Have you ever had an unexpected rainstorm that totally soaked your outdoor pillows or cushions? And then you couldn’t sit on them for days while they dried out? It’s the worst! But did you know that making fabric waterproof is as easy as spraying it with a waterproof spray?! If you’ve ever wondered how to waterproof fabric so you can use it outdoors, today’s tutorial will show you how in one simple step!
I made these pillows for the painted Adirondack chairs at my parents’ house; I think the colors will be perfect with those chairs! But since the pillows will be outdoors, I decided that first I had to waterproof them!
The whole process took about ten minutes, plus a few hours of drying time, and now these pillows are ready for any weather! If they get wet, water just beads up on the fabric and rolls off, rather than soaking in. Plus it makes them super easy to clean; just wipe them off with a damp rag or sponge and the dirt will come off without soaking into the fabric!
How To Make Fabric Waterproof
Here’s what you need:
- a pillow, or cushion, or umbrella, or any fabric you want to waterproof for outdoor use
- waterproof spray (I used Thompson’s Water Seal Fabric Seal which you can find online at Amazon)
You can tell if your fabric needs waterproofing by dropping a few drops of water onto it. Does the water bead up and stay on the surface of the fabric, or does it soak into the fabric and turn it a darker color? If it soaks in and changes the color, your fabric isn’t waterproof!
But it’s easy to fix! Lay out your pillows (or whatever) on a piece of cardboard to protect from overspray.
Then lightly spray the entire surface of the pillow with the waterproof spray, holding the can 6″ to 8″ away from your fabric as you spray. Make sure to slightly overlap each pass to make sure the entire surface is covered, but don’t apply it too heavily! You don’t need to saturate the fabric, just make sure it’s evenly covered everywhere!
The directions recommend you do a second coat, so after you do both sides of the pillows, let them dry for about four hours and then do a second coat everywhere. Let the second coat dry for another four hours, and then test it out!
See how that water beaded up and is just sitting on the surface of the pillows rather than sinking in? That’s perfect! Now, if your outdoor pillows get rained on, they won’t get soaked! Just brush the beads of water off and the pillow will be good as new again.
The Fabric Seal also helps protect the fabric from sun damage as well, so you get 2 in 1!
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Here are the pillows in their new home (photo courtesy of my mom and her iPhone!) I just love how the fabric looks on those chairs! And you can’t see it in the photo, but there’s a bright red picnic table behind where she’s standing to take the photo, so the whole patio matches with those fun primary colors!
Do you have any outdoor fabrics that could use some waterproofing?
If you liked this project, check out these other outdoor projects!