John H. Jones, the Master Carpenter for Pierce College Theatre Department, was presented with a challenge. The Performing Arts Building was undergoing a renovation and had a temporary Masonite surface on stage, but the set designer specified a plank wood floor for a production “The Exonerated.” That’s when the students and faculty in the scene shop took over. Using a mix of Off Broadway scenic paints and Rosco Clear Gloss & Flat Acrylic Glazes, along with an arsenal of brushes, rollers and graining tools, they created a realistic plank wood floor.
First they primed the Masonite floor with some paint left over from a previous show. Then they laid down a base of Off Broadway Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre. This mix was wet blended in streaks from downstage to upstage.
Using graining tools and two different color mixes – primarily Off Broadway Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber that were heavily thinned – the woodgrain was added onto the surface. A check roller was used on some boards, while a spatter and drag technique with Burnt Umber deepened with Black was used on every other board for variety. Shadow and highlight lines were then added to the ‘edge’ of each plank.
Finally a protective coating of Clear Acrylic Glazes was brushed onto the surface. This mix consisted of 25% Clear Flat Glaze, 25% Clear Gloss Glaze and 50% water.
Off Broadway paints offer a palette of rich, flat, theatrical colors in a flexible vinyl acrylic binder that can be used to achieve many scenic effects. To create this and many other effects, check out our Paints, Coatings and Scenic Tools webpage or contact us.