Stage Designs

Throwback: Paint Can Lids

Isaiah Franco from Sandals Church in Riverside, California brings us this last minute stage success. (originally posted April 2012)

It was Wednesday afternoon and they needed to have a set by Thursday at noon. They had ordered 200 one gallon paint cans the week before for a different set. They also had several pallets that were lying around in their warehouse. They put the two together and this is what they came up with.

They screwed 35 paint can lids onto each pallet and attached the cans to the lids. They did this with four regular sized pallets and one larger 8′ pallet.

Then they flew the pallets using chain, wire rope, and tie line to pull the back and give each suspended pallet some angle.

All the Way Up Refraction Faction

14 responses to “Throwback: Paint Can Lids”

  1. Mike says:

    Is all the lighting coming from above and behind the stage or is there some lighting out in front of the stage too? Also, wondering what lights are used: ie. moving heads, leds, etc

    • Isaiah says:

      Mike, all of the lighting for the paint cans is coming from LEDs on the stage. We had four LEDs on the front two corners of the drum riser that pointed upward to the center three pallets. The pallets on the floor each had a LED can pointed toward it. It took us a little time to come up with optimum lighting positions, but we finally got it right. We only used LED PAR cans to illuminate these pallets. Thanks for the questions!

      • Ian J says:

        Amazing Job Isaiah…. I am working on something similar, I would love to talk to you in detail on some of my questions, I called the church but hadn’t got a response yet. If you can give me a buzz @ 832-654-0012 I’m trying to get the stage up by Jan 1st.

        Thanks in Advance,
        Ian J.

  2. Steven Hall says:


    Amazing Job. This looks great. I love the reflectivity. I bet it was fun getting angles that didn’t blind the congregation. Great job. I would love to see your paint can design too! :) Keep up the astounding work for the Kingdom of God.


  3. Van Metschke says:

    DUDE! That stage is awesome. Great job.

  4. Rachelle Hitte says:


    We used paint cans to create can lights in the ceiling of our church after we were quoted a price of over $500…spray painted them flat black. Being 18′ high in the ceiling no one knows they were only eight dollars each. With the bulb set up from the hardware store and a hole drilled into the can…worked out great! Painted the ceiling black too. I love it.

  5. Patrick Fore says:

    Iqm looking to do something similar for a camp stage project, looks great! May I ask where you found the cans? Was it difficult to mount the lit fixtures in them?

  6. Tom Holloway says:

    That looks awesome! I love it.

  7. Patrick, sorry just saw this, we ordered the cans from Kentucky.

    If anybody wants to buy them, send us a note =)

  8. Aaron Bailey says:

    love the look, did you say you hooked the paint cans to a pallet? how did you hook them to the wall or ceiling? i am very interested in doing something similar on a smaller scale. on a very tight budget tho, i did already know about using a paint can for actual can lighting done that before and that is a great idea. love it.
    now looking for stage design ideas.


    • Yes, we used drywall screws to attach the lids to the pallets.
      We hung the pallets using either chain or wire rope and some black tie-line to get the angles right. As far as cost, the only money we spent was purchasing bulk paint cans. We scavenged for pallets and already had the chain and wire rope.

  9. Alex says:

    So what were the lids attached to?
    Also, are there any plans from this project?

    • The lids were attached using drywall screws onto the pallets. We then attached the paint cans to the lids (some had to have glue or gaffe tape to hold them in place). There were no plans, we kind of just made it up as we went along.

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