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ACE Painters' Suit as Rain Gear - not good
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b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
ACE Painters' Suit as Rain Gear - not good on 12/24/2006 15:44:06 MST Print View

This experiment was probably doomed to failure before it began. But, I had to try.

For about $8.00 ACE Hardware sells a painters overall / suit which is supposed to stop paint and other liquids from getting on the painter (and it is very light weight - like 4 oz.).

So, I thought, maybe it could be a cheap windshirt or rain gear. (It had a full zip and little holes all over the fabric, so it had to be breathable.)

Rainsuit bag and suit

Waiting until the conditions were right, which is not easy in this environment, it finally started raining. It was supposed to snow, according to the weather report. I put on the unmodified painters' suit, not even the tags were removed to reduce weight before this test.

Front view, 42 F, no wind, average humidity for our elevation before rain or snow:

Rainsuit front

Side view, same weather:

Rainsuit side view

Then, standing outside waiting to test the gear - the rain stopped.

So, I connected the garden hose to the faucet hoping to spray water in the air, emulating a rain condition. (The faucet was semi-frozen closed at first so that was quite an effort.) Finally, it sprayed water out of the connection between the hose and the faucet.

I let the faucet spray hit my right arm, then my left and backside. Immediately, it was apparent that even though this fabric breathed well, it was letting water through. So, I struggled with the faucet and got it off.

The water beaded on the surface well, but came through the little holes in the fabric pretty easily:

Rainsuit water droplets

Conclusion: Where there is any water pressure from wind or a leaky faucet the fabric will not be an effective vapor or water or snow barrier, as evidenced by my soggy underlayer on the right arm which was most exposed to the spray; after it quit raining. (My partner suggested I get into the shower with it for a further test, I will leave that to one of stronger motivation and conviction.)

Thus, I do not recommend using a painters' pants suit for trekking gear. It also split at the seam in the crotch when I jumped back from the initial spray from the faucet.


Kevin Pietriyk
(pietriyk) - F

Locale: Northeastern PA
material on 12/25/2006 10:00:29 MST Print View

I think that particular material is meant to stop overspray more that liquid, and the viscosity of paint probably keeps it from soaking through as much/fast.

We have all kinds of tyvek coveralls at work for under our hazmat suits/decon work- some of them might keep you dry, but they'd overheat you in a second in any temp. over 30. I've played with them, they're either too porous to be waterproof, or coated so that they are basically a plastic bag.

Maybe if it were treated with silicone/revivex? I'd try spraying it down well with silicone spray and let it dry for a week or so, then repeat the test, might surprise you then.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: ACE Painters' Suit as Rain Gear - not good on 01/09/2007 09:58:17 MST Print View

I know ten thousand things that don't work!
--- Thomas Edison