Breaking Down Props & Costumes


Tea Staining / Tea Dyeing

Paper products can be stained by being soaked in tea, then left to dry. 

Dirty Down Spray

‘Dirty Down’ spray can be used to build up layers of ‘dirt’ on items. 
Flints Theatrical Chandlers (UK) stocks a range of Dirty Down products – FLINTS WEB SHOP

Using Dirty Down Spray to break down props:

Flints Mud

Water-based fire-retardant muddy look for set, props or costumes. 
Obviously, do not use real mud on stage!
Available from Flints Theatrical Chandlers in the UK.

Flints Mud

Fullers Earth

Hydrous aluminium silicate, used in chemistry as a filter and as a binder when mixing powder paint for use on textiles. Also used by the printing industry, and for theatre, flim and TV to age and dust-down sets and costumes. 
A more ecologically-friendly product is Walnut Dust (below).

Walnut Dust (from Flints Theatrical Chandlers)

Walnut Dust

An ecological alternative to Fullers Earth, Walnut Dust is made from ground-up walnut shells, so may present a serious problem for those with allergies or asthma. Due to these problems, Walnut Dust should not be used in types of work (e.g. immersive theatre) where the audience may be exposed to the dust. All cast and crew must be specifically warned about the use of walnut shells. 
Walnut Dust at Flints (UK)
Walnut Dust at Special Effects Unlimited (USA)

Break down props Break down costumes, breaking down costumes, using dirty down spray