How to waterproof canvas tent

How to waterproof canvas tent

Canvas tents are a wonderful material for camping. They are durable and can be used in all types of weather, but they don’t provide protection from rain unless they have been waterproofed.

There are some things to know before you begin the process of waterproofing your tent:

  • For best results, only waterproof a canvas tent if it is entirely dry before you begin.

  • You may need to apply more than one coat of spray or wax on your tent depending on how much water resistance you would like.

  • You may also need to reapply the protective layer every year or so, as it will eventually wear down.

Wash canvas tent using soap and water to remove dirt or stains.

The next step is to make sure the canvas is clean and dry before applying waterproofing spray. With some canvas tents, soap and water are all that is needed to clean them. If your tent has mold or mildew on it, use bleach and water to clean it.

Use a tarp for canvas tent if bad weather is in the forecast.

If bad weather is in the forecast and you can’t get a waterproof coating for your tent, you need to protect it with a tarp. Get one that is roughly the same size as your canvas tent (if it's too big, get scissors), and use one that is strong enough to prevent water from soaking through.

Place the tarp over your tent and secure it with rope or duct tape around the edges of the tarp, tying it down to stakes if you can find them. You don't have to worry about getting water inside if extreme weather hits while you're camping, because the tarp will act like an additional layer of protection between your tent and whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at you!

Consult a professional for canvas tent if you are not sure about the waterproofing process.

If you’re not sure how to waterproof canvas tent, then consulting a professional is your best bet. He or she can determine whether the canvas should be treated with a waterproofing agent and which agents to use. It may be that the tent needs a thorough cleaning first, and if so the expert can do that for you as well. A professional will also give you advice on maintaining your canvas tent in top condition for many years.

Allow to dry when applying waterproofing spray to canvas tent.

  • Allow to dry. After completely coating your tent, allow the waterproofing spray to air dry in a well-ventilated area. It is recommended that it be out of direct sunlight, as this can encourage premature drying and result in an uneven application of the product. If you do not allow your tent sufficient time to dry, it may take longer to fully dry or potentially lead to mold growth.

Waterproofing spray is available at any hardware store when waterproofing canvas tent.

To waterproof your canvas tent, you’ll need a few supplies, including a waterproofing spray which can be found at any hardware store. The specific brand of waterproofing spray is not the most important part, but if you currently live in an area that experiences very wet weather and/or cold temperatures, make sure to buy a product with an anti-freeze additive. This will prevent your canvas tent from freezing during wet weather conditions.

One can of waterproofing spray is more than enough for one 10’x10′ canvas tent; however, it is recommended that you purchase two cans just in case you have to cover both sides and the top of the tent with this product.

Plan ahead when waterproofing canvas tent so it will be ready for outdoor use in all types of weather conditions.

  • Plan ahead when waterproofing canvas tent so it will be ready for outdoor use in all types of weather conditions. As the song goes, you never know what you're gonna get; so take a look at the weather forecast and pick a few days with temperatures above freezing, low winds and no rain.

  • Prepare tent for waterproofing by setting up in a well-ventilated area on one of these warm days. Make sure there is plenty of space around the sides to work comfortably. Be sure to leave room for drying time after applying the sealer.

  • Clean the tent with a soft brush and a mixture of water and mild soap. Use only cleaning products that are appropriate for canvas tents or sleeping bags (no bleach). Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any residual soap residue before allowing it to dry completely.

waterproofing your canvas tent can be done at home with materials found at a hardware store

You can waterproof your canvas tent at home. The process is not complicated and can be done with materials purchased at a hardware store. You can waterproof your canvas tent in an afternoon—just make sure it's a day when rain isn't expected, as the waterproofing treatment takes about 24 hours to set fully.

Once you've picked the perfect tent, there are some steps to take before you get started. Make sure your tent is clean and dry—you don't want any dirt or mud clogging up the pores of the fabric on its first night out, so give it a good scrubbing and put it up in a sunny spot to dry thoroughly before getting started.


A waterproofed canvas tent will not only protect you from the elements, but also make sure that your investment stands up to the test of time. While any tent requires some level of upkeep, a canvas tent is about as easy as it gets. If you don’t have the budget for a new or top-of-the-line model, a secondhand or used canvas tent can still be a great purchase; just be sure to give your new home away from home a proper cleaning before settling in!

Similar posts:

14 camping hacks for tent campers

14 camping hacks for tent campers

How To Choose the Perfect Tent for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

How To Choose the Perfect Tent for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

How to heat a tent

How to heat a tent