Should I paint the wall with the screen black, use fabric or something else? - AVS Forum
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't need AT material since my speakers will all be on the floor (on the stage). However, I'd like to make the screen wall as dark as possible. Do most use fabric behind the screen just for the look and color, or do you simply paint it black??

My wife didn't respond with any enthusiasm when I mentioned painting it black, so I was hoping there's a "better looking" solution to a dark screen wall (other then expensive custom wood trim, or a new wife, which is even more expensive).

Jonathan
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:04 AM
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One is not necessarily better than another, it's a matter of taste.

I just painted mine flat black as it was easier. When the lights are off and you're watching a movie, it doesn't matter if it's black paint or black velvet or black carpet on the wall. It's just black.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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Old 12-28-2007, 02:06 AM
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Why don't you paint it a darker shade of whatever color the rest of your walls are if you don't want to go with black?
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:48 AM
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Cloth can be significantly darker than flat black paint. I have a mix of different black materials in my theater - flat black painted drywall, black cotton+polyester curtains, black carpet and black velveteen masking/trim. The carpet is the "lightest", the black drywall and curtains are approximately equal in the amount of light that they reflect, but the velveteen is a light sponge - black hole. I have taken a piece of the velveteen and put it: on the carpet, on the walls, and draped over the curtains as a test. That strip of velveteen is very much darker than anything else by a significant amount.
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nahtanoj View Post

I don't need AT material since my speakers will all be on the floor (on the stage). However, I'd like to make the screen wall as dark as possible. Do most use fabric behind the screen just for the look and color, or do you simply paint it black??

My wife didn't respond with any enthusiasm when I mentioned painting it black, so I was hoping there's a "better looking" solution to a dark screen wall (other then expensive custom wood trim, or a new wife, which is even more expensive).

Show her this picture of a black screen wall (painted black) -- most people think this looks very sharp:



And here's a shot showing a close-up of what the painters call "the cut" -- where the red side walls meet the black screen wall:

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Old 12-28-2007, 07:46 AM
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I found Mickey ears Flat black which is often used here to be still too reflective. in the picture below the screen wall is black velvet. Disregard the M area as that is the front of the procenium area the black door casing on the edge of the picture and that black shelf next to the seats are painted in the Mickey ears flat black. The area between where the M is and the screen where you can make out can lights that ceiling was painted again with the flat black and you can stil see reflection off the screen even with no movie on it reflection is more during movie.


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Old 12-28-2007, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caesar1 View Post

Show her this picture of a black screen wall (painted black) -- most people think this looks very sharp:



And here's a shot showing a close-up of what the painters call "the cut" -- where the red side walls meet the black screen wall:


very nice looking. how about some specifics on the paint. i like that red a lot, but is it darker in person? thanks. later.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aham23 View Post

very nice looking. how about some specifics on the paint. i like that red a lot, but is it darker in person? thanks. later.

The reddish paint is Sherwin-Williams color number 6334 -- called "Flower Pot". Ya know, like those reddish/orange clay flower pots. Here is the Sherwin-Williams link to the color:

http://sherlink.sherwin.com/swapp/co...p?colorNo=6334

I would say the red is slightly lighter than what shows in the picture -- but that may depend on your monitor settings as well.

The screen wall is:

Sherwin Williams Promar 400 Flat Black latex

I was told that this is the flatest and purest black paint that they make.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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Flat paint (even black) can still be somewhat reflective. Black fabrics do a much better job of absorbing light around the screen. Most of the theaters I design have the entire screen wall construction covered with black GoM wrapped panels. The effect is the whole screen wall dissapears and it looks like the image is floating in the middle of space when the movie comes up. Fancy woodwork is nice but I can't stand any reflections up front when I'm into a movie.

This is my personal HT. Everything looks deep black except the screen here. I know, I know, I still need to do my acoustic panels on the side walls and door. Your personal projects always come last, but it's on my to do list:

Up close with the flash on you can see there is actually a big difference between the black fabric and the black screenframe material. And the paint color for that matter:



Same camera settings, just step back a few feet and it all goes very black


This is with the camera set on the back of one of my front seats, the front wall completely goes away when movies etc are playing, important for the suspension of disbelief:

COD 4, my current vice:

Might as well throw in some 18" inch woofer pR0n while I'm at it:


In the end I think the most important thing is what you see(or rather you don't see) when then movie is playing. I find any reflections around the image to be extremely distracting.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:44 AM
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max - thanks for sharing these pics. i am in the process of building my theater and will deff use some of your ideas
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rungriot View Post

max - thanks for sharing these pics. i am in the process of building my theater and will deff use some of your ideas

No problem. PM me if you need any help.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:54 PM
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Even with your speakers out front, I'd recommend using cloth for your front wall. It will absorb the light better than paint, and you can also use it as an opportunity to acoustically treat the front wall, and hide that with the fabric.

