How To Waterproof Canvas Tent Using Natural Products

How To Waterproof Canvas Tent – 3 Helpful Hacks For You

When you’re out camping, the last thing you want to be concerned about is rain or other inclement weather damaging your tent or gear. While many tents are waterproof, some may require extra waterproofing, particularly if they are an older type, which is not uncommon. We’ve included several simple, practical, and time-saving methods for waterproofing a canvas tent to assist you along the road. We hope that you will find these tips useful and that they will assist you in staying dry and comfortable while camping!

Do I need to waterproof my tent?

While the vast majority of tents are constructed of a naturally waterproof cotton canvas, this material can become brittle over time. For example, if a small rip or hole forms in the canvas fabric, this might allow rain and water to soak into the cloth. When this occurs, the interior of the cotton canvas material becomes moist, causing it to become brittle. When it comes to waterproofing, the effectiveness of your tent will diminish over time as a result of this. Most newly acquired tents will not require waterproofing, and this will be the case for the vast majority of them.

In your tent, you will detect wetness and maybe pools of water, which will alert you to the fact that you need to waterproof your tent immediately.

You may also see water dripping from the tent’s seams and floor.

In addition, it is far less expensive than purchasing a new tent as a result of water damage.

How to WaterproofA Canvas Tent

When it comes to waterproofing a canvas tent, there are a few options to choose from. The approach that you use will be determined by your specific circumstances and may differ based on the sort of canvas tent that you own.

Using Canvas Preservative

One of the most straightforward methods of waterproofing a canvas tent is to use canvas preservative. In spite of the fact that many canvas tents are naturally waterproof, they may begin to degrade and become less durable with time and with prolonged usage. Because of this, canvas preservative may be a fantastic substitute for paint. The following products are recommended if you are looking to purchase canvas preservative: It is a well-known and excellent preservative that will aid in the repelling of water while also providing ultraviolet protection.

After that, the preservative will be applied accurately and evenly throughout the piece.

It may take some time for the tent to dry completely, so you will need to leave it up until it is completely dry.

To completely cover the tent, you may need to use a step ladder if the tent is unusually large or tall, as described above.

This approach is rather simple to implement and will not take an excessive amount of time. Your tent’s lifespan will be considerably increased once this project is completed. This process is rather simple to accomplish and is far less expensive than acquiring a brand new tent from the manufacturer.

Paraffin Wax/Oil

In the event that you do not wish to apply a waterproofing preservative, you can use paraffin oil or wax instead. It is, on the other hand, a little more messy than using preservatives or a spray. However, while this approach is no longer the simplest or most common method of waterproofing a tent, it was formerly such. Waterproofing many various types of materials has been done in this manner for hundreds of years. It has been quite successful. It will be necessary to melt the wax using paraffin or white spirit in order to complete this approach successfully.

Most individuals will opt to buy a ready-made preservative rather than attempting this process because it is time-consuming and difficult to master.

Silicone Spray

The final method of waterproofing a tent is to apply a silicone spray to the surface. The silicone spray will waterproof the tent in a manner similar to those of the other approaches we have discussed so far. This is perhaps the simplest strategy to utilize out of all of the ones that have been presented. Silicone spray is fantastic since it is non-toxic in any form and may be used on tents to increase their waterproofing properties. To ensure that your tent is well protected, you should apply the spray to it when it is fully erected, in the same manner as the other ways described above.

It will take around 8 to 10 hours for the silicone spray to cure entirely, therefore do not fold away the tent until the silicone spray has completely dried.

When it comes to purchasing a silicone spray, we recommend the following brands: It is a widely used and highly effective spray.


As you can see, once you have owned your tent for a period of time, it is probable that it will require waterproofing. Waterproofing your tent is a relatively simple process that will considerably extend the life of your tent. Waterproofing is especially vital if you have cleaned the canvas of the tent at any point throughout its lifetime. It is possible that the waterproofing elements will be less effective as a result of this. One of the most essential things to remember is that you should only apply the waterproofing oil, spray, or preservative after the tent has been entirely set up.

Hello, my name is Andrew Mullen, and my fascination with the great outdoors began when my grandfather and father used to take me along with them on camping vacations when I was a child.

This blog is intended to be inspirational and I hope you enjoy it. Who knows, maybe we’ll run into each other at a camping someplace in the woods and exchange a few stories? Andrew Mullen’s most recent blog entries (see all)

Do Canvas Tents Need Waterproofing?

Canvas, after all, is a highly durable material, and it is simple to think that it is already waterproof at the time of manufacture. Unfortunately, as someone who has spent time camping in unexpectedly wet situations, I can confirm that while canvas does have some natural water resistance, it is not waterproof in the traditional sense. As for whether canvas tents require waterproofing, I can confirm that they really do! Canvas has inherent waterproofing capabilities, although it is not completely impervious to the elements.

There are a variety of options available, but the most effective are silicone- or fluoropolymer-based formulations.

As the water seeps through the resistant fabric, part of it will be retained, and it will begin to attract mildew as a result of the moisture.

The Waterproof Qualities of Cotton (Canvas)

Cotton, which has inherent waterproofing properties, has traditionally been used by canvas fabric makers to waterproof their canvas material. When cotton fibers become saturated, they expand, making the cloth denser and less permeable. The problem is that unless you properly dry the cloth out immediately after it has been wet, some of the moisture will be retained in between the fibers and will begin to attract mildew. It will then begin to smell musty, similar to the way a lot of old tents do.

Modern Material

Canvas, in current times, does not relate to a single material but rather to a variety of textiles that are coated with either vinyl or acrylic-based substance before being sold. In comparison to regular cotton canvas, the canvas produced by this process has a significantly tighter weave and is more water-resistant.

How To Season Your Tent

Depending on your background, you may or may not be familiar with the phrase “seasoning.” Waterproofing is a method that you may employ to seal any small pinholes that may have appeared in the fabric of your new tent. Essentially, you will be soaking and drying your tent multiple times. As a result of this, fibers in the cloth will stretch, sealing up any minute holes that may not be visible with the human eye, but which may attract moisture and mildew if left untreated if left untreated. The quickest and most straightforward method is to build the tent and then spray it down with a hose.

