Decades of stage paint build up removal

tymckz

Member
Hi all
I work in <49 seat theatres in SF. One theatre in particular has a pretty significant build up of paint creating creases, rises and soft spots. The urge to start peeling is difficult to resist but
I fear what I will unleash. Is there a way, other than removing and reinstalling the plywood stage? The wood underneath is fine. It's 30 years of paint that is the problem.
 

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
One thing I can tell you not to do is rent a large orbital sander and try to sand it down. Besides needing a 300 lb. person to run it, all it did was melt the paint and roll it up into little balls! Voice of experience.
 

tymckz

Member
I've been reading the other threads and happy to not have to learn that one myself. There are areas where I can literally peel it up, it's detached from the wood below. But I fear that is not the case all over and I'll have deep
areas. I am reluctant to cover it with more wood as it will increase the height as it's even with the entry and exit hallways. Bit of a pickle this one.

One thing I can tell you not to do is rent a large orbital sander and try to sand it down. Besides needing a 300 lb. person to run it, all it did was melt the paint and roll it up into little balls! Voice of experience.
 

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Well, a heat gun and putty knife will take it up nicely, but it's a ton of work. We did it in some hidden areas as a test. My estimate would be one person can do about 18 sq. ft. a day. We ended up taking care of the high spots with a belt sander and covering everything with 1/4" hardboard. (There are threads about those adventures elsewhere here). Had the equivalent of your hallway issue and had to use aluminum stair edges to protect the new surface. Wish you the best of luck!
 

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