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Blake Stage Company

Guidelines for Paint Donation

We welcome your donation of surplus paint.  Please look over the guidelines listed below and compare them to the manufacturer's labeling on the paint you have in mind to donate.  The two items which will make your paint useful to use are it’s "base" and it’s "finish" or reflectivity. 

Your donated paint will be used primarily for base (under) painting where the colors are appropriate or will be mixed with other donated paint and scrap colors to make opaquing and flame retardant backpaint for our scenery. 

We appreciate your generosity, but we don’t want you to waste your time and we think you’d prefer we not be your trash can either.  Over the past 2 months we have had to dispose of  over 30 gallons of donated paint that was not useable.  We hope this guide can help you help us.

YES: Acrylic, Latex, Tempra
NO: Oil, Mineral Spirit, Shellac, Polyurethane
If you’re not sure what you have, look on the paint can’s label under "clean up" instructions.  If it says something like, "clean up with warm water and soap", you’ve got the right stuff!!!
All the scenic paints we use are water based.  To ensure compatibility of materials and the safety of our students, as well as the good health of the environment, we limit our student painters to the use of water based paints and cleaning supplies.

FLAT or MATTE finish ONLY!
NO: Eggshell, Satin, Low-Luster, Soft Gloss, Semi-gloss, Gloss, High Gloss
The scenic painting we train our students to do has little in common with house painting …except sometimes for the paint and brushes.  As with professional level scenic art, flat finishes do not call attention to irregularities and flaws in construction as glossier finishes will.  Flat finishes also readily accept new layers of paint, washes, and sprays, without the need for priming.

If the label on the can is obscured by old paint or the label has been removed, neither of the above can be determined, so your paint is not good for donation.

Custom mixed colors are fine.  We prefer lighter colors, pastels, off-whites, beiges, grays, but deep colors are often useful too.

Also, Minwax Polycrylic (not Polyurethane) is very useful coating - blue label.  It comes in satin, semi-gloss, and gloss, and as such is one of the only glossy/lustrous products we regularly use.

But wait, there’s more:

For paint in metal gallon or quart cans - if your paint meets the above guidelines, here are a few things to do before donating.  Take the lid off each can you plan to donate.  If you can’t remove a lid, odds are good we won’t be able to either.  Once you have the lid off, make sure the paint hasn’t solidified in the can.  If the paint is over a year old, check for rust around the lid and specks of rust in the paint.  If coagulated or rusty, it should be discarded.  If your paint passes inspection, re-lid it tightly, and bring it by the Blake scenery shop for donation.

Thanks for your generosity and support.

Blake Stage Company