Tumble drying, on the other hand, should only be done if the manufacturer’s instructions clearly state that it is OK.

In the event that you have not previously done so, you should begin using a silicone-based waterproofing solution at this point.

How To Waterproof Your Tent

If you season your canvas tent when you first purchase it, you should still waterproof your canvas tent, regardless matter how robust you believe it to be. As time passes, the fibers of your tent begin to get a little looser, tiny pinholes begin to develop, and the material begins to lose the majority of its naturally occurring waterproofing capabilities. That’s when you’ll want to use a waterproofing solution to protect your investment. In contrast, using a treatment that will permanently seal up all of the fibers is not something you should consider doing.

In order to maintain some airflow, it is necessary to apply a sealer that is waterproof without permanently sealing the fibers in the carpeting.

You can find it at most camping and home improvement stores, as well as on the internet.

What Do You Use To Waterproof Canvas?

When determining the product to purchase in order to waterproof your tent, you should take the size of your tent into consideration. If your tent is on the bigger side, you may get concentrated canvas preservative that can be sprayed on or rolled on depending on your preference. Here are a few examples of items that I have used in the past and would recommend:

  1. Atsko Silicone Water-Guard, Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent, Obenauf’s Odorless Waterproofing Spray, and more products are available.

Even if your tent is on the tiny side, you may get a small spray can, which should be sufficient for the majority of small tents intended for one or two people.

How to Apply The Waterproofing Product

Ideally, you’ll want to do these steps on a warm, bright day that isn’t very breezy. If the wind is blowing too hard, it will be difficult to uniformly apply the canvas waterproofing spray on the canvas. Simply follow these five straightforward steps:

  1. If your tent is looking a bit old and smells a little mildewy, pour a bucket of soapy water and clean it thoroughly with a strong brush before erecting it anywhere in your yard
  2. If it’s already in quite decent shape, simply stack it on top of one another. Spray the whole tent with as much uniformity as possible. You want to make sure you get the spray all over the place, including all of the minor folds and, especially, down the seamlines
  3. Otherwise, it will seem sloppy. After that, using a small paintbrush, work the application into any hard-to-reach places where the spray may not have been adequately covered
  4. Allow the tent to dry completely before applying a second coat and allowing it to dry completely again. If you are not completely happy with the results, you can apply a third coat
  5. Nevertheless, two coats are generally adequate.

After the tent has dried, spritz it down with water, and you should observe that the water begins to condense and form little beads. This is due to the fact that your tent is now waterproof, and water will not be able to permeate the surface!

Final Thoughts

I hope this piece has provided you with a better understanding of why, even though your tent is likely to have some natural waterproofing, you will still need to waterproof it as it ages. It is crucial to waterproof your tent correctly so that you will not have to worry about the smell of mildew every time you go camping. More significantly, it will last you for a very long time! You might also be interested in:

How To Waterproof Canvas Tent Using Natural Products

A canvas that has been seasoning is a critical requirement. There is no other way to waterproof a canvas tent to its maximum extent except by using a canvas tent. Canvas reacts in a variety of ways as a result of these elements: Heat will cause it to relax, expand, and become softer. When it is cold, it becomes stiff, rigid, and shrinks. When it becomes wet, it will expand. When it’s dry, it pulls tight.

How can I waterproof my canvas naturally?

Materials. The use of wax is one of the most straightforward methods of waterproofing a canvas bag.

There are several items you will need in order to get things started: The following items: a block of wax (you may use a mixture of paraffin and beeswax, or you can use 100 percent organic wax); 21st of September, 2020

How do you waterproof a canvas swag?

How to Make a Swag Waterproof Prepare your goods for display. Begin by arranging your swag in an equal layer on a flat surface. Water should be sprayed into all of the seams on the inside. Apply water to all of the seams on the inside of the swag that can be reached by spraying them with a container. Close all of the doors and windows in your home. Using a hose, clean it up. Allow for a thorough drying time. This procedure should be repeated twice more.

Are canvas tents worth the money?

As long as you will not be compelled to carry the tent for an extended period of time by hand, a Canvas tent will most likely be a terrific choice and well worth the money! For those who do a lot of hiking and want to utilize the tent for that purpose, a smaller tent may be preferable. Canvas tents, on the other hand, are significantly larger and heavier than most other nylon tents.

Why does a canvas tent leak when you touch it?

When a tent’s canvas is touched during a rainstorm, the tent begins to leak. What causes this? When you place your finger on a wet canvas, surface tension will pull the water to your fingertip. When the humidity is high, whatever is left will still attract condensation more than the rest of the inner tent surface, causing it to seem to leak from that location.

Are cotton canvas tents waterproof?

Tents constructed of cotton canvas are breathable, waterproof, and insulating, as well as being environmentally beneficial.

What is the best waterproofing spray?

The Most Effective Waterproofing Spray Rust-Oleum NeverWet Waterproofing Spray is a water-resistant spray that repels water. Nikwax TX is a trademark of Nikwax Corporation. Waterproofing Spray applied directly to the surface. Simple Shine Premium Waterproofing Spray is a high-quality waterproofing spray. Grangers Performance Repel Waterproofing Spray is a water-repellent spray that is designed to repel water. Fabric Guard Waterproofing Spray (303 Fabric Guard Waterproofing Spray).

Is there a spray to waterproof fabric?

The Most Effective Fabric Waterproofing Spray 303 Fabric Guard is a fabric guard that is designed to protect fabrics from abrasion and abrasion (32 Fl. Oz.) This waterproofing and stain-repelling spray from 303 is a flexible choice that can be used on a variety of materials, including natural fibers and synthetics, without harming them. When it comes to protecting everything from clothes to furniture from severe weather and accidents, it’s a fantastic option.

What can I use to waterproof fabric?

Fabrics that have been waterproofed using silicone spray You’ll need a can of silicone waterproofing spray, which you can readily get for a reasonable price on No matter what you’re using it on, silicone is completely non-toxic and completely safe. It takes only a few minutes to apply a waterproof coating using silicone spray after you’ve obtained your supply of the substance.

