Going with DIY 2.35 Canvas Painted Screen - Any Reason Not Too? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-04-2000, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I have researched and measured and researched and measured and I have finally made up my mind to start on my screen tommorrow. I will be painting an artist canvas 31x73 (80" diaganol 2.35 ratio) with very white paint. I tried to find Sherwin Williams "Lumenous White" but Home Depot doesn't carry it. However, they do carry Ralph Lauren "Brite White" and "Design Studio White".

The reason I have decided to go with 2.35 is that a recent spot audit of my DVD collection revealed 90% of my movies were 2.35. Also I didn't want an overly larg 4x3 NTSC image due to the lack of resolution. It also makes masking much more simple. All I have to do is draw masks from the sides and not from the top and bottom.

Can anyone suggest reasons not to go with the 2.35 screen?

Tim Huey

[This message has been edited by TimHuey (edited June 04, 2000).]

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post #2 of 22 Old 06-05-2000, 07:48 AM
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Pardon my lack of expertise, but if you don't need it (4x3) then why bother?

The "Ralph Lauren Design Studio White" is also the whitest white I have been able to find (outside of artist paints), however, it is not quite matte... I don't think that any true matte white out there is very washable. The best matte white availible is a good artist's gesso white, mixed in with some titanium white. The gesso tends to have large uneven particle size and is very diffuse. The titanium white artists' paints have very small uniform titanium dioxide particles and is probably not as diffuse. STAY AWAY FROM THE ARTIST OIL PAINTS. Use the acrylics. You could try mixing in some artist gesso with some artist titanium white.... and possibly get a washable white. Try asking for som help from proffesional artists, or the paint peole at an artists' store.

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post #3 of 22 Old 06-05-2000, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm off to Sherwin Williams tommorrow with the Ralph Lauren paint sample to compare it to the Lumunous White they have. I have a suspicion they might be the same. I will go with whichever one is whiter. I wonder if I can get artist canvas in 73x31 size?

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post #4 of 22 Old 06-06-2000, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I feel like the drapery fabric is going to be a wild goose chase. I will call around to some places today and see if anyone sells something that might be useful in that arena today.

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post #5 of 22 Old 06-06-2000, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I had made up my mind to go with sheetrock/drywall instead of the canvas. But at HomeDepot I was trying to find a piece I was happy with. Alot of them were warped due stacking and alot had nicks. When I would find a piece that I was happy with I would nick it putting it on the rollerbed. I figured if it nicked that easy at the store it would really nick in the car and at the house. So I decided to add another $10 to the price and go with a $17 piece of smooth fiberboard. It's the stuff they make cabinets out of. It's very flat and durable but very heavy.

I had the Ralph Lauren paint in my basket and the paint lady said you know our brightest white is this Baehr "Ultra White". I told her that it probably wasn't but that why doesn't she dab a little on this white Lauren sample and we can compare. Well, she was right the Beahr "Ultra White" was whiter. She said it had the highest amount of titanium oxide of any of their whites and that all whites looked grey next to it. Actually the Ralph Lauren "Design Studio White/Bright White" looked a little blue next to it, slightly darker. So I went with the Baehr.

I also picked up the curtain backing to compare. It was only $14.00 for 53x83" of it. It had vinyl/rubber on one side and a real white cloth on the other. I will let everyone know how all three, the rubber/vinyl, the cloth, the beahr "ultra white", look. The projector gets here Friday or Monday.

I've already spoken with Alan about purchasing a professional high gain screen. I can tell I'm not real happy with the dimensions I picked for the screen. I WANT ONE BIGGER. 80" just doesn't cut it for a FPTV. I'm glad I decided to put a little sweat into this and experiment with some differnt screen sizes before I jumped into a professional screen.

Tim

P.S. Soda Pop: That's more like it. Thanx for the link! Was I getting shafted or what. What a huge mark up.

[This message has been edited by TimHuey (edited June 06, 2000).]

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-06-2000, 05:36 PM
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Tim:

That's really odd... I had the baehr(or whatever it is called) white paint next to the 'design studio white' here at a Home depot in Canada, and found exactly the opposite. The 'design studio white' was noticably whiter.
Was it because of a greater blusish cast? I was fully aware of such a possibility (knowing that the laundry degergent guys use a blue dye) being true and taking this into account when directly comparing the color cards of the two.

[This message has been edited by KBK (edited June 06, 2000).]

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post #7 of 22 Old 06-06-2000, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, time will tell. I can go get a small can of the Ralph Lauren and pain t a peice of the panel that was cut off and project side by side. I will let you know which looks better. My eyes, your eyes, the sales guys eyes, the light, paint batches, etc could be variables that have induced the differences in opinion. They were very close, as a matter of fact so close that if I went back and looked at it again it might change. Definately worth doing a side by side on. It's only $5 worth of paint and a little time.

