DIY Aluminum paint rolls well. . . but. . . - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 514 Old 06-08-2003, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Over the past few days, I have been experimenting with samples of rolled aluminum rustoleum on some different surfaces such as foamcore board, parkland (smooth side) and parkland (rough side). I tried both the rustoleum regular aluminum and the rustoleum high performance enamel. No difference was observable between the two paints. Samples varied from 5-10 sq. ft. in size. I also tried experimenting with the application technique to see if any particular approach resulted in an improved finish. All applications were done with 5" foam rollers.

In past projects using metallic spray paints, I have found consistency was very much an issue, so for this experiment I chose to roll the paint on in the hope that the results would improve and I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up overspray.

When applied to a textured surface such as the rough side of a parkland sheet (blackout cloth probably gives similar results unless heavily primed), the resulting image is bright but very textured. It is also more difficult to get an even application as some of the paint tends to want to cling to the low areas. The projected image is bright and somewhat watchable, but there is clearly too much sparkle/texture. Lesson learned: the noticability of substrate texture is amplified by high gain paint; texture=bad. Personally, I prefer a typical white wall.

When applied to foamcore board, the solvent in the paint dissolved the adhesive used in the board as it soaked in, caused the card stock outer layer to delaminate from the styrofoam core. Don't go there. This comment does not apply to gatorboard which I understand is nonporous and should not exhibit this problem.

When applied to the smooth side of a sheet of parkland, I learned that a very uniform application could be achieved by rolling a thin layer of paint on with a foam roller. Paint with the screen lying horizontal (on the floor or on trusses). After the initial paint application, continue running the roller over the paint to smooth out any areas where the paint application is thicker or thinner, taking care to have only the weight of the roller pressing down. If you push down on the roller, this tends to cause unevenness. I found that consistently rolling away from my body gave good results. Do this for a few minutes (~ five or six passes). While the paint is wet, you will see roller marks, but as it dries, they tend to fade. If you have a thin evenly applied coat, they will fade completely. If the coat is too thick it will tend to show inconsistency and roller marks. If the application surface is not cleaned beforehand, and if you have any airborne dust in the room, you will see debris in the paint. All that dust that you normally see floating in front of your projector lens is now embedded in your screen.

Even with a smooth, consistent application, there is still some sparkle to the aluminum paint. The sparkle/texture is nowhere near the severity of the rough substrate case, but is still somewhat annoying to my eyes. For those who have not seen it, I would liken it to the effect you get when you moisten your finger and touch the screen of your monitor, although much less severe (the light does not separate into coherent colors) and scattered evenly over the entire screen. It is most noticeable when viewing whites.

Although the aluminum paint clearly provides characteristics that are desirable to some users, I personally find the remaining sparkle to be a bit much. Also I find that in darker scenes with less contrast visible, the image washes out badly (I am using a 400:1 contrast LCD PJ in a mostly white room). I echo the statement made in past threads that the higher gain image makes artifacts and source imperfections more noticeable. In the end, I will probably go with a 'high power' with a filter or buy the HCCV material and DIY a frame for it. The layered technique discussed by Ddog in one of the other threads would probably help resolve these issues, although I am losing my ambition after breathing all these paint fumes :o

This was definitely a worthwhile experiment and although I do not plan to use aluminum paint for a DIY screen, I found that this exercise very educational and encourage others who have been fence sitting like me to take a couple hours to try something similar. If nothing else, it gives some useful insight into how contrast and light levels are perceived. Don't expect this to be your 'final' screen, but it may help you understand what characteristics you want to have in your 'final' screen.

EDIT: after looking at this again a few days later, I think it is more appropriate to characterize the finish of the aluminum rustoleum on a flat surface as having a high sheen, rather than 'sparkles' or 'texture'. The word 'texture' implies an unevenness which is not present.

