OK, whats the trick in painting a screen? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-10-2001, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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How many coats did you put on, just one?
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-10-2001, 04:29 PM
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Use at least 3 coats. And make sure you give it a couple days to dry. (Maybe even longer during humid weather.) Paint dries unevenly.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-10-2001, 04:41 PM
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I built a 105 inch screen this past weekend using a wooden frame and tensioned vinyl coated painters drop cloth that someone mentioned in a thread here on the forum. Originally I had planned to just use the vinyl side of the drop cloth as is since it was fairly white and had a flat finish. Unfortunately, the material was too transparent and allowed the frame to be seen through the material during bright scenes. The light bleed thorough may not have been a problem if the material were thicker or had and opaque backing material like the blackout material, but as is the light bleed through was unacceptable, so I decided to paint the sucker.

However if you know you're going to paint this stuff it might be worth taking a look at. The primary advantages being that it is cheap (~$17 for a 9 x 21 foot drop cloth), has a uniform finish, is very light, and strong.


I started out using a standard size foam roller with an oil based primer, but found that I couldn't achieve a uniform coat of paint. You have to press fairly hard to smooth the paint out and having screen material that has quite a bit of stretch didn't allow for enough pressure to be applied. A smaller roller may have made the application of the primer coat less of pain. Eventually, I switched to a 2 inch foam brush. This worked well and allowed me to get a pretty uniform coat of primer over the entire screen. After about 24 hours the primer dried with a semi gloss finish, but that was OK. The color coat is an ultra white flat latex.

The primary thing I learned is that it takes several color coats to get good coverage. I used another 2 inch foam brush to apply the flat ultra white latex paint. The flat latex went on much easier than the primer and dried in a couple hours. The trick I found was to paint the screen while in the horizontal position and lay the paint on fairly thick. This tends to smooth out any brush strokes and promotes a flat surface. Keeping a wet edge goes without saying. Between coats I changed the direction of the brush strokes. It took three coats to achieve a uniform color over the entire surface.

Spray painting would yield a smoother finish still, but from normal viewing distances the minor imperfections of roller or brush strokes will be invisible.



[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 04-10-2001).]
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-10-2001, 10:04 PM
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I just put together a 109" 16x9 screen using blackout material. I wanted to test gray paint like the rest of the world and painted this guy gray. I used a foam roller for smooth surfaces and I thought I was doing a good job. No streaks or runs and I took extra care where the roller overlapped. I set it up to dry and was very pleased with the job I did. It always pays to take your time. Was I wrong. When I set it up in front of my regular screen for a test it looked awful. First it was to dark but that is all right because it could be fixed. The biggest problem was the paint changed consistency across the screen. Some looked very good other spots seemed to have a shadowy effect. Some looked like satin other spots looked flat ect. No streaks but it still sucks. Yes it was well stirred. Is it essential to spray. If not how? thanks
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-10-2001, 11:17 PM
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Check out sprayers. I'm just learning about them. I suspect that HVLP sprayers might do a good job and they can be rented at an exorbitant markup.

KBK is one expert on this topic.

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Ken Elliott

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-11-2001, 05:14 PM
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I did two coats with the roller and was never satisfied. I then switched to spray and and did two more. The spray results were substantially better but still not perfect,acceptable. Unfortunately I chose a semi for the spry and the sparkle effect is terrible. I just saw the GrayHawk compared to a StudioTeck with a DLP and the difference is dramatic. It is in the latest SGTHT. Is this a fair representation of the difference in actual viewing or is it just a photo trick. The GrayHawk picture looked fantastic and very different than I am getting with my homemade job. I am now using Da-lite 1.3 gain and I like it but I would like to try the Da-lite HC screen material and snap it on my frame and go. Hopefully there will be more reviews of this material soon.
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