THE FILMMAKING TIP: An inexpensive, but smart way to "age" a prop... or change the color of clothes in the wardrobe.
From WILL STEWART, a Professional Filmmaker who has expertise as an Art Director on several indie movies --
"I see Indie Film DIY tips for the Art Department all the time on the Internet and almost all the tips are horrible. Their advise doest't save you any money and usually end up being more trouble than they are worth. Here's one example -- If you need to stain a prop or set piece to look old, don't follow the tip to use coffee or tea.
And don’t use any other food product because that will only make the object stink after you’re finished with your work. No one wants a foul odor coming from the prop to distract the actors who will be handling it in a scene. A better choice is to use a thinned out water-based paint. You can get exactly the color you want and control the process much more easily.
If you want to dye clothing, using food products is still not the way to go. The wardrobe treated with food-based dyes will end up rotting if stored for an extended length of time. I suggest using real clothing dye — it's super cheap, more permanent, and your actors wearing the treated clothes will thank you. Keep the coffee and tea at the craft services table."
WILL STEWARTis an indie director and screenwriter who has also art directed and production designed dozens of commercials and indie films. He specializes in using the tricks
of the trade and more than a few of his own to make movie magic at any budget.