Can I paint a pair of overalls silver for the Tin Man in The Wiz?

Can I paint a pair of overalls silver for the Tin Man in The Wiz?

Dear Tara, I cannot thank you enough for your web site. You are the *best* source on the web. I've read your manifesto from start to finish--made possible by your sincere, relaxed style and your sense of humor. I am sincerely thankful for your presence on Earth!!! Please know that if you are unable to respond to this unsolicited e-mail, I will simply assume that you are busy and will not be less thankful or think you are less wonderful. I know that you are not running an advice column... and yet, I'm writing to ask for your advice. I am more than willing to do something for you in return. I offer you web page formatting, graphic shrinking (I'm a wiz!), a great duet version of Pippin's "Rivers Belong Where They Can Ramble" with Dorothy's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," and credit/thanks in our program. I am a now volunteer costume designer for a friend's children's theatre group, KIDS ON BROADWAY (in Santa Cruz, CA). The show that I'm working on is a 2-act musical (the first act is PIPPIN and THE WIZ integrated into 55 minutes and the second is 50 minutes of CHORUS LINE). The kids are 6 to 13 years old and have great spirit. I'm planning on costuming the Tin man in silver mechanics overalls. I'd like to buy used, alter, and paint them silver. I've scoured your site for information and at your page, FAIRBANKS NON-TOXIC CRAFTS COOKBOOK, I read how you mixed bronzing powder into a solution of PHLEXGLU for a metallic finish. However, I'm not sure that is what I need to do. My sources here are unable to help, and are advising me to buy silver lame and build from scratch, which I cannot do. Can you tell me what I should use to paint them, or point me towards a resource that will help me find the answer for myself, or even tell me if it's not possible? I, too, love making clothes for imaginary people, but it's not my career path... although, I am on the path to a BA (two years down, two to go) and your pages have inspired me to look into San Francisco State's costume BA program, and have helped me remember how much I love doing this work. Thank you, Glynda

How silver do you want them anyway? After all the Tin Man in the Wiz is traditionally made of garbage cans and semi-rusty metal parts, so your lame pushing friends would have you make a silver set of overalls that you'd likely have to paint afterwards anyhow to apply "rust" so painting from the start sounds good to me. The bronzing powder/glue mixture is best for armor and super stiff junk you want to look steely, but it sounds like what you need is ordinary fabric paint. The other thing is "How many performances is it being used for? Will it need to be washed?" If this is essentially a two weekend deal, where you can wash an undershirt, and leave the outside as is, your options expand. If this is the case, and you have little money or time, free/cheap (discardable) overalls (those white paper painters ones will do), just go outside and spray them with ordinary boiler silver spray paint. (Wear a respirator and gloves). Then you can use just a little of the more expensive silver glitter paints they sell at fabric stores to make the shiny highlights, and some brown and rust colored fabric paints to "rust" the shadows. If you are in doubt as to where to paint your highlights and shadows, consult a pair of worn jeans. The dark and light spots along the seams, knees, etc, show where highlights and shadows naturally occur in clothing. If I'm wrong in any of my assumptions, or you need further details, you might try calling me on 5/21 Wednesday at ***-***-**** when I will be at my parent's in San Rafael for a day, enroute to the Costume Con XV. I will also be back in the Bay Area the following Wednesday, for some time. ---Tara

"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis