How to Waterproof a Raincoat

No one wants to be stopped from going outside by a raincoat that leaks. It's true: all raincoats are made with waterproof or water resistant fabric. However, the waterproof coating on your raincoat may wear off with use, after the raincoat has been dry-cleaned, or after it has gone through the washer a few times. While there are a number of products available to insure that your raincoat remains waterproof, sprays are the easiest to use and are readily available at most outdoor and hardware stores.

When shopping for a waterproof product, read the label carefully to check if it is appropriate for your fabric. Most waterproof sprays contain silicone which results in water beading up and sliding off the fabric. It’s best to buy an extra can in order to give your raincoat a thorough treatment.

Clean your raincoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions before waterproofing.

Prepare an area inside, such as a basement or garage, by spreading newspaper underneath your raincoat. If you are spraying outdoors, make sure you choose a sheltered spot or a day without wind.

Read the instructions on the waterproofing product you have chosen. Most products are easy to use, but there may be warnings about use that you need to know.

Conduct a spot-check to insure that your fabric won’t change colors or be damaged by the spray. Spray a small amount of waterproofing on a hidden part of the garment such as an inner hem and wait until it dries to see if there are any color changes.

Hold the can approximately six to 10 inches from your raincoat and spray in an even pattern to insure that you don’t miss a section, paying special attention to seams, where water is more likely to penetrate.

Let the raincoat dry thoroughly and apply a second coat of spray for maximum coverage.