschia” & it,s a very good match!
    i’ve now just purchased a s.x pram bag in pink,but it’s a much paler colour,& yes you’ve guessed that it will to be getting sprayed to match the hood & apron!!
    love your site!

    • Lucy says:

      Glad you have found the spray useful, and thank you for your kind comment about my website. The normandie is a very nice pram, and the colours sound very good. I notice you have your own website for reborn babies, they will look stunning in your pram! And if anyone wants to look at Maureen’s website it is

  6. Janet says:

    Hi,Well I finally sprayed my hood and apron today and I am delighted with the results! Thank you Lucy for all your advice and tips.I used the ‘Simply Spray’ in navy and it has dried quickly and it looks

  7. Tina says:

    Hello Ladies,

    I have been hunting for a spray that will revive my ever so slightly faded Navy kensington, I am a bit worried incase i make a mess of it but after reading your comments i think im going to give it a go! Im not quiet sure which colour will be best. Do you think Navy?

    Thanks in advance

  8. Gemma says:

    I’ve just brought a patterned navy blue and purple ish Silver Cross Wayfarer, and realised quite how faded it is. Do you think that spraying it black would work?

    Thanks in advance

  9. susan says:

    Hi, i am just about to spray the hood and apron of my pram black with simply spray, the pram was original grey so heres hoping it works, i have already changed the body colour to high gloss black and i have to say it looks amazing, can wait to see the finished pram.

    • Lucy says:

      I am sure it will be fine, I used this spray on a grey pram bag and changed it to brown and it is fine.

  10. VA Lennon says:


    I read with interest your experience on dyeing hoods and aprons for your prams, I was wondering if the navy is a true navy colour as it looks a very bright blue when I saw it on the simply spray website. I have an old navy Corniche pram and the hood and apron are in good condition in a deep navy, the bag is also navy but a little paler, slightly greyish. so I’d like to try dying the bag and wondered what you thought of the navy colour as I notice some of you ladies have used this colour.
    Thank you.

    • Lucy says:

      I used the navy on a navy hood and although it looked quite bright when initially sprayed it soon soaked in and was a dark navy, the only problem I found was that where the hood had previously faded this was still noticeable, the dye covered the faded patch but it perhaps would have been better with another coat over the faded area. If you are still unsure try the spray on the underside of the bag, but I am sure you will be happy with the colour. I recently dyed a grey bag with brown Simply spray and it has come up really well.

  11. carol says:

    i have a silvercross country classic pram will it work on that

  12. Maria says:

    Hi Lucy my question isn’t related to pram hoods,I have a tenby pram the back wheel was damaged so I purchased new from heritage prams size 16 ins this now means both front and back wheels are the same.the back of the pram seems to dip a bit now,should I purchase the smaller 14 inch wheels for the front to balance it out or is this a waste of money.i have searched the internet for advise but cannot find an answer to my query until I found your hope you can help so I can push my little granddaughter out with confidence.

    • Lucy says:

      You must replace the wheels with the size they were originally, otherwise the pram will be unstable. Some chassis have four wheels all the same size but others have two different sizes as the chassis are different.

  13. Iris says:

    Hi Lucy, Just starting to renovate my Marmet 1960’s pram (small). Cannot find local rechroming for wheels, etc. Thought the SilverX new wheels size 14″ and 16″ would fit (exactly same size) but have been told only fit SilverX prams. Any views please?

  14. Bren says:

    Thank you for posting this! I have an old h&a I’ve been wanting to test this way, but have been a little nervous about it. Sadly, I sold the pram with a replacement h&a, but if this works, would love the set to go back to it’s original pram, as I know the buyer has been trying to resell it (hope she hasn’t yet). It would be tough to match this set with another pram, as it has a printed lining. Hope to try this sooner than later (& incidentally, the h&a that needs new life is also a stylon set).

  15. Georgina says:

    This article was music to my ears!
    I’m in the middle of revamping my navy blue corduroy Marmet which my Mother bought for me over 35 years ago when I was first pregnant. When my two babies grew out of it I coated it with crease wrapped it up and stored it away in the loft. I’m now getting it ready for my first grandchild. When I unwrapped it I was rather pleased with it’s condition, the only real problem is the hood has faded along the folds. I looked at all sorts of dye and just the other day came across the Simply Spray range, It did seem the best thing to use but I was still a bit apprehensive, after reading your article I feel confident it’ll do the job. Thank you so much.

  16. Natalie says:

    Hi I’m so pleased I came across this article, my lovely friend has giving me a dolls pram for me to do up for my little girls Christmas box, it’s currently got a brown hood and cream body but I’ve checked on the simply spray website and I’ve fallen in love with the deep purple spray!! This should cover the hood right??? And another quick question what is the best spray for the body?? I hope you can help thanks in advance

  17. julie says:

    Hi, has any one used the upholstery paint on frill around hood. Mine originally black and white now black and yellow thanks.

  18. Lisa says:

    Yellow there,
    Quick question…my pram’s hood is purple but I’d like to make it pink…can you bleach the material prior at all? Is that a silly question? I just really want it pink! Lol thanks!

    • Lucy says:

      A definite NO! For starters using bleach on a pram to be used for a baby is HIGHLY DANGEROUS as the fumes are hazardous to a baby’s lungs.

      Secondly, if you bleach the colour out it will be impossible to get an even result.

      If you are determined to have a pink hood then either recover or replace it.

