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How to repair and protect hot tub covers from sun and winter?

What’s the best way to protect marine vinyl and hot tub covers? Rub ‘n Restore® finishes are a permanent sunscreen. Think pigmented Aerospace 303® on steroids. Read on to learn about patching holes or repairing cracks.

This picture from 2004 shows our anti-UV conditioning stain applied to Rebecca’s spa cover.

Image of hot tub cover during application of marine vinyl protector

Twelve years later the cover was water-logged. Rebecca found a used cover and swapped the foam inserts. The vinyl on the used cover was years younger, but Rebecca’s, despite ten years of blistering Southern California sun and torrential rainstorms, was in better condition thanks to a single application of Rub ’n Restore®, which acts like a permanent pigmented sunscreen. We guarantee that Rub ’n Restore® will double or triple the life of marine vinyl on hot tub covers. Browse our colors here.

Before and after photo of sun rotted marine vinyl hot tub cover and protected with Rub n Restore

However, Rub ‘n Restore® can’t reverse damage, nor is it a void filler. The sun-rotted marine vinyl pictured above benefited from four coats of our anti-UV finish, but anything worse (like the images below) need a proper vinyl repair compound like our Soft Filler. This, however, is cost prohibitive for large areas of damage.

We’ve had success resurfacing the vinyl with Liquid Rubber® (diluted with water) or FlexSeal®. Our colored finishes will recolor these coatings if they are not available in the desired shade. This may set you back US$150, but it’s still cheaper than replacement.

When you do spring for a new spa cover, be sure to protect it with Rub ‘n Restore® before the second summer comes ’round. You’ll only have to deal with water-logging, not rotting vinyl.

We’ve even had customers use it on vinyl siding!

Before picture of faded vinyl siding on hot tub jacuzzi and picture after Rub n Restore vinyl paint

This videos demonstrates how to refinish and protect a marine vinyl hot tub cover.

Video contents:

  • 0:29 – The hole repaired using this method
  • 0:41 – Cleaning
  • 1:01 – Priming with Clear Prep+Finish™
  • 2:20 – Maintaining moisture level in your sponge
  • 2:42 – Applying anti-UV pigment
  • 3:48 – Before and after pictures

Reader Interactions


  1. Roger Lowsky says

    Can it be used to darken a cover a shade? We have a cover about 2 – 3 years old, that’s in fine shape but it’s lighter than our cedar deck so it looks a bit funny. Was looking online for vinyl dye and found your site so naturally interested.

    • lesandre says

      Hi Roger, Don’t see why not. We used it for many years on awnings for the RV industry. Our only concern is how often you may need to touch-up due to weathering if it is a somewhat radical color change. Shouldn’t be too frequent or widespread if you are thorough in your prep, and the vinyl will appreciate the extra sunscreen.

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The Knowledge Hub is a library of articles and videos complied to help our customers complete their DIY leather and vinyl restoration projects.