Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Fun things I learned from Props Land Part 1: Glossy Wood Tone
One of my absolute favorite things in props land is a product called Design Masters Glossy Wood Tone.
I was lauding it to the Tall One and marvelling at how awesome it is, and he said, "You might as well call it Patina of Age".
And it's true. This product is the magic 'Patina of Age' when it comes to props.
I've used it to age things in seconds.
Witness the back of a brand new red journal.
Magically it becomes the back of a well-worn hundred years old journal!
All it took was a bit of scrubbing with some sand paper, a wet sponge or two with a tint of acrylic paint, and a good overspray or two with Wood Tone.
Glossy Wood Tone is one of the many flavors of Design Masters Spray. It's actually a floral spray. But it's BRILLIANT for props applications. It's glossy, as the implies, but you can overspray it with clear matte and it takes that shine right on down. And seals it in!
If you just use regular old brown spray paint to 'age' or 'tone' things, then it's opaque. And if you get a little excited and use too much, it looks fairly terrible. Let me tell you. I've done it many many times.
But Glossy Woodtone is translucent, so if you do many layers it usually looks interesting. Or at least not like a major flaw.
It comes in other flavors, like Walnut Wood Tone and Cherry Wood Tone. But Glossy is the best because it's a pure middle brown color, and has so much versatility. The Cherry is too red for my tastes and the Walnut too dark brown.
Of course, they have their places, but they're not the all-around favorite tool of all time like Glossy Wood Tone.
It's actually hard to find GWT. You have to buy it for the most part at floral shops. I think Michaels and A. C. Moore here in the states might carry it as well. You can't just mosey on down to the Sherwin Williams or the Hardware store and pick it up.
And it's not something I really use on my personal projects. Mostly anyway I'm making drawings or soft sculptures, so I don't really need to 'age' things.
And spray paint is sort of yicky for a daily application.
But if you're in a hurry, or need to tone lots of things fast and don't want to mess with a tea bath, it's your woman.
At the Design Masters Website they have this little tutorial about ways to use it. I've never looked into these but they look like fun.
They also have a Terra Cotta ColorTool and an October Brown ColorTool spray, but they're opaque, so not as useful. But still good in terms of color variety in your spray paints.
I found an online marketplace for them, but I've never used them. Here's the link.
As always, if you do use spray paints, you should wear a mask, do it outside or somewhere with plenty of ventilation, and don't spray it in your face. Wear Safety Goggles just in case.
I like these little jobbies for holding a can so it doesn't hurt my wrist. Like the one here. Or here.
And if you do spray inside, make sure your pets aren't around, a window is open, a fan or two is on, and your husband or wife knows about it (or they may kill you later, the fumes stick around for sometimes over a day).
I've many times accidentally gotten myself a bit mixed up on paint fumes late in a theatre somewhere. It's always stupid. I'm working alone in a theatre shop somewhere and just trying to get something painted and don't have the fans going or anything.
If you do start to feel nauseous or dizzy, stop immediately, go outside and breathe a lot of fresh air, and don't spray any more that day. Sometimes that sort of headache takes a few hours to blow off. It is no fun. It kills your brain cells. Be smart and spray intelligently according to the label on the can.
Spray paint is dangerous.
But very very useful!
Like many things in theatre, you have to be careful and always read the signs.