One additional observation. The surface finish of the aluminum paint is very fragile. Simple handling tends to mar the finish, leaving noticable blemishes in the projected image. I observed this when taking down my samples. Anyone with small children or a pet that takes an interest in their new screen would likely encounter problems with this finish.
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post #2 of 514 Old 06-08-2003, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Time permitting, over the next day or two, I will use this post as running summary of the methods developed and discussed later in the thread. Hopefully this will make it more user friendly to first time readers who don't want to dig through all 17 pages to benefit from our collective lessons learned.
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post #3 of 514 Old 06-08-2003, 06:35 PM
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Did you try adding additional layers of a matte finish coat to protect the finish and eliminate hot spotting?

If it ain't broke, don't break it.
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post #4 of 514 Old 06-08-2003, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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No. I have not yet tried a protective matte overcoat, although I agree this would be the next logical step. Time permitting, I will try this in the next few days and update with findings.
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post #5 of 514 Old 06-09-2003, 12:25 AM
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Assayer,

Where did you get the paint? The only ones I could find in Home Depot were the spray type.

I tried similar experiments using spray cans and had similar result. The sparkle was really bad.

Now I am using some white wall sealer (Kellly-Moore Paints: Acry-Plex, Interior PVA Wall Sealer, 970-100 WHITE) left by a contractor and the result is better than blackout cloth (don't buy from ebay’s "screen materials", I paid almost $50 to find out it was just the same as the piece I paid $10 for a few years ago...blackout cloth), brighter than my Da-Lite glass bead, BRIGHT colors are more natural than....the FIREHAWK!!! yes, the infamous FireHawk (I got a 2 ft by 2.5 ft sample). However, the FireHawk beats mine in darker scenes and in general provides more contrast and detail. But mine’s sky is MORE natural and the blue is more pleasing…skin tone is better too. But I am willing to sacrifice this brighter side for the darker side…may be that’s the same choice Stewart made in the FireHawk. I am planning to do one more experiment with diluting the Rustoleum High Heat Silver or the Rustoleum Aluminum with grey paints to see if I can get BOTH the bright and dark sides to my liking. If not, I have no choice but to buy the FireHawk…or stay with my current wall sealer …HDTV looks really great on it.

So can you tell me where did you get the paints?

Thanks

Kin
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post #6 of 514 Old 06-09-2003, 04:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I found that my local Home Depot carried the regular protective enamel (#7715), while Lowes carried the protective enamel (#7715) as well as the high performance enamel (#7515) in quart containers. This generally runs about $6-7/quart. A local Menards also carried #7715 in quarts.

So far, I have yet to determine a practical difference between the two paints, other than the label and the part #. Both exhibit equally fragile surfaces and look the same to my eyes when compared side-by-side.
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post #7 of 514 Old 06-09-2003, 08:11 AM
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Hey guy's, I'm glad to see your trying this out!

But let me see if I can lend a hand here.
First, don't use the Rustoleum paints, the flake is to big(this is why you see it when viewing a movie).
Second, use the BEHR Premium Plus with style Metallic silver Part#743 (sold at Home Dept). It has a very small flake and when mixed with Glaze and flatting base you should not have any more problems.

I hope this helps!!

Ddog!!

PS. I've got my Home Theater all up and running in my new house. Now I've got to sweat talk my wife into up dating my web site.

To see pictures of my home theater & screen shots click on the www icon at the top or go to:

http://home.1asphost.com/ddogtheater/
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post #8 of 514 Old 06-09-2003, 11:28 AM
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ddog,

I have been waiting LONG for your updated site!!! Why would updating a site has anything to do with your wife??? They usually don't even know what HDTV is, let alone updating a web site...:D

Yes I noticed about the Rustoleum flakes were MUCH bigger than the firehawk's as well. That's why I went to Home Depot (in San Francisco area) trying to get the Behr metallic paint but they only carried the popular kinds. Damn.

Kin
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post #9 of 514 Old 06-09-2003, 11:52 AM
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Just ordered the BEHR Premium Plus with style Metallic silver Part#743 from BEHR directly (call their customer services, the #'s on their web site) for $21.something (including shipping)...man so far my experiments are costing almost $100 already. I justify this by considering that as entertainment expenses...better not let my wife know about this...Damn she pays the credit card bills...

