Introduction: Easy Waterproof Clothing, and About Anything Else in Your World.

Picture of Easy Waterproof Clothing, and About Anything Else in Your World.

Water proof about everything.

Needed ingredients.

1. Mineral Spirits
2. 100% clear silicone caulking.

Empty container to mix in and a stir stick.

I used about 1/4 of the silicone tube and the quart of mineral spirits.  If I had more mineral spirits I would have thinned it more.

It's a hindsight thing, pour in the amount of mineral spirits then add silicon until it's almost as thick as water.

A drill with a stirrer makes it a lot easier because it takes a while to break down the caulk.

(edit)  I have found that mixing the Silicon and Mineral Spirits in a plastic water bottle works best.  Put in the ingredients, screw the lid on and shake.  If the bottle has one of the popup drinking spouts, just open it up, squirt out a trail, then use a brush to spread it around.  It will still cure in the bottle so use it or lose it.

Don't use an expensive brush, (I have found that if you work the brush as the silicon on the bristles cures, the brush will still be good for water based paints.  The bristles are sealed so any paints slide right off.  i have not tried oil based apints with a siliconed brush, but silicon is not paintable.

I painted the mixture on an apron as a test.  It did not change the color, nor the texture of the fabric.  Doesn't seem to have added any weight either.

I had plenty left over, so the 2'X4' piece of Luan I used to paint the apron got a coat as well. 

It soaked in almost immediately, so i flipped it over and did the other side as well.

After curing for 2 days, i poured water on both the board and the apron.

The water beaded and ran off.

I still have about a pint left.   (here kitty kitty)

Mineral spirits is not kind to all things, so make sure the material won't be harmed and have fun.

Should be good for all outdoor stuff including patio furniture.

Since the silicone soaks into the fabric and fills the voids and coats the threads, this will probably extend the life of whatever fabric you use it on.

SAFETY NOTICE!  No open flames or smoking.



josuchav (author)2016-04-08

my buddy and I took a bike trip to Florida back in 2012. He had a military surplus dufflebag he put all his stuff in. It rained. All his clothes got wet.
While in Florida we did this process... a little too thick on the silicone side, but it stayed on.
Six years later... just took another 8 hour bike trip through rainy weather on the steed and not a single garment got wet. Left the bag out in the downpour while eating and everything was still dry. He never reapplied the mix either. this stuff is for reals!

I was about to buy some new leather saddlebags until I remembered this trick. I'm gonna go with the much cheaper canvas option.

Came looking for mix measurements. We'll see how right you are about that! :)

MishaG1 (author)josuchav2017-09-05

Afaik if you use a very thin bottom coat with a thicker top coat applied before the thin bottom coat cures you will have the best result

GrumpyOldGoat (author)josuchav2016-04-08

For a heavy coat, mix it thick and scrape it on with a nylon putty knife to make sure you get it thoroughly saturated all the way through.

jmagnini19 (author)2016-05-19

I was wondering if this could be thinned enough to run through a spray gun? I know you can make Silicone paints for airbrushing using the same method and tinting with acrylic paints but I was hoping to do this with a HVLP sprayer. What do you think?

MishaG1 (author)jmagnini192017-09-05

You can run it though higher pressure spray guns. Why not just try it?

GrumpyOldGoat (author)jmagnini192016-05-19

Probably need to put on several coats to ensure even coverage.

Were you planning on tinting it so you can see the coverage?

Let us know how it comes out

jmagnini19 (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-05-20

Yes it will be tinted a blueish white. I'm going to spray a compression shirt and I want to resemble skin. After I get a solid base coat I was going to go back with the airbrush for details.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)jmagnini192016-05-20

Take pictures, make a video and post it for the rest of us to learn.

Sounds awesome!

ArielS59 (author)2017-05-11

I am making ponchos out of ripstop nylon and will need to use this process to waterproof them. Any ideas about how to keep the front and back of the poncho and the hood from sticking to each other as it dries?

FenL (author)2017-02-03

For a smaller batch, it is possible that you could use a small bottle of nail polish remover. Because mineral spirits is simply a paint thinner. Though, I wonder if something a less caustic could be use, maybe alcohol? If anyone tries, please let us know.

DJEnD (author)2017-01-10

when it cures, does the thinner smell stay?

FloralenM (author)2016-10-05

May I ask if we can place the mixture on a spray bottle?

GrumpyOldGoat (author)FloralenM2016-10-05

A friend said he used it in a weed sprayer that you pump up for a continuous spray.
He never mentioned whether or not the sprayer was usable afterwards.

Give it a try, but I think you would still need to work it into the fabric to get the best results.

Keep us posted on your results.

FloralenM (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-10-05

Is there any alternative for mineral spirits though? Because in my place it is so hard to find a mineral spirits. My groupmates were planning to use this on our Science project.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)FloralenM2016-10-05

One user in Greece said it is the same as "White Spirits", and another from an unknown locations said the following:

The only other name I have found for Mineral Spirits is "Stoddard Solvent" named after one of the inventors.

You now know as much as I do on the subject.
Good Luck on the science experiment.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)2014-10-14

Youtube is for watching.

NOT for those who have never leaned, and are happy in their ignorance of how to...

But a good idea for someone, but it would just be water splashing and running off.

fleetsma (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-09-10

That wasn't very nice. Some may have learning differences and only learn by watching. Has nothing to do with ignorance. :(

GrumpyOldGoat (author)fleetsma2016-09-10

Gee, for 2 years nobody was 'offended'.

Was that an attempt at playing the victim card?

fleetsma (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-09-11

Nah Not at all! Just found this website and absolutely love it! I happen to have a 37 yr old son that has an extremely high IQ but has a learning difference. Very successful guy but learns mostly from hearing or watching...not reading.

