Repainting flats - should I prime

Catherder

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Location
Portland OR
I have to repaint a couple of canvas flats for my kids upcoming play. They were last used for Jungle Book so most of the paint on them currently is very dark green. I need to paint them as castle walls, so lots of grays. Also - and not sure if this matters - I’m pretty sure they were painted with standard latex interior paint not scenic paint, which is also what I have. I’ve looked around a bit but can’t find the answer to my question, so ...

Should I do a coat of primer or white paint first? I’ve painted enough walls to know how to do that, but never flats. What kind of prep do they need, if any? The paint on them now is in good shape - no flaking or peeling or cracking.

Thanks.
 

JonCarter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Location
Meridian, Idaho, US
If they were scene paint I'd say take them out to the parking lot, fire up your hose & wash them, then prime them, then paint away. But latex . . . If there's only one "paint job" on the flats you can probably just paint over them. You may need a prime coat somewhere near your finish colors or at least, lighter than the present paint job, to avoid the present colors showing through your new colors. You can probably get away with 3 or 4 coats of latex before things start to crack & flake off. Then it's recover time.
 

macsound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
My only other suggestion would be about the visibility of the texture showing through.
In my teen theatre experience, any and every brand of paint was used and each type of paint has a different consistency.
If it was painted dark blue background with a green tree painted and the tree paint was thicker than the blue paint, and that part is painted over with a single color, you might see the shape through your paint.
I think using a paint with primer would be thick enough
 

Catherder

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Location
Portland OR
@JonCarter and @almorton you guys aren't wrong. I think we too often fall back on "we're a volunteer run, after school, free club for kids, so we take what we can get". And what we can get is usually leftover house paint donated by parents of our kiddos. That said, injecting some standards into these plays is never a bad thing (budget permitting, of course 😁 ). Part of a larger conversation, for sure.

As always, all, thanks a ton for the quick and insightful responses. Every time I post I learn something new.

'Herder
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Modern scenic paint is mostly all acrylic Latex. Old school pigment and glue is impossible to find. If the colors are obnoxious then hit it with a coat of white or Lt gray slop. And check out Metro Paint. The biggest issue I've had with it is that sometimes it stinks. if you are just using their colors it's great but it can be hard to mix colors since the pigment density changes batch to batch. but you can't beat the price and they will give massive discounts to non profits.

There is one here on Swan Island.