DDOG, would you mind inventing a formula requiring only paint rollers? Not everyone has a professional sprayer...
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post #10 of 514 Old 06-09-2003, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey DDog,

It seems like it has been awhile since you said you were moving into the new house. Have you had a chance to build your full size screen using the silver formula? If so, did you use the same formula on your big screen that you tried on your test panel or did you tweak it? Any new thoughts on the performance?
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post #11 of 514 Old 06-10-2003, 08:33 AM
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I'm sorry to keep you guys waiting for so Long but you know how it is, you have to every room and do all thoughts neat(and time consuming) Foux,Woolly and sponge tecniecs, Hell my Theater room has 4 different colors in it.

Kin_ng5,
I don't know turd's about wed work! My wife is a Graphic Designer,so I'm at her mercy.

Assayer,
Yes, I do have my screen all done and it is up and running and man I love it. I did change the formula a little and here is what I did (note that I changed the formula only to make it easier to do and much faster)

Try to stand the screen upright some-what at lest for drying if you can't paint it this way(it will help keep the dirt(dust) from landing on the screen.
First , Paint the screen totally White (use a Semi Gloss Pure White)let dry
Second,Mix the Silver, the Glaze and some (just a little)White together and paint the screen(now if you want to (I did) put just a little Red paint in with the 2nd step, just enough to give it a little Red hue not to much) This will help get rid of that Green push that LCD PJ have.

After it drys you could be done. Hang the screen and check out a movie if you have any hot spotting then do a Glaze and Flat Base coat and that will take care of it.

I hope this helps and it should make a lot faster for you.
I hope to have some Pic's by this weekend?

Ddog!!

To see pictures of my home theater & screen shots click on the www icon at the top or go to:

http://home.1asphost.com/ddogtheater/
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post #12 of 514 Old 06-10-2003, 08:55 PM
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Ddog,

Wouldn't your 2nd step cover your 1st step? If so, why need the 1st step base paint?
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post #13 of 514 Old 06-10-2003, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ddog
But let me see if I can lend a hand here.
First, don't use the Rustoleum paints, the flake is to big(this is why you see it when viewing a movie).
Second, use the BEHR Premium Plus with style Metallic silver Part#743 (sold at Home Dept). It has a very small flake and when mixed with Glaze and flatting base you should not have any more problems.

Today I checked out the BEHR Premium Plus Metallic silver Part#743, and it didn't look any better than the Rust-Oleum Aluminum Silver enamel that I bought earler for my rustoleum experiment.

Ddog, which rust-oleum aluminum paint did you use to compare with the Behr?

The Behr Silver #745 didn't provide any less of a glitter effect than the Rust Oleum aluminum silver enamel I tested. I passed on it, since $20 is pretty steep just to confirm what I thought just now.
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post #14 of 514 Old 06-11-2003, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Squidward,
What kind of surface were you applying the Behr Silver #745 to? Blackout cloth? Parkland? Gatorboard? I find the surface texture makes a very big difference in sparkle.
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post #15 of 514 Old 06-11-2003, 07:03 AM
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kin_ng5,
You have to(do the first step) paint the screen White to give it a good uniform base and to give you the bright Whites you need (for movies like Ice Age).

No, the second coat dosen't cover the 1st coat, we all know how transparent Silver is and when you mix it with the Glaze it becomes even more transparent. And since nobody asked, you mix in a little White to make the metallic lay/down better and smoother(more even).

The second step gives you thoughs Inky Blacks you like so much and all that 3D depth you just got to have.

Squidward,
The rustoleum paints are Enamel and are very thin making them very hard to work with(a roller) and the spray cans are even thiner making it just about imposable to get the metallic to lay/down flat and even. We've all seen those Silver or lite Blue cars that the paint looks all cloudy (modely)

Ddog!!

To see pictures of my home theater & screen shots click on the www icon at the top or go to:

http://home.1asphost.com/ddogtheater/
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post #16 of 514 Old 06-11-2003, 11:18 AM
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Ddog,

Thanks for your posts so far, I know nothing about paint so your advice is very welcome.

