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post #1 of 25 Old 08-09-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been reading through DIY threads the past few weeks and just when I think I've come up with a screen substrate and paint, I read something else and I feel like I'm back to square one...eek.gif I'm trying to find the right screen surface and paint combination for my theater. DIY is the way to go for me because of the high quality image and low cost. I'm trying to keep it under $150...

So I come to you all with my hat in my hand and my tail tucked under, looking for definitive advice. I've enjoyed HT all of my life, but this will be my 1st projector and screen, so a lot of the terms and concepts are new to me.

Setup:
I am purchasing an Acer H9500 and want to project it onto a 96" screen. My room is approx 16 x 14 x 10. The projector's throw distance will be 12' and my seating position is approx 13'. Based on Elite Projector Calculator's website, the projected image will be approx 38fL in low lamp mode (I was told this isn't a bad thing, considering watching with ambient light, and the extra brighness is a plus in 3D). The top of the screen will be approx 7'4" from the ceiling and the bottom will be approx 3'4" from the floor. Walls are painted tan and the ceiling is white. There is some ambient light from a doorway, but not much. The room will be a multi-purpose media room (that's how it was pitched to the wife) so 60 - 70% of the viewing will be done with lights on. Roughly 90% of the viewing will be HDTV, sports, DVD's for the kids and Blu Ray, with the other 10% 3D (this may increase if it's as awesome as advertised).

Screen Surface:
I don't want to paint the walls, as the drywall is textured. Based on my findings in these threads, I was thinking of using Thrifty White Board, since it's lightweight, comes in 1'* 4x8 sheets and is available at my local Home Depot. I considered melamine, but I can only find it in 5/8 4x8 sheets. Given it's weight, it seems cumbersome. The 4x8 sheet is a plus because it gives me a 96" screen that requires minimal, if any, cutting of the screen surface.

Paint:
White? Gray? N8 vs N9? Matte? Acrylic? Oil based? Add silver or not? What's the right mixture/combination? Ugh! eek.gifeek.gif This part really confuses me.. One thing I'm certain of is that I'm going to use a roller to paint it. There were some threads I came across that had detailed instructions for constructing and painting different types of screens. The 'best' ones had pictures the showed step by step instructions (pictures are best for me... guess that's why I love HT rolleyes.gif)

Sorry for the long post. I guess I just need some of you experienced guys to point me in the right direction. Can you guys please help clear the massive amount of clutter in my head?
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-10-2012, 01:05 AM
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Simple answers to effect a simple Gray Screen based on your stated criteria:

1. Use Thrifty White Hardboard (TWH) cut to 85" length

Mounting the TWH Screen is / can be as simple as Cutting the 11" x 48" piece of TWH left over into 6" x 11" strips and Gluing them around the perimeter on the rear of the larger sheet so that 2" protrudes past the edge (...Use Liquid Nails For Projects...apply both the unfinished sides together. )

Be sure to place one strip at each corner and at least one strip centered between each corner You can now use Drywall or Truss Head Screws to mount the THW directly to the Wall with a minimum but adequate number of fasteners, leaving a 2" area to attach / butt Velvet Wrapped 3.25" MDF Base Board Trim against the edges of the TWH using 1-1/4" Finish Nails. (...the last step, of course...)

With the TWH mounted in place:

2. Using Glidden "Gripper Primer" in Gray, Roll on two very light coats using a high quality Low Nap Roller (3/8") (not foam)
3. Lightly sand the second coat using a Large (3" x 8" x 1") Fine Grit Sanding Sponge (...look for it in the Drywall Took Section @ HD)
4 Apply 2 additional regular Coats of the "Gripper" using a high quality "For Smooth Finish" 9" Roller (not foam)

At this point, you can shoot onto the surface and check your Image Quality. You probably will be quite happy, but should you be expecting or wanting more, your surface will be effectively Prepped and Ready to accept any other DIY paint you might want to / should consider. Considering your available lumens, your desire for simplicity and lowest possible cost, and the fact that the Gripper is a Medium shade (N8) of a very Neutral Gray, you'll be tempted to stop right there.