What tents last the longest?

In comparison to other types of tents, a canvas tent is more durable and may possibly last a lifetime.

These are composed of a heavy canvas material that provides excellent insulation, making them suitable for camping in the winter or cold weather. In comparison to other tent types, a canvas tent is more costly and may be extremely hot during the summer months.

Do tents lose their waterproofing?

Here in the United Kingdom, the weather is never completely predictable. When this coating wears away over time, it will need to be replaced with tent waterproofing spray – otherwise, you and your belongings may find yourselves waking up a little moist after a downpour!

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What is a natural waterproof material?

There are, however, naturally water-resistant ingredients available, such as beeswax and lanolin, that may be used to preserve a variety of garments, including cotton coats, leather shoes, canvas bags, tents, and other items. They also utilize beeswax and lanolin that has been obtained in a humane manner, and they are strongly opposed to animal experimentation and animal mistreatment.

How long will a canvas tent last?

A decent quality canvas tent should serve a typical person for 20 to 30 years if it is maintained properly. In addition to storing the tent damp, leaving it set up in the sun for extended periods of time (months) without a fly is one of the most significant factors affecting the life expectancy of canvas tents.

How do you waterproof a canvas drop cloth?

Fabric Waterproofing using Tin Cloth (with Pictures) Step 1: Create a straightforward recipe. Fabrics such as tin cloth are created by covering canvas with liquified oils that dry and solidify to form a fabric that is both fireproof and waterproof. Step 2: Put it into action. Paint the liquified fluid onto your canvas apron, tent, or whatever else you’d like to keep dry and protected. The Third Step is to Take a Shower, Robot!

Do you need to waterproof canvas tents?

Pre-wetting of poly-cotton canvas is required before the tent can be used to ensure that it is waterproof. Always store your tent in a clean and dry location before storing it for an extended period of time. Keep the container in a warm, dry spot away from direct sunlight. Do not leave your tent up for extended periods of time if it is not necessary, as prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the canvas.

Can Thompson’s Water Seal be used on cloth?

When using poly-cotton canvas, it is necessary to “pre-wette” the canvas before usage in order to keep the tent watertight. Prevent long-term storage of your tent by packing it away neat and dry. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve freshness. It is not recommended to leave your tent up for longer periods of time if it is not absolutely necessary, as prolonged exposure to UV can cause damage to the fabric.

Can you live in a canvas tent?

So, the issue is, “Is it really feasible to live in a canvas tent?” says the author. and the answer is affirmative! With proper care and maintenance, a high-quality canvas tent can be relied on to survive for many years in the outdoors. You can not only survive in a tent, but you can live well in a tent if you put in enough effort and planning ahead of time.

What can I use to waterproof canvas?

Using a Waterproofing Treatment on Canvas The silicone will be repelled by the factory waterproofing chemical, which is a fluorocarbon, resulting in spotty coating of the surface. The silicone is also likely to impair the fabric’s stain-resistance properties. For acrylic canvas, a fluoropolymer-based compound is the most effective treatment.

Can I use Thompson’s Water Seal on canvas?

Thompsons is the brand I use on all of my canvas wall tents (I have 5 for guiding hunters).

Overall, it performs admirably. Normally, I apply two coats of paint.

Make Waterproof a Canvas Tent in 5 Steps

Tents are often the most significant piece of equipment for adventure seekers who want to enjoy camping and other outdoor activities. Consequently, you want the highest quality tent that will keep you safe from a variety of difficult scenarios and adverse weather conditions. In this scenario, the canvas is one of many traditional tent parts that are quite useful and provide the finest protection against a variety of weather conditions. Due to the fact that canvas tents are extremely durable and highly breathable fabrics, they are unlikely to condense.

However, when used over an extended period of time, its constituents are depleted.

As a result, adequate maintenance is required to ensure safe travel and that the tent remains waterproof.


Canvas tents are ideal for camping and a variety of other outdoor activities, such as fishing. The reason for this is that the canvas is weaved in an ultralight manner and water cannot infiltrate inside the tent as a result of the tent’s naturally occurring waterproof features. So, what are the benefits of waterproofing your tent? If your tent leaks during strong rains, water and damp will be able to seep inside your shelter. Despite the fact that canvas is extremely resilient for long-term usage, the amount of material used may be reduced.

  1. Aside from that, the canvas has some natural waterproofing properties, but it is not totally waterproof, therefore you will need to make the tent completely waterproof.
  2. It is, however, not breathable.
  3. And even if it doesn’t rain, the plastic sheet covering can cause a foul odor to creep throughout the tent’s fabric.
  4. As a result, you should use an atent waterproofing spray to protect the canvas tent.


When you purchase a new canvas tent, you will see that it has around one million needle holes in it, with some of these pinholes being larger than threads. All of the seams on the canvas have been sewed together, resulting in the formation of micro pinholes. Furthermore, water can enter the tent through all of these openings. Consequently, the pinholes or seams must be filled during the seasoning procedure. During the seasoning process, the tent must be soaked and dried several times because the canvas expands as a consequence of the wetness and the compression closes the holes in the fabric.

The tent should not be waterproofed with silicone waterproofing spray while it is still in its original packaging. It is possible that the pinholes in the canvas tent will leak after a few years of use. If this occurs, you can waterproof the tent with a waterproofing spray.


The most straightforward and effective method of making your tent waterproof is to use a waterproofing spray. Generally speaking, waterproof sprays do not impair the airflow of the fabric and perform a good job of sealing the pores on the canvas. In this case, a silicone or fluoropolymer-based waterproof spray is recommended. Take a look at the process of making canvas waterproof using a waterproof spray, step-by-step, to see how to do it.


  • Waterproofing spray, a paintbrush, a ladder, sealant, and cleaning tools are all needed.

Note: To ensure that your tent is totally waterproof, you should select a sunny day so that the tent can dry completely and thoroughly.


