FnEasy DIY Painted Screen Solution - AVS Forum
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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This thread will soon be superseded by a new thread call "EasyFlex Family of DIY Painted Screen Solutions".
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Substrate Preparation

A smooth flat surface is required to produce a screen that is not noticeable in the projected image. The type of texture that long nap rollers leave on the wall is detrimental for a front projection screen surface. If the surface you are going to paint has this type of roller stipple it will need to be sanded down to a smooth finish. The alternative is to cover the surface with a substrate such as MDF, 1/8" hardboard or masonite.

For detailed instructions on drywall substrate preparation please refer to Dry Wall / Substrate Preparation chapter-post that was provided by MississippiMan in the Beginner's Guide To DIY Screens .


Wet Sanding

Typically the interior walls of homes are painted with latex paint. Latex is a rubber like material. If you try to sand it with an orbital sander you will soon learn why wet sanding is necessary. The latex paint will roll up into little rubber balls and render the sand paper useless. Wet sanding is done with a special sanding sponge that you get wet. The water prevents the latex from clogging up the sand paper.

From what little I have read in the forum it is best to use long sweeping strokes with the sanding sponge. Unfortunately I have no first hand experience with wet sanding a screen sized area of a wall so I cannot provide anymore direction than that.


Sandable Primer

I believe there are some sandable primer products on the market. This type of primer is almost like a skim coat of drywall compound. It drys hard and can be sanded like drywall compound.


Fresh Screen Substrate

In many cases the wall would require an inordinate amount of repair and sanding to achieve a smooth flat surface. In that case it may be necessary to install a fresh substrate to paint. It is possible to order MDF in sizes large enough to make a 120" 16:9 screen. The MDF should be primed to seal the surface and prepare it to take the latex base layer screen paint. It is also possible to get 4x8 sheets of masonite or hardboard that are smooth and would make good paint substrates.


Smooth White Primed Surface

The following posts assume you will prepare a suitable substrate and prime it with a good quality white primer. The best foundation for the FnEasy solution is a smooth surface with a uniform matte white finish.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Flat Latex Paint Layer

This is the layer that determines the color of the screen. There are many choices of gray paints that can be used for this layer. If you have already found a gray that you are satisfied with then use it. Ideally any gray used for a projection screen should be as neutral as possible. With that in mind I have determine a set of tint formulas that will produce near neutral shades of gray. If a white screen is desired then simply use the Behr UPW #1050 untinted.


FnEasy Custom Tinted Behr UPW

The following custom tint formulas will produce shades of balanced gray. What I mean by balanced is that the Red and Blue RGB value are very close and the Green is slightly lower. This represents the V RGB curve that you may have heard refered to in other threads.

Through experimentation it was determined that a ratio of (2:1) of Lamp Black to Yellow Oxide will result in a nicely balanced gray whe used to tint Behr Ultra Pure White Flat Latex #1050 . By varying the amount of Lamp Black + Yellow Oxide the lightness of gray can be controled.

The FnEasy Naming convention is "FnEasy-nn", where nn stands for the number of 48th oz. of Lamp Black used in the tint. Based on the (2:1) ratio the amount of Yellow Oxide will always be 1/2 of the amount of Lamp Black.

All of the following tint formulas are for a quart of Behr UPW Flat Latex #1050 .
To convert to gallon tint formulas, just multiply all the values by 4.

FnEasy Tint Formulas for a Quart of Behr UPW #1050 Flat Latex:

------------------------------
FnEasy-01 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 1 0 Lamp Black
0 0 1 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-02 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 2 0 Lamp Black
0 0 1 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-03 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 3 0 Lamp Black
0 1 0 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-04 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 4 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-05 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 5 0 Lamp Black
0 2 0 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-06 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 6 0 Lamp Black
0 2 1 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-07 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 7 0 Lamp Black
0 2 1 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-08 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 8 0 Lamp Black
0 3 0 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------

------------------------------
FnEasy-09 Custom Tint
Quart Behr UPW #1050
0 9 0 Lamp Black
0 3 1 Yellow Oxide
------------------------------


Manufacturer's Named Tints[indent]
Sherwin Williams "Gray Screen", SW 7071, RGB 199 203 203
This is a very neutral gray. It is available in a matte and flat finish. If you do not plan on top coating it with Behr Matte Poly then the matte finish is much more durable and washeable. As the base layer in the FnEasy appliction I would recommend you get the flat finish.

The base is Duration ExtraWhite matte finish 6403-63925
BAC Colorant 02 32 64 128
B1-Black - 20 1 -
Y3-Deep Gold - 5 - 1


True Value "Winter Mountain", #1982, RGB 200 201 201
Very neutral gray.

