5 Reasons We Went to a Black Stage

paintitblack

It was a little over a year ago when one fateful morning a small group of volunteers help tear the worn green carpet from the stage and painted the wood decking beneath black.  Now granted we did some research to figure out what actually was under the carpet on the stage – nothing worse than planning all this only to find out what lies beneath would be worthless and you’ll have to spend a lot of money you didn’t plan on.  I had always like the look of the black stage but couldn’t figure out how it would work for us, if there was something I was missing like a special type of flooring rather than just painting the wood black.  It was after a friend of mine pulled the trigger at his church and I was able to pick his brain I decided to do it.

How we did it:
Basically, we pulled up the carpet (cutting the edge at the top of the stairs that surround the stage), pulled all the staples, and well painted it black.  We used a patio and decking paint because it was thicker and were told it would hold up better to traffic.  We used a rubber stair tread trim to transition from the wooden stage to the carpeted stairs. We used basically THIS but found a company that would sell it to us in an uncut roll.  It looks great.

Why we did it:
1. Visual Aesthetics – We had a green carpet, that just look old and outdated.  This gave us a fresh modern look with minimal cost (thankfully we had the perfect wood decking below our carpet).

2. It hides cables so much better.  We all have to run a lot of cables for our stages and unless you find those strange neon colored one… they are all black.  Now they visually disappear making the stage look much cleaner.  also black gaff tape disappears.  You can see in this picture a little before and after (both are mid stage design so it’s not completely set but you get the idea).

photo

3. The people on the stage pop more.  Your speakers, singers, or basically whoever is one stage will just visually stand out better.  That helps put the focus where you want it when you design your lighting and moments in worship. This is why most theaters have a black stage – the actors stand out better.

4. Upkeep is a breeze.  Spill something on the stage? Vacation Bible School spill stuff on your stage? Paint over it. Need to drill something down for support for your stage set? Do it. It sweeps up real easy, mops up real easy, basically it’s an upkeep dream.

5. Believe it or not, your lighting will look better.  The black stage doesn’t absorb colored lights like carpet does.  It has a nice reflection (you can probably see a little bit from the pic above – note that reflection on the floor is with just lights shining on the back wall – we have since added RBG lights and it looks even better.)

The issues we’ve had with it:
Other than minimal negative feedback from the church – honestly for us it really was minimal. – much worse was removing the grand piano… Another story, another day.  The only issue we had to deal with was sound.  Obviously having carpet underneath your band, drums, singers, speakers, helps absorb sound.  Knowing that we cut a portion of the carpet and pad to keep under our drums just to be safe.  The bass seemed more present in the room after removing the carpet from the stage but that actually was a good thing for us. You can get a good look at the stage as it is currently in this post from last weeks set list.

In Conclusion:
If you think you can do it – Do It! it’s been a wonderful advance for us not just visually but functionally too.

He's a nice guy

11 Comments

  1. Mark Jenkins   •  

    You have made all the right choices in the setup there! you and the team helping where they can has made a great impression on the ones we need to keep interested the most! your energy is obviously blessed and I see you as the best fit for the Crossing Church! We play for a King after all! it is all about praising Him with a joyful noise and a new song!

    In Christ,
    Mark

  2. Matt Krachunis   •  

    Hey brother. Looks great! I’m curious, how tall is the stage? You still have the carpet leading up to the top? How tall is each step to the top please.

    you’ve inspired me. We just got a new building and we’re going to have to redo the stage, but now…. PAINT… you just saved Jesus about 6k

    bless you brother
    matt

    • NathanSutliff   •     Author

      Hey Matt, Our stage is about 24 inches tall. Each step is about 6 inches and there are 3 steps plus 6 inches to the stage. Hope this helps! Good luck with the remodel. We have loved our stage ever since we did this.

  3. Pingback: 3 Years of Stage Design

  4. Mike Loy   •  

    Greetings brother! We are going to do a stage remodel soon. I am in the process of researching floor options and stumbled across this post. Love it! Was wondering what sheen of paint you used? Semi-gloss? Eggshell? Satin? Was also wondering what brand of paint you used as well. Thank you. God bless!

  5. gina   •  

    Hell Brother,
    We are in the process of revamping our stage we really want to just paint it black and it sounds simple enough but our flooring is plywood, whataya think about that? what kind of flooring do you have.

  6. rogan   •  

    Greetings!
    I was really happy to see this article, it answers my question. I was searching for reasons why black color is good for the stage flooring, cause we’re planing to renovate our old stage,.

  7. Jeffery Stupar   •  

    Hi quick question about going from carpet to wood ; what did you do for women who have high heels to lessen the sound of that sound on wood compared to carpet?

  8. Cherish   •  

    I second that question about ladies high heels and men’s hard soled shoes. Is there a lot of foot traffic noise during times such as altar calls or when the worship team exits after they’re done?

  9. Fred Trevino   •  

    I’ve walked into several churches with black stages. We remove the cross, we set up night club lights and we turn worship into entertainment. I walk out every time. The God I serve is light and infinitely holy. I want my church to reflect his glory…not a night club

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