Set up the tent in a sunny location and tuck the ladder into one of the tent’s corners for easy access. The ladder is required in order to thoroughly clean and spray every inch of the tent. Using a mild detergent and a soft sponge, thoroughly clean all of the dirt and grime from within your tent. If there are any persistent bacteria, you can remove them with a hard brush. Clean the tent’s rainfly, floor, and zippers, as well as the interior. Everything should be washed. Inspect your tent to ensure that there is no dirt left inside.


After the canvas has been thoroughly cleaned, spray the tent with a light coating of waterproofing spray. Distribute the coating evenly around the tent. Fill in all of the holes with a thick coat of paint, and paint over each hole twice with a paintbrush. Also, make sure you thoroughly treat the rainfly and tent flooring with waterproofing spray.


Tent seams should be of the highest quality to provide the maximum protection. For this reason, most of the water can seep into the tent from the outside through the seams. As a result, silicone sealer should be used to waterproof the seams. In order to give additional protection, apply a second coat of sealant to the seams. It is necessary to use a flexible sealant in this situation in order to make folding the tent as simple as possible.


Using a moist towel, wipe away any surplus spray from the tent’s surface to prevent stains.


Spray was applied to everything in the tent, and it will now take 12 hours to dry. You can extend the drying time if necessary. Once the tent has dried, check to see if it is waterproof. Pour water into the tent using a hose to see how well it works. Repeat the process as many times as necessary, using various coatings of waterproof spray until you are pleased.


A waterproof tent means that you will have a comfortable camping experience, therefore be certain that your tent is waterproof. It is necessary in this situation to take good care of the tent and to keep it watertight so that water does not seep into the interior of the tent. Make your tent waterproof and your vacation unforgettable by following the easy procedures outlined above to waterproof the tent seen above. WISHING YOU A BLESSED CAMPING EXPERIENCE.

How To Waterproof A Canvas Tent – 2 Simple Hacks To Try At Home

A large number of individuals assume that canvas tents aren’t water resistant. And while they are not waterproof right out of the box, there are a handful of things you can do to make them as water-resistant as nylon and polyester camping tents are by following these instructions.

Seasoning and waterproofing are the two strategies that may be used to accomplish this. What each of these approaches does and how to waterproof a canvas tent at home will be discussed in detail in this article.

Seasoning Vs. Waterproofing

Canvas is naturally water resistant to a certain extent. Just as with wood, cotton fibers expand when they are wet, preventing water droplets from passing through the weave. A canvas tent, on the other hand, is not going to keep you dry during a thunderstorm. The reason behind this is as follows: Various pieces of cloth are sewed together to form a tent during the course of the manufacturing process. There is a lot of sewing involved in this procedure, and every time the needle pierces through the canvas, it leaves a little hole.

  1. However, if it begins to rain overnight, there is something you can do to avoid waking up in a pool of water the next morning.
  2. Allow me to first explain what each of these terms entails.
  3. Seasoning your canvas tent refers to preparing it for various weather conditions, particularly rainy weather.
  4. A tent’s seasoning will lessen the size of the holes in the fabric and will prevent your canvas tent from leaking water.
  5. In this situation, you’re battling water with water, as the saying goes.
  6. In other words, cotton expands when it is drenched with water and all of those needle holes are no longer visible.
  7. The next question you could have is: if seasoning makes your tent impenetrable to moisture, what does waterproofing accomplish?
  8. Using this sort of substance, you can effectively seal off all of the needle holes.
  9. As a result, the canvas has lost its ability to breathe.
  10. In order to keep water out of your canvas tent, seasoning it after purchasing it is essential when first purchasing it.
  11. Using a waterproofing treatment on it will be necessary in this situation.

How To Season A Canvas Tent In 5 Easy Steps

Seasoning a canvas tent is a piece of cake in comparison to other methods. You’ll need three things to complete this project: a water hose, a backyard, and a little patience. Let’s take it step by step and see what you need to accomplish.

Step 1: Pitch your tent

Locate a good location in your garden for the installation of your tent. It will have to be there for a few days, so choose a location where it will not be a hindrance to your work. In order to avoid your children accidently knocking it down with a football, it’s probably best to place it in a corner. Keep in mind that no matter how vast the balcony, it will not enough. Your backyard will be required; if you do not have one, you will be need to contact a friend or family to allow you to pitch your tent in their yard.

Set it up the same way you would if you were camping. Stretch out the canvas as far as it will go, then close all of the doors and windows in the building.

Step 2: Soak the canvas

Okay, now that you’ve gotten everything ready, it’s time to soak the tent in some water. Although it’s not practical, you could theoretically keep an eye on the weather prediction and pitch your tent shortly before a rainfall. However, it is possible that the rain will not stay long enough to thoroughly flood the tent. In addition, no one can predict whether or not your tent will have enough time to dry out before the next downpour arrives. In this case, waiting for a longer period of sunny days is a far superior alternative.

  • Make certain that every inch of the canvas is saturated to the bone.
  • Because these are the areas where water is most likely to make its way in, seasoning the tent seams is essential.
  • The greater the number, the better.
  • In the event that there are any spots where the sun peeks through the needle holes, these regions will require some additional soaking.
  • In fact, it’s usually preferable to soak the tent for an extended period of time the first time you use it.

Step 3: Repeat the process

I said that the optimum time to season a tent is during the daytime hours. It will take anything from 4 to 24 hours to air dry, depending on how hot it is outside. However, you do not want the light to just dry everything out. In an ideal situation, the canvas should be baked. When I say baked, I mean that it is hot to the touch. The weather will be on your favor with a little luck, and your tent will be ablaze after a few hours in the sun. Once that has occurred, it is necessary to repeat the entire procedure.

Ensure that all of the doors and windows are properly closed before grabbing your water hose for the second time.

This will assist in making the canvas threads swell even more and, ideally, shortening the time required for seasoning.


Step 4: Test time

For most tents, it takes three to four soakings and bakings before the canvas becomes water-resistant and weather-resistant. However, even if you’ve gone through the process several times, always double-check your results before going camping. The last thing you want is to discover a leak in the middle of a thunderstorm in the middle of nowhere, am I right? Pitching a tent when it’s about to rain is a smart strategy at this point in the game. There is no better method to determine whether or not the seasoning procedure was successful.