Lamp Blk 22
Raw Umber 24
Red 2


Glidden "Wispy Gray", 50GY 62/029, RGB 206 204 208
This is a fairly neutral gray from Glidden

CIL == Glidden
CIL DULUX Int. Latex -Flat
WISPY GREY (50GY 62/029)
Pure White (2110)
Per GALLON
B 0 22 0 Lamp Black
C 0 08 0 Yellow Oxide
D 0 02 0 Thalo Green


Behr "Sterling" #780E-3 mixed in UPW #1050, RGB ??? ??? ???
This is a better balanced gray than "Silverscreen" and it is also from Behr.

For additional information on neutral gray paints please refer to the Grays- Simple one can paints, and one very neutral... thread. It was started by wbassett to explore the availability of off-the-shelf tinted gray paints that measure very neutral and re close in shade to the Munsell Gray Scale.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Matte Polyurethane Top Coat

NOTE: At Home Depot, the Behr Clear Matte Polyurethane is usually stocked with the Behr Faux Finish products. The Faux Finish products are the Silver Metallic, and Faux Glaze etc. If the HD staff say they do not have the Behr #780 poly then ask for the Behr Fauz Glaze. Take a look near the Faux Glaze to see if the Behr #780 Poly is there. The Behr Clear Matte Poly#780 is recommended by Behr to top coat the faux finishes to protect them and make the surface more durable. The Behr Clear Matte Poly #780 is NOT usually stocked near the other polyurethanes and wood stains.



It is the use of Behr Clear Matte Polyurethane #780 as a performance enhancing top coat that I discovered by accident and that sets this DIY screen paint solution apart from the others.

There are three key elements to this poly top coat.

First of all it is a matte finish polyurethane and therefore introduces a minimal amount of surface sheen. Substituting it with a satin finish polyurethane will cause hot spotting.

Secondly it is used unaltered. Do not add anything and that includes water. Adding any color ingredients will make applying a uniform coating much more difficult. It is clear and therefore small variations in coat thickness are not apparent in the image. Adding anything to the polyurethane will defeat this advantage.

Thirdly the Behr Matte Poly was formulated to be rolled over faux finishes. It was therefore meant to be rolled and spreads very well. As it drys it llevels out to a very smooth matte finish.

Application

It is important that you stir the polyurethane before using it. The flattening agent settles out of the polyurethane. If you do not stir it it will produce a clear finish with too much sheen. be careful not to stir it too vigorously or shake it. This will introduce bubbles that will cause blemishes in the surface finish.

Apply the polyurethane using the same techniques as employed for the primer and paint. It will look like a smooth glassy coating just after application. There will be some roller texture at first but that will smooth out completely as it drys.

I generally recommend two coats just to ensure a good coverage. One coat is sufficient to protect the underlying flat latex surface and to create the gain boosting effect. Two coats is just for good measure. I would not recommend any more than two coats as the coating may get cloudy or introduce an unwanted color shift.

Test Results

In order to isolate the effect of the polyurethane top coat, I asked prof55 to perform the gain measurements on the plain white Behr UPW #1050 samples. Here are the results:

_0° _10° _20° _30° _40° _50° Viewing Angle
1.00 0.98 0.94 0.86 0.76 0.64 Da-Lite Matte White
1.13 1.12 1.04 0.96 0.86 0.72 Behr UPW #1050
1.30 1.20 1.08 0.96 0.84 0.68 Behr UPW 2c #780 Poly





The Behr Matte Polyurethane #780 top coats increases the gain for viewing angles less than 30 degrees and only slightly reduces the gain at wider angles. So we can conclude that the clear matte polyurethane top coat does have a beneficial effect on the flat paint surface without any significant reduction in viewing cone. In addition it makes the surface very durable and washable.

Alternative Matte Polyurethane Products
Pratt & Lambert: Interior Acrylic Latex Varnish Dull Finish Z39 / Z39C
A fast drying, clear acrylic dull finish with low odor and non-yellowing qualities when applied over latex stains. Provides excellent adhesion, leveling and uniformity.

American Traditions Faux Acrylic Flat Latex Clear Protector #64675 (Quart)
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:42 AM
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Thanks to all the wonderful effort here, I decided to make my own fixed screen for as little money as possibly allowed given the material in this area.

Also, I am an owner of the LumenLab Evo version launch version, so we are talking about getting an entry level projector working with said screen as best as I can with this DIY, coupled with the Evo's limited specs and my living space.

