This topic has 14 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 2 months ago by EvanWRapp.

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    Hey all,

    For our holiday show coming up, I’m using Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Satin Copper Penny in trim work all around the set. Some of that includes step trim on the deck. I don’t need to seal any of the work on the walls, people don’t interact with them much, but that floor is going to get danced all over, so sealing is a must.

    Does any one have some tips or tricks for sealing Metallic paint while not losing any of the shimmer effect? I’m worried that putting a gloss is simply going to make it shiny, and not necessarily preserve the shimmer, but that a satin might dull it out.


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

      This is complete assumption on my part, however….

      I’d think a clear coat would do the trick. Kind of like painting a car. There is all that metallic flake in there and they just spray coat after coat of clear on top.

      That being said, I’d also be cautious of creating a slippery surface.

      Do you have the opportunity to sample it and see?

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

        Member Member

        I had a floor like this and I sealed the whole floor with my favorite go-to Satin sealer, and then went back over the gold trimmy bits with a clear gloss, of the same brand so that there was a sheen shift, and it worked enough.

        You are right you will lose some of the “shimmer” but is it more important to have a shimmer or not get screwed up from feet and rolling scenery?


        I will be doing samples once my paint comes in to check (and will update with what ends up working best!), and I totally know I’m going to have to sacrifice some shimmer in the name of durability. I was kind of sticking feelers out into the collective knowledge to see if there were any products for this kind of issue specifically. (My designer was thinking Modern Masters might have a sealer that has flecks of shimmer in it, but they do not.)

        I’m definitely going to make the “Satin-Gloss” technique one of my samples to see how it works for us!

        Thanks 🙂


        Would it be worth adding a little mica powder to your sealer? If it’s mixed in well enough, it might suspend it enough to add back in a little shimmer. I haven’t tried it, but it seems like it might work.

        Cosmetic pigments come in such small micron sizes that it shouldn’t “clump” like glitter.

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

          I’ve added mica powder to shellac before but never a water based poly.

          Now I’m curious with no time to try it on my end. Definitely keep us updated with what you figure out!


            Adding mica to the poly is a great idea to cover your bases if your samples show that you’re losing too much shimmer.

            A weird chemistry thing to be forewarned about on that:

            Once, about 12 years ago I mixed a TON of Antique Gold mica powder into a PVA-based glue/sealer. I wouldn’t ordinarily have mixed so much mica in, but I needed to invent a very opaque, very shiny quart of paint to get me through some quick notes and touchups on a show day. The next day, I walked into the shop to find that quart of PVA/mica mix had popped its own lid off and turned into a giant scary oozing foamy blob 5x it’s original volume (think Great Stuff + bling) that was slowly trying to take over my shelving unit. To this day I don’t know exactly why or what alchemy I tapped into there, but I’ve become way more watchful about only mixing a little mica into clears if I can help it. Stick to the idea of just a shimmer and you should be fine.

            Weird, right? Anyone know what I actually did? It was sort of Science Fair Volcano chemistry happening.

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

              The SDS for the mica I use (Mearlin, from Sepp Leaf) says it is chemically stable, non-reactive, non-corrosive, and I have never had a problem such as you describe with either shellac or water-borne binders.

              BUT, I sure do have a vivid recollection from the late 80’s at the Goodspeed of some lids popping off foaming mixtures of clear acrylic and bronzing powders! Bronzing powders are/were made from flakes or particles of aluminum, which is very reactive with water in a closed container once a little rise in temperature happens. I think in our case, we had one situation where the containers had been left outside on a sunny day, and one situation where (I’m just guessing here) the microbiome of the container itself just started to generate a little heat like it eventually does with any kind of acrylic or latex binder or paint.

              It might be important to note that lots of particles, from metal flakes to hay dust, even or especially when dry, can spark into flame when the airborne concentration in a closed space is at the right mark. Adding moisture seems to spur it on.

              This Moment of Geek brought to you by coffee and a slight case of procrastination 🙂


                That’s exactly it, Claire! Must’ve been aluminum bronzing powder I made accidental chemistry with.

                Now I wonder if the results would’ve been different if I’d kept it in a fridge? (Non food fridge of course)

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

                  Member Member

                  Modern Masters makes a great sealer for metallics… I have only used it to seal over there products but its great! its called MasterClear and it comes in satin and semi-gloss!

                   Tina Yager
                    • Experience: 15-20 years
                    • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

                    You could try a coarse spray of high gloss clear on top of a semi-gloss seal coat. That might retain a little sparkle. I’ve had that blurb thing happen to me too, thanks for the info Clare.

                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                    Hey all,

                    It’s been a bit, but I just wanted to update with the results.

                    I was strapped on budget a bit. So I ended up priming with a warm slop pink to bring out the pink hues in the Copper Penny we chose, mixed the metallic paint with a bit of the Modern Masters Metallic paint roller extender, applied about 2 to 3 coats (depending on the piece), and sealed with a fairly standard Water-Based Poly in Gloss. Next time (or possibly when I get some spare time), I definitely want to try out some of the great ideas that were given in this thread, since I ended up going the most basic of routes.

                    But designer and director were happy, so woo!

                    Here’s a couple finished shots! (At Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati | Photo cred: Ryan Kurtz)

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

                      Thanks for the follow up.

                      The set looks great!

                        • Experience: 15-20 years
                        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

                        Has anyone tried sealing metallics with lacquer or shellac? I’ve done the mica and waterbased gloss thing, and while it helps it doesn’t really look lustrous.

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

                          Zaling: shellac works great! It’s my go to because it really makes everything underneath shine.

                          I’ve also used shellac to seal over gold leaf and once again, I was amazed.

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