However if you want consider an advanced Mix with more gain and some contrast enhancing qualities, simply use Gripper in "White" but the apply RS-MaxxMudd LL in the same manner as outlined.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-10-2012, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Simple answers to effect a simple Gray Screen based on your stated criteria:
1. Use Thrifty White Hardboard (TWH) cut to 85" length
Mounting the TWH Screen is / can be as simple as Cutting the 11" x 48" piece of TWH left over into 6" x 11" strips and Gluing them around the perimeter on the rear of the larger sheet so that 2" protrudes past the edge (...Use Liquid Nails For Projects...apply both the unfinished sides together. )
Be sure to place one strip at each corner and at least one strip centered between each corner You can now use Drywall or Truss Head Screws to mount the THW directly to the Wall with a minimum but adequate number of fasteners, leaving a 2" area to attach / butt Velvet Wrapped 3.25" MDF Base Board Trim against the edges of the TWH using 1-1/4" Finish Nails. (...the last step, of course...)
With the TWH mounted in place:
2. Using Glidden "Gripper Primer" in Gray, Roll on two very light coats using a high quality Low Nap Roller (3/8") (not foam)
3. Lightly sand the second coat using a Large (3" x 8" x 1") Fine Grit Sanding Sponge (...look for it in the Drywall Took Section @ HD)
4 Apply 2 additional regular Coats of the "Gripper" using a high quality "For Smooth Finish" 9" Roller (not foam)
At this point, you can shoot onto the surface and check your Image Quality. You probably will be quite happy, but should you be expecting or wanting more, your surface will be effectively Prepped and Ready to accept any other DIY paint you might want to / should consider. Considering your available lumens, your desire for simplicity and lowest possible cost, and the fact that the Gripper is a Medium shade (N8) of a very Neutral Gray, you'll be tempted to stop right there.
However if you want consider an advanced Mix with more gain and some contrast enhancing qualities, simply use Gripper in "White" but the apply RS-MaxxMudd LL in the same manner as outlined.

Thank you, MississippiMan!! I've read several of your posts and was hoping to get your input. I set out to Home Depot this morning with renewed vigor:

Thrifty White Board $12.98
Liquid Nails $1.77
MDF Baseboard (11/16" x 3 1/2" x 8) $6.45 ea x 3 = $19.35
Gripper Primer $23.98 (gal)
3/8" roller $4.77
Smooth finish roller $4.37
Sanding sponge $5.35
Velvet ( went to Hobby Lobby and they were out of black)
Total so far $72.57

Gotta tell ya, I'm a cheap DIY guy and I'm pretty happy to get a screen for less than $100 (depending on the velvet price)!

A couple quick questions. I spotted a couple Wagner sprayers ranging from $49 to $99. I'm pretty comfortable with a roller, but will a sprayer make THAT much of a difference, or should I save the money? If I did decide to go with the more advanced paint that you mentioned, which would you recommend for my set-up? Edit - Sorry, I see you recommended RS MaxxMudd LL...

I'll post pics as I go through the process. Thanks again!
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-10-2012, 05:22 PM
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Spraying "ALWAYS" makes a difference...no matter what paint is used, and a proper Electric HVLP spray gun is very inexpensive:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GRACO-HV2900-39-CFM-450W-HVLP-House-Paint-Spray-Station-Machine-System-Painter-/230791007590#ht_4652wt_1140

And so is Black Velvet if you go to the right source :

http://www.syfabrics.com/View.aspx/Plush-Triple-Velvet/Black-Plush-Triple-Velvet/681/264

And with instructional help...a fairly simple "Do". :

http://www.avsforum.com/t/865218/wrapping-black-velvet-on-trim-with-mitered-or-butt-joined-ends

Go Get'ter dun. cool.gif

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-10-2012, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Spraying "ALWAYS" makes a difference...no matter what paint is used, and a proper Electric HVLP spray gun is very inexpensive:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/GRACO-HV2900-39-CFM-450W-HVLP-House-Paint-Spray-Station-Machine-System-Painter-/230791007590#ht_4652wt_1140
And so is Black Velvet if you go to the right source :
http://www.syfabrics.com/View.aspx/Plush-Triple-Velvet/Black-Plush-Triple-Velvet/681/264
And with instructional help...a fairly simple "Do". :
http://www.avsforum.com/t/865218/wrapping-black-velvet-on-trim-with-mitered-or-butt-joined-ends
Go Get'ter dun. cool.gif

Will do! So is this how the addiction starts? tongue.gif
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-11-2012, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgrant34 View Post

Will do! So is this how the addiction starts? tongue.gif


Absewlootly it is. First you acquire the needed items, "cook up" a dastardly brew from off some "Wall", and eventually your found unconscious in a chair one morning with a Blue light shining down from above.