I have purchased the Rustoleum Aluminum and Matt White to experiment with, but will be taking them back to Home Dept to exchange them for your recommended Behr products.

I understand about the first layer, the white background, but how much glaze do I mix with how much silver. Then, how much white to add?

I realize this is not an exact science & some experimenting for my CRT projector will be needed, so I was just looking for rough figures to start from.

Judging from your earlier posts, it seems to be about a 50-50 mix of silver and glaze, and then just add a small amount of white.

or is it more like...45% silver with 45% glaze and 10% white?

Or more like...

25% silver, 25% white and 50% glaze (to thin it all out a bit using the glaze)?


Advice welcome...

Thanks

Paul Adams
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post #17 of 514 Old 06-11-2003, 12:05 PM
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PJ Adams,
You are gonna want about 50% Silver, 40% Glaze and 10% White.

For someone that has a Digital PJ I would add about 1.5% (a couple of big drops) Red (blood Red) to the mix.

I hope this helps.

Ddog!!

To see pictures of my home theater & screen shots click on the www icon at the top or go to:

http://home.1asphost.com/ddogtheater/
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post #18 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 07:13 AM
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Has anyone tried Ddog 's recipe with a foam roller ? And if so - wouldn't the roller method completly "cover" the first coat as opposed to spraying the second coat ?

And what is the specific part# for the glaze and semi-white base at Home Depot ?
[edit] found the glaze# Behr Faux Glaze #748 from another post !

Hmmm - sounds like I could be "in the lab" this weekend experimenting !!
My wife is still getting her kicks in on how much I spent on my "gessso screen" experiments - how much does this glaze,and silver run at Home Depot ?
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post #19 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 08:51 AM
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Ddog - Have you , or anyone, thought about substituting some of the mixture with the Bear premium Plus with style PEARLESCENT #751 White Opal ? I'm wondering how the Pearescent might look mixed with the #743 Metallic Silver or just substituting the pearlescent for the semi-gloss white in the top coat something like:
Base coat : semi-gloss ultra white
top Coat: 10% Pearlescent, 50% silver, 40% glaze ???
OR
top coat: 50% pearlescent white opal, 40% glaze, 10% semi gloss white ???

I'm thinking that too much of the pearescent might contribute to the Sparkley effect if combined with the silver.

BTW - a quart of this stuff runs about $20 at my Home Depot
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post #20 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 12:39 PM
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Sportster64,

>>top coat: 50% pearlescent white opal, 40% glaze, 10% semi gloss white ???

Would pearlescent give you the Black that the Silver does?
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post #21 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 12:41 PM
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Pearescent will improve the brightness or gain of the screen
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post #22 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 02:33 PM
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But the whole point of adding Silver was to get the Black. The base code already gave the brightness.
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post #23 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 04:08 PM
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Hang on, time out, etc...
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post #24 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 04:11 PM
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But the whole point of adding Silver was to get the Black. The base code already gave the brightness.
......................................
Boy oh boy ........ykin_ng5 your a kick. :)
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post #25 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 05:02 PM
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I am going to try using this recipe on my own DIY screen.
First I will paint it with Pure White semi-gloss paint. Let it dry, then paint over the top of that with 50% behr silver, 40% Glaze, and 10% Flat White Paint. After that I will go over it with a Glaze / Flat WHite if there is hot spotting.
Can I do this with a roller?
Do you think this would look ok on a drywall surface instead of the Parkland Material?
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post #26 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I had $3 burning a hole in my pocket, so I picked up a bottle of clear flat finish acrylic model paint and applied it to one of my aluminum rustoleum test panels. I did not expect a miracle, but I wanted to see if it would reduce the sheen and better protect the finish. In summary, it improved the absolute blacks, but now the whites look silver-gray and the sheen is significantly reduced, although not completely eliminated; I still see significant sheen in bright scenes. Although this sort of think is very difficult to quantify, I would characterize the sheen as being reduced by 2/3rd by adding the flat finish overcoat. The resulting gain seemed similar to a parkland sheet (~1-1.3), maybe slightly higher. My eyes prefer the color fidelity of the bare parkland.

