Rain “speckled” my canvas top

February 1, 2009 | By Richard Prince


My wife and I have vintage cars ranging from a 1924 Ford speedster to a Honda 200cc-powered 1959 Daihatsu Trimobile rat rod.

Our 1936 Ford Club Cabriolet was subjected to a quick rain shower at a car show and the top was “speckled” by the drops. What do you recommend to clean the canvas top?


I’m a bit puzzled as to why a quick rain shower left stains on your canvas top. Was the rain dirty or was there already some dirt on the top that got “liquefied” by the rain and then soaked into the material? Regardless, I’ve found Meguiar’s canvas cleaner (part #M7116) to work well so can recommend that you give this a try.

Once your top is clean you should take steps to protect it from further staining. Numerous companies make protective coatings for canvas but I can’t recommend a specific one without knowing exactly what material was used in making your top.

For example, acrylic canvas, which is sometimes used for tops because it is especially resistant to UV radiation damage, is normally made waterproof with a chemical treatment that contains fluorocarbon. However, fluorocarbon is incompatible with silicone, so canvas treatment products that contain silicone shouldn’t be used on tops that are made from acrylic canvas.

If you know what kind of material your top is made from or know who made it and can contact them, you can determine what type of treatment product is compatible with your car’s top.