Thompson’s Water Seal Fabric Seal

Tropical Storm Isaac
Vintage Barrel Chairs


I recently purchased a patio set off of Craigslist, that I promptly spray painted blue and recovered the seat cushions. There’s nothing like a little bit of Rust-Oleum’s Navy Blue Gloss paint and fabric from JoAnn’s to make something feel/look completely new.

Patio Set before

Craigslist Patio Set – before

Rustoleum Navy Blue Paint and Thompsons Waterseal Fabric Seal

Craigslist Patio set – after

Since I was putting it on the patio, I wasn’t too worried about sun damage or fading. That is, until I happened to be cleaning the patio and was wiping down a cushion that I had made for the top of a bench seat a few years back.

sun damage before and after

Sun damage to cushion is seen on the right

The top of the cushion looked okay, but when you flipped it over you could see how faded it had become. The picture above shows the sun bleached side on the right, and the underneath, un-sunbleached side of the cushion on the left. Even though it had been protected from the sun by being on the patio, there was still significant sun fading.

Thompson’s Water Seal recently sent me a few of their items to try out, and this looked like a perfect time to try out their Fabric Seal. It says it prevents water damage, resists color fading, and repels spills and stains. Since the Florida sun is brutal, and we have plenty of outside furniture, I knew this would come in handy.

Thompson's Fabric Seal

Thompson’s Fabric Seal

The first thing that the directions say is to do a splash test, to see if the item is absorbing water, and therefore needs the Fabric Seal to be applied. This is what happened when I tried it out on my chair cushion.

Splash Test

Splash Test – Fail!

The fabric just sucked up the water – it definitely needed some protection.

I moved all the chairs out of the patio, and away from the bird cages. After wiping down all the chair cushions with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt and then letting them completely dry out, I sprayed them all with the first coat, and let them dry for four hours. I also sprayed the older seat cushion – might as well, right?

Thompson's Fabric Seal on Outdoor furniture

Thompson’s Fabric Seal at work…

I liked that it didn’t cause the fabric to get darker when I sprayed it. When I went back after four hours, it didn’t feel rough, or sticky. It just felt like it did before I treated them. I put on a second coat, and waited another four hours. Even after two coats on all six chairs and the seat cushion, I still have more than half the can left.

After everything was dry, I brought them back on the patio. You are supposed to wait 24 hours before getting them wet, but I couldn’t wait to do another splash test to see if it would repel the water.

Splash test - after Fabric Seal

Splash Test – After Fabric Seal

The water drop ran right off the seat! I’d say that was exactly what I was hoping for. Then I tried it on the other seat cushion too…

Thompson's Water Seal Fabric Seal

Look Ma! It’s not absorbing!

When I picked up the cushion, the water just rolled right off. My son got a kick out of playing with the water drop, rolling it around and trying to keep it from falling off. Ahh… the little things that amuse us :)

I’m pretty stoked about this product. After all, we have four slobbery dogs, and a bazillion nieces and nephews with wet swimsuits and juice boxes that seem to always spill on anything absorbent. Did you ever notice that? It’s never on the tile or the concrete – you know, where it would be easy to wipe it up, or rinse it off with the hose.

I think it will help to keep everything cleaner and brighter on the patio. As far as the UV protection, only time will tell if it is just as effective. Tomorrow, I’m going to treat the cushions on the lounge chairs around the pool, which we’ve only had for a few months, but already are showing signs of sun damage. Between the rain and the sun here in Florida, I need all the help I can get to keep our outdoor furniture looking it’s best. What’s great about this stuff is that you can use it on everything from cushions to pillows to umbrellas – all the outdoor stuff that could use a little protecting from the elements!

Have you tried this product yet? Do you love it like I do? Tell me what your secret is to keeping outdoor furniture clean.

Thanks for stopping by!



Tropical Storm Isaac
Vintage Barrel Chairs
Image Map


  1. scottiev says

    I didn’t even know such a product existed-Hooray and thanks for the introduction! I am working on a re-do of our front porch furniture so this will be very handy.

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      I am thinking of doing all my chairs in the house too, especially the dining and kitchen chairs. Let me know if you try it!

      • Theresa says

        This is great! Now I can move on to other projects each spring instead of updating
        My weather worn cushions! Thanks:)

      • says

        I was looking for something like this, as I’m about to upholster my dining chairs. I don’t want to put a plastic cover on the chairs. Does this product make the cushions crunchy feeling?

          • says

            Awesome! I recently had the thought to use it on an indoor rug. One I’ll put under my dining table. It won’t be shag or carpet like – think it’ll work?

          • A Pinterest Addict says

            Not sure – but I would try it :) (unless it’s an expensive rug – then I would buy something specifically made for rugs)

  2. says

    Is there any reason why you couldn’t use this on indoor furniture as well? It seems like it would be similar to ‘Scotch Guard”. I’ve got a red sofa that sits in front of a living room window and is already showing signs of sun fading.

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      I asked the rep from Thompson’s and they said it can be used for indoor furniture too! I would take it outside to spray it though :)

  3. Freida says

    WOW…you hit the jackpot with your Craig’s List find! This set is fabulous, especially after your magic touches! The fabric you chose really compliments the lines of the furniture…and ohhh that shade of blue…what an eye-grabber!
    I’m so glad to hear about this product, as well. Living in MS, I can definitely relate to the sun’s brutal effect on anything left outdoors! Now, if we only could do something about this humidity!

