DIY Stroller Restoration: Making Used Baby Gear Look New

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When I was pregnant with my first child, one of my best friends was having her second child. She was going through the stroller transition, and came across a fantastically flexible stroller. She shared with me that in hindsight, she wished she would have ordered this stroller from the beginning as it would work as a single stroller too.

I began to look into it, and though it was pricey, I decided it was smart to invest in one stroller from the get-go instead of buying two (or more) in a short time span. A new stroller of this model was over $700! Yikes! I did a lot of searching and found it on ebay, new and only $400. It also included the extra seat. We decided it was a worthwhile investment.  

We have had the stroller for 5 years now. Long gone are the days we used it to stroll with our first baby.

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It has been used to travel across the country, in apple orchards, in forest preserves, in malls, at grocery stores, in libraries, at the zoo, and on countless neighborhood walks.

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And when we added a third child under three to our family, we found a way to add a third seat.

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The stroller has been well worth its price tag, and it is still in great condition, but despite my best stain-treating efforts, the pale gray seats remain soiled from dirty shoes and snack remnants. (I really wish I would have ordered the model with black seats now. I guess I thought that seemed too hot for babies at the time!)

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The other day I had the idea to use a fabric spray paint on the stroller to cover the stains. Whether we keep it, or I try to sell it, I want it to look nice. A year ago, when I was hoping to make my living room look more modern, a friend suggested that I paint my taupe lampshades with a black fabric spray paint. They turned out so great! It was simple and inexpensive so I figured a similar product would work well for the stroller restoration! I used a Midnight Black Upholstery Spray Paint from my local craft store. It was a little tricky to find, so I’ll let you know it was in the “wearables” section. I used a 40% off coupon and bought a can. I was thrilled that my “new stroller” was only going to cost $6.45! However, once I started painting, it was clear it was going to take a few more cans, so I had to go back and buy two more at $9.99. My stroller has lots of fabric, and two large canopies, so it probably required more paint than an average model. I would suggest using a coupon and buying a few cans right off the bat.

  1. Begin by laying down a tarp or large piece of cardboard in an open air space.
  2. Remove the seats from the stroller if possible.
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3. Remove every strap or contraption you can! Take a picture if you need so you can remember how to reassemble it later!

4. Follow the can's directions for painting. The brand I used recommended that you use a cloth to blend if the paint flow got too heavy, so I did that at times.

5. Let the stroller dry for a few hours.

6. Come back and add additional coats as needed. I was so surprised to see how much the paint soaked into the fabric. Areas that were jet black upon application, turned a medium shade of gray. If I had known how much it would soak in, I would have considered doing a lighter coat. Since I had already sprayed heavily on some areas, I needed to be consistent and paint the whole thing black. It required three full cans of paint.

7. Let it dry. I recommend waiting a few days if possible. I didn’t want my little ones to inhale fumes, so I chose to be patient on this step. However, the paint was completely dry the next morning.

8. (Optional) Use steel wool to gently brush off any buttons or attachments that may have gotten smudged with paint.

9. Use a black (or matching colored) Sharpie to fix any small crevices the paint missed.

10. Reassemble the stroller!

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And it appears it is easier to paint a stroller than to make both of your kids look at the camera! I am pleased with how new the stroller looks, and I’m excited to hit the trails again!

Posted on June 22, 2016 and filed under Building Your Home.