This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 8 months ago by Anonymous.

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    We need to do a cracked earth texture on the floor, one that will seal well and last and also be seen from the balcony. Thought about using glue but worried it will just look like cracked paint rather than earth and won’t seal well.

      • Experience: 20+ years
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      Oooh we just did a really fun dirt floor for our production of “Fences”.

      We started with a low pile carpet. We were lucky enough to be able to start texturing our carpet outside in the sun.

      – I had 3 different kinds of texture happening- the first was troweling on thick elasto- Henry’s (wishing it were Jaxsan) roof coating that was tinted.

      -the next was mixing water, glue and EPK Kaolin clay powder,which is clay that is used in ceramics. It is great, because it is dirt, the real thing!!! We had everyone throw and splash that all over the rug. When it dried in the sun, it cracked.

      -we took the dry, and heavy rug down on stage, and found that we wanted to make more of the carpet direction disappear, so we threw more of the clay glue water mixture all over, and that dried on stage not as crackly, but in the end it was really great to have three types of texture to do washes over.

      -If you want to look into Kaolin Clay, you can get it from ceramics clay supply places like Laguna Clay or whoever your local supplier is.

      – If you are worried about cracks being seen from a distance, you may need to do a combination of texture and trompe l’oeil cracks.

      HAVE FUN!!! These kinds of projects makes our lives worth living!!!!




        Oddly enough, I’ve worked on two different cracked earth floors in the past year.

        The first was for a production of Bonnie & Clyde that I designed. For this treatment, I wanted it to be that dusty gray dried mud. I rolled on a base of light gray, and used a textured sponge roller to add some texture with a medium gray, followed up with a spatter. Next I used a detail brush on the end of a bamboo to paint the crackle lines in a thinned darker gray, using a photo for reference. For this treatment, the cracks fade in and out across the stage. (In hindsight, I would have carved a sponge roller with a crackle pattern to make this process faster.) Finally, I sealed everything with a mix of flat polyurethane, water, and some raw umber to tint everything.


        The second time was for a production of Children of Eden (I designed, and had Kelsey Garret as my scenic charge). This time the design was more of a cracked red clay, and the cracks were much bolder and less subtle than for Bonnie & Clyde. Kelsey did a base coat of a light color like a pale yellow ochre and used a sponge roller to wet blend in a color close to burnt sienna, and followed up with a light spatter. Then she added in some bold black cracks, pivoting her brush to vary the width of the cracks to be bigger and smaller. Finally, she sealed everything with flat poly.

        [attachment=0]Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 5.43.50 PM.png[/attachment]

        Both treatments followed basically the same process, and both were pretty quick to implement.

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