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Thanks :) I hear you on the humidity – It is honestly so humid here that I feel like I’m swimming in hot water when I step outside!

  4. says

    Did you use “outdoor” fabric or just regular? We were recently given a nice outdoor set that I’m planning to spray paint and recover the cushions. I’ve been put off by the price of outdoor fabric, though. It would be nice if I could just get regular fabric and spray it with this stuff…

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Hi! I understand that Lowe’s will be carrying it in the next few weeks. I will let you know when I get a definite answer as to when they will have it. Thanks!

  5. Meredith says

    Do you think it would work with cushions that are left out in the rain? A down pour of rain is a lot different than a splash test. Thanks!

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      To be honest, I haven’t tried that yet. But we will be replacing some cushions for the outside swing, and I’ll be trying this on them. I’ll let you know how it holds up after one of our South Florida thunderstorms.

      • Dawn says

        No fabric can ever be made completely “waterproof.” Only rubber/vinyl/plastic can repel a steady downpour of rain. My husband learned that looking for waterproof hunting attire. We did a lot of research looking for camo rainsuits, and learned that “waterproof” really means “water resistant.”

  6. Athena says

    I have the same fabric as my couch throw pillows LOL. I love the color you chose for the furniture itself. Can you tell me what product/color that is? Thanks!

  7. Tiffany says

    Do you think this can be used on fabric used to cover a picnic table? Trying to jazz up our picnic table and woul love to get some fun fabric to cover it with!

  8. Debbie Heuer says

    Guessing it has been about a year since you posted this, how is the fabric holding up under the Florida sun? Have you reapplied the Thompsons?

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Hi Debbie! Yep, it’s been almost a year. I just recently had to clean up this set (all the pool construction left everything a dusty mess) and I am happy to report that the fabric was still repelling water – and they still look as good as the day I put the Fabric Seal on them.

  9. Meagan says

    So does it work as far as being able to use non-outdoor specific fabric outdoors or should u still use outdoor fabric

  10. Gretchen says

    I make pillows as baby gifts and print the birth stats on fabric for the center of the pillow (directly through my printer). Problem is – if the ink gets wet, it will bleed. Do you think this may work for protecting the ink? Will it be safe to put in a baby’s crib? Thanks!

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      I wouldn’t know if it is safe for that use. You can probably email someone at Thompsons to find out. I know I have gotten quite a few answers to questions like this regarding use of their products around our birds.
      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      I got it at JoAnn Fabrics. I saw some there the other day, so they might still carry it.

  11. Kay says

    Does The Spray Help Your Outdoor Cushions From Soaking Up The Water After A Hard Rain? I’ve Actually Debated Selling My Patio set Because Everytime It Rains I Have To Take My Cushions Off And PutThem Away Or They Still Wet For About 3 Days!

    • Karen says

      hi Alaa. I was just reading your post asking if you could use the Thomson seal spray on a jacket that is losingfeathers. I was wondering if you tried it or got an answer for your question. I am looking for some kind of sealant for my coat. It is just like new but it is starting to lose feathers.

  12. deneete says

    How’s it working now?? after two years? I live in Eastern Washington a lot of sun and dust…want to use on regular indoor upholstery fabric

      • deneete says

        But is it still not fading? even if i have to reply it every two months I don’t have a problem as long as the material will still look not faded.

        • A Pinterest Addict says

          I didn’t use it on anything that received direct, all day sunlight. The waterproofing part of it definitely needed another application after a few months.

  13. Holli says

    Hi. This was a gorgeous makeover! My question is do you think this is better than ScotchGuard? I just ordered a new patio set and when picking up, I stopped by paint area for ScotchGuard. It was suggested by the paint guy as well as another couple who overheard my question, to use ScotchGuard Auto on patio cushions. Just wondering if there was a reason you went with this stuff over ScotchGuard. Thank you in advance!

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      I haven’t used ScotchGuard on anything, so I couldn’t say why one would be better than the other. Well, other than one says it’s made for outdoor furniture. If you use the ScotchGuard outdoors, let me know how it holds up.

  14. says

    I recently bought patio furniture with cushions too. I am thinking of protecting them with vinyl.. have you considered that option or any recommendations for using vinyl vs fabric sealer?

  15. Concerned parent says

    Hi there! Cool product, is it Eco friendly? Do you have to wear a mask when applying it? I’ve read these products can be highly flammable, is that true?

    • says

      Hi! When I use it, I spray it outside, so I don’t wear a mask. I guess you could if you wanted to be extra safe, but I don’t. I’m not sure how eco-friendly it is, sorry. As far as it being highly flammable – do you mean straight out of the can, or after it has dried on the cushions?

      • scot says

        You are extremely patient answering all those questions! Thanks for the tip, and great job on the patio furniture makeover

  16. Sue Basill says

    I am looking to recover some stools for my cabin. Not only is waterproofing desired but looking to make the seat more durable. Of course the fabric I want to use is just plain cotton so I am concerned about wear and tear. do you think the product helps with that at all???

  17. ray says

    I was trying to recover my patio cusions except i bought scotch guard. When i tested the fabric the fabric bleed out. Would the Thompson water seal do the samething. The fabric is for the exterior.


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