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

Spa and hot tub covers are made of marine vinyl and will begin to desiccate after just one season of summer sun and winter weather. Conditioners can help keep the vinyl from drying out, but only a specialty vinyl paint will provide durable protection and sunscreen.

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We guarantee that Rub ‘n Restore® finishes will double or triple the life of a vinyl hot tub cover, if not too far gone. This picture from 2004 shows a Custom Color applied to Rebecca’s.

Image of hot tub cover during application of marine vinyl protector

Twelve years later the cover had become 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 years of blistering Southern California sun and torrential rainstorms—was in better condition thanks to a one-time application of 3-4 coats of Rub ’n Restore® over a decade prior. 

Rub ‘n Restore® Ivory, Beige, Taupe, Camel, Rust, Walnut, Slate, Ash, Storm Blue, and Midnight Blue colors were modeled after common marine vinyls used in the production of hot tub covers. All colors containing white (titanium) double as a potent sunscreen. 

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All this said, Rub ‘n Restore® cannot reverse damage (i.e. waterproof a leaky cover), nor is it a void filler. Cracks and tears need to be addressed promptly before the entire cover loses structural integrity or becomes cost-prohibitive to repair.

Sun Rotted marine vinyl hot tub cover, before and after restoration

The sun-rotted marine vinyl pictured above benefited from four coats of Stone, but anything worse requires a proper vinyl repair putty like our Soft Filler. This, however, is cost prohibitive for large areas of degradation. Vinyl with extensive cracking, scaliness or flaking is best resurfaced with a rubberized coating.

This video demonstrates how to clean, repair, and protect a vinyl hot tub cover with Rub ‘n Restore® products.

  • 0:29 – Repair hole with filler putty (video demo here)
  • 0:41 – Clean
  • 1:01 – Prime with Clear Prep+Finish™
  • 2:20 – Maintain moisture level in your sponge
  • 2:42 – Apply anti-UV color
  • 3:48 – Before & after

This customer tried it himself and was kind enough to show the year-later results.

  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 0:47 – Cleaning the cover
  • 1:36 – Priming the surface
  • 2:12 – Applying the color
  • 3:37 – Applying top coat
  • 4:34 – One year later
  • 5:32 – Outro

If and when you 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 eventual water-logging, not disintegrating 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

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10 comments

  1. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  2. Can you use your product in vinyl boat upholstery? I have a pontoon boat and recently replaced all of the upholstery. I would like to preserve it as long as possible.

    Reply
  3. I just received a new hot tub cover. It is perfect in every way only I made a drastic mistake on the color. It is lighter gray and it looks awful with the surroundings. I want to change the color to a medium brown as well as give it good protection since it was 900.00 because my hot tub is very large. I would like to know what product to buy and if this is possible.

    Reply
  4. Hello, my name is Dennis Chico.
    I have a 25 ft. pontoon boat that had the seats recovered a couple of years ago.
    The seats aren’t torn, or damaged, but are showing signs of fine cracking.
    I have always kept my eyes & ears open for a product that effectively cleaned & conditioned those type of seats.
    I think I may have found it in this product & am excited about trying it so that i may extend the life of my seats.
    they’ve also gotten pretty stiff & I’m afraid they’re going to start cracking soon.
    Please help me out in where i can get this product.
    Id be MORE THAN HAPPY to make a video showing results so that you may share with all your customers & followers.

    Reply
  5. I have a vinyl spa cover that is about 7 years old, and the surface has been flaking away on one side, where the sun hits most, so much that rain water leaks through and accumulates inside the cover, making it nearly impossible to lift. Can I repair that with Rub-n-Restore products, or Do I need to use the Liquid Rubber sealant first? There are no rips or tears.

    Reply
    • A 2 oz. tub of filler will do a couple coats on about 4 square feet, but badly sun-rotted vinyl can be hard to work with and drink up a lot. If you have a larger surface area, the rubberized coating is a more economical and easier approach.

      Reply

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