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 if you look around 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 vintagepramfan.com)
Spray paint is available on E Bay and is listed as hood and apron restorer, but I have recently used a product Simply Spray, listed as “upholstery spray paint” available from this E Bay shop ‘http://stores.ebay.co.uk/simply-spray‘. 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 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.