I blame myself.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-11-2012, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Absewlootly it is. First you acquire the needed items, "cook up" a dastardly brew from off some "Wall", and eventually your found unconscious in a chair one morning with a Blue light shining down from above.
I blame myself.

You forgot to mention the 7 - 8 empty bottles of beer laying on the floor...
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-11-2012, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cgrant34 View Post

You forgot to mention the 7 - 8 empty bottles of beer laying on the floor...


That would be your own fault. Next time, pick up a Case.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
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The projector has been delivered and installed! Popped in a Blu Ray just to make sure everything worked. Projected it right on the (tan painted) wall... Gotta tell ya, seeing that 98" image on the wall makes me want to go for the best image I can get ( for my ambient light viewing).

Soundslike spraying is the way to go, so I ordered the sprayer you recommended and I'm going to go with the MaxxMudd right off the bat. How many coats of the white Glidden Gripper should I spray before applying the MaxxMudd? Do I still need to sand after the 2nd coat? Anything else I should be thinking about/considering?

Thanks again for the help!
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgrant34 View Post

The projector has been delivered and installed! Popped in a Blu Ray just to make sure everything worked. Projected it right on the (tan painted) wall... Gotta tell ya, seeing that 98" image on the wall makes me want to go for the best image I can get ( for my ambient light viewing).
Soundslike spraying is the way to go, so I ordered the sprayer you recommended and I'm going to go with the MaxxMudd right off the bat. How many coats of the white Glidden Gripper should I spray before applying the MaxxMudd? Do I still need to sand after the 2nd coat? Anything else I should be thinking about/considering?
Thanks again for the help!

Up late & excited. biggrin.gif

2 Light Coats of Gripper, thinned and "Spray" applied in just the same Duster Fashion you will apply the RS-MaxxMudd. Besides prepping the surface, it will afford you good practice.

No sanding if you spray the Primer

Go over all Mixing / spraying instruction on the Thread/s. If you have ANY questions, please pose them first, squirt later.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Up late & excited. biggrin.gif
2 Light Coats of Gripper, thinned and "Spray" applied in just the same Duster Fashion you will apply the RS-MaxxMudd. Besides prepping the surface, it will afford you good practice.
No sanding if you spray the Primer
Go over all Mixing / spraying instruction on the Thread/s. If you have ANY questions, please pose them first, squirt later.

Will do! Thanks again for your assistance. I've told co-workers about my HT project and all of the information and knowledge you've passed onto me and countless others throughout the years and they are blown away at this great resource. Keep up the great work, Mississippi!
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post #12 of 25 Old 08-27-2012, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I have to admit... I started this thread looking for a quick, easy, and cheap way to put up a DIY screen, but once I got my projector set up, things changed... Seeing that initial image made me want more! After researching a bit more, I decided to combine a couple ideas found in the DIY forums. I 'borrowed' the frame idea from this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1303114/amazing-grace-theater-build

And the trim from MississippiMan's tutorial on wrapping black velvet:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/865218/wrapping-black-velvet-on-trim-with-mitered-or-butt-joined-ends

I decided to make the frame large enough to incorporate the black velvet as well as the channeled trim, so I went with 1 x 7 1/2 MDF as the frame. Screen size went down to 94"...mad.gif Once I figure out how to upload photos, I'll do so...

Just applied the first 2 'duster' coats of white Gripper primer today. I had to order the Rustoleum Mettalics White Pearl from Amazon because NO ONE carries it here in Phoenix, so Maxx Mudd has to wait until later this week.

I'll update more as I progress.
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-30-2012, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgrant34 View Post

I have to admit... I started this thread looking for a quick, easy, and cheap way to put up a DIY screen, but once I got my projector set up, things changed... Seeing that initial image made me want more! After researching a bit more, I decided to combine a couple ideas found in the DIY forums. I 'borrowed' the frame idea from this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1303114/amazing-grace-theater-build
And the trim from MississippiMan's tutorial on wrapping black velvet:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/865218/wrapping-black-velvet-on-trim-with-mitered-or-butt-joined-ends
I decided to make the frame large enough to incorporate the black velvet as well as the channeled trim, so I went with 1 x 7 1/2 MDF as the frame. Screen size went down to 94"...mad.gif Once I figure out how to upload photos, I'll do so...
Just applied the first 2 'duster' coats of white Gripper primer today. I had to order the Rustoleum Mettalics White Pearl from Amazon because NO ONE carries it here in Phoenix, so Maxx Mudd has to wait until later this week.
I'll update more as I progress.

