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Can fabric be treated to make it waterproof?

I found 4 church benches 9 feet long that would be perfect for my deck! but the seating is fabric covered. I would want them to be water proof, will I HAVE TO BUY SPECIAL FABRIC? OR IS THERE A PRODUCT OUT THERE TO TREAT FABRIC TO MAKE IT WATERPROOF?

  • Cassi Rasmussen
    Cassi Rasmussen Peoria, AZ
    on May 13, 2013

    Yeah right up my ally. You can do both! There are some fabric stores that carry water proof fabric, it can get pricey. The other way you can do it, is to take your material ( beat to use cotton or home decor fabric) and use a heat and bond vinyl, and iron it on. I hope this helps :)

  • Z
    on Jul 23, 2013

    Well it all depends. Any fabric you use, even indoor/outdoor fabric is not weather proof. It will last longer than other fabrics, but it has to be able to breath to dry. In other words, air needs to circulate on all sides. There's also the cushions themselves. I'm guessing they are foam which does NOT do well outdoors if there's a chance it'll get wet. You'd need to replace the foam with outdoor "foam". It's really more of a firm thick batting material. Again, it needs good circulation do dry if it gets wet. Not to mention the wood. It's going to have to be protected and cared for year after year if the deck is open to rain and snow. I'm not trying to discourage you, but if you don't want to worry about making all these changes I recommend you buy tarps big enough to cover and protect the pews and only uncover them when in use.

  • Grant Enterprises South
    Grant Enterprises South Waxhaw, NC
    on Sep 29, 2013

    Rustoleum has just come out with a spray that completely waterproofs anything, or so it claims. They are a great paint co and have had good luck painting all types of equipment, vehicles and even wood.

  • Tlbinftw
    Tlbinftw Fort Worth, TX
    on Oct 15, 2013

    In the past I have found a indoor/outdoor type table cloth and made covers for any outdoor seat, sometimes they are seasonal print and are less expensive than the waterproof material...

  • Charlotte Belange
    Charlotte Belange Yelm, WA
    on Oct 16, 2013

    I use spray on Scotch-Gard. I use it on my teenies all my coats inside and out same for my shoes, sleeping bags anything you want to make water proof. Char Belange YELM,WA

  • Diane Keirstead
    Diane Keirstead Canada
    on Nov 11, 2013

    I also use Scotch-Gard. I have used it for yours to waterproof both clothing, shoes and patio Furniture. Seems to work well for me. Mind you it must be redone each season.

  • Ruth
    Ruth Ponca City, OK
    on Nov 11, 2013

    I have bench cushions I made a couple of years ago, Fabric was outdoor upholstery from Hobby Lobby. They still look good .

  • Lannie Hagan
    Lannie Hagan Broomfield, CO
    on Nov 18, 2013

    Go to your local shoe repair store and get some waterproofing from them...

  • Esther Carr
    Esther Carr Buford, GA
    on Nov 18, 2013

    Here's the answer: go to amazon.com: key in "KIWI CAMP DRY", $7.49 new or $3.10 new. Plenty of reviews on this and you'll find one remarking about doing fabric. You can also buy a Seam Sealer (probably amazon.com also) to reinforce waterproofing on seams if you want. Good luck!

  • Donna Hallowell
    Donna Hallowell Keene, NH
    on Nov 18, 2013

    thank you for All your help, now wish me luck.

  • Cheryl Knapp
    Cheryl Knapp Wareham, MA
    on Nov 18, 2013

    There is a good product by 3m that protects material but your best bet is "Sunbrella" or another canvas-like fabric that is made for outdoors.

  • Charlotte Belange
    Charlotte Belange Yelm, WA
    on Nov 18, 2013

    Hi this is Char B you can also go to a fabric store in the fall and get outdoor fabric at least half price, use the fabric that's on it as a pattern that's what we did this fall for next summer. Have fun, and many more ideas

  • Arlene Buono
    Arlene Buono Ashburnham, MA
    on Nov 19, 2013

    Did you want the desk to be covered? If you just wanted a new look, sand them lightly, and spray on a paint or stain, then put a good coat or two of polyurathene on it. Good Luck

  • Paticia G
    Paticia G Clermont, FL
    on Dec 2, 2013

    there are waterproofing and solar protections sprays available I used one(don't remember which one) On some outdoor cushions - water is repelled to a point but I don't think it would stand a soaking rain I just take them in if I am forewarned about heavy rain

  • Val Roche
    Val Roche Australia
    on Dec 14, 2013

    As a person who sews with waterproof canvas , please remember that to sit on waterproofed fabric ,that it doesn't breathe and you will get perspiration . Especially if you're sitting in shorts . However I think Sunbrella a good choice with a good variety of colour . Or treat original with waterproofing and throw loose covers on on hot days

  • Sherry
    Sherry Big Sandy, TN
    on Dec 16, 2013

    First I use Aqua Armor Fabric Waterproofing Spray, then I use one coat of Scotchgard Durable Water Repellent, one coat of 3M Scotchgard Fabric Protector, Chamberlain's Leather Milk 8oz Water Protectant No. 3: and if I feel I need to do one more time I will use TX Direct Spray-On Waterproofing. None of these items are cheap and all can be found on Amazon. I may over do my protecting but it is better to over protect then to have to replace an item that goes bad. I have found over the years to use different products at same time cause the make up of chemicals are different. I do the same thing if I have to boom my home (using different brands always has a huge impact). Hope this helps.

