On the set with Graco

John Pinkerton and his team do magic with paint for TV and film sets. And Graco plays a leading role ...

They create marble palaces and rusty machinery out of wood and transform foam blocks into ancient tombs - while staying within the tight deadlines of the film industry. The list of productions that have made use of John’s specialist painting company, A Fine Line Art, which was established ten years ago, is impressive indeed. We have John and his colleagues to thank for set designs such as those in Casino Royale, The Dark Knight Rises, Sherlock and Doctor Who, among others.

Iconic spaceship

The most memorable project? It doesn’t take John long to think of the answer to that: “The TARDIS, the iconic time-travelling spaceship from the BBC series Doctor Who. The exterior resembles a blue telephone box, while the interior is many times larger. The designer envisioned a sort of blue marble effect. An enormous project to finish on schedule.”

A Fine Line Art logo
Fresh paint: the time-travelling TARDIS spaceship from Doctor Who

Fresh paint: the time-travelling TARDIS spaceship from Doctor Who.

The TARDIS exterior

The exterior of the TARDIS spaceship.

Impossible without Graco

It’s obvious that the sort of assignments for which A Fine Line Art is commissioned require a bit more than an ordinary paintbrush. John remarks, “We recently did work for Atlantic, a fiction series inspired by Greek mythology. Filming was done in three gigantic warehouses, each the size of an aeroplane hangar. Everything was recreated, from marble temples to entire streets, palaces, dungeons and enormous cliffs. A task that would have been impossible without two airless Graco sprayers.”

Dependable equipment

John appreciates these machines for several different reasons. “I bought the first unit, a ProStep (the predecessor of the 390 Classic), years ago and it has never disappointed me. Look, dependable equipment is very important in the film industry. You really don’t want any defects putting you behind schedule. The sprayer is also quite easy to manoeuvre and applies the first coats of paint in a flash.”

A Fine Line Art film set project

For finish work too

And John doesn’t see airless painting as limited to the initial base coats either. “I am still finding new ways to employ airless sprayers for finer finish work as well. Much of what I do involves applying multiple layers of plaster and paint, in order to give the impression that something is very old.”

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