Tablecloths protect the table surface, and in doing so, they take the brunt of day-to-day life. But as any mom knows, spills happen; food get ground into the fabric; and some foods even stain the material. Trying to remove the stains may damage the tablecloth itself. Having a tablecloth that is waterproof helps the cloth last longer and protects the table from liquids that soak through. You can waterproof your cloth in one of several ways; choose the method that suits your DIY comfort level.
Wash and dry your fabric to remove the sizing or starch-like stiffener used in the manufacturing of new fabric. This step allows for better adhesion of waterproofing products and prevents additional shrinkage.
Prepare a surface as large as the tablecloth. Cover a piece of plywood with cotton batting and wrap it in an old sheet, stapling the sheet in place on the underside of the plywood. Staple the surface completely flat and tight.
Lay the cloth on the pressing surface with the right-side visible on the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to adhere the vinyl to the fabric.
Stain Repellent or Waterproofing Spray
Wash and dry your fabric.
Lay a sheet of plastic over your table, extending it past the surface by at least 12 inches all around.
Position the tablecloth on the table and smooth out all the wrinkles.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and spray the entire cloth surface with spray. Let the cloth dry completely.
Apply three or four more coats of the stain repellent spray, allowing the cloth to dry completely between coats.
Wipe the cloth after use with a slightly damp cloth and allow it to dry before folding for storage. If you must wash your cloth, re-apply the spray according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Dilute white, clear-drying, all-purpose glue to make a 1/4-glue, 3/4-water mixture. Stir the mixture well.
Lay a sheet of plastic over your table; use a plastic sheet larger than the tablecloth.
Lay the tablecloth out flat on the plastic, wrong-side up.
Paint the white glue mixture over the entire surface of the fabric. Use a sponge brush, roller or paintbrush, but ensure that you spread the mixture evenly over the surface.
Allow the cloth to dry completely and apply a second coat. Allow it to dry.
Turn the cloth over and apply two or three additional coats to the right-side of the fabric, allowing the cloth to dry fully between coats.
Spray the entire surface of the cloth with a matte or gloss clear sealant.