I also picked up a $3 bottle of polyscale 'flat aluminum' acrylic model paint. The motive was to further explore the matte finish aluminum concept and this particular paint looked interesting because it appeared to have a very small flake size. In practice, this paint was difficult to roll evenly and seems to contain a blue-gray pigment in addition to the silver. After drying, the metallic flakes look considerably bigger than the rustoleum flakes. Because of the gray color, the blacks look pretty good, but the uneven application and silver gray tone to the whites left me unsatisfied. I recommend DIYers avoid this one.
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post #27 of 514 Old 06-12-2003, 10:58 PM
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ddog:

I found that the rustoleum aluminum enamel was not at all transparent.. In fact it was very opaque.

Not having a neutral toned matboard, I painted a 100% black matboard using a small brush. It was very opaque. And to make sure the black surface wasn't an issue, I painted a smaller piece of white matboard and the results were identical.

I found the mineral spirit based enamel paints to be much stiffer than the water based paints after several repeated brush strokes. I think what's happening is the mineral spirits is drying the paint rather quickly as I repeat the areas with the brush. The paint becomes stiffer over this short period of time and provides a very even coverage.

I think the water based paints remain very loose for a long period of time therefore are more prone to uneveness during manual application of the paint.
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post #28 of 514 Old 06-13-2003, 01:42 PM
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OK...I got all the right ingredients...now for a test...

I painted three pieces of 'Behr Test paper' (it's just thin card and one side is white) last night with three different paint combinations to see the results for myself.

The cards measure about 1 x 1.5 feet. All mixed in rough amounts in the paint tray, and applied with a small roller and trying very hard not to apply pressure to the roller so it does not create lines or unevenness.

1st card) Ddog's recipe - 50% silver, 40% glaze, 10% white. Painted on smoothly, no real hassles. Make sure you mix it well and it's all one even color! Looks silver/grey.

2nd card) 100% silver to see what it would look like. Damn hard to paint smoothly, makes little bubbles as you paint. Leaves a metallic textured look as it drys, but looks cool!

3rd card) 20% silver, 80% white. Painted easy, no problems. Very light grey.


Put all three on my plain white painted screen and fired up the CRT to see.

All looked slightly darker then the plain white wall, and was extremely disappointing...until I stood up. Then they were brighter!

It seems the light from my floor mounted CRT must be projected off the screen and upwards instead of back to where I was sitting. This makes no difference with a plain white wall. I am planning to ceiling mount my crt this weekend, so will test again when that is done.

From what I could see, the 100% silver was way too bright, blacks were about the same; but the texture on it made light and white scenes look like they were projected on a 'dirty' surface.

The 20% silver, 80% white was identical to my plain white wall in all respects except blacks, which looked better to me.

Ddog mix performed very well, no texture to complain about, and increased brightness. I'm not exactly sure, but the blacks may look a little too black, and is losing a little detail in the 'space' type scenes.

I shall experiment more when my projector is on the ceiling...

Paul
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post #29 of 514 Old 06-13-2003, 02:47 PM
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PJ - these findings were simular to mine when I experimented with the grey-silver gesso - I did find an improvement in blacks and contrast - but at the expense of dulling the whites (like when watching water falls' kinda white)
My experiments were with Emarcs' Liquitex Gesso recipe.
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post #30 of 514 Old 06-13-2003, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PJ Adams

2nd card) 100% silver to see what it would look like. Damn hard to paint smoothly, makes little bubbles as you paint. Leaves a metallic textured look as it drys, but looks cool!

Paul
I was going to do this test, but your impression is enough for me to not do it. I'll stick with hand brushing it on.. it produced a very even, consistent, and smooth coated surface. Sounds like rolling paint on as alot of issues, especially when the paint is very thin to start, such as the silver paint.
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