Help Needed: How do I age these Lego


I'm looking to age some of my bricks – in particular to get the age discoloring. I know that UV and sun exposure ages and yellows white bricks, but I don't have UV and that much time patience to wait for nature to do its thing. Does anyone know of a good way to age them?

27 comments:

ktraphagen said...

You could buy discolored ones! I don't have standard size, but I have lots of Modulex with the "aged" look. I'm sure Bricklink has some.

ktraphagen said...

But, I think you have your bricks already. I might try soaking in coffee.

Mike Doyle said...

Thanks KTraph. Yes, I bought some, but it's not that easy as many types don't have any avail or a few per purchase. I was thinking coffee/tea too, and will have to try but not sure if the effect will rub off with use.

Danielle said...

I would say coffee, tea or perhaps some turmeric powder mixed into a liquid. Oil maybe rather than water?

Realms said...

Maybe try using white vinegar to help get the color into the bricks. I figure if it works great for naturally coloring eggs it should work on the legos if left in long enough. Try the turmeric or coffee grounds in white vinegar with a couple of bricks and see if that works. Good Luck! :)

Dio said...

StazOn is a stamper's ink that is a permanent solvent ink in many different shades - can be found at Michaels and other craft stores.
It might wipe off for the most part, but would probably shade the edges enough to age the blocks.
A few different shades used in layers give an even better look.

Love your work!

Derek said...

I would think if you could tumble them in a rock tumbler, with rocks and sand that would give them a tumble brick look, and give the the surface a finish that would take any type of oolor you wanted.

sharon said...

I wonder if using sandpaper or wire wool to distress them, followed by acrylic paints daubed on and wiped off (and also spattered) in old browns and ochres would work.

Anonymous said...

1) Get: Sand Paper/Brillo Pad
2) Rub on bricks
3) let 'em sit in coffee/tea over night
Optional:
4) Rub again with abrasive material
5) soak again in coffee/tea
Extra Optional:
6) get EXPO brand black dry erase marker
7) color in all the scars from the abrasive material
8) wipe off access ink leaving the dry erase filled in the scratches

Depends on what look your going for, have used on lots of plastic before usually model kits but I believe it will work on legos too as they are the same type of plastic.

Lisa said...

I think the simplest way to artificially age the parts in a bulk way without damaging the edges (just aging via color) is to use a very thin brown/yellow dye. I use RIT dye to dye parts, you'll need to do some experimenting to find the right solution for the color you are going for but I think it would work very well. The color will not scratch or rub off over time. You do need to be careful not to leave your parts in the hot water too long or it will damage them.

Jonathan said...

Check out model railroad weathering powders, they work well on plastics. Spray the blocks with dullcoat to give them some "bite" first.

No One said...

Electriclynn says you could leave them on the dash of your car here in Las Vegas desert heat for about 1 hour during July and August. They will be perfectly aged.

Joe K, said...

Hot water with dye. Hot water holds the dye in suspension and keeps it active. The heat will also open the surface of the ABS better. A strong dye solution will be needed to get a faint color.

Good Luck!

Mike Doyle said...

Much thanks all!!

Joshua said...

might also try putting them in small amounts of your dye (coffee, koolaid, soda and so forth..and baking in a warm oven.. just hot enough to be warm. not hot enough to melt.. the heating process will also put a permanent color to them

Anonymous said...

I always age my bricks by exposing stacks to direct sunlight.

Buffalorand said...

All good suggestions but there is no substitute for direct sunlight when it comes to discoloration. It's fast, won't rub off, is natural, and best of all, reversible!

Anonymous said...

Leave them outside for six months.

Kevin said...

I would pay for a couple of intense tanning sessions...for your bricks, not you, of course. The teenage girls working behind the register will probably think you're nuts, but you'll get it done quickly, and on the fairly cheap side, without having to hunt for powders, dyes, and liquids that may or may not be easily available to find.

Anonymous said...

You can get cheap UV bulbs used as reptile heat lamps from most pet stores.

KimberlyB said...

I have had luck ageing lead figures and plastic by dry brushing with black acrylics. Using different colors might work. I know it is a simple technique, but worth a shot if you have not already tried it. I love your work:-)

betty said...

Have you tried Coca Cola? Soak them over night and see what happens. Maybe boil them with beets or red chard...

Anonymous said...

i once tried acetone, for cleaning, which was a bit stupid, but the surface changed and it could be a method for your purpose.

jtempesta22 said...

you could spray them with a matte finish then use some kind of permanent dye, the spray would ensure that there is something there for the dye to stick too as lego blocks come smooth. big fan of your work by the way.

Anonymous said...

You could take a bag of bricks and bring them to the solarium, pay for an hour and see does it work :)

plasticsteves said...

Smoke them, just like you would meat. Smoke, especially cigarette smoke, will leave a grey/yellow stain on most white Legos.

Anonymous said...

I have read the above comments thoroughly. Im assuming the comment box limits the amount of text so i won't comment, ill just give my ideas.
o Tea - dark teas, like lipton iced tea, will stain the lego, and doubtfully rub off.
o UV - a source would be from a pet shop, some reptiles need UV lights, the light bulbs explain the amount and type of UV they put off.
o Leather / Wood stain's
o air brushing
o fire, using different types of flame / ignition gases or sources. Propane, gas, natural gas, zippo fluid ...
o some glass etching / metal etching methods may work well.
o last would be search the web for Home Improvement ageing techniques. They are constantly aging procelin, wood, and other media/methods.

Good luck. I hope this helps.