Waterproofing your canvas products before traveling, trekking or camping will help you cope up better with rain. Read on to learn more about how to waterproof canvas.

How To Waterproof Canvas

Backpacking through the countryside is an adventure that teaches important lessons you should treasure for life. There was once a traveler who was on a backpacking expedition alone and had diligently geared up all the necessary equipment based on his checklist. As days flew by, he was pleasantly weathered by good and bad experiences, people and places. On the last leg of his trip, his patience and tolerance levels were running quite low. Even a small incident would have triggered a mild breakdown. And, it happened, the monsoons began and he had to travel miles to reach his destination in water-filled areas. He reached thoroughly drenched. Taking it in stride, he enjoyed the clinging cold of his wet clothes and shoes. He retired to his hotel room with a consolation that he would be able to grab a cup of hot coffee and change to warm and dry clothes. He was devastated to find that his canvas bag was not waterproof in any sense and everything it contained was entirely soaked. He had assumed that the canvas backpack sold to him by the salesman would be waterproof, but Mother Nature proved him wrong. He realized that canvas, as a material, was water resistant, but not waterproof. After returning home, he did not return the bag, as it was tough and durable, rather decided to waterproof it himself. Do you want to follow in his footsteps? If yes, then read on and know how to waterproof your canvas tent, shoes or bags.
Waterproofing Canvas
Canvas is usually used to make tents, shoes and bags. The most popular variety is the cotton fiber type. It is the oldest and is best known for its breathability. Now, it has been replaced by vinyl-coated polyester or woven acrylic. The best-suited waterproofing solution for acrylic canvases comprises of fluoropolymer-based products. Silicone is incompatible with acrylics and therefore, silicone treatment is not recommended. An alternative method is to use a petroleum sealant, which is brushed on the canvas to make it waterproof. The step-by-step process involved in waterproofing canvas has been detailed below.
  • Firstly, find an outdoor space to waterproof. The fumes emitted from the chemicals used for the purpose are harmful and therefore, it is not advisable to do the waterproofing indoors.
  • Clean the canvas item properly and spray it with the waterproofing agent. 
  • Once the canvas is dry, dip it in water to check if it seeps through. If it leaks, the sealing coat is not enough and has to be applied again.
  • While waterproofing tents, a canvas preservative is used. It can be found in any home improvement or hardware store. It is best to set up the tent (preferably on a sunny day) and apply the preservative with a brush, to cover all corners.
  • To waterproof canvas shoes, clean them and remove the laces. Spray an even coat of the waterproofing agent evenly on the entire surface. Do a water-dip test to check if the layer is thick enough or not. If not, re-apply.
  • For waterproofing bags, clean them inside out, including the seams that have hidden dirt residing. Rubber sealant can be used on the seams and then, the waterproofing spray can be applied overall. Zippers are never entirely waterproof, but an acid-free packing tape is known to help. 
  • Waterproofing canvas is a good way to make the product more durable to use, while at the same time, the procedure involved does not in any way affect the other properties of the material.

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