Open the tent doors and have a peek inside once it has been soaked. In an ideal situation, there should be no leaks. Nevertheless, if you do manage to locate one, it’s important to apply a waterproofing compound to the affected region.

Step 5: Air dry and pack it up

That’s all there is to it! Your tent will be ready after a couple of seasoning sessions and, if necessary, with the assistance of a waterproofing spray. Pack up your equipment after it has totally dried before taking it out into the field for testing. However, don’t hold your breath for the seasoning to last indefinitely. You should repeat this technique every 12 months or so to ensure that your tent lasts as long as possible.

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How To Waterproof A Canvas Tent In 4 Easy Steps

Even if you season your canvas tent once a year, the water-resistance of your canvas tent will deteriorate with time. Simply said, this tent fabric wears down over time, and the fibers do not expand nearly as much when wet as other fabrics. It is at this point that you need purchase a waterproofing solution to keep the water out of the tent. On the market, there are several distinct varieties of these items. A waterproofing spray is a fantastic alternative if you simply need to put it on certain spots that are allowing water to pass through.

There are other products that are intended specifically for seam sealing.

Because canvas tents do not have factory-sealed seams, as opposed to nylon tents, this is even more important for canvas tents to consider.

Step 1: Place a tent on a flat surface

Remove the canvas from your tent and lay it down on a level area in your backyard. Ideally, you’ll want to do it in a sunny location, since this will aid in the drying process.

Step 2: Cleaning time

Before using a product, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the tent. That entails cleaning out any dirt or soil that has accumulated since your previous camping excursion. When it comes to washing canvas, soap and water will do the job. If you need to get rid of a stain, a rough bristle brush will do the trick. Using a power washer to remove highly stubborn dirt spots may be the best solution in some cases.

Step 3: Apply a product

Fill the required region, whether it’s simply the weak points or the entire tent, with a waterproofing agent until it’s completely saturated. Seam sealant should be applied to the seams. Make use of a soft bristle brush to thoroughly impregnate these regions, ensuring that there is no danger of leaking in the future. Allow it to dry naturally when you’re through.

Step 4: Hose it off

It’s time to start making it rain once more. Take your hose and pour the water down the tent’s side walls and floor. You should be able to observe droplets skimming off the tent’s surface as they evaporate. If it happens, you did a fantastic job of waterproofing your canvas tent, so congratulations!

To Wrap It Up

Contrary to common belief, canvas tents are capable of keeping you dry during a rain shower.

In contrast to nylon tents, it is not ready to withstand water right out of the factory, but the procedure of making it waterproof is straightforward and inexpensive. Anyone can accomplish it at home if they have a little patience and water.

Do Canvas Tents Need Waterproofing? Handy Guide

Keeping my canvas tents watertight was a constant source of frustration for me for years. They only came out of storage a couple of times a year, at the most (only during the hunting season). Every season, it looked like they were getting worse. The situation became so out of control that I had to find a solution. As a result, I investigated the possibility of waterproofing my canvas tents.

Do Canvas Tents Need Waterproofing?

Keeping my canvas tents watertight was a constant source of frustration for me for years. A few times every year, they were brought out of storage (only during the hunting season). Every season appeared to bring on a new set of difficulties. The situation became so out of control that I needed to find a solution. Consequently, I began researching ways to make my canvas tents water-resistant.

There are Different Types of Canvas

Each canvas will be constructed of a different material from the others. For a long time, producers employed cotton as the primary fiber in their waterproof canvas. When cotton is wet, the strands expand, sealing the weave; nevertheless, all of the wet fibers tend to attract mildew, making the fabric seem dingy. The majority of ancient canvas tents will be made of a cotton-based material. Manufacturers are now covering their canvas with either vinyl coated polyester or acrylic material, depending on the use.

The only issue is that these materials require more ventilation.

Seasoning a Tent vs Waterproofing

If you’ve just acquired a canvas tent, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of the term “seasoning canvas.” It is necessary to continuously wash and dry your canvas in order to seal the micro pinholes that exist in the cloth. Because most canvas products do not come waterproof out of the box, this step must be performed on all new tents purchased. All you have to do is set up your tent, spray it down with a hose, and allow it to dry completely. Several repetitions of this procedure should result in a tent that is somewhat watertight.

How to Waterproof Your Tent

People who camp in a canvas tent will need to make sure that their stuff is waterproofed. The fact is that no matter how well-made a tent is, it will eventually leak during a downpour. Over time, the material will deteriorate, and you will be forced to use a waterproofing solution to protect your investment. Waterproofing your canvas tent without sealing up the fibers is a far more difficult proposition than it appears. The trick is to use a waterproofing spray that does not interfere with the fabric’s ability to breathe properly.

If you don’t properly ventilate your home, you’ll end up with a lot of moisture.

When it comes to waterproofing your canvas tent, there are various options available to you. The most straightforward method of waterproofing your tent is to use a canvas preservative, which can be purchased at any home improvement store.

What Products Do You Need?

The type of goods you’ll need to purchase is totally dependant on the size of your camper’s interior. A large bottle of concentrate that may be rolled or sprayed on is required for larger tents and structures. On a smaller tent, you can probably get away with a single bottle of Kiwi Camp Dry (which is what I use). Everything else you’ll need is a ladder, spray bottle, paint brush, and some spare time. You’ll also need a few hours to complete the project.

  1. Set up your tent on a level, even surface in a sunny location in your yard
  2. And Soap and water are all you need to clean your canvas tent. Normally, I clean it down with a stiff bristle brush and then spray it down to remove any remaining dirt. If the mildew growth is really obstinate, you may want to consider using a high-pressure washer. Keep your distance from the tent in order to prevent tearing the canvas. Spray your canvas waterproofing spray over the whole tent, being sure to cover it evenly. Make certain that you cover all of the seams and get into all of the little creases. Double-up on all of the seams with a paintbrush to make them seem even better. Make certain that they are completely soaked. Allow time for your tent to dry in the sun and then continue the process till you are happy
  3. Watch the water bead up on the tent’s surface as you hose it off.

