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How to Waterproof Outdoor Cushions

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Last week, I turned some thrift store couch cushions into beautiful outdoor cushions for my newly built DIY Outdoor Sofa. But… indoor cushions don’t just magically become outdoor cushions without a bit of extra work to make them weather-proof.

Thus begun the hunt to to find the perfect method for waterproofing my outdoor cushions. I started with this Rustoleum waterproofing spray. It waterproofed the fabric, but the single 11 ounce package only covered one cushion/pillow set (I had three sets to waterproof.) Since I didn’t feel like paying $45 to waterproof the cushions, I went looking for a cheaper product for the other two cushion sets. 

I tried this Scotchguard product next. Spoiler alert: it was great. One can easily covered the other two cushion/pillow sets. I had enough left over that I actually suspect one can would have covered all three sets.

This 10-minute process is by far the easiest way to waterproof outdoor cushions! #Sewing #Backyard

How to Waterproof Outdoor Cushions

Step 1: Prep the Area

I laid a moving blanket down on the ground to catch the overspray from the waterproofer. A tarp or something similar would have worked as well!

This 10-minute process is by far the easiest way to waterproof outdoor cushions! #Sewing #Backyard
Step 2: Spray the Waterproofer

Holding the waterproof spray 8-ish inches away from the cushion, spray the cushion. I sprayed until the fabric was clearly covered by the spray, but not soaked or saturated by it.

Step 3: Wait 24 Hours

I let the waterproofer dry for 24 hours before testing it. And then:

This 10-minute process is by far the easiest way to waterproof outdoor cushions! #Sewing #Backyard

Perfect! I might have to reapply next summer, but given this project took a whole 10 minutes, that’s not really a big deal to me. And the fabric isn’t crunchy or stiff at all; it feels exactly the same as it did before I applied the waterproof spray!

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This 10-minute process is by far the easiest way to waterproof outdoor cushions! #Sewing #Backyard

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Monday 10th of August 2020

I didn’t read this article, however, I did notice you used scotchguard. It’s great stuff but only lasts a certain amount of time, I think a year but can’t remember for sure.


Saturday 18th of July 2020

Does this prevent your cushion inserts (the foam and batting) from taking on water? I have been considering removing the cushion inserts from the fabric covers so that I can dye the covers (the are very faded and mildewy) and thought I might try waterproofing the inserts before putting the covers back on. The foam definitely holds water, so I was curious if scotchguarding would prevent them from taking on water in the first place. Would love to learn from your experience.


Saturday 18th of July 2020

It was definitely enough for my screened in porch, where they'd get wet occasionally but never totally drenched. I don't think it'd fair as well with full weather exposure - I'd try wrapping the inserts in plastic of some sort and seeing how that does!

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