Monday, November 30, 2009

DIY Barbour Reproofing: The Beaufort

Somewhat in conjunction with my post about sending my Bedale in to be repaired and reproofed at Green Mountain Reproofing, since my Beaufort was in better shape, just in need of a rewax, I decided to do it myself a couple of weeks ago.

Having performed this operation three or four times, I feel like I am getting a little better at it, but I'm definitely still not a pro. However, along with the photos, I'll provide some tips that may help you out if you decide to give it a try.

First, if you're going to do this outside, pick a warm day. I did this on a Sunday that had actually been fairly warm, but by the time I got around to getting everything set up, it had started cooling off and made things a bit more difficult. Before I started getting set up, I put a pot of water on the stove to start to boil. I then took a piece of scrap plywood that we had and covered it with a trashbag. This was actually worked great, and if you happen to be in possession of both of these objects, I highly recommend this set up. Once the warm came to a boil, I placed my can of Barbour Thornproof Dressing in the water to started to melt.

Once it has become oil-like, I used an old rolled-up crew sock and started to apply the wax. You've got to work fast, especially if it is cool outside, as the wax starts to solidify pretty quickly. I like to zip the jacket up and do the front first, trying to take care of all of the nooks and crannies before moving onto the arms.

The front is done

I then flip it over and do the back and that is the easiest part and the key there is really just coverage.

The back was clearly very "dry"

Nearly finished

Speaking of which, I was really pretty liberal in how much wax I was using. My goal was really to get about as much on as a I could and then worry about smoothing it out later. And on this note, I should also point out that you ought to make sure that you've got enough wax on-hand ahead of time. If you've got half of a can, it would probably be best to go ahead and pick up another can just in case you run out. But if you've got half of a can, you've done this before and probably already know this.

Finished; time to hang it up

After I finished up, I hung the jacket up to dry in a warm room for a day or two. Next, and most critically, I took a hair dryer and ran it all over the jacket, using my free hand to smooth out the wax. This is really an important step and it helps to really get the wax into the cotton, and helps to smooth of the wax so that it not only functions better, but also have a nice even-looking appearance. If you noticed some dry spots while using the hair dryer, either try to smooth them over with some wax that's already on the jacket, or dab a little bit on from the can and work it in with the hair dryer. After I finished this, I left it to hang for a couple more days.

In the end, it came out pretty good, if a bit "wet"-looking. I was rubbing wax off on stuff for a couple of days which did get kind of annoying, but after about a week or so, it has calmed down. Below is a picture of its current (glorious and water-resistant) state.

I hope this was a helpful post inspires you to give DIY reproofing a shot.


Anonymous said...

I like it, but Beauforts just don't look good on me for some reason. I've been thinking about picking up the Filson weekend jacket though, much better fit on me.

Anonymous said...

Job well done!

TWA said...

Great post, you have strengthened my urning for a Barbour! Thanks for the tips

RHW said...

Amen, and amen. Your note about stating with a full can of Barbour wax is critical. Several years ago I set about re-waxing my own Beafort. I had less than a full tin of wax and ran out before I got the second sleeve and the back covered. So....I switched to Filson wax. Oh the horror! Needless to say, I sent the coat to Barbour USA and they cleaned, and re-proofed it for me.

Great post Trip.

DAM said...

Performed this "man maintence" as I remember you calling way back when this summer and it took an alarming 3+ hours to do the whole coat but well worth it in the end.

Almost a rite of passage for a Barbour owner.

Scott said...

Here's another trick you can try if it's warm and sunny outside. After you fininsh the smear portion of the program, hang the coat on a hanger and put a black trash bag over it like a cleaner bag. Hang outside in the sun and alternate sides. The heat inside the bag will accomplish what you did with the hair dryer, but in a Green, earth-friendly way. The bag must be black. The final rub may still be necessary. You can do this with boots as well.


ADG said...

This is a great post. I'm sure to have to do this at some point.

John 20 year old Partridge/ 4 year old Barbour said...

Great post, I have 2 jackets to do - so I picked up an extra can. I like the plywood/garbage bag setup - will give it a try.

John 20 year old Partridge/ 4 year old Barbour said...

Just finished the two jackets. Came out great, older jacket took exactly 1 can, the newer one took just under 1 can. Once I had the wax hot, I put it on a tea light warmer to keep it hot while applying. Used a foam brush to apply it and a few old socks to rub it in while using a hair dryer. Came out really uniform and like new. Great post! Thanks!

Thornproof said...

Great post! The plywood board trick will come in handy on my next wax adventure.