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Thread: White canvas painters tarps

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    Question White canvas painters tarps

    I was in a local Big Lots yesterday and saw some fairly heavy duty looking white (natural) canvas painter tarps in various sizes and fairly low prices. I know these aren't top notch tarps and are not waterproof, but I'm wondering if any one here has used a canvas painters tarp for a shelter by waterproofing it in some way ? They had a 10' x 12' for around 10 bucks and I'm thinking of grabbing one to play with - anyone got any info on how to go about waterproofing these ? Looks like they would be grat for a lean to or similar shelter.

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    I have been more than satisfied with the one I got. The very first thing you do is to wash it in HOT water. This will tighten the weave and make it more apt to not leak. I used the boat cover waterproofing from Bass Pro and have been rained on every time I have slept in it except one time, and have yet to get wet from leaking. They are a great way to cheaply get into canvas to see if its for you.

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    I have been planning to do this very thing myself. And as d37fan said, I have read that they should be washed in hot water to tighten the weave. I was going to try some waterproof spray and seem how that works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d37fan View Post
    I have been more than satisfied with the one I got. The very first thing you do is to wash it in HOT water. This will tighten the weave and make it more apt to not leak. I used the boat cover waterproofing from Bass Pro and have been rained on every time I have slept in it except one time, and have yet to get wet from leaking. They are a great way to cheaply get into canvas to see if its for you.
    +1 on the hot water wash. Also, dry on the cotton setting to top it off. Size will probably be less then when purchased so any measuring or cutting should be done after.

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    Like the others have said hot wash/hot dry and make what you want. I have made haversaks,pouches,and other bags with good results. I've dyed it colors and waxed it with boiled linseed oil mix and very happy with it. Thinking of making some leggings and a trekkers tarp and waxing them.

    If you are just starting and learning I think it is a good place to start. Just my thought.

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    This video from you tube does a good job of explaining DIY Silnilon tarps.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UTZPllgqSc

    I don't know if it would work on canvas or not, but a good watch nun-the-less

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    there are a couple threads already going on the topic of waterproofing canvas. can't remember anyone's dang login name though, to help you search! one guy did a pretty funny video of melting his wax in a crock pot (a traditional beeswax, boiled linseed oil, and turpentine recipe) and someone else brought up the thompson's water sealer method.
    "Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you." John Muir

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    Thompson Water Seal works great. Just dont use more than two light coatings or it wont allow the canvas to breathe making its sweat inside more if using during winter months.

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    I got one and did the hot wash and dry, that does help. Then I attached 1" nylon webbing loops in the NW Woodsman configuration and it worked out good. Now to dye and silicone impregnate and it's done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    Like the others have said hot wash/hot dry and make what you want. I have made haversaks,pouches,and other bags with good results. I've dyed it colors and waxed it with boiled linseed oil mix and very happy with it. Thinking of making some leggings and a trekkers tarp and waxing them.

    If you are just starting and learning I think it is a good place to start. Just my thought.
    Not just startin out, been roamin the woods now for around 45 years and just wanting something quick and easy to get under. I've made all sorts of temporary shelters in the past but most from available natural materials - even slept in small caves. Just thought the tarp would be a light weight option to keep in the pack and I don't like the modern SINthetic tarps much - too noisy !

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