Undercoat needed for ply?

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Ho hum, wife's a teacher & has been seconded to paint the scenery for the upcoming Summer Production, so guess who she seconded? :(

So...they have bought some (approx) 6'6" x 4' flats of ply to attach to a frame & paint.

Fair enough but will this need some sort of primer or undercoat first?

It is the thinnest ply you can get (so thin, I fear it might curl up at the edges with a drop of paint on but hey ho ! ) and is completely unfinished.

At a quick look / educated guess, anything will just sink into it straightaway, and any 'scenery' paint on top would just sink in & get totally lost & look incredibly dull, so I'm sure it will need something but what?

Is it an 'anything to "seal" it' ? Or would something specific be better (nowt 'specialist' please, this, as nearly everything in teaching will come out of our pocket, not the school's).

Also to consider, the only paint for the actual scene painting they have buckets of is, essentially, 'poster' paint ( ! ) - I think it's some sort of acrylic in reality.

I was thinking a good old whitewash or washes of a thinned emulsion roller end on ( there are a lot of these flats - approx x12 from memory).

A PVA wash (or PVA in the emulsion) has been suggested also?

Thanks.
 
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I would think a couple of coats of a basic trade white emulsion would work and be the cheapest sealer
 
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