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How We Paint The Children's Museum

Believe it or not, it comes down to FOUR fantastic painters who keep the world's largest children's museum bright and colorful. Before you enter the museum, Bernard, Hanque, Fritz, and Jessy are hard at work touching up pillars, painting new walls, and creating samples for the next great exhibit interactive. Here are some fun behind-the-scenes facts about the Paint Shop, courtesy of our hardworking team of painters...

  • How much paint? We use an average of 600 gallons of paint each year at The Children's Museum, including maintenance and new gallery painting. The amount of paint will vary by year, depending on how many new exhibits open.
  • What kinds of brushes? We use three brands of brushes for the many paint jobs around the museum, and different painters have different preferences! Fritz prefers Nyangle brand brushes, while Hanque prefers Purdy. For details, scenery, and touch-ups, we use Loew-Cornell brand for both flat and round brushes.
  • How long does paint take to dry? Most of the paints we use are common architectural paints that dry at a rate of 20-30 minutes per coat. However, the timing can vary depending on the "mils," or the thickness a paint is applied.
  • Does some paint take longer to dry? In some of the museum's high-traffic areas, we use 2-part water-based epoxies that need at least 24 hours to dry to the touch and several weeks to become completely cured. This takes a lot of pre-planning!
  • What kind of paint? We primarily use Sherwin Williams brand paint colors. Sherwin Williams also helps us make “custom” colors that are matched with their in-store “color eye” computer.
  • How do you get the colors right? We work with the exhibit designers to purchase the colors we think we want, then create sample boards that are 2’x2’. This size sample makes it easy to see how the color will look under specific lighting in the galleries. 
  • What do you paint, other than walls and floors? We also touch up exhibit interactives and create samples for new exhibit elements, as well. One example is the "Build a Terra Cotta Warrior" puzzle in Treasures of the Earth!

In This Week's WOW, Josh took us to the very busy Paint Shop to see what the painters are up to!

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Categories: Exhibits, This Week’s WOW
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