I know I could have started with a cheaper substrate had I known I wanted gray, but I thought the Polywall would be all I needed. However, when I put some gray painted WA-DW samples up against the Polywall, the Evo needs a gray screen to draw out more contrast, and it has the lumens necessary to light up a gray. So I had only one option and that was to paint my Polywall.

Here is my post at Lumenlab. I am very happy with the color and contrast of this finished screen due to all the research performed here, many thanks to Tiddler too.

==========================================================
============ Plain White Polywall Board ===============
==========================================================


Quote:


So after following all the DIY stuff over at AVS Science, I finally decided whether I could build the cheapest screen I could, and if it failed to work out, I would just go buy either the LL electric screen or the Monoprice electric screen. I figure my total cost of all the material is about $65.

Took about all day, due to my only power tools being a cordless drill and new stapler, and my only saw being a hacksaw, but I finally framed and felted my frame, and got the Polywall stapled to the frame. My biggest hurdle was not actually in building the screen, but the fact that my screen has to sit off my wall about 10 inches, to clear the mantel and the wall artwork. I tried a few things and finally got it to sit on my mantel and then suspend off the wall using a couple of those double hooks with the threaded middle section that loosens or tightens both hooks. These mount to the sides of the frame and then to hooks in the wall a few inches above.

Anyway, the picture is pretty nice, I still wish Parkland Plastics would make a gray polywall, I tried a sample of Wilsonart Designer White, and painted a few different gray sections on it. I really liked the contrast of the gray, but this white screen will work.

Our living room is the worst possible layout for a PJ. Cathredal ceilings, every single ceiling and wall is white. White vinyl blinds on the windows, and a wide viewing area. Nothing even close to a theatre room. But anyway, here is how it all worked out using the Evo with a Parkland Polywall DIY screen. Loads better than my white wall, but now that I am projecting 10" forward, my screen size is now down to a 96" instead of 105".

Pic of screen in fully lit room:


Pic of screen in dark room:


==========================================================
============ NOW for the Painted Gray Coat ===============
==========================================================

Okay, got my two coats of DIY Gray put on the screen using a roller, then two coats of Behr flat poly.

Recipe (2 coats):

Behr bright white #1050 (quart)
0 4 0 lamp black
0 1 0 yellow oxide (mixed at Home Depot)

Plus (2 coats):

Behr Flat Poly (quart)

Here are the before and after results:

BEFORE GRAY: Plain Polywall Board, at night with lights very dim:


AFTER GRAY: Gray/Flat Poly Coated Polywall Board, at night with lights very dim:


Gray/Flat Poly Coated Polywall Board, during day:


Gray/Flat Poly Coated Polywall Board, at night with lights on normal:


For those that want to know how this looks with the Xbox 360 projecting at 1080i and the Evo downscaling it:

Gray/Flat Poly Coated Polywall Board, at night with lights on normal:


Gray/Flat Poly Coated Polywall Board, at night with lights very dim:
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:42 PM
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Some Fifth Element shots that show some of the contrast of this very simple 2+2 gray/poly combo with the Evo 1.0 projector. Very dark room, the only light was up in the loft at the desk where my daughter was on the computer.

Funny thing, the opera music piece on this movie also plays at some point in the Rainbow Six Vegas game, as you are running around a theater building, you can hear it in the background.



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Old 01-11-2007, 11:14 AM
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that grey coat sure added alot of detail, I am watching this thread closely as I will be painting my own screen within the next month in a completely light controlled room but some dimming lights during movies.

In the world of the blind, the One Eye'd man is king.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutzal View Post

that grey coat sure added alot of detail, I am watching this thread closely as I will be painting my own screen within the next month in a completely light controlled room but some dimming lights during movies.

With those of us that cannot control ambient light and have wide rooms, the only real screen I would consider at this point after having tried so many dalite and laminate samples would be some form of a gray screen, painted or pigmented. It really provides the needed contrast to make the colors pop more and detail to show a bit more than a 1.0 or higher gain white screen. Of course, I am working with a low-end Evo projector, so I can only imagine how this would look with a higher res PJ with better contrast and output. However my goal was to use the Evo as my evening television, and it does that quite admirably.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:01 PM
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Tiddler, it might be good either on this thread or another one to build a database of info with 2-5 screen shots from each person. It would be useful for new folks to dig through and find a configuration that closely matches what they want to do.

