What paint do you use? This TD wants to know

curtis73

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Pretty simple question. My guess is that the predominant answer is Off-Broadway or SuperSat.

I work for a community theatre that (if I do say so myself) hits way above what our funding suggests. I have a storage room full of latex paint that has been donated, left over from another show, or otherwise scooped up off the "oops" paint shelf at home depot. I also have a deal with my Sherwin Williams that if they have any buckets that broke open in transit, didn't mix color right, or otherwise can't be sold that they give it to me or one of a few other charitable groups. I do latex mostly because it's cheap, it's easy cleanup, and super simple to solicit donations.

I also admit that I know very little about paint chemistries. I did have one scenic designer tell me he would come paint the set for me for free, but he only used SuperSats. We compromised and I got him Off-broadway. The only reason I could afford it was because I didn't have to hire a separate painter.

Am I missing something? Is there something in between SpeedWall and SuperSats that would up my painting game without destroying my non-profit budgets? I feel like I only have experience with the absolute extremes. Is it something that the additional cost will show up as increased production value?

For reference, we produce single shows at any given time, they're up for three weeks, then the whole thing gets struck and recycled. Two different venues - one is a 50 x 60 black box and the other is a 40' proscenium with 700 seats... in case that affects your recommendation.
 
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Van

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I've always used a regional Paint manufacturer, Miller Paint. Their Latex has plenty of pigment to hold up to mixing if a scenic painter decides they want to change things up. I also tried to always keep some standard tints in the shop. We also have a recycled paint solution here in Portland called Metro paint. it's recycled through a program sponsored by "Portland Metro' a regional governmental body. It's great for coverage, but it has so much pigment it's hard mix. Also, it is only available in semi-gloss and in a limited number of colors.
 

kicknargel

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There are generally two categories and price points: latex-based home paint and acrylic-based scenic paint. I imagine the different core ingredient (binder) drives the price point. In our shop, we use latex for volume and Off Broadway when needed for vibrance or technique.

Paint supply chains have been very funky for a year or two. Rosco has been hard to get. And, I've heard stories of latex paint failing to size muslin flats; presumably the formulation changes and the binder didn't have the same properties with fabric.
 

gafftapegreenia

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We’re all latex, typically custom color matched to a brand or teams specific color.

We were using Motor City Paint, made by O’Leary Paint in Lansing, MI. They closed their Detroit proper location so now we’re switching to Sherwin Williams, (who’s black isn’t black enough).
 

TimMc

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We’re all latex, typically custom color matched to a brand or teams specific color.

We were using Motor City Paint, made by O’Leary Paint in Lansing, MI. They closed their Detroit proper location so now we’re switching to Sherwin Williams, (who’s black isn’t black enough***).
*** A line from Fritz the Cat (Ralph Bakshi animation).
 

jtweigandt

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We just use latex.. never had an audience member come up afterwards and say.... "I really wanted to like the show, but those colors just weren't saturated enough"
Special paint might be really nice, but since we are always on a budget, I'd rather put that into other nice visuals and set dressing etc. (I will say I'm partial to the slightly more expensive one coat stuff for the labor savings)
 

Van

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JonCarter

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No, Van,, not sarcasm at all. We never had to cook our casein glue. It mixed right fromthe Borden gallon cans with just adding water & stirring like mad. (Really beat hide glue when used for outdoor work, both for flat-covering and paint mixing, during a rainy season!) Now, the hide glue, that's where you really had to keep the double boiler filled! But it made good paint!
 

MPowers

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That was sarcasm right? I wonder how many here have actually use it before. Ooooh accidentally letting the double boiler for the casein go dry.
Ummmm! You don’t use a double boiler for casein. A double boiler or glue pot is used for dry pigment paint where you have to heat the dry glue and water to make the binder called “size water”. Casein IS the binder in casein paint and is already liquid, so doesn’t need any cooking. Dry pigment paint is the way I learned in the late ‘50s and trained extensively in grad school.
 

Van

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Ummmm! You don’t use a double boiler for casein. A double boiler or glue pot is used for dry pigment paint where you have to heat the dry glue and water to make the binder called “size water”. Casein IS the binder in casein paint and is already liquid, so doesn’t need any cooking. Dry pigment paint is the way I learned in the late ‘50s and trained extensively in grad school.
I'm sorry, I guess I should have said, "Animal Glue", or Rabbit Glue, which is the most commonly used glue with dry pigment. However, having used it during my first three years of college I am quite familiar with the process of mixing Casein glue from Dry powder then using that as a binder for Scenic paint.
BTW Casein is what I use for recreating Viking shields and old wood work. It IS a pain in the butt to make but the first step is to bring Milk to just under a boil <in a double boiler, if you are smart> than adding Vinegar, separating the curd from the whey, then adding water in until you get a consistent glue. It takes forever to dry, but it is a far superior glue to Animal glue as it is much more waterproof.


Sorry, I just realized that sounded a bit bitchy, wasn't meant to be.
 
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curtis73

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There are generally two categories and price points: latex-based home paint and acrylic-based scenic paint. I imagine the different core ingredient (binder) drives the price point. In our shop, we use latex for volume and Off Broadway when needed for vibrance or technique.

Paint supply chains have been very funky for a year or two. Rosco has been hard to get. And, I've heard stories of latex paint failing to size muslin flats; presumably the formulation changes and the binder didn't have the same properties with fabric.

I usually don't have trouble with latex and sizing, but it's very rare that I make a muslin flat without boiling up some Argo and sizing it properly. At least it's a bit more predictable that way.

Agreed on the funky supply chain. I'm out of RoscoFlex glue and haven't been able to find any for a couple years.
 

curtis73

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We just use latex.. never had an audience member come up afterwards and say.... "I really wanted to like the show, but those colors just weren't saturated enough"
Special paint might be really nice, but since we are always on a budget, I'd rather put that into other nice visuals and set dressing etc. (I will say I'm partial to the slightly more expensive one coat stuff for the labor savings)

I agree. We did our Avenue Q set with latex and I thought it popped, but wondered what it would have looked like if we splurged on Off-Broadway

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JonCarter

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"BTW Casein is what I use for . . . " Van, interesting process for making your own casein glue. Never tried it myself, but have used a lot of casein for construction work outdoors -- MUCH more waterproof than hide glue! W always bought Borden's Elmer's casein in gallon cans as powder -- just add water & stir. Worked great, but leftover glue got pretty "ripe" in about 2 days.
 
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Van

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"BTW Casein is what I use for . . . " Van, interesting process for making your own casein glue. Never tried it myself, but have used a lot of casein for construction work outdoors -- MUCH more waterproof than hide glue! W always bought Borden's Elmer's casein in gallon cans as powder -- just add water & stir. Worked great, but leftover glue got pretty "ripe" in about 2 days.
You can buy it in Dry form but it is very expensive now days. When you make it you have to have an alkali of some kind, Slaked Lime, or Sodium carbonate. the casein will not, of course, dissolve in water on it's own. It's messy and dirty, and smelly all the way around.
 

curtis73

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If you'd have sprung for the paint, you couldn't have afforded the "furscenium"
Haaaa.... furscenium. I took an obscene amount of pleasure in "fluffing" it every night with a leaf blower.

The fabric is actually getting repurposed as a trenchcoat for a halloween costume.
 

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