Don’t chance your upholstery to kids or another red wine spill again! Learn how to make fabric stain resistant and waterproof it at the same time for only about $20.
Maybe you’ve figured out one of my dirty little secrets…
Ya know how when you see my dining room, you’ve never really seen the cushions on the chairs?
You may have seen a shot of the side of the chair seat, but not the whole thing.
They were gross. Way gross and way past their makeover due date.
But I have a two year old, so I didn’t really want to re-upholster them and have her destroy them again in 2.0 seconds.
I looked longingly at fabric swatches, impatiently waiting for the day when my dining room chairs could shine once more.
One day, I happened upon the tool that would make them shine – without worrying about stains. I discovered how to waterproof and repel stains on fabric.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Thompson’s Waterseal. However, all gross seat cushions and opinions are 100% mine. This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
How to Waterproof Fabric and Repel Stains
This could quite possibly be one of the easiest, yet most valuable DIY projects of all time.
For me and my circus of a two year old anyway.
Here is a shot of one of my seat cushions before:
Ugh. I purposefully did not zoom in – because well, its just gross. You could probably discern between spaghetti sauce, mustard, and / or ketchup and who knows what else.
It was bad. Oh, and don’t worry about that brightly colored striped towel below the chair – its nothing new – just the catchall that sits under the kid’s chair when she loses her food.
Innovative, I am.
Materials and Supplies Needed:
- New Upholstery Fabric of Your Choice – This is my go-to online resource for gorgeous, yet affordable upholstery fabric.
- Thompson’s WaterSeal FabricSeal
First off, you want to pick out pretty new fabric for your seats. I chose the gorgeous Williamsburg Portobello Vase Ladybug fabric from Online Fabric Store.
I fell for it the moment I saw it. Its a reproduction of fabric from the real Williamsburg, so if you have a nerdy of love of history like me, that’s kinda cool. It also has so many colors that it can work with just about anything.
Measure and cut out the fabric you will need. I took the seats off my chairs, then laid it on the fabric and cut around it leaving extra to go over the edges.
Lay all your fabric pieces out on a clean surface. I used a tarp. Give each piece a coat of Thompson’s WaterSeal FabricSeal. You may want to do a test spray on a small piece of fabric first to make sure it doesn’t change the color. (Mine was fine – no color change.) You are spraying this on the RIGHT side up of the fabric – not on the back.
You don’t want to saturate the pieces – just give them a nice even coat. Let them air dry for four hours, then give each piece another coat. Let them dry for four more hours, but wait 24 hours before exposing to moisture.
Before you put them back on your seat cushions or make it into a pillow or whatever, you can test the seal by flipping water on the fabric to see if it will repel water now.
See those little bubbles of water? That mean’s the fabric is sealed. If it wasn’t sealed, the water would have seeped into the fabric. If the water doesn’t “bubble,” give the fabric another coat.
It took almost two cans for me to seal 6 pieces of large sized square cut pieces of fabric.
I am so happy to finally have pretty dining room chairs again.
After I re-upholstered my cushions, I tested out the stain and spill repellent-ness of the fabric seal a little more.
I took Coke and poured a little on one of the cushions.
I zoomed in so you could see the bubbling – it repelled the Coke!
I used a paper towel to soak up the Coke and this is what it looked like afterward:
Not a stain in sight!
Take note: According to the can, Thompson’s does recommend that you reapply the seal after any cleanings and annually.
Waterproofing sprays are also great to waterproof outdoor pillows and cushions that are always exposed to the elements.
You can find Thompson’s WaterSeal FabricSeal here.
Will you be stainproofing and waterproofing your upholstery now?
You might also want to see these other cleaning hacks and decor tips…
How to Clean Really Gross Vinyl Upholstery – the grime just melts off!
How to Get Pet Stains and Odors Out of Your Carpet Naturally – no harsh chemicals!
50+ Home Decor Fabrics under $15 a yard – gorgeous fabrics at low prices!
If you want to remember this upholstery waterproofing tip for later, just pin the image below!