How To Waterproof A Canvas Tent In 6 Simple Steps

I made the error of failing to waterproof my tent once, and I will not make the same mistake again. Canvas is naturally waterproof, so I believed it would arrive ready to withstand whatever amount of rain the world might throw at it. Unfortunately, the first time your canvas tent is exposed to water, it will almost definitely leak. It is necessary to season your canvas tent with water, fully soaking it. After that, you may use a silicone or fluoropolymer waterproofing spray to seal the joint.

How to Waterproof a Canvas Tent: Waterproofing vs Seasoning

There are two processes to waterproofing your canvas tent, and many people are unaware that you must season your canvas tent first before waterproofing it. It’s crucial to understand the distinction between seasoning and waterproofing, while this may seem obvious. For a totally waterproof tent, you’ll frequently need to do both seasoning and waterproofing procedures.


Canvas is a woven cloth that is used for a variety of purposes. Because of the way it is constructed, it generates microscopic gaps between the fibers, which might allow water to seep into your tent. However, if you get your canvas wet enough, it will swell up and become brittle. The swelling prevents water from seeping through the holes in the foundation. Even if the rain falls directly upon your canvas tent, a brand-new canvas tent will not keep you safe from the elements. For the cloth to expand up enough to keep those holes permanently closed, it will require numerous strong rainstorms.

Water will make your tent waterproof if you season it with it first.


If seasoning alone makes your tent waterproof, you may be perplexed as to what waterproofing is all about. Seasoning, on the other hand, does not keep the microscopic pores closed indefinitely. It is possible for older canvas tents to thin down, causing some of the tiny holes to reopen. The use of waterproofing will ensure that those gaps remain shut. Your tent will be waterproof once again once you apply a substance that provides a barrier between it and the elements. It is possible to waterproof and season your fresh new canvas tent at the same time, while it is not absolutely required to accomplish both tasks.

In the event that your tent leaks after it has been adequately seasoned, you may go ahead and waterproof it as well. However, if you waterproof your tent with a product, the permeability of your tent may be reduced, so be prepared for this if you waterproof your tent.

How to Season a Canvas Tent

When it comes to tents, seasoning is more vital than waterproofing; you may season your tent without waterproofing it, but it is not a good idea to waterproof your tent before seasoning it. This is something you’ll want to do before you take your new tent camping. To get the greatest effects, do this in the summer during a period of exceptionally hot weather.

Step1. Set Your Tent Up

You’ll need to have your tent up for the duration of the seasoning process, so make sure you have enough space to accommodate it. Make sure you’re OK with the idea of getting the region wet. Keep the tent’s entrances and windows closed at all times.

Step2: Get It Wet

For the whole seasoning process, you’ll need to have your tent up, so make sure you have a large enough space. You should be certain that having the region moist is OK to you. You should keep your tent’s doors and windows closed.

Step3: Soak It Again

Inside and out, you’ll want your tent to be completely dry, and the outside should be warm to the touch. Once again, it’s time to soak in it. This time, soak your tent for twice as long as you did the first time. It is recommended that you do it for 10 minutes. To avoid seeing the sun peaking through the walls while inside, use just cold water once again, and close all of the doors and windows. Allow your tent to dry out in the sun once again.

Step4: Test Your Tent

When it’s raining, you can use your hose to induce rainfall, but you could also take your tent down for a time and put it back up when it stops raining. You want to be certain that your tent will hold up against both typical and severe rains. After it has rained (or been hosed down) on your tent, inspect the interior for water leaks. If there are no leaks, you’re good to go at this point. If you have any leaky places, you may apply a waterproofing spray to seal them up because seasoning them more would not help.

Step5: Let It Dry

After you have tested the tent, you must allow it to dry completely before storing it up. The difficult part is gone, and all that’s left is to pack up your tent and head off on a genuine camping vacation with your family.

Step6: Maintain The Seasoning

If you want the greatest results, you should re-season your tent every 12 months, but you should use your best judgment as time goes on. As soon as seasoning ceases to be effective, it is necessary to increase the amount of waterproofing spray used.

How to Waterproof a Canvas Tent

It is simple to waterproof a tent. All you need is a couple of products and a little bit of time to put them to use; be sure to pick the right products for your tent, as well.

Step1: Select a Product

There are two primary types of waterproofing sprays available: silicone and fluoropolymer. Even though both are constructed of silicone rubber, fluoropolymer goods are frequently more weather-resistant, oil-resistant, and water-resistant than silicone rubber on its own. More information about fluoropolymer coatings may be found here. There’s nothing wrong with either, however I advocate utilizing a fluoropolymer one over the other two options. TheScotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shieldis effective on canvas tents and contains fluorochemical characteristics, making it a good choice.

And, perhaps most importantly, it allows your tent to remain breathable! In addition to this, you’ll need some seam seal to provide additional seam protection. ThisGear Aidone is very effective on canvas.

Step2: Lay Your Tent Out

When you’ve finished preparing your supplies, spread your tent out on a level place. Ensure that you have enough of space to maneuver about the cloth and coat its full outside before you begin coating it.

Step3: Spot Clean Your Tent

If your tent isn’t brand new, it’s possible that some dirt has accumulated on the surface of the canvas. You’ll need to get rid of all of this dirt before you can start working on the waterproofing. This may be accomplished with the help of some distilled white vinegar and a gentle brush. Vinegar is used in the following proportions: one cup vinegar to one gallon of water. If you like, you may substitute a cup of salt and a cup of lemon juice for the salt and lemon juice. This solution may also be used to clean a tent that has been infected with mold and mildew.

Canvas may be damaged by bleach.

To thoroughly clean your tent, you may want to water it down with a gentle spray setting on your hose if it is extremely filthy.

Step4: Use Your Product

Use your waterproofing spray and seam sealer as soon as possible. Apply the seam sealer to all of the seams where the walls meet each other and where the walls meet the floor. You may apply the waterproofing spray on specific leaky spots of your tent, or you can use it all over your tent. Observe the directions on the label of the waterproofing product you purchased.