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post #8 of 22 Old 06-06-2000, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I just called to a local fabric store in Jacksonville, "Boca Bargoons", they have the blackout fabric for curtains. $6 a yard after a discount. It is 54" wide and she can cut it to any length I need. I think a yard is like 36", so I need about $13 worth for a 31x73 screen. A custom stretched unprimed canvas is available at a local art supply store for $171 (OUCH!!!).

The lady said that it was so expensive due to the custom size. How are you guys finding canvases for $26?

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post #9 of 22 Old 06-07-2000, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I've started painting the screen. It's a pain. The brush is leaving groves in the paint. I don't know how to get them out. I'm on my second coat. Hopefully in the thir coat they will go away. I doubt it. I really wanted to use a wagner power sprayer but everyone at the paint store told me that it's easier just to use a brush. I don't think the paint people understood how flat this has to be. I still have the other side of the board if this doesn't turn out well.

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post #10 of 22 Old 06-08-2000, 12:51 AM
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Joe,

Thanks for the terrific link! Those of us overseas can get the canvas shipped pretty cheap and then frame it or stretch it over a flat surface ourselves.


Tim,

Thanks for going to such efforts in your pursuit of the best DIY screen and contributing your results. The Beahr paint sound promising to me over in France as we don't get any special Ralph Lauren designer paints here. Maybe some of our German members know of a place where this could be bought? (It is a German brand - or has its name misled me?) My search engines turn up empty... can anyone here post a link to Beahr?

Regarding the painting - granted you have a bit of practice spraying will give you better control over coating thickness, but cen be an issue with respect to dripping. For brush strokes, here they recommend using alternating diagonal strokes, followed by a vertical finishing stroke. Some swear by the roller, but you've got to have the hang of it.

Thanks for keeping us posted. Cheers,

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post #11 of 22 Old 06-08-2000, 08:59 AM
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Darenno,

Thanks for correcting my false hopes - found this address, which won't be of much use to overseas members (nor to US members who need only coast into their local Home Depot):

BEHR PAINT CORP.
3225 N CENTRAL AVE
PHOENIX AZ 85012

The commercial paints I found for sale in France have basic whites - but seemingly none of that brighter than white that gives American DIY screenmakers such bright white smiles... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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post #12 of 22 Old 06-08-2000, 04:28 PM
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Brett:

Actually, you have an advantage in our view (if we view it correctly). You live in what -in north amarica- is considered the heart of the art world, which means that.. what? It means that you have access to some terrific paints. And any high grade (or even average grade) acrylic white gesso combined with some extra titanium white and some matte medium will far outclass even the most outrageously white house paint. It will outclass the best commercial grade paint as well. So don't be unhappy when you have at your fingertips what it takes to get the highest grade matte white screen that money can buy, but at the lowest price.

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post #13 of 22 Old 06-09-2000, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the brush strokes aren't noticeable when the movie is playing. The image is fantastic on the Behr "Ultra Pure White". I placed the blockout fabric next to the screen and I like the painted screen better. I did get a small smudge from my thumb on one of the bottom edges of the screen. I thought my hands were clean but even the slightest dirt shows up on this white. I could see that in the image. Got scared for a second, thought I might have had a projector problem.

Next step is to try the Ralph Lauren "Designer Studio White". I won't be able to do that until I get back from my trip on tuesday.

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post #14 of 22 Old 06-10-2000, 05:07 AM
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KBK or anyone - my DIY screen is sized to maximize all formats given the available space, and I crop the screen as required with magnetically attached horizontal and vertical panels covered in black felt. Resulting image sizes are (in ")42x56, 40x72 and 30x72. Screen is artist canvas stretched, and with 3 coats of (only) titanium white (Wallack's). I notice "cloudy areas" evident in single colour scenes - e.g. cloudy or pale blue sky. Will your recommended combination of gesso + titanium white get rid of that? or have I applied the titanium white incorrectly - diluted about 25%, applied by brush - with screen laid flat. I welcome your or anyone's advice on "recoating" the screen. Or, should I recover the frame with the infamous "blackout material"? Thanks for any replies.

All the best.
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-10-2000, 05:38 AM
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Johnbm:

Great choice of brand.... The situation is probably that the paint has gone on too thick and has areas of texturalization that are adverse to or different than the surrounding areas. This caused problems in my initial attempts. But, in my own defense, this is exactly the effect I was trying to produce. I sanded the areas down with some mid-grain sand paper. About a 200 grit or so. Then it was fine. The texturalization will change the ambient response charateristics, and of course, at the same time the gain of that particular area. The best finishing tool is multiple coats with a thinned mixture and using a finishing roller. The yellow finishing rollers for stains and varnishes tends to work best. And it should be the thin rollers. the ones with the foam about 1/4" to less than 1/2" thick foam. Less waste, more even coverage. Light pressure, and long strokes. Top to bottom. Use a long handle. Put the screen on the floor.

