This topic has 5 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 11 months ago by Nicole Deibert.

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  • #14884

    I am going to be teaching a scenic painting class and part of it is making a set for a backdrop. We don’t have a huge budget so I don’t want to spend all of it on muslin, plus set up and clean up will be easier if it is on pieces of hard scenery because the space is being used at other times for rehearsal. The designer is looking for an image that is kind of soft and watercolor-y. Is there a way that I can treat a hard surface to have a similar texture to muslin or canvas without just wrapping the pieces in said texture?

     Lili Lennox
      • Experience: 15-20 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

      Partner Member

      Just for clarification, are you asking for ways to coat the scenery with a subtle texture to mimic canvas? Or are you asking if it’s possible to paint hard scenery in soft and watercolory ways?

      Also, if you had a reference photo from the designer to upload, that might help formulate ideas.


      I am looking for a way to coat hard scenery to mimic soft goods. I know that I could paint it to look how she wants, but I was just seeing if there was a shortcut because I have very very limited amounts of time and kids are supposed to be doing a lot of the work. We don’t have a concrete image from the designer, but she was showing me like romantic paintings of British countryside. If there isn’t a good method, I will make due. I just wanted to see if anyone had ideas.

       Nicole Deibert
        • Experience: 20+ years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        I make a “fat paint” that I roller on to luan and then you can paint on it in watercolour style. 1 part paint (I use mistints, latex, eggshell to flat sheen) and 1 part joint compound. Mix really well, then apply with a foam roller or basic fabric roller. Do 2 coats minimum. Then prime and basecoat.

          • Experience: 20+ years
          • Scenic Status: Part Time Regular


          How durable is this mixture? Do you have any trouble with cracking or chipping when scenery is moved?

           Nicole Deibert
            • Experience: 20+ years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            We use this quite regularly on scenery covered in luan or fir. Haven’t experienced any issues with transport from the shop to stage. I’m unsure if I’d use it on a touring set, but because the joint compound has a high amount of glue in it, it does make the texture harder. If there’s a lot of torque on the walls, I would expect some fine cracks on seams, but nothing major.

            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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