TIPS - How to Age a Jacket

This is an example on how to give a jacket a general used look and also how to work on a darker colour such as grey. In this case we have worked on a linen jacket that was previously washed with normal detergent, to make it loose its stiffening.

The products we have used are: Yellow Ochre crayon, Ash Blonde spray, Grey spray, and Nicotine Yellow spray.
We have made the ageing effect very visible for demonstration purposes; just apply a little less for a more subtle effect.
For best results, when possible, check under the stage or set lights to see if you need to carry on adding more layers of paint, as the colours will always change and most of the times look less dramatic than in reality.
CAUTION: Wear some gloves and an apron, work on a well ventilated area and keep some water and a cloth near to blur and smudge the colours when necessary. Read the instructions and safety information on the crayon or spray can.



  1. Clean Jacket before ageing

Dirty Down is designed to make costumes, sets and props look dirty, but that's very different from being actually dirty


  1. Test the sprays and crayons on a hidden area.

  2. Leave to dry for 15-20 minutes and decide whether the suggested colours work well or if you need different tones (lighter or darker) and if the fabric is absorbent enough.

  3. This area has been sprayed heavily using Ash Blonde ageing spray. All of the ageing sprays contain dyes and may cause permanent discolouration. If this is a concern, apply spray to an off-cut or hidden surface and wash to check if the dye has been removed. Before final use, spray Dirty Down to test for compatibility and adhesion.

  4. For general guidance, a light, fine spray often washes out, but a heavier spray will often cause a permanent stain. Soot Black will almost always cause a permanent stain even when sprayed lightly.


  1. We are starting off with a costume crayon, but you could just use the Ageing Spray straight away (see below).

  2. Crayons are good for highlighting areas of wear.

  3. Yellow Ochre is a good colour for ageing a grey jacket. Choose another colour that suits you better or even Clear crayon, if you only need an oily base to work on.

  4. Crayons are best used for last minute ageing. They are quick and easy to apply when the pressure is on for effective fast results. The ageing effect of the crayon can “drop out” and reduce over a week or two.


  1. Apply the crayon to hems and seams. This will already give the jacket a different look, but it will not be very realistic at this stage. Crayons are very good as primers and Ageing Sprays can be applied over them (see below).

  2. Do not press too hard or rub, apply with care with the side of the bar to get a fine line and holding the bar flat against the fabric for bigger patches. For best results warm up the crayon between your hands and always keep at room temperature.


  1. Pay special attention to those areas that normally get dirtier with use (i.e. pockets, back of the jacket) or that you may want to highlight for a reason, adding more layers of crayon on them than to the rest.


  1. Pay special attention to those areas that normally get dirtier with use (i.e. pockets, back of the jacket) or that you may want to highlight for a reason, adding more layers of crayon on them than to the rest.


  1. Use a damp cloth to blur the colour and to get rid of the excess of wax.
  2. You will now see a different effect, which already shows some character and “age” in the jacket.
  3. The effect is much more subtle after the crayon has been blurred.



  1. Before you start to use the sprays, protect the areas you will be working on later with a piece of calico or plastic. You must avoid spraying on the lapel and getting a mark on the jacket, this will look very unreal, almost like a stencil.

  2. The sprays can penetrate through calico. You can use something less absorbent like plastic. Pin it to the garment or use masking tape, making sure you do not get any artificial marks than can spoil the final result.


  1. Apply a little ageing spray, (it can be seen on the calico).
  2. Ash Blonde spray is excellent to make a general dusty, dirty look.
  3. Start by spraying on the edges, hem, seams and pockets of the jacket where the Yellow Ochre crayon was applied.


  1. As mentioned above, remember to do the back of lapels and pockets, as well as visible parts inside the jacket. You never know whether the collar will be turned up or jacket opened or taken off, so be as meticulous as possible.


  1. Spray a light coating of Ash Blonde all over all of the jacket for a general dirty and used effect.


  1. Create some interesting lights and shadows by applying Grey spray over some areas of the jacket. Grey is also a good sweat colour.

  2. Soot Black can be used if the effect needs to be very visible. Soot Black sprays much faster than the other ageing sprays, so practise first.

  3. Work from a distance of 30cm and repeat if necessary until the result is satisfactory.


  1. Bigger stains or more subtle shades can be made using Nicotine Yellow. The dirty yellow colour blends well with Ash Blonde and Grey.

  2. Nicotine Yellow can be used to apply a light spray over the whole garment, instead of Ash Blonde or Grey.

  3. Pay special attention to areas that should look more worn out, such as the elbows.

  4. Other colours can be used as well. Dark Brown and Mid Brown are very popular.


  1. Apply spray over the seams, also under the collar.


  1. You can also do some breakdown with a wire brush or a cheese grater, get rid of some of the buttons and make a few holes.

  2. Scrape off the pile slightly and put some weight in the pockets and leave overnight.