As an addendum: The reason you put the screen on the floor is: If you move the roller from top to bottom or bottom to top, your pressure on the screen will change because you have to pivot (through the center of your double-handed grip) on the motion. The pivot also causes you to skew the pressure you place on the roller, possibly causing you to twist it slightly. thiss will of course missapply the paint and cause a bad spot in your coating....




[This message has been edited by KBK (edited June 11, 2000).]

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post #16 of 22 Old 06-10-2000, 05:47 AM
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KBK - thanks. Will you comment on the better paint mix - titanium alone, or gesso + titanium. I found it was hard to keep the suspension consistent with the titanium alone and thought that may be the reason for inconsistency. John

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post #17 of 22 Old 06-11-2000, 09:09 PM
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The big problem here is you are mixing together two differently suspended mixtures. One has an over all semi-gloss charateristic, and the associated materials that create that within the mixture. The other has a different particle size and has a different suspension method and final purpose.

So, to a certain extent you can get away with mixing the two, but you have to be aware that you are mixing together not just two paints, but the two different surface textures as well.(meaning: how the paint supends, has a surface and final dried surface texture)

The way I would do it is to use the gesso as a base and mix in some titanium white which would even up the surface texture and the particle size as well. This would end up creating a slightly directional charateristic in multiple dimensions. The gesso is designed to dry very quickly, which is probably where some of your problems are coming from. You can buy a small bottle of retarder to alleviate some of this effect. The retarder has the double effect of being a suspension system that aids in the thourough mixing of the batch. Use about a 10% mix of retarder. Use a variable speed drill mounted mixer and mix well. (about 10-15 minutes at average to lower speeds) Latex paints are designed to go on in a single coat. A good screen would take time to construct, and it's accuracy must be of a much higher nature. A thinned mixture that is a little thinner than the average latex is about right. Multiple thin coats end up being the rule. How the paint settles is critical. Because of the nature of the acrylic paints, one coat per day is the application timing.

You have to understand that the design specs of a high grade gesso are so that the resultant finish is of such a chaotic nature that there is no matte white finish of any kind availible that exceed it in the correctness of it's diffusion and gain charateristic. It is closer to a true gain of 1.0 than anything else availible. Of course I will state that because of my limited knowledge of screens, I could be horribly wrong about that statement, but I seriously doubt it.

Back to mixing:

What you end up with is a highly diffuse mixture that has a gain charateristic due to the particle size mixture and texturalization of the surface finish.

(don't mind the little '?' icon, I'm just amusing myself with playing with the icon selections...)


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post #18 of 22 Old 06-14-2000, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok I took a picture of the Behr "Ultra Pure White" and the Ralph Lauren "Design Studio White". The Ralph Lauren is the smaller square on top and the Behr is the larger 2.35 rectangle at the bottom. I really can't see a heck of a lot of difference between the too. My image is calibrated for the behr and I notice that the Ralph is slightly washed out. This could indicate that it is slightly more relfective or higher gain. But the difference is so small that it really isn't worth 15 mins of painting to go with the Ralph Lauren for me. The washout migh also be do to the white ceiling I have since the Ralph is closer to it than the Behr. Now lets see if I can get the two images to inline here:

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey...re%20White.jpg

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post #19 of 22 Old 06-15-2000, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I took some more shots of my 2.35 81" Behr "Ultra Pure White" paint screen.


http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide1.JPG

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide2.JPG

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide3.JPG

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide4.JPG

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide5.JPG

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide7.JPG

http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey/Slide8.JPG

These were taken with a 1.3 megapixel camera sitting on top of the projector.

Tim

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post #20 of 22 Old 06-15-2000, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.jacksonville.net/~timhuey...and%20Wall.jpg

In case you wanted to know what it looked like with the lights on.

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post #21 of 22 Old 06-18-2000, 04:30 PM
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Tim,

Some brushstoke! From where I sit it sure looks like high gain to me...
Nice black levels too - M2500 owners should be able to tell us if those Austin Powers colors do PoP!
(Funny... I remember those tie-die colors in the 60's as being pretty washed out.)

BTW, what is your projector/setup?

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post #22 of 22 Old 06-20-2000, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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My pride and joy is a little ViewSonic DLP 830. 800x600.

I have a GeForce Card and I am completing the room. I have taken down that screen above and have put up a screen with drapery backing material in a 4x3 ratio. I want to take some shots and see if it is better, the same or just slightly worse. I had a small issue with the 2.35 painted screen. It was too small when I ceiling mounted my projector and I had to throw something up fast, so out came the material.

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