I used a combination of GOM and velvet wrapped around frames to create a shadow box around the screen and to hide the OC 703 used to treat the front wall.

One section to give you an idea about the depth of the shadow box:


Completed wall:

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Old 12-28-2007, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Great pics guys! Thanks a million for posting. I'll either go flat black paint or fabric, but if fabric isn't too much more, that's the way I'll go. The pictures sell it.

Where did you buy the fabric?? I'm hoping on-line.

Is it sold by the yard, custom cut to your size or something else?

Was it expensive for the front wall (mine will be 16W x 8'H)?

Finally, how does it attach? Does it staple on, clip on, or something else.

My theater won't be finished until the end of Feb., but I can't wait to post the pics. I've just decided on seats and am working on riser height, and other things. More posts to come. I look forward to your answers and help!

Jonathan
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caesar1 View Post

Show her this picture of a black screen wall (painted black) -- most people think this looks very sharp:



And here's a shot showing a close-up of what the painters call "the cut" -- where the red side walls meet the black screen wall:


Looks nice, but paint that trim A black ceiling would be great too. One more thing I like is a dark area rug just in front of the screen. A lot of light reflects off the floor and it looks great when that gets absorbed instead.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nahtanoj View Post

I don't need AT material since my speakers will all be on the floor (on the stage).

Translation= I didn't put any acoustical treatment on the front wall.

Something you may want to think about.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nahtanoj View Post

Where did you buy the fabric?? I'm hoping on-line. Is it sold by the yard, custom cut to your size or something else?
Was it expensive for the front wall (mine will be 16W x 8'H)?

Sensible Sound Solutions or Fabricmate are two good places to get GOM. Go to any local fabric store to get velvet, or there are places online to buy it as well. Bryan Pape (avs member bpape) is who to contact at Sensible Sound Solutions. He can also hook you up with materials for acoustical treatments.

GOM is sold by the yard. There is usually a 5 yard minimum. Paint is cheaper, but you'll be much happier with fabric.

Quote:


Finally, how does it attach? Does it staple on, clip on, or something else.

You can staple it or if you use the fabricmate track system. I went with staples. Lots and lots of staples. If you don't own any air tools, this would be a good reason to get some. Read through the various build threads to learn some of the techniques for building the fabric frames.

Quote:


My theater won't be finished until the end of Feb., but I can't wait to post the pics. I've just decided on seats and am working on riser height, and other things. More posts to come. I look forward to your answers and help!

Start a build thread ASAP and post a link here, in case I miss it.

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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You can probably get all the material you would need for less than $150.
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:13 PM
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If GOM is a little out of you price range take a look at Dazian.....such as Exposure

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Old 12-28-2007, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BritInVA View Post

If GOM is a little out of you price range take a look at Dazian.....such as Exposure

Or Dazian black celtic cloth......
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Max Lomax View Post

You can probably get all the material you would need for less than $150.

Do you mean the fabric for the front wall and the related stuff to attach it??

I wouldn't mind sound proofing the front wall with a simple in wall solution (like to cotton or fiberglass backing).

I'm using Rockwool for insulation. It's fire resistant and as a side effect is fairly sound insulating as well. If I need on wall sound panels, I can always add them later, but obviously if I'm going to sound proof the front wall, it's better to do it during the build out.

If there's way someone can spoon feed me a bit more on the front wall, I'd be gratefull. Do I just buy enough fabric for the front wall, the DIU kit, etc., or is there more to it??

Jonathan
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:36 AM
 
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Well the first thing you need is a design. You can't budget for materials without one.

Myself and others here usually frame out a "false wall' for the front screen wall, then apply the fabric wrapped panels(or just fabric) over it. This way you can apply an acoustic material to the actual front wall and have framing in front of it to attach the panels or fabric to. I personally prefer to use MDF for the panels since it's easy to work with and doesn't warp, then use the GoM to cover them after I paint them black. They are very solid and do not resonate very much at all. There is actually a screen wall master thread in here somewhere that will give you lots of pictures and ideas.
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