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University of Denver Performing Arts Center – Gates Theater,
Recital Hall and Recital Salon.


Project Specifications: The Recital Hall and Recital Salon specified red acid stain and the Gates Theater specified black acid stain. The mottling achieved with acid stain was very important to the architects.

Challenges: The three concrete floors being stained were all sloped toward the stages so all liquids would run down hill. The Gates Theater had four levels. The top three had terraced seating so the floor stepped down with each row. The stage level had 440 six inch diameter holes leading into a drywall lined ventilation duct. No moisture could be allowed to go down these holes in the floor.

Solution: Spraying techniques were modified for the two recital areas to minimize stain flowing downhill. In the Gates Hall, we recommended using epoxy instead of acid stain due to its higher viscosity. We used small plastic buckets to fill and seal the holes during cleaning and prep. The black epoxy was applied using a technique that reproduced the look of acid stain mottling. This process used much less liquid and achieved the desired look.

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