An alternative, new approach to improve the hydrophobicity and barrier properties of paper was evaluated by radio-frequency (RF) plasma octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (OMCTSO) vapor treatment. The interaction between OMCTSO and paper, causing the increased hydophobicity, is likely through covalent bonding. The deposited thin silicone-like polymeric layer from OMCTSO plasma treatment possessed desirable hydrophobic properties. The SEM micrographs showed uniformly distributed grainy particles with various shapes on the paper surface. Deposition of the silicone polymer-like layer with the plasma treatment affects the distribution of voids in the network structure and increases the barrier against water intake and air. The water absorptivity was reduced by 44% for the OMCTSO plasma treated sheet. The highest resistance to air flow was an approximately 41% lower air permeability than virgin paper. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.