Step5: Test Your Tent

Wait for the waterproofing spray to dry completely before pitching the tent and testing it to see whether the spray was effective. Take a hose and lightly saturate the entire tent. Check the interior to check if there is a leak. If it dripped, reapply your waterproofing spray to the spots where it dripped and recheck for leaks.

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Step6: Let It Dry

Once your tent has passed the above-mentioned test, you can allow it to dry. Keep your tent built to avoid it shrinking when it gets wet; fabric shrinks as it gets wet. It is okay to dry it outside in the sun to expedite the process if you want to. Canvas can withstand a lot of UV rays, but don’t keep it in the sun for an extended period of time just in case.

Canvas Tent Maintenance Tips

You can’t just season and waterproof your tent and leave it at that. You have to do more. You’ll want to make certain that you take good care of your tent as well, so that it doesn’t suffer from problems like as mildew or rot, which might compromise its waterproofing properties.

Pack Your Tent Dry

You can’t just season and waterproof your tent and leave it at that. You have to take further steps. Maintaining your tent will ensure that it does not suffer from deterioration such as mold or decay, which can compromise its waterproofing capabilities.

Ensure It’s Clean Before Packing

Dirt retains moisture, so make sure your tent is clean before putting it away for the season.

It should be as simple as spot cleaning it, as I previously mentioned.

Store It Correctly

Mold and mildew cannot grow in a cold, dry environment, thus it is best to store your tent in this environment. It’s also a good idea to store it in well sealed containers so that pests and mice can’t get into the bag and eat the contents of your tent.

Clean It Once Per Season

If your tent doesn’t appear to be in disarray, you should thoroughly clean it at least once a year, if not more often. In high-traffic areas, spray it down and use the vinegar and water solution to clean it. Your tent will remain clean and pleasant for future use if you follow these instructions. You should also remove any mold that has grown, and then you can perform your yearly seasoning and waterproofing.

Wrapping Up

Seasoning your tent is a highly efficient method of keeping water out, and waterproofing it with a product is the frosting on top. There are a plethora of wonderful waterproofing materials available to assist you in keeping your tent dry and protected from the elements. Create a maintenance routine for your seasoning and waterproofing spray to ensure that your tent stays leak-free for the longest period of time. It’s best to do it throughout the summer. Providing you follow the instructions carefully, your tent should remain waterproof for the whole time you’re using it.

Waterproofing Canvas Tents: The Hidden Art

There is something unique about sleeping in a genuine cotton canvas tent, yet it is difficult to put into words what that wonderful feeling is. It’s simply that it’s. comfy. It’s possible that it’s the scent. Or perhaps it is the fact that it seems like it is made of living, breathing organic stuff. Polyester and other synthetic materials simply do not have the same feel. Whatever it is, it is effective. For many of us, it reflects the true essence of camping. Our memories of our childhood are brought back to us by this song.

  1. Additionally, it is just effective, both in terms of its mood and its capacity to evoke recollections of the good old days.
  2. The success or failure of canvas is mostly determined by one factor: the ability to keep it ALIVE throughout the process.
  3. It’s going to need seasoning.
  4. There is no other way to waterproof a canvas tent to its maximum extent except by using a canvas tent.

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas

The experience of sleeping in a genuine cotton canvas tent is unlike any other, and it’s difficult to put into words what it is. All I can say is that it’s. comfy. Possibly it’s due of the aroma. Alternatively, it might be due to the fact that the substance feels like alive, breathing biological matter. polyester, for example, does not have the same feel as leather. That as it is, it does its job well. It signifies authentic camping for many of us. Our memories of our childhood are brought back to us by this film.

Additionally, it is just effective, both in terms of its feel and its capacity to elicit recollections of the good old days.

The success or failure of canvas is mostly determined by one factor: the ability to keep it ALIVE during the process.

And there is one sure-fire approach to keep it alive that is as effective as rain. A little salt and pepper will do the trick! A canvas that has been seasoning is a must-have! Obtaining complete canvas tent water resistance is impossible any other way.

Trayon Canvas Seasoning and Waterproofing Tips

For decades, we have been providing our consumers with information on how to keep canvas looking and functioning properly. We go through this with each and every one of our slide-on campers, which all come with canvas components, during the handover process. We exclusively utilize cotton canvas that is manufactured in Australia. Canvas created in Australia is the ideal complement to our campers, which are also built in Australia. As a matter of fact, we’ve been utilizing the same same canvas setup on our slide-on campers since 1994!


They are so effective that there is no need to change them.

This method may be simply modified to accommodate any canvas tent waterproofing requirements.

Australian Canvas – why is it the best in the world?

It’s important to distinguish between canvas and canvases while talking about canvas. There’s the cheap stuff, and then there’s the real kind, produced in Australia from cotton canvas. There is little question that Australian canvas is now widely regarded as the greatest canvas available anywhere in the world. Why? Because we live in Australia, where we are subjected to some of the toughest environmental conditions on the planet. You name it: climate, geography, animals, and so on. They are harsh and intense in their nature.

It needs to be good, or else it won’t last very long.

The ultraviolet (UV) rays that flood down from the skies are very harmful to canvas that has not been properly maintained.

There’s also the acidity associated with things like bird droppings, bat droppings (also known as guano), tree sap, and cicada urine to consider.

Trayon’s Front Line Canvas Protection

Trayon employs a variety of tactics to counteract all of these concerns to the health of the canvas. Our detachable camper fly serves as the first line of defense against the elements. Through the use of silver material, which has reflecting qualities, it reflects solar absorbents. Most significantly, it prevents moisture from penetrating into the bulk of the canvas, allowing it to be packed up dry. It also works as a barrier against biological agents. When biological substances are splattered on cotton canvas, there is only one method to remove them: hot water and a delicate brush.

Due to the fact that the Trayon fly is made of synthetic polyester, it can be easily cleaned with a broom and dishwasher detergent even if it becomes contaminated with biological substances.

It simply takes 10 seconds to include the fly into your Trayon set up, and your canvas components are completely shielded from the weather as a result.

