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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Applying Paint
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Applying Paint

Many tools are used to apply paint to surfaces. The most common and familiar is the paint brush. Other common tools are the paint roller, the sponge, and various types of sprayers.

Each tool is suited to a particular purpose, but often can be used for others. Some tools offer interesting effects that can be easily taken advantage of in a theatre setting. Below is a list of some common painting tools and their uses:

  • Brushes are often thought of as the workhorse of painting, as they can be used for almost any job. Large brushes work well for covering large areas in a short time, while small brushes are suited to fine detail work.
  • Rollers are suited to covering large areas in a very short period of time for simple coverage, or for special texturing effects. Excellent for floors, walls, etc.
  • Sprayers can be used to cover large areas in a very short period of time. Their nature makes them suited for painting strangely shaped objects as well as blending colors.
  • Sponges can be used for adding textural effects as well as blending applied paint.

A set is generally painted in a series of steps, starting with a base coat of paint called the primer. The purpose of priming is to make the materials used on the set appear more uniform. This is important, as often a mix of new and old materials are used. Next, a base coat of paint is applied. Several methods of applying the base coat exist, ranging from using a single color uniformly to blending many colors together. This base coat is the final color on some of the set in areas that have no additional layers painted on top of them. However, many areas will call for additional texturing and detail work, to make a set look dirty, old, etc. Many textural effects are illusory rather than realistic. The illusions are accomplished through the use of paint color and appropriate application of the paint. Rock, brick, and wooden panels can all be simulated using textural tricks.

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

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