DanO32 (author)2016-07-31

Awesome! One question: Do you think this would work on a motorcycle polyester 600d jacket? Would it wear off quickly? Can I reapply in the future?

GrumpyOldGoat (author)DanO322016-07-31

It should not harm the material. Mix it thin to get it between the threads and whereever possible use a squeegee to force it as deep as you can.

The only downside may be the existing waterproofing used in the manufacture of the jacket.

It is silicon rubber like coating, and if forced between the threads it should never 'need' recoated unless there are spots that need touched up because of missed ares that didn't get an adequate coat on the first try.

DanO32 (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-07-31

Awesome, thank you very much.
BTW the original fabric has no existing waterproofing.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)DanO322016-07-31

An added word of caution.
Gasoline will soften it over time. If it gets splashed. use a good soap and water to get rid of the gas.
Most gas station hand soaps will do the trick.

It's not an immediate softening, usually a day or two to notice on a big spill,

DanO32 (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-07-31

Good to know, thanks a lot!!!

MikeyJimenez (author)2016-01-31

How much did you spend on this all together?

Caulk is about $5/rube and mineral spirits are about $15/gallon

MickeyD10 (author)2016-06-25

I want to waterproof 3 new pairs of Nike Air Max shoes, but am really concerned now that I read that Mineral Spirits is not kind to all materials.... How do I find out if it is safe to use on these $225 a pair shoes?

GrumpyOldGoat (author)MickeyD102016-06-26

First question: WHY?

Most shoes need to breathe to allow for air circulation to help wick out the moisture and dry the interior. This process will stop that and nobody will want you or your stinky shoes in their neighborhood.

However, if you insist...

Place a small drop on an area that will not be easily noticed and check on it for a day or two.
If nothing happens it should be safe.

Let us know what happens.

FrancineL5 (author)2016-06-01

Is this product safe to use on fabric used to make kids bibs?

LeisaD1 (author)FrancineL52016-06-11

I think that it is inadvisable to use the chemicals on anything that your baby would come in contact with. A bib is made for food spills and is often used to wipe the baby's face, mouth. Plus there are many waterproof bibs that could be used instead.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)FrancineL52016-06-01

I have no way of knowing what fabric you are talking about.

They are made from dozens of different fabrics, treated with an assortment of chemicals, etc, and produced in numerous countries.

Pick an old one and give it a try.

AprilD30 (author)2016-06-05

I have boys that play baseball and I'm so over the red Ga clay and dirt on white pants I am wondering if I use this on their baseball pants if it would not only be waterproof but dirt and clay proof as well ?

GrumpyOldGoat (author)AprilD302016-06-05

I did get a kick out of that. I just relocated from RED Sand in Western Colorado to Red Clay in the Canton/Jasper area.
Mix it medium and work it in well.

Then let us know.

MojoIron (author)2016-04-29

Hi All,

I'd like to try this on nylon rain gear, will this work?



GrumpyOldGoat (author)MojoIron2016-04-29

There should be no problem.

Just make sure to force the mixture into the fabric.

hobhob (author)2016-02-04

thanks for sharing! I just made some research about it and it seems that it's more effective to use PU foam: it's cheaper (5$ for a bunch of square mettes) and more efficient and you can't really apply later a second layer of silicon since it will be fixed on the old silicon particules, but no problem with PU. I'll try first PU and post something about that here or on stack exchange.

hobhob (author)hobhob2016-04-04

EDIT: I made many test, PU and silicon are different, and thus must be apply to fit different criteria. PU "plastifies" the fabric, it makes it slightly rigid (or a lot more, depending of the concentration, start with 100ml/10g is low, 100ml/15g harden the fabric), it will slow the water penetration but it won't be waterproof. The advantage of PU is that it will be stronger (excellent for the tent groundsheet) and breathable (good for a jacket). The advantage of silicon is that it will be water repellent (excellent for the outer-tent), silicon is more fragile, but easier to apply (PU evaporate quickly, break the gloves (aceton) + create toxic compound). Does anybody knows about the silicon + WS toxicity? I'll post a video on youtube.

NiravT1 (author)2015-09-08


hobhob (author)NiravT12016-02-04

silicon is inert, PU too

GrumpyOldGoat (author)NiravT12015-09-09

Painting it on fabric is ok.

After it's cured you shouldn't have any problems.

MikeyJimenez (author)2016-01-31

How much did you spend on this all together?

I already had all the stuff.

The Mineral Spirits are under a couple of US dollars, and the 100% silicon caulk is about the same.

It's not an expensive project unless you try it on a $400.00 sport jacket....

MikeyJimenez (author)2016-01-31

How much did you spend on this all together?

MikeyJimenez (author)2016-01-31

How much did you spend on this all together?

MikeyJimenez (author)2016-01-28

Okay, so I want to use this for a science fair project. If I make the 'spray' the night before will it still last for the day after or not? Will it evaporate or still work for the next day?

The mixture begins curing as soon as you mix it.

The next day you will have a glob of silicon caulk in the shape of whatever container you stored it in.

You need to mix it and use it immediately.

KnightT2 (author)2015-12-31

Does fabric treated this way still breathe / allow air to pass through it?

GrumpyOldGoat (author)KnightT22016-01-01

No, the concoction fills in the gaps in the threads and pretty much locks them together.

edufour (author)2015-08-02

beware : doesnt work with acid cured silicon (the one that smells like vinegar) but only oxime cured

Kinnishian (author)edufour2015-10-23

Are you sure? It looks like Silicone I on the bottle, which I believe is the vinegar-type solution.

[I haven't done this in years and can't remember what kind of silicone I originally used, but I have a lot of vinegar on hand.]

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