best Waterproof Sprays for Outdoor Cushions

5 Best Waterproof Sprays for Outdoor Cushions

In Buyers Guide, Outdoor Furniture by Jamie

If you have outdoor furniture that you want to protect year round, have you considered purchasing a waterproof spray for outdoor cushions? While you can always bring your outdoor cushions inside or place them under cover for the wetter months, having a waterproof spray can come in handy.

It can be especially useful to waterproof your cushions if you don’t have adequate storage for them, or perhaps you don’t experience very many rainy days where you live. It can be smart to have waterproofed outdoor furniture, just in case it rains unexpectedly!

But what exactly is waterproof spray, and how can you best apply it in order to maximize its effectiveness? Let’s learn about this product now, and then we’ll go over some of the best waterproof sprays for cushions available on the market today.

What is Waterproof Spray?

Waterproof spray is exactly what it sounds like: a type of spray that is capable of making something water resistant. These types of sprays have many home uses, from indoor and outdoor furniture, other decor, and even clothing items or accessories.

Depending on the strength and style of waterproof spray you purchase, you can even make your camping gear and outdoor cushions rain or snow proof. While there is no magical miracle spray that will prevent a torrential downpour from getting your outdoor gear wet, waterproof spray certainly won’t hurt!

These sprays come in an aerosol form or a spray bottle and each manufacturer usually has different instructions for use depending on what product you buy. There is always a better method for properly applying these products- let’s take a look at how to do that now.

How Do You Properly Waterproof Outdoor Cushions with Spray?

If you are applying a waterproof spray to your outdoor cushions for the first time, you may be wondering how to do it properly. While every manufacturer and product will have its own unique instructions to follow, here is a basic step-by-step guide to waterproofing your outdoor cushions.

1. Make Sure Your Cushions Are Dry First

All waterproof sprays need a dry surface to adhere to initially. Make sure your outdoor cushions or fabrics are dry before you get started. This can be difficult if you have already left your cushions out in the rain, but make sure you take the time to get them dry before beginning.

If you are unable to heat dry your cushions or cushion covers, I recommend letting them sit in a warmer, dry location for at least 12 hours. Make sure the cushions are in a covered area without any potential for rain or damp- this is one of the best ways to achieve success with your waterproofer!

2. Make Sure Your Cushions Are Clean

Much like making sure your cushions are dry for this process, you should also make sure your cushions are clean. Obviously one of the best ways of doing this is to purchase brand new cushions and waterproof them before putting them to use. However, this isn’t an option for everyone.

Take the time to wipe down your outdoor cushions with warm soapy water before applying waterproof spray. You will need to allow time for your cushions to dry if they get damp during the cleaning process. Cleaning your cushions will ensure that the product sticks to the fabric well rather than to any dirt or debris!

3. Set Up in a Well Ventilated Area

You don’t want to spray your cushions with a waterproofer in an enclosed area, especially if you are using a more harsh aerosol product. Finding a well ventilated space is an important safety step to waterproofing your cushions.

You may also take the time to lay down some canvas or newspaper underneath your cushions in case the product gets on the floor or table you are using. While it shouldn’t damage anything, it may leave an odd residue or texture.

4. Spray Your Cushions Until Damp

Most waterproof spray products have their own particular instructions for use, but you can be assured that all of them want you to spray your outdoor fabric until it is damp. You don’t want to saturate the cushions, but an even damp layer is important to achieve success.

Many products say that you should criss-cross the spray over the cushion, aiming for full coverage and spraying at least six inches away from the cushion. While waterproofing products are a clear coat and can make it difficult to tell where you have sprayed, try to aim for uniformity.

5. Dry Overnight

Many waterproofing products advise that you should let your cushions completely dry for at least 8 hours, if not closer to 12. Letting cushions sit for a full 24 hours is the best way of ensuring that your fabrics can withstand a rainy day!

Make sure your cushions are set to dry in a covered area. Ideally you have a warmer spot to keep them in, such as a craft room or garage- waterproof sprays set best in warm, dry climates.

6. Add a Second Coat

It never hurts to add another coat of waterproof spray to your outdoor fabrics. You can do this once the first coat is dry, and feel free to add a third coat too. While no waterproof spray is going to totally protect your outdoor furniture from a downpour, adding multiple coats ensures more success!

How Long Does Waterproof Spray Last on Outdoor Cushions?

While this answer will depend on your outdoor climate and the spray you ultimately end up purchasing, waterproof products can last anywhere from 3-6 months, if not longer. Again, it will depend on many factors, including how well you applied the spray the first time.

It is a good idea to plan on reapplying waterproof spray to your cushions at the end of every summer, right before the weather starts to turn. This way, you should have ample time to fully dry your cushions and get them waterproofed before it starts raining!

Can You Spray Outdoor Cushions When They Are Wet?

Spraying outdoor cushions with waterproofers while they are already wet is not recommended by the majority of manufacturers or products. Ideally you will spray your fabric while it is dry. This will lead to the most success you can get out of a waterproof spray.

How to Dry Your Outdoor Cushions?