Here's a few shots:

Screen frame made with 1 x 7.5" MDF


Screen attached with #10 machine screws and washers


3.5" MDF used as supports for the screen


After 2 'duster' coats of Glidden Gripper primer were sprayed on
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post #14 of 25 Old 08-30-2012, 01:52 PM
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Be very careful when your squatting / shuffling sideways trying to hit that low bottom edge. better to at least set that assembly up on Homer Buckets, or temporarily screw it to the wall behind it.

The bottom & top edges are the most likely places one loses control of his consistency of speed and distance, and accuracy of his overlap. Either applying too much or too little can be a PITA.

..........but if that pain does come, "too little" of anything hurts less than "too much" of whatever..

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post #15 of 25 Old 08-30-2012, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip. It was a bit awkward hitting those corners when doing the duster coats, so I'll definitely raise when spraying the finish coats. How many coats do you recommend? 3? 4? Also, where is a good place to find a nylon strainer? I tried using an old pair of pantyhose when thinning the primer, but had less than stellar results. I found the cone strainers at Lowes, but I know those are a big no-no.
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post #16 of 25 Old 08-31-2012, 12:41 AM
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Usually Home Depot has them. Ask for one Gallon Nylon Paint Strainers. We only call them "Socks" because the look like big ones.

3 of Primer should be sufficient. if Close inspection shows complete coverage, your done. Sand the final coat lightly with broad, sweeping strokes. Wipe clean...then get started. Be sure to continue the Duster regimen and if you err at all, err on the conservative side.

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post #17 of 25 Old 08-31-2012, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Prime until I get complete coverage (probably 3 coats). Lightly sand, wipe dust away and then start spraying the finish coats. Is there a certain number of finish coats needed or am I just looking for complete coverage? Assuming I apply correctly, how many coats does that take? Any sanding of the finish coat required?
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I'm thinking about getting the greatest gain I can, given the ambient light in the room. I had been planning on using the MaxxMudd LL version. Would the Retro mix be too much? Is there a such thing?... rolleyes.gif
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post #19 of 25 Old 08-31-2012, 03:30 PM
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LL is brighter than Retro. Retro simply has more silver and is considerably darker in hue.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #20 of 25 Old 09-01-2012, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I noticed 3 tiny 'blobs' of primer on the screen, so I sanded and I wound up applying 2 additional coats of primer to try to even out thoses areas. It didn't completely eliminate them, but did lower the 'height' of the blobs. They're not really visible unless I'm 2 feet from the screen and 'looking' for them... I plan to use 6 - 8 duster coats of the Maxx LL and figure this will even out those areas and make it so I can't see them at all.

I mixed the LL and just finished applying the 1st duster coat. It's late, but I hope to get a couple more in before going to bed. I work tomorrow so I'm trying to squeeze in as much as possible tonite...
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post #21 of 25 Old 09-02-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I was able to apply 4 coats of MaxxMudd LL last night (very late night indeed).

After 4 coats.




Close up. Should I see more silver or grey?


Close up of one of the blobs.They are somewhat less noticable



Are these expected results after 4 duster coats? I plan on roughly 4 more.
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post #22 of 25 Old 09-02-2012, 06:49 AM
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Yes...the texture looks very acceptable.

But take a Large Fine Grit Sanding Sponge (3" x 8" x 1" @ Home Depot in Drywall tools) and lightly sand the entire surface with long, sweeping strokes, but put a little directed emphasis on any "splatter / bump. While they may seem inconsequential, such things tend to be accumulative, in that more paint applied on top simply raises the top level of the bump in relation to the lower surface surrounding it.

Also, always wait until the surface is completely dry (...it should not feel "cool"....) before ever attempting to sand.

As to the color, RS-MaxxMudd LL has a very light "White-ish Silvery" appearance. It would not ever look "Gray"

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #23 of 25 Old 09-07-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I finally got 'er done! biggrin.gif

Couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Thank you for all of your help and guidance, MississippiMan. Here are some screen shots:




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post #24 of 25 Old 09-07-2012, 12:17 PM
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That looks awesome. I am finishing a spandex screen but have plans to paint a screen and try that later using the same paint mix you are using. Thanks for the update.
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post #25 of 25 Old 09-07-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I would have had it done sooner, but combining 2 different frame/trim ideas was a little challenging. I ended up using a total of 7 'duster' coats of MaxxMudd LL on top of 4 coats of primer.
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