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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Types of Paint
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Types of Paint

There are many types of paint available, each with a different chemical composition and purpose. Even with these differences, paints are made up of essentially the same components. A dye or pigment is used to give the paint its color. A binder is used to make the paint adhere to the surface to which it is applied. Lastly, the vehicle is the liquid substance that carries the binder and coloring, allowing it to actually be painted onto a surface. Different kinds of paint use different coloring, binders and vehicles, thus the availability of different types of paint (latex, oil-based, vinyl, gloss, semi-gloss, etc.).

Large theatres often mix their own paints by buying raw binder, pigments, etc. Most smaller theatres, however, buy pre-mixed paints. Acrylic, latex and vinyl are the types of paint most frequently used for theatre. Oil-based paints are generally not used in a theatre setting because of their hazardous fumes and slow drying time. Many vibrant colors are available in acrylic, latex and vinyl paints, making them a very popular choice for theatre applications.

While oil-based paints are not usually used, sometimes oil-based stains are. Stains differ from paints in that they are soaked into the material being covered and not bonded to the outside. Stains can offer very pleasing effects when used on wood, as they let the natural grain of the wood show through.

next up previous contents index
Next: Mixing Paints Up: Painting Previous: Painting   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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