Waterproofing/Fireproofing: How to Waterproof Canvas, Leather or Concrete

Waterproofing Canvas

Mix 3 cups soybean oil (available from grocery or health food store) with 1 1/2 cups turpentine. Paint on and let dry. Reapply after a year or two of hard use or outdoor exposure.

This is great for tents, awnings and camping equipment.

Waterproofing Leather for Outdoor Use

Method 1: Heat together in a double boiler, 2 1/2 ounces neat's-foot oil (be careful - oil is flammable - available from boot or shoe store), 3/4 ounce mineral oil (available from drugstore or chemical supply house) and 1/2 ounce of tallow (be careful tallow is flammable - available from meat market). Stir gently until well mixed. Cool and bottle. Use a cloth to rub into shoes and boots.

Method 2: Mix 1 tablespoon silicone oil (available from foundry or foundry supply dealer) into 1 cup of Stoddard solvent (hardware store, drugstore or dry-cleaning shop). Apply liberally.

Waterproofing Concrete

Mix 1 1/4 pounds ammonium stearate (available from drugstore or chemical supply house) into 4 gallons of hot water and apply two coats with a large paint brush.

This can be used for a concrete garden wall,foundation or a floor which becomes wet repeatedly.

Fireproofing Cloth

Into 3 pints water mix 1 cup ammonium chloride (available from drugstore or chemical supply house) and 1/2 cup ammonium phosphate (available from a garden supply store). Soak cloth well and let dry.

This preparation can be used for clothing, tents, awnings and other textiles.

Fireproofing Wood

(Important Note: Preparation will not make it impossible for wood to burn, just hard for the wood to catch fire)

Into 2 quarts water, mix 1/2 cup zinc chloride (available from feed and grain dealer), 1/4 cup ferric chloride (available from chemical supply house), 3 tablespoons boric acid (available from drugstore) and 3 tablespoons ammonium phosphate (available from garden supply store).

Spray or brush on 2 or 3 coats.

This preparation can be used in buildings, for outdoor furniture, camping equipment,etc.

Fireproofing Christmas Trees

Into 1 gallon water mix 1 cup ammonium sulphate (available from garden supply store), 1/2 cup boric acid (available from drugstore), and 2 tablespoons borax (available from grocery or hardware store).

Mix well. Spray on tree and let tree stand in this solution instead of in water.

Frosting Windows (Duplicating Jack Frost)

This is perfect to create privacy, such as in a bathroom, or for shielding an ugly view. Make sure your windows are clean before you start.

Dissolve 4 heaping tablespoons of Epsom salts in one cup of beer. This will foam. Let set for at least 30 minutes. The salt crystals will partially dissolve.

Apply to window. This can be done with a 2 inch paint brush, but for a nicer effect, dip a facial tissue or terry cloth in the liquid and wipe over the window as if you were washing it. Then while the window is still wet go back and dab and pat at the glass with the wet tissue.

Mixture dries to form beautiful crystals. This looks even better the next day, and lasts a long time. It can be washed off with water and a cloth and is easily reapplied.

Keeping Chimney Flue Free of Soot

Mix 1 cup salt with 1 cup zinc oxide powder (available at ceramic shop or drugstore) and sprinkle on hot fire. This will help keep the chimney flue clean.

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