Introduction: How to Wax (waterproof) a Carhartt Coat
If you're like me, you love your Carhartt jacket. They're extremely durable and will hold up to nearly any abuse. The only negative is that they absorb water. Well, I was determined to overcome this and here is how I accomplished it.
Step 1: What You Will Need
1 Carhartt Jacket (or similar canvas style jacket)
2 cans of Filson's Oil Finish Wax
1 2" paint brush
1 Hair dryer
1 Heating element
Step 2: Melt Filson's Wax
The first thing you want to do is melt the wax. I happened to have this butter warmer in the kitchen that I used. I put a tea candle underneath it and waited for it to melt. Alternatively, you could scoop out the wax and microwave it or melt it in a double boiler. You can be creative here...
This picture was taken after I had already used half the wax. Notice how it is half liquid. The candle was not quite hot enough to melt it all at once. Something a little hotter would have been better.
Step 3: Paint the Wax On
Lay the jacket out on your counter or table. You might get wax on the surface, so be aware of that. If this concerns you, put a towel under the jacket to protect your table. Dip the tip of your paint brush in the wax and quickly paint it on the jacket. The quicker you can do this the better. The wax will solidify on the brush if you are not careful. Using quick brush strokes, move up and down the back of the jacket. Add extra wax to the seams to be sure they get waterproofed. Once the back is complete, move on to the sleeves and the front of the jacket. You'll probably get some spots with thicker wax than others. This is normal. Just try to get it all well coated.
Step 4: Melt the Wax in to the Fabric
Once you have your jacket fully waxed, it is time to melt the wax in to the cotton. Turn the hair dryer on high heat and hold it a few inches away from the jacket. You will see the thick wax spots melt in to the jacket. I took the paint brush in one hand and the hair drier in the other. Working together, I re-melted the wax on the jacket and brushed it in the fabric. This worked especially well for the seams.
Step 5: Enjoy Your New Waterproof Jacket!
Here are the before and after photos. The light spots in the second photo are just the flash bouncing off the wax. The jacket is still dark green. This is a great way to turn your standard Carhartt jacket into a Filson tin cloth like material! I can only imagine how great this jacket is going to look after a little use. You shouldn't have to redo the waterproofing for a few years. If high use areas start to wear, just reapply the wax to those areas.