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Superhydrophobic surfaces are very appealing for numerous industrial applications due to their self-cleaning capacity. Although there are different methods to manufacture superhydrophobic surfaces, some of them do not keep the aesthetic appearance of the neat surface. Sol-gel processes are a valid alternative when transparent coatings are desired. The main goal of this research is to study the viability of this method by making superhydrophobic coatings from silane-based solution containing SiO2 nanoparticles. The effect of using different solvents is investigated, as well as the role played by the different components of the solution (silane, nanoparticles and solvent). Solutions of methyltrimethoxisilane (NITS) and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and 1% of SiO2 (%wt) were prepared with different solvents (ethanol, ethanol/water and white spirit). The hydrophobicity of the developed coatings is studied using contact angle measurements, while the aesthetic appearance is evaluated with gloss and color measurements. Also, infrared spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DSL), and surface tension measurements are used to study the silane solutions. The results show that the capacity of solvents to promote the dispersion of the nanoparticles is crucial to ensuring superhydrophobicity, since these agglomerates provide the micro-and nano-surface roughness required to get a hierarchical structure. However, the combined use of silanes and nanoparticles is key to make a superhydrophobic surface because physical (the surface roughness provided by nanoparticles) and chemical characteristics (hydrophobicity provided by silanes) are coupled. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.