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Topic: How I Age Paper (mini-tutorial)  (Read 5590 times)
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microjivvy
« on: April 24, 2011 03:27:29 AM »



If you've seen my contributions to the monthly ATC swaps, you know I lean to the distressed side of art.

After a recent post on my blog about my ATCs, I had a conversation with someone who wondered how I achieved the look of aged paper with those cards.  When he was completely surprised by my answer, I decided I should share my two "secret weapons."

The first secret weapon is found at every thrift store in the USA: really old books. The paper from old books is difficult to duplicate and cheap old books are easy to find. 

I know.  Some people feel it's sacrilege to destroy any book.

I think of it as saving books from an undignified death in a landfill. Wink

But when it comes to printing images from my computer, there  are two problems with old book pages: 1) they have all these words printed all over them, and 2) they're generally too fragile to survive my laserjet. 

So secret weapon #2:  wood stain.



Yep, wood stain.  In particular, Minwax Wood Finish Stain Markers.  My top color choice is "Golden Oak."  All of the other colors I've tried are too dark for overall aging (though they come in handy when adding stains and smudges).



Here's how the image starts -- printed on standard computer paper.



As a safety precaution, I add the stain on the reverse side of my printout.  Both sides of the paper get soaked, but working on the reverse side helps keep the marker tip from smudging any heavily inked area.



Once the image is covered with the stain marker, I gently buff it dry (both sides of the page) with a paper towel.



As you may have noticed in earlier steps, the stain causes the paper to be translucent.  Most of this translucency disappears when the stain dries.  Most, but not all.

Because of this translucency, when mounting "stained" images on a collage, I usually mount on a light-colored background.  When I do use a dark background, I paint the back of the stained image with a light coat of white acrylic paint. The paint doesn't greatly alter the look of the image, but it prevents the dark background from showing through.



Here's a comparison of the original printout and the stained one.



While "Golden Oak" is my primary stain color, I do use other colors (such as "Provincial", "Red Mahogany", and "Dark Walnut") for adding spots, spills, darkened edges, etc.

Then, once the the staining is done, it's on to the standard tearing and crumpling. Wink



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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011 07:49:38 AM »

As the lucky recipient of one microjivvy's amazing ATCs this was really interesting.  Thanks for awesome mini-tutorial!  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011 08:26:16 AM »

Well who knew??  I love learning about all the cool little techniques everyone uses - what a totally fabulous idea!!
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011 09:13:46 AM »

How interesting, thanks for sharing!
Does the stain leave a scent? 
I like to stain using coffee and I enjoy the scent it leaves, though it eventually fades.
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microjivvy
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011 10:19:38 AM »

How interesting, thanks for sharing!
Does the stain leave a scent? 
I like to stain using coffee and I enjoy the scent it leaves, though it eventually fades.

It definitely has a scent, but it also dissipates fairly quickly.

I've tried staining with both tea and coffee and for fabric projects I like them both, but for paper I prefer the control afforded by the markers.  And the "wet" of the markers doesn't cause the wrinkling and warping caused by the "wet" of tea or coffee.
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011 02:17:43 PM »

amAzing tutorial!  Thanks so much for sharing!!!   Grin
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011 05:19:30 PM »

Great tutorial! Thanks for the thorough tops Smiley  Cool Do you get the markers at home improvement stores?
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011 08:37:51 PM »

What a great idea microjivvy, I'll have to try this. And I love crumpling too - I crumple almost everything. I wonder if you ironed your image after the stain dries, if the heat would dissapate some of the odor?
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microjivvy
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011 05:30:51 AM »

Actually, ironing seems to "enhance" the scent.  I don't think the odor lasts long enough or is strong enough to be much of a problem, but I do stain a lot of wood and so I'm quite used to it.  Cheesy
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011 05:31:09 AM by microjivvy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011 06:47:35 PM »

Thanks for writing about the scent, that's good to know - I'll still give it a try it.
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011 08:49:30 AM »

Wood stain markers. Who knew! Thanks for the tip.  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011 10:55:56 AM »

This is very cool! I had never heard of wood stain markers before...
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011 05:41:17 PM »

Thank you for the tutorial. I want to try it.
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microjivvy
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011 06:49:59 PM »

This is very cool! I had never heard of wood stain markers before...

I think their original purpose was touching up scratches in furniture.  I like them because I stain a lot of little tiny pieces of wood and the marker's are easier than the standard "cloth" application of stain in a can.

Thank you for the tutorial. I want to try it.

Careful, you might get addicted.   Grin I rarely do any printouts without staining them.
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011 10:10:49 AM »

Wow! I've never heard of this technique before and I'll definitely have to try it! Thanks for sharing your secrets!
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2011 05:48:01 AM »

Thanks for the tute!
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Lynds
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2011 02:57:19 PM »

How cool! Have you tried any other stain markers that give a lighter finish? I was thinking of trying this with some of my maps, but I'm worried about losing detail/readability
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microjivvy
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2011 04:23:18 PM »

"Golden Oak" is the lightest I've tried.  And yes, I definitely recommend testing it out on several different types of papers/inks prior to using it on anything "treasured."  How the stain interacts with the paper really varies with the weight/type of paper and type of ink used in the print.

I also recommend allowing the test pieces to fully dry before making decisions on the process -- the "wet" page looks wayyy different from the "dry" page.
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2012 10:35:11 AM »

that's brilliant to use wood stain!
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