Gotta' chime in here since I've used this stuff. I've tried the Rust-Oleum NeverWet version from Home Depot. Since I work outdoors in Alaska in all sorts of nasty and extreme weather, I'm always looking for something that will give me a little edge in the "stay warm and dry" department. Unfortunately I find this stuff to be in the "almost useless" department.
First of all, it goes on just like it's presented in the videos and literature. Two-step process with drying between and after. Simple.
The "milky frost" look it leaves behind is, IMHO, understated. It's clear why they use white canvas shoes and light
colored gloves and such in the demo videos. I sprayed this on three items, brown leather work boots, a blue fabric ball cap, and a pair of tan leather work gloves. All of them look like they aged or experienced some kind of mistreatment almost immediately. The boots and gloves looked like I dipped them in salt water and dried them out leaving a nice coating of fine powdered salt behind. The cap looks like it had 10 years of dust on it, or like I wore it working in a saw mill for three years.
Bottom line, it will affect the appearance of almost anything that isn't white or light
gray in color.
Second, the finished coating when dry isn't permanent. You can rub it off (or in) with a fingertip. It's slightly sticky too. Kind of like semi-dry hair spray (for lack of a better description). It isn't tacky per se, just not hard or permanent. I can't think of a good way to describe it. It's just "sitting" there.
Third, the performance in the real world isn't a "game changer" in my opinion. It works, but it has limited use and longevity. For instance, I hoped that it would keep my leather gloves from getting soaked, or at least delay the process through the course of a 12-hour shift. But wherever the glove comes in contact with something, such as the entire palm-side of the glove when I grab onto something, it "mashes" the NeverWet into the leather and in doing that, the coating ceases to function. So when it's raining, the back of my gloves now stay relatively dry, but the inside (palm side) are soaked through within a few minutes.
Same on my boots. If I only had to walk around the neighborhood delivering mail (for instance) and the uppers of my boots never touched anything, I guess the water shedding properties of the NeverWet material would work great. But in my job, my boots take a beating top to bottom and as soon as I touch a spot on the uppers to anything, that spot is now susceptible to a thorough soaking. For boots, the silicone based water proofing sprays work better for me because these soak into the leather and after they dry they will repel water for a certain span of time whether you beat your boots up or not. Plus, they only make the leather darker, unlike the NeverWet which makes them look dried out and dusty.
The only place this stuff was relatively useful to me is on my hat. It made my brand new navy blue cap look like hell, but it keeps my head pretty dry even in a pretty serious rain storm. But again, in the area of the bill where I often grab the hat to put it on, take it off, or adjust it, that area sucks up water like there is nothing there.
Finally, if you spray it on anything that is non-porous, it will not stick. You can just rub it off with your finger, and it balls up like the rubber from a pencil eraser as you use it. Kinda' messy actually.
I suppose this might be good for something like an umbrella or maybe an awning
, if it doesn't get handled very much. But forget using it on anything that gets touched a lot, or sat on, or handled a lot in any way. The more something is handled, the less the coating works as it's worn off or ground into the material it's sitting on. For me, on my gloves and boots, and the bill of my cap, this happened within minutes of using it in the elements. So be aware that while this stuff may have its uses, it's not as revolutionary or durable as the promotional materials suggest.
Still, I'd be curious to hear other experiences, both good and bad, to learn more about how people use this stuff. I still have some left but I'm at a loss now on what to use it for in my situation. Maybe someone can post some ideas that I can borrow down the road.