  • Debbie Kline
    Debbie Kline Gastonia, NC
    on Jan 2, 2014

    Rustoleum Neverwet liquid repellant kit found at Home Depot and maybe other hardware stores.

  • Bobbi Perreault
    Bobbi Perreault Glencoe, MN
    on Jan 4, 2014

    I'm just a simple girl. I took a dining room chair from the 80's and painted the upholstery with semi-gloss latex paint - put it in my deck about five years ago. This has worked fine. The paint was a nice color I liked. It was time consuming to work the wall paint into the fabric, but after that it worked.

  • Kathy Smith
    Kathy Smith Saint Petersburg, FL
    on Jan 8, 2014

    what about wood sealer irst on th wood then like a burlipbag materal might make it warter proofed

  • Cindy
    Cindy Converse, IN
    on Jan 11, 2014

    When you get the benches done please post, it sounds like they will be wonderful!

  • Janet Jordan
    Janet Jordan Australia
    on Jan 19, 2014

    Not only will you have to waterproof the fabric, but, as a precautionary, I would give the pews a few good coats of marine varnish so as to protect the timber as well

  • White Oak Studio Designs
    White Oak Studio Designs Pullman, MI
    on Jan 26, 2014

    I, personally, would buy special water proof fabric. I have a friend who had a metal table and chairs and bought regular fabric and sprayed it. It got soaked with every rainfall. She spent all of her time setting the chairs out in the sun to dry and finally out of immense frustration sold them at a garage sale. I live in Michigan and have not had luck here with wooden items standing up to the rain either. They always rot and end up in the burn pile eventually. They are fine under a porch overhang if properly sealed.

    White Oak Studio (Pullman, MI)  open porch. Wooden and rattan furniture has been painted using outdoor quality latex paint. This furniture is stored inside an unheated shed for the winter months to protect it.

    White Oak Studio (Pullman, MI) open porch. Wooden and rattan furniture has been painted using outdoor quality latex paint. This furniture is stored inside an unheated shed for the winter months to protect it.

  • Paticia G
    Paticia G Clermont, FL
    on Jan 27, 2014

    I have purchased- years ago a repellent and sunscreen that you apply to the fabric It does repel water but I really dont think it could withstandsoaking rains we pull our cushions indoors if it looks like heavy rain

  • Janet Jordan
    Janet Jordan Australia
    on Jan 27, 2014

    If the pews are wooden, I would definitely sand them back and put marine varnish on them, after all, it is used on ships

  • Judy Adams
    Judy Adams Bellevue, WA
    on Jan 29, 2014

    I think you can buy water repelent spray in a can . Maybe at the Army, Navy goods or scotchgard in a spray can , will repell but not a guarantee of good result.

  • White Oak Studio Designs
    White Oak Studio Designs Pullman, MI
    on Jan 29, 2014

    Be aware that this spray it is repellant NOT waterproof (like Scotchguard spray). The rain will still soak your fabric and foam underneath.

  • Carolyn Hoxton
    Carolyn Hoxton Iowa City, IA
    on Feb 1, 2014

    Why not paint the fabric? It says on the internet you can paint fabric, how about using porch paint, or something water proof? It would be worth a try, right?

    • Lynn Zawojski
      Lynn Zawojski Derry, NH
      on Mar 2, 2014

      @Carolyn Hoxton I think it would be easier to purchase sunbrella fabric which is specifically for outside. However the wood will gradually be ruined from the sun, water, moisture, and be ruined. I wouldn't use the wonderful pews outdoors but would use on a covered porch, which is still a risk.

  • Wild Blackberry Farm Inc.
    Wild Blackberry Farm Inc. Connellys Springs, NC
    on Feb 1, 2014

    Or simply re-cover with marine grade material, such as the material used for boat seats . It is waterproof.

  • Jo Dee Bradley
    Jo Dee Bradley Emmett, ID
    on Feb 1, 2014

    The benches bet they are wonderful. I had similar I removed the fabric then used a sail cloth material since the home for the benches was my southern front porch in Bama prior to my moving to Idaho. It isn't exactly waterproof no more than scottguard spray or any other repellent but this material is the hardiest when there are rains and drizzle. I hope this helps please post a pic when you get them fixed up. I had to give mine up prior to moven, maybe one day I will venture there again but first i need another porch. :)

  • Dee
    Dee Independence, IA
    on Feb 4, 2014

    Joyce i know walmart has a spray that is used for tents to weather proff them. My sister sews alot and told me about it.Just spray on let dry? Val has a point, Im not sure if you will sweat.Theres also alot of fabric out there for outdoors. JoAnn Fabrics or Hobby Lobby.As far as spray go ask to see it write it down and do alittle research and comments. Im sure what ever you do wil look great.Just let us looky loos see.

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