If you need to dry your outdoor cushions before applying waterproof spray to them, keep in mind that it may take time, especially if your fabric and interior stuffing has been saturated with rain. You will need a dry and covered area to keep your cushions during this time as well.

The best thing you can do is simply let your cushions sit and dry in a warm environment or in direct sunlight if possible. You can press towels into your cushions as well to try and soak up any excess moisture that might be present.

If your outdoor cushions are safe to place in a machine dryer, this is a good option to help you speed things up. You can also set your cushions in front of a heater or fireplace, but make sure they aren’t too close. You should make sure to avoid doing this when you are drying your waterproof spray, as many of these products are extremely flammable.


5 Best Waterproof Sprays for Outdoor Cushions

If you are preparing to waterproof your outdoor cushions, you will need a reliable product to use. Here are some of our top recommendations for waterproof sprays for outdoor cushions.

1. Rust-Oleum Shield H2O Outdoor Fabric Spray Rust-Oleum 278146 Shield H2O Outdoor Fabric Spray, 11 oz, Clear, 11 Ounce

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Rust-Oleum is a very popular brand for protecting anything outdoors, and this includes your outdoor cushions with this H2O fabric spray. This spray bottle product can cover between 20-6 square feet in a single bottle, and it can keep your outdoor patio furniture protected in rainy conditions.

Using silicone-free ingredients, this fabric spray is recommended for anything except indoor upholstery and carpeting. You simply spray in an even motion and cover your cushions until damp. Then, allow 24 hours or more before getting your fabric wet- this step is very important.

While this product is recommended for suede, leather, canvas, polyester, and cotton, Rust-Oleum offers many other products that can waterproof your shoes, car, glass, and more. Their products are designed so that water beads up and runs off of your cushions rather than soaking in.

2. 303 Fabric Guard 303 Fabric Guard - For Outdoor Fabrics - Restores Water Repellency To Factory New Levels - Repels Moisture - Prevents Stains - Safe For All Fabrics, 32 fl. oz. (30606CSR)

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This Fabric Guard from 303 boasts being a popular solution for outdoor patio umbrellas- so why not use it on your patio cushions too? Coming in a variety of sizes, you can purchase enough waterproof spray to cover even the largest of outdoor furniture sets!

This spray is invisible and powerful, capable of protecting most synthetic and natural materials. Simply spray it on in a zigzag motion, don’t oversaturate, and allow this product to dry for at least 6 hours in a warm environment. This product recommends that you apply it in at least 70 degree weather, if possible.

Many reviewers mention this product as a winner, but do take care to protect any surfaces that you don’t want to get sprayed with waterproofer- it can be tricky to remove! Also, it should be noted that this product can be extremely flammable, so take care when applying and storing it.

3. Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield, Repels Water, Ideal For Outerwear, Tents, Backpacks, Canvas, Polyester And Nylon, 21 Ounces

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Packed in a convenient aerosol can, this Water Shield from Scotchguard is recommended to be reapplied seasonally. One can is capable of covering up to 60 square feet in a single coat, and you can purchase multiple cans in a single order if you have a lot of outdoor cushions.

This particular product is a wonderful tool for protection against harsher elements, such as snow and heavy rain. While it may need a couple coats, it should be easy to reapply this product to your outdoor fabrics with its handy can design.

It is important to note that some reviewers noticed their outdoor fabrics fading a bit upon using this product- you may want to consider another option or something with more UV protection if this is a concern of yours!

4. Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent (1 - 10.5 oz cans)

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Kiwi Dry Camp is a popular brand of waterproof spray, often found in conjunction with waterproofing shoes. This camp-inspired water repellent is perfect for breathable fabrics and outdoor cushions. It leaves a flexible and waterproof layer onto anything that gets sprayed down!

This product may impart a slightly darker tone to your fabrics, given the addition of silicone into its ingredients. It has also been mentioned by reviewers that this particular can has a very strong smell attached to it.

However, this Kiwi water repellent works well, and many customers mention great results with their camping gear after spraying it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If it can work on tents, boots, and shelters, there’s no reason it can’t work on your patio cushions!

5. Scotchgard Sun and Water Shield Scotchgard Sun and Water Shield, Repels Water, 21 Ounces

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Another product from Scotchguard, this particular spray counteracts the previous Scotchguard product by offering sun and water shielding as opposed to just water! If you need more UV protection for your outdoor cushions, this product should be a top contender.

One can is capable of covering 60 square feet, much like the other options on this list, though it may cover less if you are spraying it onto a more heavy duty fabric. This particular waterproof spray dries odorless and clear, making it perfect for protecting the color of your cushions.

It is important to note that many reviewers say this product works less effectively if you use another cleaning product on your cushions after waterproofing. While these sprays offer protection from some stains, you may want to keep this in mind and plan on reapplying after cleaning tougher spots from your outdoor cushions.

Final Thoughts

Finding a reliable and effective waterproof spray for cushions doesn’t have to be difficult. Any of these five products are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use- just make sure to follow the instructions set by the manufacturer, and you can have dry cushions year-round.