Please read this entire first post before painting.
This is a ~400lumen projector hitting a 110" screen that is made of an $8panel covered in $30worth of paint!
A black zero-edge for less than a night out?..yes you can.
The picture above is using 1quart of RalphLauren metallic "untinted" (HomeDepot recently replaced this with a similar PPG tintable metallic) mixed with 1quart of flat/matte-black "Deep Onyx", rolled onto a lightweight 1/4" MDF panel.
But, a quart of metallic-"untinted" mixed with 15oz flat-grey tinted "Grey Tabby" is my current favorite darker mix, and a quart of metallic-"untinted" mixed with 9oz-10oz flat-grey tinted-"Seal Grey" is a brighter all-around mix that is very well behaved for most situations.
The idea behind this mix is to have a black or dark-colored light-fighting screen that can be rolled-on or sprayed-on easily and inexpensively and paired with nearly any projector you might have.
No high-gain screen works particularly well with a true short-throw projector. These fall into that category.
-Each mix will consist of only two ingredients; a water-based metallic for one, and a dark-base (flat/matte grey or black) for the other.
-The two ingredients will simply be mixed together and rolled on with a standard 1/4" nap roller (not foam), or sprayed with an inexpensive HVLP paint gun.
-Two rolled coats is typical if painting over a fairly different color, use only the flat/matte for the first coat, then make your mix and apply it as the second coat..1quart total of mix is plenty for a 4.5x8ft (110") screen.
-I'm mostly working with RalphLauren or PPG metallic (available at HomeDepot) and Rustoleum Metallic Accents (available at Lowe's), but there are many alternative metallics that can also work for anyone unable to acquire one brand or another. FolkArt and Rustoleum make excellent metallics as well, though they are only available already tinted and require different amounts to achieve the same brightness.
If you'd like to have a little freedom with your mix choices, here's a chart that might help you choose for rolling.
Just pick a ratio of metallic:flat/matte and pick the color of the flat/matte.
Mixing the darkest flat/matte+metallic at higher concentrations than 60-67% metallic is NOT recommended.
This assumes you're either using UN-TINTED RalphLauren/PPG metallic and ColorPlace flat while rolling onto a surface that's laying flat on the floor.
I've found spraying to be a bit more consistent and really easy with my simple setup and $40-$50sprayer.
-Using Rustoleum metallic Pearl allows you to use half as much metallic compared to RalphLauren or PPG metallic.
-Using Rustoleum metallic SterlingSilver allows you to use 1/8 as much metallic compared to RalphLauren or PPG.
-Using FolkArt metallic requires matte clear instead of paint because FolkArt now contains too little metallic/mica and too much gloss for mixing together with a small amount of paint.
Painting with any metallic or glossy paint will highlight imperfections in the surface you are painting. If you are painting onto something other than a smooth panel, shine a bright light at a sharp angle across your planned surface and be prepared to sand it smooth.
Here are some excellent paint-rolling instructions, courtesy of a more experienced painter than myself:
Originally Posted by TiresmokinV8
... Used a 1/4" nap roller, the longer rollers not the 3" wide ones.
I never loaded the roller up with a ton of paint so that it would be easier to do a light coat each time. I didn't use any pressure forcing the roller into the wall, just let it do its job. Speed I'd say was a slower pace. I never ended a pass in the middle of the wall. After painting a section I went back and ran the roller edge to edge to make sure I didnt leave any marks from where I started or lifted the roller from the surface.
I'd like to add the suggestion to roll ALL coats vertically, top-to-bottom, as that's what's worked best for me. It also makes it less likely to run the roller dry partway through a run because top-to-bottom is less distance than side-to-side on a screen.
I make sure to do all my rolling, loading, edge-cleaning/rolling, etc..in the same direction (up-to-down, far-to-near), as if pretending the roller itself can't even turn the other way. It's easy, and I never really thought much about it until I was going really fast on a screen and rolled back upwards instead of starting from the top again and noticed the roller nap fluffed outward like an animal pet from tail-to-head.
Going both directions didn't seem to murder the screen, but the roller looked like it would be doing terrible things so I've made a more conscious effort to keep doing things the one way.
If you're having troubles with leaving thick-ish roller edge marks behind as you paint, rolling the roller's edges at a slight angle with one end up in the air diagonally and the other on the paint-tray's "washboard" (the angled, bumpy section) to get some of the extra paint off the roller's edges can help a lot.
The build-up of extra paint along the roller's outside edges is the biggest creator of problems for rolling.
