Ways to Waterproof Cardboard Boxes

Aug 18, 2020 | 0 comments

Cardboard boxes are vulnerable to moisture but there are many ways to waterproof them.

This will protect them from damp, rain, condensation and spills.

Waterproofing also helps maintain the box’s integrity, which prevents it from collapsing.

Choose the method to suit your needs

Some methods totally waterproof cardboard boxes while others provide water resistance.

Choose the method that suits your needs, fits your budget and can be done in the time you have.

PVA glue

PVA glue can be painted onto the outside of cardboard boxes to provide a waterproof finish.

PVA glue is water-based so it can be mixed with water to make it thinner and easy to work with.

Cover each surface and make sure the glue has dried thoroughly before assembling the box.

Even a tiny gap will compromise the waterproof seal.

Plastic wrap

A quick and easy way to waterproof cardboard boxes is to wrap them in plastic pallet wrap once they’re packed and sealed.

The wrap is like cling film but wider and thicker.

You can buy it on large rolls.

This method creates plastic waste but the boxes are untouched and can be recycled or reused.


Brush melted paraffin wax onto cardboard boxes with a paintbrush.

Be careful when working with the hot wax.

The wax should be sufficient to protect against dampness.

One benefit is it dries more quickly than other methods.


Shellac is a type of lacquer that’s used to seal musical instruments and wooden furniture.

It comes in flakes and is mixed with alcohol or methanol to become liquid.

The alcohol and methanol then evaporate and the shellac hardens.

Shellac is 100% natural and non-toxic.

When they’re no longer usable, cardboard boxes covered in shellac can be recycled or composted.

Acrylic spray

Acrylic spray paint or varnish is a quick and easy way to coat the outside of your boxes.

If they’re properly sealed, this can be done once the boxes are packed.

Acrylic sprays give off fumes, so wear a mask and eye protection during the application.

Unfortunately, spraying cardboard boxes with acrylic paint or varnish makes them non-biodegradable so you’ll be able to reuse them but not recycle them.


Polyester or fibreglass resins are very effective at waterproofing and are often used on boats and in marine settings.

Resin sets quickly so you must work in small batches.

It takes at least 24 hours to fully cure, so allow ample time for the job.

Resins are synthetic so your cardboard boxes won’t be recyclable or compostable.

A reusable alternative to cardboard boxes

For boxes that are 100% waterproof and won’t get soggy or wet, choose a reusable plastic moving box with a fitted lid.

At Ecobox, we offer convenient, affordable plastic moving boxes for rent.

Just order your boxes and we’ll deliver them to your doorstep – and once you’ve moved and unpacked, we’ll collect them from your new location.


If you want to use one of these ways to waterproof cardboard boxes, we can help.

At Ecobox, we offer:

Visit one of our retail locations to get the office moving supplies you need, or simply order online and we’ll deliver to your door.
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