This topic has 5 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 5 months ago by Former Member Content Archive.

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  • #14787
     Angelique Powers
      • Experience: 20+ years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Member Member

      I am copy/pasting a post I found on a FB page that I think is highly relevant to us. (They copied as well)

      “”(Copied from a DFW theatre resource page)

      I heard an interesting new scenic factoid today from a trustworthy source… Apparently “Masonite” is no longer being produced (produced via water and pressure) and a/the new hardboard being produced is “oil pressed hardboard.” This is a problem since most/all stage paint cannot be used on an oily surface. Fresh pallets of this type of board have been used in a couple flooring applications and a major manufacturer has had issues with their really Tough primer sticking as it should (see what I did there). So buyer beware! If you do have to buy oil-pressed hardboard for flooring or facing, let it air cure for enough time for any excess oil to dry/soak in and then use the best oil eliminating cleaner you have available before you lay down any type of stage paint. We all thought that was certainly something to take note of; it’s easy passing over details when buying something that you’ve done so routinely without question. Just wanted to share! “”

      I won’t post the people’s replies,but I am very eager to hear any of your responses to this new “Hard Board” flooring / and other scenic needs option, and if you too have had problems and or succeeds with Primers.

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        • Experience: 5-10 years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

        Hardboard really messed me up this summer in Vermont. The 123 primer stuck to it fine, but the top layer of material (the shiny, smooth layer) was cured onto the thirsty, compressed, flaky insides by a prayer. Blue tape, spike tape, a light breeze, anything would pull it up – pull up the primer AND the top layer of material. I was doing a tile floor for Once, and had already laid a full stage of blue tape when I found out. [img]


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          • Experience: 5-10 years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

          Same results from Tough Prime. I didn’t have a chance try out BIN or any other primer to see if maybe I could get it to soak through or something, we just dealt with the decking for all of our shows and begged stage management to move spikes as infrequently as possible.

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          I’ve had very similar issues. We just built a new black box theatre and the ENTIRE floor is covered with this new hardboard. It doesn’t hold up against anything. It was a pain to put down too. So many waves and bubbles (contractors didn’t leave expansion gaps either). It was tempered on both sides and primed with Killz on both sides beore the top layer got the black paint. (I’d post photos, but can’t figure how).

          An actor drags their feet and it pulls up the top layer of the surface. BTW the stage is painted with PPG’s Breakthrough which is a fantastic paint that has some flex to it. Anything we’ve done on this surface has been trial and error. Our first show’s floor was painted over the weekend, and the treatment seems to be holding up well so far – it’s been sealed with the fast drying poly available from Home Depot.

          I strongly suggest switching over to MDF for anything that we used to do with masonite. I only wish we’d done it for our floor. I

          If anyone has any other tips and/or trick to dealing with it – give us a shout!



          I would spit coat it with a 50/50 mix of shellac and denatured alcohol, then move to primer. The shellac mix will seal the surface better and help the primer stick.


          Thanks! We’ll give it a shot.

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