I generally load the roller up with paint, give it a roll all-the-way-around on the washboard (using only the roller's weight to push down)just to make sure I'm not dripping, and then give a quick rotation all-the-way-around on the washboard with each end of the roller (tilting the roller diagonal..one end slightly up in the air).
Then roll a row onto the screen/surface.
For the rows, the roller's own weight is all I use for pressure against the surface unless I'm consistently leaving a slight dry patch in the row in which case I'll give a very light pressure as I get to that part.
Load, roll the edges on the washboard, roll a second row with a couple inches overlapping the first.
After you've rolled the second row, instead of reloading and starting a third, skip reloading for now and give a top-to-bottom pass across the two rows you've rolled so far using only the roller's weight, starting halfway off the screen's side and halfway on the first row, and then overlapping each pass by a couple inches with the next until you make it back to the point where you stopped.
Then load the roller, roll the edges on the washboard, roll a third row with a couple inches overlapping the second.
Repeat for a fourth row.
After getting your two new rows, instead of reloading, roll over the two fresh rows starting halfway on the third row and halfway on the older second row..and repeat the top-to-bottom couple inches overlapping gentle passes till you make it to your present stopping point.
Then reload, clean the edges, make a new row, and repeat the two-row process till you've finished the first coat.
The rolling on the screen after ~2rows won't fix really bad roller-marks usually, but it can help smaller imperfections and smaller roller-marks by getting the surface a little more uniform. This is done without loading the roller (right after rolling the second row), it should be fine to overlap your rows during this a couple inches..and I still have just been letting the roller's weight provide all the pressure. Not pushing unless there's a noticeable thin patch that can be subtly filled in during this last pass.
I'd imagine a more experienced roller could skip this step entirely, but it seems to help for me.
Here's a short video showing what the above-mentioned process looks like:
Let the first plain coat (or slightly thinned plain coat) dry at least 2-3hours (the longer, the better) and then repeat the whole thing using your mix (NOT thinned) for a second coat.
Usually two coats is plenty even if you're covering a tricky surface (about a quart per coat on a 110" screen). The lighter-colored mixes when painted onto a light-colored/white surface can often get away with a single coat.
Hopefully this advice will make your first rolling a success.
Using the earlier rolling instructions I would buy a ~$10 gallon of ColorPlace(walmart brand) flat interior paint OR a ~$15 gallon of Glidden Pro/Professional(HomeDepot) flat interior paint and pour about 1quart into a separate container to mix with about 8oz of water and use that for the first coat..let it dry a few hours and then shine a light sideways onto it to check if any areas could use a quick sanding.
This thinned paint will likely run, so protect your floor and the wall wherever it could drip.
Then I would use a quart can of ~$22 RalphLauren or PPG silver tintable metallic (from HomeDepot) and have the store shake it up but not add any tint.
Then in a separate container I'd mix the whole can of metallic together with required amount of flat-grey from the gallon container (NOT anything that's been thinned with water)..and use the same rolling instructions to roll a coat using this mix.
Watch the video below the instructions too if possible. I like to make sure the roller has a good amount of paint on it for each row because I use practically no pressure while painting even if the surface is up on a wall. Even while loading the roller with paint I never pressure it into the pan..it's all just letting the roller do the work. ..'cause I'm lazy...and it helps avoid roller-marks and texture.
I've mostly been rolling paint so far, but spraying paint with a proper HVLP gun can allow you to paint onto soft/vinyl surfaces more easily as well as use higher ratios of metallic with better odds of avoiding visible texture which means you avoid shimmer/sparkle.
If you plan to spray your paint on, I suggest giving several thin "duster" coats.
I've been using a Wagner Opti-Stain which was about $40-$50, easy to clean, and creates very little overspray. I've been thinning my PPG or Ralphlauren metallic plus ColorPlace-grey with about 15%-30% water which lets these particular paints flow smoothly but avoid pooling/running which can lead to dark spots on the surface.
I rotated the trigger-block of the Wagner OptiStain 4-5 full rotations (counter clock-wise) away from its innermost position to lessen the flow of paint, and I've been experimenting with how close and slow I can paint without the paint speckles running together and forming darker spots.
So far using faster/lighter duster coats has helped a lot without increasing the texture.
The next post (after MississippiMan's) contains pictures of a few mixes with short descriptions.
Only this (post#1) is required reading, but giving a quick look through post#3 is also recommended. The rest is completely optional and not needed.