A set of hydrophobically-modified water soluble methacrylate copolymers was synthesized for chemical modification of paper surfaces. Viscosity and water solubility of the polymers were tailored to different coating methods. Fine paper was coated by two different methods, either by using a blade coater or by using the polymer as an additive in a calendering process. Paper was coated with a very small amount of polymer, 0.16 g/m2, which is much lower than the typical coating amount. Chemical surface analysis was used to confirm the uniform spreading of the polymer on the surface of the paper. An even distribution of the polymer on the surface was obtained and this was confirmed with ToF-SIMS. It was possible to increase the contact angle for the fine paper surface with a small amount of polymer.