Aging a set

dcpeter13

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Joined
Feb 1, 2007
We are doing Sleeping Beauty at the local junior high. This requires us to "age" the castle room of the evil witch (cob webs, dust that sort of thing). Any ideas on how to apply "permanent" dust or otherwise make the room look like it hasn't been touched for years.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
We are doing Sleeping Beauty at the local junior high. This requires us to "age" the castle room of the evil witch (cob webs, dust that sort of thing). Any ideas on how to apply "permanent" dust or otherwise make the room look like it hasn't been touched for years.
Oh Boy My Favorite ! Distressing a set ! There are a TON of techniques to pursue to get what you are looking for. Obviously < or maybe not > , in the original painting of the set finish it with a "spatter" technique. usin a Hudson sprayer, or the brush bristle technique. Heavier spatter up top workin down to a lighter layer below will give te appearence of age and dirt piling up in the corners. Cobwebs can e accomplished a few diferent ways. One great method is to purchase a "cobweb spinner" from a theatrical supply house. They work fantastic ! they use a Ruber cement-like compound and shoot it accross the set with a fan. It's a blast to play with, but expensive. I think they run $100.00 for the spinner te cobweb juice is cheap though. There are a few cautions to be considered. the cobwebs are flamamble, they can stain sometihngs < not really stain, they have acetone or lacquer thinner in them and if the webs hit something before drying completely the thinner can discolor the object>
Your M.E. will also get real pissed off if you spray all his fixtures with cobwebs. Another method for cobwebs is using the Halloween type they sell in Party supply stores. When applying them be sure to pull them very thin keep the clumps out and the do quite nicely.
For dust I stick by my previous statements on here. The best way to make dust , specially if you want it to get blown about by someone opening a book etc, is Rye flour. It's the least allergenic and least harmfull of any other substances. DO NOT USE TALC ! I can't say that enough. Talc contains asbestos and even by itself will irratate the nasal and lung passages. Hope that helps I have a few more ideas for you but I have to go replace my keyboard before I throw it at something or somebody.
 

Van

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CB Mods
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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
some fine sawdust and a clear coat of some sort would probly work
Saw dust can be tricky a lot more people than you might expect have alergies to pine and fir sap. and it tend to be scratchy
 

tenor_singer

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Apr 1, 2004
Location
Orwell, Ohio
I used that cob-web material you get for halloween (it is like a fine-strand wad of cotton that can be stretched to look like webs) on my set for Miss Havisham when I did Great Expectations this past fall. I also painted the set as though it wasn't going to be aged and then... using a rag and watered down dark grey or black... "washed" the walls. This made it look dirty. I also used dimmer lighting and older, realistic but worn props to finish the dressing. I've used the "washing" technique on several other set pieces (Jud Fry's smoke house comes to mind).

I advise against saw dust. I used it once and we had issues with it getting all over the stage during the production and it actually worked its way into the casters of a wagon making its bearings squeek for the remainder of the show (until we had time to squeeze under the wagon and clean it out and re-lube the casters).
 

CHScrew

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Location
north of Pittsburgh, PA
I'm not sure what else to tell you. Only that, if you are going to have any dust-like substance that will be blown into the air, Like when you slam an old book shut, make sure you check with all the cast members. Some people have some really strange allergies.
 

danl

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Location
west virginia
i love spray paint for dirt, dust and rust... take your pieces outside and LIGHTLY mist them with spray paint until they are "dusty" enough... grey spray mist looks a lot like old dust... we "dusted" a bedroom set in college this way... looked great!!!
 

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