Painters USA Scales New Heights to Paint Steelwork at Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium

14 July 2021

Woman-owned Painters USA is working with Loveland, Colo.-based LPR Construction—a leading commercial and industrial steel erection, construction, and plant services firm—to paint the steel for the Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium, which, when completed, will be the largest soccer-specific stadium in North America. The 30,000-seat stadium designed by Kansas City-based architectural firm Populous will be the home of Major League Soccer's Nashville SC.

Once shipments of steel with a finishing coat of paint arrive on site at the Nashville Fairgrounds, LPR Construction begins the steel erection process. Following closely behind are crews from Painters USA who must safely scale the newly erected steel, in some cases high above the work site, to get into position to touch up steel columns and beams with a specially blended black paint selected by the stadium's designers. In some areas, such as bolted connections, Painters USA crews must first prepare the areas by cleaning them correctly, including bolts oiled to prevent rust. The crews then add a fast-cure epoxy and finishing coats.

With a project of this scale and number of craft workers, coordination is critical for the delivery, fabrication, and erection phases. Once LPR Construction erects a piece of steel, Painters USA crews must quickly and safely complete their portion, so follow-on tradespeople can complete their work.

"Quite a bit of precast steel is visible along the concourse and on a huge, exposed steel canopy. The finished coat of paint has to look perfect," said Chris Cozza, project manager for LPR Construction. "Painters USA has to touch up the steel if it's been scuffed in any way during shipping or erecting. These are bolted connections, and Painters USA paints each one."

As part of the project LPR Construction, gave Painters USA's crews instruction on safety tie-offs and its systems for climbing and maneuvering across the steel infrastructure. Any crew members six feet or more above ground must use two tie-offs and know how to protect themself.

"Safety is paramount in this situation, since our crews are working aloft, climbing into hard-to-reach but easily seen areas and doing the work without delaying the construction schedule," said Ryan Thomas, field operations manager for Painters USA.

The exposed steelwork and its color are significant architectural features of the project. According to Thomas, working with the specially blended black paint requires finesse and attention to detail, since any areas not perfectly blended into the whole will immediately mar the overall look.

"They're very good at what they do," added Cozza. "This isn't as simple as brushing on a coat of black paint. There's a cleaning, application, and finishing process. I've been educated."

According to Nashville SC, the club expects the new stadium to open in May 2022.

About Painters USA Inc.
Woman-owned Painters USA is a provider of commercial and industrial cleaning, painting and coating services for clients across the United States. Painters USA is certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. Learn more at:

Bill Perry
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