Semi-permanent weathering techniques for soft parts

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ID10T

Sr Member
OK. First off, I openly admit I did not search this. Mainly because I'd like to collect the current "state of the art" on this.

And, I'll further preface by saying I'd love to get me some "dirty down" spray out of the UK, but it seems impossible to get in the states. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I think that would be perfect! And, I have a good (perhaps too good) comfort level with a rattle can, so, look out. Any sort of US-based analogue to that stuff would be fantastic!

So, here's where I'm at: I have a bunch of rather expensive, reasonably screen accurate costume components for Corporal Rostock (Rogue One Marine). Due to the high cost of these parts, I'd like a non-permanent staining and dirtying method/technique/product. I do have a bit of Fuller's Earth to finish off whatever I do with the base layers.

I had a thought about the "ultra washable" paints my Son has, and so I grabbed a couple bottles of "washable" tempra paint from Wal-Mart. I got brown and white, figuring I'd make up a shade I like, water it down, and sponge it on (maybe??). The paint does warn "May cause staining", but I'm OK with that. I just want to be able to throttle back the staining if I over-do it, which is just about mandatory to have it look like anything on camera. I'd also like to be able to "wash it out" if I end up selling on some or all of the costume pieces. Or just recycling to other characters that don't blow stuff up full time.

Has anyone tried to spray watered-down tempra paint with an airbrush?!?

So, please feel free to post products, techniques and photos of what you did, how you did it, and how easily (or not) it can be removed/fixed. This is an area where I have just about zero experience, and need to learn!

Thanks to all who read, and contribute!
 

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DreddPirateBob

New Member
NB: I am absolutely the opposite of anyone you should listen to. Seriously.

However; many years ago, as a huge fan of the Fields of the Nephilim (search for photos as evidence; the aesthetic is basically post-apocalypse spaghetti western), I'd dust my clothes with flour. It gives a dusty, worn, look and can pretty easily be washed out (unless it's ground in over years). NB: It can get damp and clumpy and smell pretty grim but it works. There are a few 'shades' and various levels of fine available too depending on what you're after. Test it first.

At your own risk. I haven't emphasised the smell enough tbh.
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
OK. First off, I openly admit I did not search this. Mainly because I'd like to collect the current "state of the art" on this.

And, I'll further preface by saying I'd love to get me some "dirty down" spray out of the UK, but it seems impossible to get in the states. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I think that would be perfect! And, I have a good (perhaps too good) comfort level with a rattle can, so, look out. Any sort of US-based analogue to that stuff would be fantastic!

So, here's where I'm at: I have a bunch of rather expensive, reasonably screen accurate costume components for Corporal Rostock (Rogue One Marine). Due to the high cost of these parts, I'd like a non-permanent staining and dirtying method/technique/product. I do have a bit of Fuller's Earth to finish off whatever I do with the base layers.

I had a thought about the "ultra washable" paints my Son has, and so I grabbed a couple bottles of "washable" tempra paint from Wal-Mart. I got brown and white, figuring I'd make up a shade I like, water it down, and sponge it on (maybe??). The paint does warn "May cause staining", but I'm OK with that. I just want to be able to throttle back the staining if I over-do it, which is just about mandatory to have it look like anything on camera. I'd also like to be able to "wash it out" if I end up selling on some or all of the costume pieces. Or just recycling to other characters that don't blow stuff up full time.

Has anyone tried to spray watered-down tempra paint with an airbrush?!?

So, please feel free to post products, techniques and photos of what you did, how you did it, and how easily (or not) it can be removed/fixed. This is an area where I have just about zero experience, and need to learn!

Thanks to all who read, and contribute!
Years ago, when I was a working actor, I remember the costume people on set using Fullers earth for 'dustiness' and various tinted hairspays for general grime and muck. I assume these must have been washable, given the expense of the (often hired) costumes... but this info comes with an 'at your own risk' warning nonetheless! :)
 

ID10T

Sr Member
Ahhh! Tinted hairspray. That’s something I can latch onto.

How about spraying tempura paint? Maybe a “jam gun” (small paint gun for doing minor repairs and- door jams- on cars) would work better than an airbrush for the paint? I used to do a damn fine sunburst with one of those back when I made guitars… I’ll try a few things (and see how easily it washes out too). I’ve got some colored t shirts that could be sacrifices for the cause and we get white “t-shirt” material rags for part wipe down.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
I looked at a few offerings online and I think I’ll grab a can to mess with.

I also found this, which has good ideas:

From that I took away “cinnamon” and “paprika” which I’ll look into. But it was also pointed out organic items like these (and the flour, mentioned above) can get nasty, smelly and attract bugs. Unless that’s the look you’re going for.
 

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wayouteast

Sr Member
I looked at a few offerings online and I think I’ll grab a can to mess with.

I also found this, which has good ideas:

From that I took away “cinnamon” and “paprika” which I’ll look into. But it was also pointed out organic items like these (and the flour, mentioned above) can get nasty, smelly and attract bugs. Unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Also, paprika stains like anything (as do most spices) so if it's a temporary or removable stain you're after probably not the best way to go.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
OK Good to know.

I have fuller's earth and I want to get some of that tinted hairspray to try. I've been reading reviews (it is used for root touch-up) and trying to find the one that doesn't last very long, because that one would be the easiest to wash out.
 

JW Foust

Well-Known Member
Any dye or paint (including tempera paint) can contain pigments that stain. Even the act of washing may wash out existing dyes or do some slight damage to the fibers when you attempt to remove it. You might be better off just leaving the costume pieces alone you are worried about and finding some other garment you don't mind subjecting to distressing, if you need that.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
That’s okay- it’s just if it goes too far or too much of a paint/ dye whatever, to be able to remove (or reduce) it. It is not necessary to remove every trace and get TV laundry detergent commercial whites afterwards.

I had planned to get some of the hairspray today but it didn’t work out.
 

XavNZ92

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
OK. First off, I openly admit I did not search this. Mainly because I'd like to collect the current "state of the art" on this.

And, I'll further preface by saying I'd love to get me some "dirty down" spray out of the UK, but it seems impossible to get in the states. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I think that would be perfect! And, I have a good (perhaps too good) comfort level with a rattle can, so, look out. Any sort of US-based analogue to that stuff would be fantastic!

I found Dirty down all the way in New Zealand its odd it can't be found in the USA it's usually the other way around.

If you want a semi permanent way of weathering a fabric costume I would recommend any combination of the following :
-Shoe Polish
-Beeswax mixed with weathering powders ( I use AK brand)
-The Weathering powders alone.
-Water based paints (through an airbrush) be careful as even water based paints can permanently stain.

Those are what I use to great effect and it always completely or mostly washes off in a normal wash.
 

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