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How to wax canvas

Canvas is a wonderful material, it’s durable, and protects us from wind and weather. Unfortunately, like all things, our trusty stalwart will eventually wear out. Read on to learn how to revitalize your canvas.

Let’s cut to the chase, this article is a brief DIY instructional guide to proper canvas waxing. Also, a couple of supplies make the process a breeze and not a Gail. But first, let’s quickly understand why canvas repels water in the first place.

Why is Canvas Waterproof

Cotton fibers swell when wet, they are like coopers barrels in that each plank swells and seals against the next when exposed to moisture or wine. The same is true of cotton string. Each string swells against the string beside it, preventing water from penetrating. Unfortunately, as the cotton wears and degrades, gaps will form and water will start to seep through. What starts as a drip can quickly turn into a torrent. Lucky for us, our ancestors concocted some ingenious waxy solutions to this dilemma

The how-to diy canvas wax breakdown:

What do I need to Wax Canvas?

Supplies to Wax Canvas:

  • Canvas Wax
  • Lint Roller
  • Hair Dryer
  • Canvas Article
1. Prepare

Clean and dry your canvas article with a brush and lint roller to remove dirt and debris. The wax will trap any dirt or staining on your fabric. If you use water, make sure the canvas is completely dry before heating. Heat the article with a blow dryer, making even passes so the wax will soften when applied.

2. Application

Lay the canvas article on a flat surface or use your hand to prop up the backside. Rub wax on a small hidden area to make sure you like the look then go to town. First, rub the wax on with even strokes. Remember, you want the wax to look consistent so push the wax into seams and zippers.

Also,  use the hair dryer to keep everything soft and pliable while you rub everything in with your fingers. Lay down more coats of canvas wax until the whole article has the same waxy look.

3. Cure

Find a warm dry place out of the sun and hang your canvas article to cure overnight. Consider yourself watertight! You just waxed your canvas like an explorer of yore and have the durability no other waterproofing method can claim. Go out and chase your calling in classic rugged waterproofing for the ages.

How to Wax Canvas Bags

Check out more history and detailed instructions HERE.

How to Wax Canvas – Video with Forme Industrious

This video is an overview of the waxes used to waterproof canvas with Scott Turner. Scott makes some exceptional tools rolls and bags so check out his channel on YouTube.