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How to Paint a Stage Floor Black

Lauren Tyree

The floor of a theater stage should, above all, be sturdy, smooth, and flat to accommodate a wide variety of productions and a large number of actors over many performances. It also helps to keep the color of the stage muted so as not to distract from the action, which is why many elect to paint it a flat black. This project can be done quickly and usually poses very few complications when done correctly.

Stage floors are often painted black in between performances.
    Cover backgrounds in tarp to protect them.
  1. Remove all props and scenery from the stage to prepare it for painting. Place heavy-duty canvas or vinyl tarp over any objects which cannot be displaced, like building projects that in progress or stationary backgrounds.

  2. Clean the floor thoroughly.
  3. Sweep, mop and thoroughly dry the stage floor before beginning to apply any paint. You will want to make sure that the surface is completely free of dust and debris.

  4. Coat your roller in black latex paint.
  5. Fill your shallow paint pan with as much black latex paint as it will contain, and roll your paint roller in the substance until it is soaked through with a generous amount.

  6. Apply long, heavy strokes to the floor, moving backward as you go.
  7. Start going over the stage in long strokes, walking backward to avoid stepping in the fresh paint. Apply a thick coat to the stage floor, making sure to smooth out bubbles and bumps as you go along. You'll want the surface of the stage to remain as smooth and flat as possible.

  8. Fill in all gaps and cracks once the initial layer has dried.
  9. Cover the entire stage with the paint, using as many buckets as required by the size of your floor. Make sure that the coating is thick enough to be bold, but not so thick as to chip easily. When the whole stage is covered, let it dry before going over edges and corners with your brush, paying special attention to each nook and cranny.

  10. Dispose of your paint, and let the paint dry before the next curtain call.
  11. Dispose of your paint by letting it dry out completely and harden in a well-ventilated space before throwing it into the garbage. Allow the stage floor to dry before any actors or builders tread on its surface. Give it a couple of days before any performances are staged atop the layers of black paint.