/ / How-to Protect Indoor Pillows for Outdoor Use

How-to Protect Indoor Pillows for Outdoor Use

Have you found some gorgeous and affordable pillow covers and would like to use them outdoors? I found an amazing way to protect indoor pillows for outdoor use!

As you know Amazon and Home Goods is FILLED with a ton of inexpensive pillow options, but when you get to the outdoor pillows the selection is extremely limited. 

I went on the hunt to see if there is a way to protect indoor pillows, so they can be used outside. Guess what? I found an easy spray-on product to use!

This post is sponsored by 303® Fabric Guard and contains affiliate marketing links {full disclosure here} .  As always, all products were hand selected by me and all opinions are my own. 

Seasonal Decor: Using Indoor Pillows Outdoors

During the fall and winter/Christmas season I love to add a little touch of the holidays on my porch. I’ve purchased inexpensive pillows in the past and kept my fingers crossed they wouldn’t get ruined by being outside. 

Some make it and some don’t. If you missed it my fall decor post, I have some fun pillow covers to try in your fall decor that are under $10 each!

Fun Fall Pillow Ideas for Pinterest

1. Orange Cordury & Pumpkin  | 2. Black Buffalo Check & Pumpkin Time | 3. Linen Buffalo Check & Fall Pumpkins | 4. Gray Check & Autumn Pumpkins | 5. Blue Stripe & Autumn Bike | 6. Orange Diamond & Pumpkin Spice

The Reality of Indoor vs. Outdoor Pillows

Now let’s be real for a second. The reason I keep referencing inexpensive pillows is because only pillows designed for outdoor use have resistance/color fastness to the UV rays of the sun and are water-resistant.

Luckily, in the fall and winter we get a little break in UV exposure with fewer hours of sun that is lower in the sky. The pillows will get a little break from the sun too!

In reality, all we can really do to protect indoor pillows for outdoor use is to protect them from water and stains (dirt, birds, food, etc).  It’s at your own risk to use the pillows in an exposed outdoor environment.

Covered porches and patios are a perfect place for this spray on protectant and the fall or winter is the best time because the pillows will only be left out a month or two. At under $10 a piece, I am willing to take the risk!

How-To Protect Indoor Pillows for Outdoor Use

Let’s first talk about the product I found. It’s something I’ve used before on my Sunbrella® fabrics to replenish the water repellency.

I KNOW it’s good stuff! It’s the only product that Sunbrella® endorses. To me that is a thumbs up from the outdoor fabric experts!

303 Fabric Guard Close Up with Pillows and Pumpkins

Guess what? It also protects both water-based and oil-based stains. What is BEST of all is it doesn’t alter the fabric color, feel, flammability or breathability.

I was so excited about this project that I reached out to the makers of 303® Fabric Guard to see if they wanted to work together.

They decided to sponsor this post and provide product for my new pillows! I love a company that stands by their products 🙂

303® Fabric Guard Instructions

This really is the EASY part. It only took about 15 minutes to set up and spray the pillows. It was a very HOT day, so to protect myself from the sun I worked in the shade. 

303® Fabric Guard recommends spraying in full sun to speed up dry time and curing (when the protectant is at it’s maximum protection level). 

Let’s cover the rules first – I am a rule follower most days :

  1. Make sure the surface of fabric is clean and fully dry.
  2. Spray until evenly wet, overlapping sprayed areas. Do not oversaturate, this will extend curing time and may provide mixed results.
  3. Allow 12-24 hours for full curing, depending on conditions.
Step 1:

Protect adjacent surfaces with a drop cloth and place pillow covers or pillows on top. Yes, I wanted to use my faux pumpkins on my front porch for a little extra fall decor charm!

While OUTSIDE or in a well ventilated area at 70°F/21°C or higher temperature, spray 303® Fabric Guard in a criss-cross pattern so you make sure to cover all areas of the pillow.

Porch Daydreamer Spraying 303 Fabric Protectant on Pillows

The product (when wet) is flammable, so NO smoking or open flames during application!

Step 2:

After the first side is somewhat dry, flip the pillows/covers over and spray the other side. Don’t worry if you see a color change, as I saw on my off-white pillows. It dries completely clear!

Flip pillows over and spray other side with 303 fabric protectant

Step 3: 

Next, if you can, leave the pillows in the sun to dry for about an 1/2 hour on each side. Do this during a time of day when the fabrics are protected from any threat of rain or evening dew.  

Dry pillows in the sun

As a point of reference, I used a 1/2 of a spray bottle to coat the 9 items you see above. One bottle will cover 40 to 75 sq. feet.

Step 4:

Before placing your pillows outside, test to make sure they are fully cured. Mine dried 48 hours (recommended 24 to 48 hours) and LOOK at the water bead and roll right off of the pillow! 

Now I am certain the 303® Fabric Guard  is protecting my pillows!

Water beading up on 303 fabric guard protected pillow

AMAZING. I am SO impressed with the performance of 303® Fabric Guard. 

Where to Buy 303® Fabric Guard

Just think about it not only can you use this spray on pillows for outdoor use, but also for your day to day indoor use too! Have people who eat on the sofa or pets? This product will help protect you!

You can buy clicking this link 303® Fabric Guard. Easy!

Pin It for Later!

Spray 303 Fabric Guard on Indoor Pillows for Outdoor Use

Fall Front Porch with Protected Pillows

The final reveal of my fall front porch! I’m loving the orange, blue and sand color combination with the mums.  It feels so happy!

The best part is that the pillows up against the railing are fully protected from water. They get dripped on a lot from my automatic watering system on the hanging ferns, so protecting those pillows in particular is really important. 

fall pillows against railing protected by 303 fabric guard

If you read my fall decor post, now you see which pillow combination I selected. The “Romantic Autumn” Pillows are just SO fun and beautiful pulling the entire color palette together. 

fall front porch with pillows protected with 303 fabric guard

porch swing with orange and blue pillows and orange velvet pumpkins

The “velvet” pumpkins are really a polyester blend can be used outside too! The pumpkin stems are plastic and have the same poly fill as my regular outdoor pillows.

The nice thing is they don’t need to be carved, won’t rot, and I can use them again next year!

Close Up of Fall Pillows

Ah, romantic and cozy fall I am ready to snuggle up with you on my front porch!

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Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer



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  1. The spray protectant is a great idea and I love how your fall porch turned out. I have sunbrella fabric on my new porch cushions and I didn’t know they might need to be ‘refreshed’ with spray at some point- good to know! And this got me thinking…. I wonder if I could use this stuff to protect some of my indoor fabrics from stains? I’ll have to read up on it.

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