Monday, June 25, 2012


Another method for making your booth as convincing as possible is to age it down to give it the look of a structure that has been in the weather for more then a few weekends. Ironically, and not surprisingly, the method many people use for storing their booths during the off season… usually throwing it in the back yard or leaning them up against the garage, has the unplanned effect of aging a booth quite nicely. Often the ritual of retrieving last year’s booth involves brushing off mud and vanquishing black widow spiders before loading it on the truck. Still, it would be nice to have a little more control over the aging of your structure.

One quick method is to mix up a very light wash of brown ink or very watered down paint. The consistency of this mixture should be no more then dirty water and should contain very little pigment. First wet down all the areas you intend to age, then taking a sponge soaked in the dirty liquid, begin to scrub in the wash into the corners of beams, along the base of the booth, and in and around high traffic areas like doors and windows. Think about how mother nature might distress your building, so that roof eves might shield the top of your walls while the base might get the most splash and aging. There is no wrong way to do this, so distress as much as you like, and hold back if it is feeling a little too “ramshackle” for your taste. Mostly, you are trying to remove that brand new look that comes with any recently built structure.

Ferrous Sulfate

If you are creating a primarily wooden structure (not plywood but actual wood boards and timbers) and you want to convincingly age your brand new wood quickly, then you might consider applying a Ferrous Sulfate wash. Ferrous Sulfate, also known as Copperas or Green Vitriol, is a fertilizer that is also a very effective wood stain. Dissolve 2 ounces into a pint of water and apply to any new wood surface and it will turn aged and silver by the following morning. This is a technique used widely by the Disney theme parks to make new structures look old overnight. Be sure to use this chemical with caution, as Ferrous Sulfate is moderately poisonous.

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