When it’s time to pack up camp, you won’t have to waste time waiting for the canvas to dry. Once the fly has been removed from the camper, it may be rolled up separately and stored.

The Canvas Competition

Over the past several years, there has been an increase in the availability of less expensive canvas, which has accomplished two things. For starters, it has tarnished the notion of canvas and prompted people to avoid anything that contains canvas altogether. Two, local canvas producers have begun to attempt to compete directly with lower-priced canvas by developing their own lower-cost canvas goods of their own. There are, however, a select handful who have managed to keep their world-class canvas reputation.

Bradmills is synonymous with high-quality canvas.

Bradmills Canvas

The Bradmills company has been manufacturing high-quality Australian canvas materials for more than 50 years. It is manufactured in Melbourne, sewed in Maryborough by the Trayon seamstress, and then transported to the Trayon headquarters. Since 1994, everything have remained the same! As a result, we can vouch for the fact that you truly receive what you paid for. Bradmills canvas is specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions found in Australia, and we don’t say that lightly! A chemical treatment for canvas is available from Bradmills, although they do not advocate it unless the canvas is more than 5 years old or is leaking water on the surface.

What Does Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas Mean?

Canvas requires seasoning on a regular basis in order to maintain its appearance. It significantly increases the lifespan of canvas and increases water resistance to unprecedented levels! Natural ingredients are used to cure canvas in order to make it water-resistant and weather-resistant. It works because canvas is manufactured from a natural substance (cotton), which means it reacts to the elements when exposed to them. For example, heat, cold, wet, and dry are all types of weather. Canvas reacts in a variety of ways as a result of these elements:

  • Heat will cause it to relax, expand, and become softer. When it is cold, it becomes stiff, rigid, and shrinks. If it gets wet, it will grow. When it’s dry, it pulls tight.

A combination of one or two of the suggestions above will cause it to behave in an unexpected manner. If you understand how these aspects affect canvas, you can manipulate the canvas to do whatever you want! Following that, you may use this to alter the structure of the cotton fibers, so closing any holes and making the garment waterproof.

How Often Should You Season Canvas?

Many individuals season canvas only once and expect it to last for the rest of their lives. When it comes down to it, it is a recurring maintenance obligation that should be completed once immediately after purchase at your earliest convenience, and then once every 12 months thereafter, regardless of how often you use it during that time. This is the only approach to assure complete and long-term waterproofing of a canvas tent. The seasoning of certain canvases is required just once a year, although in other cases, it may be necessary to repeat the process after the first time, two or three months later.

Consider the fact that some individuals like to live in the desert, while others prefer to live near the ocean.

Because of this, if you don’t season it at least once a year, the canvas will most certainly begin to draw tight to one corner.

The use of press studs ensures that the canvas is always secured to the correct portion of the camper. It’s preferable than bungeedee straps because they can move about and velcro since it doesn’t always attach in the same manner each time or will entirely pull off.

How do you tell if canvas needs seasoning?

When a Trayon slide-on camper pulls tightly around each corner, you may be sure it’s time to season it. If any two press studs on each corner are having difficulty being pushed in, it is likely that the canvas needs to be seasoned.

How to season Australian Canvas?

The following is the process that will ensure that Aussie canvas is preserved for a very long period. In addition, this seasoning approach will not work on less expensive canvas, and it will not work at all on ripstop canvas, which requires a whole separate process. The elements — heat, cold, damp, and dry – are the key to seasoning. This is an ancient army tactic that only a small percentage of the general population is aware of.

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas Step 1 – Preparation

You should open your slide on camper or tent at 7 or 8 a.m. on a day that is anticipated to be pleasant, hot, and bright, with zero percent likelihood of precipitation (remove the camper fly if is attached). This will allow the canvas to be exposed to the pleasant warm sun. Close all doors or other openings, and zip up any wall windows that aren’t already closed. You must ensure that the canvas is stretched out as firmly as possible before painting. This may be accomplished by moving the two center peak adjustments poles up as far as they will go while seasoning a Trayon slide-on camping trailer.

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas Step 2 – The First Soak

This part is straightforward – simply soak the canvas to the bone! When you turn on the hose on the canvas for the first time, it will look like water is beading off a duck’s back. This is owing to the waterproofing agents that have been used. However, it is now necessary to give it a lesson. Soak every square inch of the surface until it is completely saturated and unable to absorb any more water. Then take a step back and get yourself a cup of tea.

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas Step 3 – Canvas Bake

Allow the canvas to dry out in the sun before heating it up. You want the canvas to be totally baked before you start working on it. It should be hot to the touch after a cup of tea and a movie, and at this time, the canvas should be ready for the next phase in the seasoning process.

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas Step 4 – The Second Soak

Ensure that the canvas is as stretched out as tight as possible once it has been baked and is boiling hot, by re-stretching and tightening everything. When seasoning a Trayon slide-on camper, raise the center poles even higher than you did previously — you’ll gain 5 or 10 millimeters in height above what you had previously. Return to the outdoors, close all of the windows, flaps, and doors, and soak it a third time! This period is similar to receiving shock therapy. Water is sprayed over the canvas while it is still hot, making it malleable and relaxed.

As part of the second soak, the canvas will be forced to absorb as much water as possible.

However, because you have correctly attached it and gently stretched it, the canvas will draw tight against itself and entirely seal the seams of the room. Then, just when you thought you’d finished, let it to dry entirely before heating it up again!

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas Step 5 – The Last Soak

We always recommend a third soak after the first two. It’s even written about in our Trayon owner’s handbook. Allow the canvas to dry for a final time after the final soak, which should occur about 3 p.m. Fold the camper or tent up at 6 p.m., and you’re set to go for another 12 months! If you follow these instructions and do not use any treatment chemicals, your canvas will last a very long time and will provide fresh memories of authentic camping for everyone involved!

Seasoning and Waterproofing Canvas – Further Information

If you require any more information on how or when to season canvas, or on how to do it in the most efficient manner with a Trayon slide on camper, please contact us at the Trayon headquarters by phone or email.

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