Here is what I see could provide a useful template (take space out before ending brackets)

[SIZE=4 ]
[b ]Room Condition: [/b ]
[b ]Light Control: [/b ]
[b ]Projector: [/b ]
[b ]Screen Make: [/b ]
[b ]Screen Material: [/b ]
[b ]Screen Size: [/b ]
[b ]Approx DIY cost: [/b ]
[b ]Alterations: [/b ]
[b ]Recipe if applic: [/b ]
[/SIZE ]


EDIT: I started a new thread for this due to all the ingenuity on this forum and diversity of different DIY projects.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=785709
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:27 AM
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Picked up some Matte #780 today - finally found it at Home Depot. Eventually I'll get around to my FNEasy project.

GL
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Old 01-13-2007, 08:01 PM
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Tiddler,What software are people using to adjust their projectors ? For Brightness and contrast calibrations..
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I have the Extreme Version of Terminator 2 and it has a very simple THX calibration on it. I also have the Digital Video Essentials dvd but I found it too confusing.

Ditto, I used the THX calibration on Cars, and it is on many other DVDs as well.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:20 PM
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do all paints use the same tint? can i take your paint code to another a paint store with a different band of paint use it?

i would like to use a light grey, and am going to put cmra's silver top mix on it.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:18 PM
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i was thinking of using benjermin moore, i have access to behr, i was just never very impressed with their paint. benjermin moore always seemed to be a better paint, better coverage, less coats and easier to not leave roller lines or brush marks. the store is also closer... :P

also the home depos ive been in never carry kilz2, and benjermin moore has a primer called fresh start, which ill use regardless, as its probably the best primer ive used in terms of coverage.

i love the concept of using munsell greys, being an engineer, i loved engineering solutions! :P

im not sure if benjermin moore carries a clear water based flat poly and silver, but id like to use that as well, and possibly try the silver top coat. im not sure how transparent the silver top coat is. i maybe able to get away with using just a tinted primer. probably end up being just a last minute decision in the store.
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:21 AM
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I had some great results with using the Winter Mountain #1982 flat paint. I tried the technique that Tiddler talked about using matte poly over the grey.

Page 3 shows some examples with a piece of grey board in front of my RS_MAX screen.

I used a base of glossy white, the grey flat paint then one coat of the matte poly over.

The blacks are great, the whites and color are very good. The screen does very well with light on in the room also.

This is a great one paint method!!

http://focus.its.wesleyan.edu/gallery/album03
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:07 AM
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Ken,

Thanks for the feedback on the Winter Mountain. So it sounds like you prefer it over the RS_MAX?

I was thinking about using the WM with either some metallic silver in the paint or MS in the topcoat. My thoughts are this will hopefully add some gain to the screen while still offering the attributes you've mentioned.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:42 AM
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The main reason I am trying different mixes is because of the results of rolling RS-MAX. I thought I was pretty good at rolling but I still can see vertical lines when a white screen or a sky seen is shown. I also get a grey look over the entire screen. I think this is the metalics not laying down uniformally.

I was able to roll the grey screen without any problems and the same for the top coat of poly.

I also tried adding a semi-gloss poly into the grey but the matee over coat seems to work better. I also did many test paints using Silver Screen.

I think RS-MAX is a great mix but you need to spray it.

Thanks again Tiddler and wBassett.

Now I need to paint a full size screen...
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:12 AM
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Sorry Tiddler I forgot, Yes the sceen is still calibrated to the RS-MAX mix. I will be changing this as soon as I paint the new screen. This is a 85" screen, the projector is the Pansonic AE-900U.

I also noticed that the Winter Mountain/Poly works great with the lights on.
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktaillon View Post

I also noticed that the Winter Mountain/Poly works great with the lights on.

Does it look noticeably better than the RS_MAX with ambient light?

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:39 AM
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RS-MAX is very good in the light but I would say this is a little better. But it seems to be a trade off. The darker the mix the better the blacks. The Winter Mountain seems to be in a good trade off spot. Great blacks and still very good whites and color(with the poly top coat).

Some of the other one paint mixes have great blacks but the whites look a little grey.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

Thanks for the screen shots ktaillon.

Is the projector calibrated for the RS-MaxxMudd screen?

This is a good comparison shot:


It shows that RS-MaxxMudd has the edge as far as image quality is concerned but for the beginner the FnEasy approach may be more likely to turn out uniform on the first try.

I think the image quality in both look very good. The only thing I see that the panel looks a little darker, but not drastically. Whites look very white and the color reproduction looks just as good. WM is a darker shade of gray, so it will be a little darker in direct comparison like this, that is not an excuse by no means just pointing out that even a darker gray commercial screen is going to exhibit the same things when compared to a lighter screen.

