{five minute friday} How to Weatherproof Art for the Outdoors

When I shared some photos of our backyard in the spring, you may have noticed that I hung a large, canvas photo on the exterior wall of our white stucco garage. For years, I had been wanting something decorative for this space to break up the sea of stucco, but I had never been able to find any outdoor art that I really liked. So this year, I created my own weatherproof, outdoor art, and today I've got the super easy, five minute tutorial for you. 

DIY make outdoor art water repellant

Watch this quick video tutorial, and then read on for more details...

Every year, we use a super soft plant called Elegant Feather for the planter box bench that provides seating on one side of our outdoor dining table. Elegant Feather is perfect for this spot because it's SO soft and because it grows very straight and tall, so it never overtakes the bench.

When we planted it back in May, each stalk was only about a foot and half tall... just visible above the bench.

waterproofing outdoor art

As the summer goes on, the Elegant Feather keeps getting taller by the week. 

How to waterproof outdoor art

Because of this, I wanted the art that I created for the space to look good throughout the summer, even as the Elegant Feather started to overlap the bottom of it. I debated on printing a few different photos from our various travels, but ultimately decided on this gorgeous photo that we took on our tour of the winelands in Cape Town, South Africa a couple of years ago because I liked the rows of green grape vines across the bottom 2/3 of the photo. 

I thought it would actually look pretty cool when the green stalks of Elegant Feather started to overlap the rows of green vines. 

I had the photo printed onto a 30" x 40" canvas at Canvas On Demand {affiliate link}, and I chose the standard, thin wrap{to save money - I usually do the thick wrap for art in my house}. This is my favorite source for printing canvas art because they do a very nice, high quality job, but they also have 40% and 50% off discount codes quite frequently, making their prices often better than the prices of other companies of tried that aren't as good.

Once the canvas arrived on my door step, I was ready to weatherproof it. Rust-Oleum has a line of products called NeverWet {affiliate link} for making everything water repellent - from shoes, to glass, to outdoor fabric. I've read good reviews from people who have used the NeverWet fabric spray to make outdoor cushions, pillows, and even curtains water resistant, so I thought I would give it a try on the canvas art.

Before spraying the canvas, I tested a small section on the edge to ensure that the spray wouldn't make the colors run. The spray dries totally clear, and didn't change the appearance, or the feel of the canvas art at all.

Be sure to follow all the instruction on the bottle regarding application and safety. Also, let the art dry at least 24 hours before exposing it to any water.

The NeverWet spray probably doesn't make the art fully waterproof - I imagine that if a puddle of water were to sit on the surface, it would eventually soak in {thought I haven't tested it to find out}. But the canvas is definitely water repellent enough that, because the art hangs vertically, water just runs right off it - so water should never sit on the surface long enough for it to be a problem.

So there you have it... DIY weatherproof outdoor art! 

Living in Colorado, we can't leave anything outdoors or uncovered year round, so I'll definitely be bringing my art in for the winter, or anytime we are expecting a big storm {like the hail storms that frequently get in the spring}. But thanks to the NeverWet, which took me less than 5 minutes to apply, I can now leave my art hanging outside for the majority of the spring, summer and fall months without worrying that it will be ruined if we get a little rain. 

How to Weatherproof Outdoor Art

On Monday, I'll be participating in a Garden Party with a phenomenal group of bloggers... so come back for some updated photos of our outdoor space, as well as my best tips for creating a comfortable outdoor living room on a budget! 


  1. This is such a cool tip! Love outside art but always wondered how to make it weathered proof.

  2. Awesome tip!!! I have so many plain walls outside and never thought about this!

  3. Does it smell like the spray. I want to do something like this under a covered patio.

    1. I have not noticed any odor at all. I didn't even notice much odor when I was spraying the canvas initially, since I was working outdoors, and definitely have not noticed any odor at all since then.

  4. Someone gave me beautiful mosaic piece of art tht was done on a wooden backing. Looks like on ply wood. I want to hang this outdoor on a fence. Wpuld this water repellant spray work especually on the wood?

    1. The water repellent spray I used to specifically made for outdoor fabric, but I believe that they also make another water pump product forward. I would definitely tested it on the back of the piece or in an inconspicuous area before doing the entire piece. Both to make sure that it truly makes it repaired water, and also that it does not discolored or change the look of the wood.

  5. How did you secure to wall to withstand winds?

    1. I hung it on the wall like normal and then added Command Outdoor Hanging Strips to each corner. This way, the nails are holding the actual weight, but the oudoor hanging strips keep the corners secured to the wall so that it doesn't get caught by the wind. Here's a link to the type of strips I used (affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2uDkWls