  19. Lynn Trotter says:

    This has been really useful – any tips for nylon pram please? Just been given a Mother care pram and its red!!! Love the pram but the colour is so aggressive – any advice greatly appreciated x

  20. Stacey says:

    Hi will the black spray cover a brown fabric? I have a icandy in brown wanting to change the colour will the spray work?

    • Lucy says:

      I wouldn’t use it on the fabric used on a modern pram, the linings on these isn’t waterproof and the dye would soak through.

  21. Nicola says:

    Hello . I have a sliver cross dolls pram I bought for my daughter the hood and apron are navy but they are both slightly different shades of navy so they don’t match . Would the navy simply spray get them both the same shade or am I better off going for black ? I really don’t want to spend loads on a new hood/apron . The body is white . Thanks

    • Lucy says:

      Maybe you would need to do an extra coat of navy if one of the fabrics is a lot lighter, but unless there is a huge difference in colour I think the navy will cover okay.

  22. Nicola says:

    Thanks I’ll give it a go . I think the apron to the pram is newer than the hood and that’s why they are both different shades. Fingers crossed it works .

  23. Nicola says:

    The results are brilliant , it’s brought up the hood and apron the same if not close to the same shade. Thanks ever so much for recommending this product .

  24. lyndsey says:

    Hi can you tell me how to get the chrome corner protectors off the hood? They look like they are screwed / nailed on.

  25. Moyna talcer says:

    Hi i have bought a used old maclaren quest buggy, its brown and pink and i have a boy! Hood and seat are polyester material, would the spray method work on this material or would i need to boil dye it?

    Hood and seat faded.

    Thanks for advice

  26. Maggie Thorne says:

    Hi regarding spraying hood & apron I have an older Silver Cross but the the Hood and Apron look like a canvas material will this spray work on that ? The pram is 30+ years old.
    Also can you recommend where I could get the metal body restored as there are some scuff marks where a child has been sat on a pram seat,
    P.S brilliant site by the way !!

    • Lucy says:

      The spray should work on the hood and apron but if it is the older type material it may have hardened over time. In that case thoroughly wash it and use lots of fabric conditioner then leave to dry thoroughly before using the spray. If you know anyone who restores cars they should be able to advise on getting rid of the scuff marks, you could use T cut sparingly and then use a touch up pen from Halfords if the marks are only minor. Otherwise you may have to get the body completely resprayed.

  27. Abigail says:

    Very glad to have stumbled across this website!
    I have a second hand silver cross kensington…hoping to use it for our first baby but when it arrived the colour was not as expected. The hood and apron are a dark green and I thought they were black when I purchased it off ebay. From reading the posts above, presumably spray painting the hood and apron black or navy should work?
    Also, the body is a pale olive green colour, is there any brand/type of paint you would recommend if I were to attempt re-painting the body? I really wanted a navy one.

  28. Catherine says:

    I have a twin trident which looks navy body but hoods are faded it says county grey but definitely not grey I was going to try navy but don’t see navy would black work

  29. stacey says:

    I have a very old silver cross dolls pram passed down from my mother’s childhood to me. Do you know where I can sell it?

    • Lucy says:

      I think E Bay or Preloved are the best places, or you could try advertise it in your local free ads.

  30. Daisy says:

    Love your page, it has answered a lot of my questions.
    I’m thinking of dying the hood and apron of my Kensington pram with Simply Spray after reading the comments on here.
    Are you able to tell me if the dye is waterproof when it is dry?
    I live on the west coast of Scotland where we get more rain than anything else.
    Thanks in advance.

  31. emma perry says:

    Hello, I’ve recently brought a silvercross sleepover elegance in black and cream but the hood and some of the seat fabric is slightly faded can you give me any advice on doing this as it has the cream lines running down the hood and apron so I’m Abit unsure of if I should attempt this. Thanks

    • Lucy says:

      I am not sure to be honest if I would recommend this. If there are cream lines running through the fabric you would have great difficulty trying to keep the spray away from those. Sorry, I can’t be of more help.

  32. Emma Brown says:

    Hiya Lucy, I have just purchased a retro 80’s silvercross. It is fantastic condition although there is fading to the hood and body. It is a dusty blue/navy colduroy material. With a floral design cotton interior which is blue and white. I was thinking about dying the exterior with the Simply Spray navy or grey dye, will the colduroy material take to the dye, will the dye seep into the lining on the interior at all? Thanks in advance. Emma.

    • Lucy says:

      I am not sure if the dye will seep through into the lining, corduroy is very absorbent. I can only suggest you try on a small section that is not on show and do a test. Or if anyone reads this who can advise perhaps they will get in touch. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  33. I used the Simply Spray on a faded navy blue Silver Cross Kensington and I was very disappointed. It hardly changed the colour of the faded areas after 4 coats. Those areas are nowhere near the colour of the original colour areas. I am very disappointed. Also the sprayers gave up spraying 1/4 way through the cans. I attempted 4 cans. A waste of money and time and effort and a mess as cans dribbled. Perhaps I was unlucky as I seem to be in the minority. Colour was called Navy Blue but was more like Airforce Blue. Also if anybody is looking for a vintage pram I have quite a few to sell as I am downsizing after losing my husband.

  34. Joanne Slater says:

    Hey I have a coral colour pram hood and cover that I want to colour navy blue will the simply spray cover it and will it take to the pram hood??

    • Lucy says:

      It will depend on the type of fabric, I suggest you try a test on a piece of “hidden” fabric before spraying all the hood. If it is hopsack fabric or stylon it would be fine, but polyester fabrics will not dye.

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