This topic has 8 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 9 months ago by Former Member Content Archive.

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  • #14900

    I’ve been working at a company for three years and have made drops that go on the road each year, and haven’t had any problems. The one I’ve just finished is already cracking and I’m not sure why – or if I can prevent it. Right now my best guess is that I over starched it. It has four layers of starch on the front and then a white-ish base and then mostly just washes that went through a Preval Sprayer on top of it.

    Here’s the other weird thing. I painted the floor at the same time. We weren’t having any problems until spike tape went down and when it came up had all but the base layers peeling away. I sealed the floor like I normally do (5 coats of cut Minwax Polycrylic sprayed on with setting time in between). The biggest difference is that I used a lot of water to do the treatment and a lot of washes so the paint also had polycrylic mixed into it.

    They both used a lot of Rosco’s Off Broadway Navy which is the only thing that I bought specifically for this show and haven’t used before, but I can’t imagine that it is the cause of my problems.

    I’m less worried about the floor – I have time to reseal it and do touch-ups between tech and when they perform in house (they go out on the road and tour for two weeks first). But any tips for next time or any way to preserve the drop would be great. Right now the drop gets rolled up to travel.

    Thanks!

    #15754
     Nixpaints
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    What other paints are you using? House paint will crack on drops, Rosco Off Broadway (or Supersat) will not. Also, likely for the floor because of a wet paint treatment there may have still been moisture that hadn’t evaporated or the floor didn’t have time to cure before sending it out.

    #15755
     AHOGAN
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Regarding your floor challenge, have you used a different paint than you usually have as your base coat?

    I had a horrendous experience last summer for our production of Newsies-

    I painted a floor on MDF that I primed with an acrylic primer. I based the floor with a Home Depot Behr paint and primer combo acrylic paint that I impulsively got because I was going to get a rebate on it. I did layers of washes on top of that base coat and those well sealed layers came up when the dancers did spins on it. I have done washes on floors like that for years, but the difference that time was the paint/primer combo for the base coat. I believe that paint resisted the washey layers.

    Good luck

    Abby

    #15756

    I think you used too much starch. After all, when starch is used on clothing, it makes it stiff. The combination of too much starch and the folding / refolding of the backdrop will create fold lines and crack the paint.

    In all my years of being in the rental backdrop business, I’ve found that my “flex size” formula works like a charm. It’s simply an updated version of the old stand by in the Lynn Pecktel book:

    1 part liquid laundry (from the grocery store) starch to 6 parts room temperature water in one bucket

    1 part flexible glue (like Rosco Flexbond) to 16 parts room temperature water in another bucket

    Mix the two together.

    Easy to do because there’s no need for a stove to boil starch.

    #15757

    Going from first reply and on down (thanks for all the help and advice!). . .

    1. I used a house white with broadway mix to base it and the rest is anywhere from that to pure broadway and iddings paint, which I have used in the past for my drops.

    The explanation of the moisture in the floor makes a lot of sense considering the floor is very temperamental depending on the temperature and the humidity for dry times. The air also doesn’t stay on 24/7 here.

    2. No, I didn’t. It’s the same brand of white paint that I’ve been buying for since I’ve been here, but I don’t normally do a lot of washes or extremely water heavy jobs on the floor because it does weird things here or brings out the imperfections on the floor; however, the testing I did worked out fairly well that I went forward with it on the entire thing.

    3. I’ll have to try that in the future. Is there anything I can do to it now, after the fact?

    #15758
     Nixpaints
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    I would think the house paint is the reason for cracking. That’s what always happens for me.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    #15759

    Fun fact: For why the heck not’s sake, we hot watered the back of the drop a few times and brushed the hot water off of it. I believe washed out some of the starch based off the water’s consistency that we brushed off of it. The drop is much more flexible after that and touring with minor issues.

    #15760
     CDana
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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      Partner Member

    TuxedoJunction wrote:

    In all my years of being in the rental backdrop business, I’ve found that my “flex size” formula works like a charm… :

    1 part liquid laundry (from the grocery store) starch to 6 parts room temperature water in one bucket

    1 part flexible glue (like Rosco Flexbond) to 16 parts room temperature water in another bucket

    Mix the two together.

    Easy to do because there’s no need for a stove to boil starch.

    Donna, does this recipe work well for translucencies in terms of remaining wet enough to blend adjacent/overlapping passes of size, and filling the f*ing holes in the “heavy-weight” (not heavy thread count) NFR muslin? And of course, remaining translucent :-)?

    I’m about to do a large-ish (18’x52′), tricksy sky/water translucency off-site (not a dedicated paint space) and would love not to haul along a big hotplate, but I’ve never used liquid starch. Of course I’m heading off now to get some liquid starch to sample, but feel like I want a little hand-holding.

    Thanks,

    Claire

    #15761

    Hello Claire,

    Honestly, I’ve never used this formula on a translucency. You have to remember, rental backdrops and translucencies don’t mix. In the first place, a rental customer wouldn’t know how to use it. Secondly, the expensive backdrop could get ruined in a heartbeat. Rental backdrops are frequently returned in a giant waded ball, with a greasy footprint smack in the middle, etc. My “flex size” formula is basically an updated version of the formula in the Lynn Pecktal book. I wish I could be more helpful.

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