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I got given a free can of Volvo Life Paint, the idea being you can spray any material and it'll become reflective under a light source. On the can it simply says it's less effective on shiny materials and that it'll wash off.

Does anyone know if this will have any negative effects on the waterproofing of a material?

  • I googled VLP and all I saw remotely relevant to your question is that it is water based and that it works best on fabrics -- but it sure has raised controversity! – ab2 Nov 28 '15 at 22:34
  • @ab2 yes, indeed! I know it's supposed to wash off if you wash the item in the washing machine, or if it's used too long in the rain. – Aravona Nov 30 '15 at 7:46
  • What kind of water proofs? breathable one's like Goretex, eVent, etc. Or just a pac-a-mak style? – user2766 Nov 30 '15 at 11:45
  • @Liam any and all that's why I didn't define a type. I've several waterproof materials, plus it's good to know if it works on one but not another etc. – Aravona Nov 30 '15 at 11:46
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The answer to this will depend on the material your applying it to. Waterproofs typically fall into one of three categories:

Physical waterproof barriers

These are the old style "boil in the bag" type systems where your coated in plastic. This plastic will neither let water in or out. These are rarely used these days.

VLP will have zero affect on these as the barrier is physical and applying things to it makes little difference.

Chemical barrier systems

By this I mean things like Paramo jackets. The waterproofing of these jackets is based on a water repleant chemical coating on the outside of the material.

Adding the VLP to this I would suggest will reduce the water proofing of the the jacket. The whole concept of these jackets is to allow water to run off befoire it becomes a problem. Adding the VLP will prevent this from happening effectivly.

Breathable physical barrier with a chemical coating

by this I mean Goretex, eVent, etc. The water proofing of these jackets is actually provided by the material in the jacket (the GoteText/eVent itself). So adding the vLP to this will have limted effect to the water proofing, it should still keep you dry.

That said the breahtability of these jackets is based on the outer chemical coating and again the VLP is only going to interfere with this. So it will likely prevent the material from working at 100% efficency.


TBH, if you want to be seen, buy a 50p high visibility vest, it will be more effective and won't affect the waterproofness of your clothing in any way shape or form!

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  • Good to know! So the principal idea here is to try and avoid it on waterproof clothing. That's fine, thanks! Good idea for the high vis jacket too. I think we'll stick to spraying the dogs lead and stuff! – Aravona Dec 1 '15 at 8:46

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