I'm positive once a full size screen is up and the projector is fully calibrated for the shade, the screen will look fantastic.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:34 AM
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ktaillon: why didn't you just use Winter Mountain in an eggshell vs. WM flat w/ a coat of matte poly?
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:05 PM
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Where can I score some Wintermountain?
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I received some test results and the (2:1) ratio of Lamp Black to Yellow Oxide produces a very well balance neutral gray.

Quart Formula:
Behr UPW Flat Latex #1050
0 6 0 Lamp Black
0 3 0 Yellow Oxide
RGB = 202 197 203


You can vary the shade by increasing or decreasing the amount of Lamp Black while maintaining the (2:1) ratio with Yellow Oxide. I would not recommend more than 0 8 0 Lamp Black.

The next thing we will look at is what effect the poly top coat is having on gain and viewing cone.

I went with the 0 6 0 Lamp Black, 0 3 0 Yellow Oxide today. I started the painting , hopefully everything turns out good!
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:31 PM
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Hi Tiddler,
I painted my Parkland with a primer and UPW about 2 years ago. Is it too late to go ahead now with the Poly? Do I need to start with the base again??
Thanks,
Imu

at somepoint you stop the research and just buy it
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:50 PM
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As long as the base paint is still in good shape and has no defects, you are okay to poly over it.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:32 AM
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Kenyee,

I did not try the matte finish WM but I did try WM/matte poly and also WM/semi-gloss poly mixed together. Didn't make as much of a difference as rolling the matte poly over the flat WM paint.

There is something good going on when you apply the poly by itself over the flat paint.

I will be painting my 85" screen (again HA HA) with WM and matte poly over it, then I'll recalibrate the projector and get some more screen shots. I hope soon, it's been so cold out side.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ktaillon View Post

I did not try the matte finish WM but I did try WM/matte poly and also WM/semi-gloss poly mixed together. Didn't make as much of a difference as rolling the matte poly over the flat WM paint.
There is something good going on when you apply the poly by itself over the flat paint.

Thanks. I was mainly curious what the visual difference was between using straight WM eggshell vs. flat WM+polytopcoat to see if the poly topcoat layer could be avoided for those of us who are lazy :-)

The only comment I could find was that eggshell should be avoided because it hotspots which doesn't make sense to me because a poly layer should hotspot as well (hotspots being excessive reflection at a certain angle IMO), but given that I've used glidden gripper primer and it's also an eggshell-like finish and I have no hotspotting issues, I'm tempted to go w/ WM eggshell unless WM flat+poly is a lot better...
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:49 PM
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It's nice to know someone else has finally confirmed this and it's not just my imagination.

Thanks

You'll be getting more feedback from me soon on this. I went against YOUR grain and doctored a GALLON of UPW with:

0 8 0 Lamp Black

0 4 0 Yellow Oxide

This was based on your formula for a QUART and the guy on the Simple Gray thread who was happy with his slightly gray screen who also butchered your recommended formula. I'm breaking new ground.....hehehe.

I also bought a quart of the Behr #780 Poly (you never mentioned that this stuff is $14 a quart and the lady at Home Depot thought I was having a heart attack).

Seriously, I'm a newb and currently watching on two coats of Kilz with a light cannon (Panny Ax100) in a dark room.

Will paint this weekend and report back. I have my new little bitty foam rollers ready to go. Thanks for all the work and info you have provided for this endeavor.

Incremental Approach Stage #2 is in the works.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:03 PM
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Right now I have basically an FnEasy solution going that I have been talking about in my wimpy low power projector thread, where I put 2 coats of Kilz 2 on my basement wall, covered that with 2 coats of UPW, and just put on 2 coats of poly (wow, what a difference that made!).

Anyway, while I was shelling out the $$ for a quart of poly at HD, I saw what was (for me, at least) an new type of roller, called a mini roller. The roller frame is basically a 1/4 inch rod (including the part the roller spins on), and the rollers are about 6-8" long and about an inch in diameter. They come in various naps, I used a pink 1/4 inch nap for the poly. The roller frames come in a couple of different lengths, I bought one that was a couple of feet long. Here are a couple of links I googled to show what I am talking about.

http://colorify.en.alibaba.com/produ...er_Frames.html

http://www.alibaba.com/catalog/11542...ni_Roller.html

I was surprised at how easy it was to use these for the poly coats, and the rollers were about a buck each in a 12-pack. I don't know how these would do for a whole room paint job, but for painting a screen area they seem pretty nice! They seemed to me to be lighter and give more control than the standard rollers. But then again, I'm a computer geek, not a painter...
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