Make a Waterproof Raincoat Out of Paper

paper raincoat

If you remember back to elementary school, water is a pretty powerful force. It created the Grand Canyon, fuels the Hoover Dam and Powerplant and is needed by all humans to survive. Can you imagine that you have the power to control it? OK, that might be a bit dramatic but let’s allow our imaginations to run wild and say that we can with the new Rust-Oleum NeverWet product.

Think of Star Trek deflector shields made specifically for water. This superhydrophobic coating is one of the coolest products I’ve gotten to demo.

I was asked to put together my ideal project to test out Rust-Oleum NeverWet. Full disclosure, they did provide product and some cash for project materials, but I would have done this without it (don’t tell them). My project had to be unique and test something that people might not do themselves. The back of the box recommended concrete, metal and even leather and cloth. However, it didn’t mention paper. I mean, who thinks it’s a good idea to store their paper in the water? That is not really an option.

Enter the paper raincoat. Can it protect me from the elements?

Since I live in Michigan, I can’t always predict when it will rain. So I developed this custom rain machine that is pretty simple to make and would be great for a dramatic video shoot. A future post will cover the details of this build but the more adventurous readers I’m sure can figure it out from this photo.
diy rain machine

See below for instructions on how I made my paper raincoat.

Building the raincoat was so much fun that I wanted to test it out on something painted, too. What struck me as interesting was a treated surface vs. a non-treated surface. I put together a demo board which was covered with a base coat of blue and some green stripes with the help of painter’s tape. I then alternated stripes (more painter’s tape) of the Rust-Oleum NeverWet. It’s a little hard to see in this picture but trust me that it’s VERY obvious in person which surface is treated and which isn’t.
striped board for testing neverwet

This post is brought to you by Rust-Oleum NeverWet — “You’ve never seen water behave this way!”


Step 1

 Open Gallerypattern for a raincoatCut out your pattern. Patterns are notorious for being confusing, especially men’s jackets. Since a raincoat is basically a giant jacket, be prepared. I opted out of the inner lining which made for less cutting.

Step 2

 Open Gallerytracing pattern for paper raincoatTrace your pattern onto the kraft paper with a dark marker. I opted for a 36-inch roll which is available both online and in some big-box craft and home improvement stores.

Step 3

 Open Gallerycut out paper pieces for paper raincoatCut out your paper raincoat pieces.

Step 4

 Open Gallerytape the paper raincoat togetherAssemble the paper raincoat pieces as per the instructions, using packing tape instead of actually sewing. This is much more complicated than it sounds as the directions on most patterns are very limited. If you need help, look at a similar clothing piece in your personal wardrobe to see how it was made.


Step 5

 Open Galleryspray the paper raincoat with neverwetHurrah. You have built the raincoat. Now it is time to apply the Rust-Oleum NeverWet. Take the raincoat outside. Thoroughly read all the instructions on the product. The first step is to apply the base coat to the raincoat. The paper is pretty absorbent so it took me almost a full can. Allow to dry for 30 minutes.


Step 6

 Open Galleryspray the paper raincoat with neverwetAfter the base coat has dried, apply the top coat (can 2). Since the paper has been essentially primed, it will take a lot less paint to cover. The most confusing part of the instructions to me is when it says to apply several layers of the top coat. Several isn’t an overly technical term, so I guessed at two. That seemed to work. Once this is dry, you are ready to test your project.

Project Resources



  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • Black marker
  • Raincoat pattern
About Nick Britsky 


I am a digital account executive by day and seeker of new skills by night. Maker Faires are my passion, and I have built projects ranging from giant Twinkie cars ...

More About Nick Britsky

3 Responses

  1. man tops says:

    Building the raincoat was so much fun that I wanted to test it out on something painted

  2. The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work

  3. Shroppolopolis says:

    Is the Never Wet spray toxic if you licked it many times?

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