Dust, Dirt, and Debris

Dust, Dirt, and Debris

You can create great looking dust, dirt, and debris on set—all you need is the right materials.  Whether your need a light coating of dust on a prop or the remnants of an explosion, there are some great ways to achieve realism.

The most commonly used products to reproduce dust & dirt on-set and on wardrobe are Walnut Dust, Fullers Earth, FX Dirt, and Movie Dirt.  

  • Walnut Dust is tan and made of ground-up walnut shells—so it’s biodegradable. You need to be very careful using Walnut Dust—DO NOT USE around anyone with NUT ALLERGIES.  
  • Fullers Earth (5% respirable silica) is light tan and it’s frequently used by Set Decorators, Makeup Artists, and Wardrobe Departments to age and add grime to props and talent.  
  • Another light tan dust that’s widely used is FX Dirt (less than 1% respirable silica), it’s a great “aging dust” for props and talent makeup.  
  • We also sell Movie Dirt (less than 1% respirable silica)—it’s a smooth, fine, light tan powder that’s very similar in color and texture to Fuller’s Earth.

If you’re looking for black or ash colored dust we sell Grey Ash, Pig Ash, Volcanic Ash, and Bone Black. Grey Ash has a medium grey color and it has the consistency of fine powder.  Pig Ash is light grey, has a large texture and looks just like ash from a fire (it’s actually a repurposed product that is often used to clean up liquid spills).  We also sell Volcanic Ash (Bio-Ash), it’s a very realistic black, it’s a coarse powder, and completely biodegradable. Bone Black is a fine powder and great substitute for soot and it’s also biodebradable.

Do you need bigger nuggets of debris?  A broken-up sheet of cork coated with dust looks exactly like broken concrete and large rocks.

Another great product for recreating stones is Vermiculite. Vermiculite pieces are small and soft but, look like pebbles and crushed stone on camera.

We also carry two grades of ground-up clear silicone rubber that looks EXACTLY like BROKEN GLASS.  The fake broken glass has the squishiness of marshmallows so there’s no danger of cuts or punctures.

The two types are:

  • Shattered Glass (rubber) looks exactly like broken glass from a car window
  • Glass Shard (rubber) looks like a smashed house window or a broken soda bottle

When you need to make a set look aged or abandoned we have a few pieces of equipment that deliver great results—The Blaster Dust Gun, The Dustin Miser, and The Cobweb Gun.  The Blaster Dust Gun uses compressed air to spray layers of dust onto your set.  The Dustin Mizer works like a rose duster to create a great looking layer of dust—especially on wardrobe. There’s also the Cobweb Gun, it creates very fine strands of hot-glue that when dusted make very realistic cobwebs. And, these cobwebs will make your set look “abandoned” or “haunted”.

When you’re looking to add dust, dirt, and debris to a shot—we have a lot of ideas. Let us know if we can help, call 818-994-3049