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Paint or Laminate for Epson Powerlite Home cinema 720p

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi you all and thanks so much for reading and responding to help me. I have the Epson PJ in Living Room mode 727 lumens calibrated using Star Wars Episode VI and Lord of the Rings 'Return King' standard DVD disks in two memories from 13.5 feet out onto 120" widescreen diagonal with total light control from ambient light afternoon Sports to DARK nights with movies and PS2, Xbox, and Wii games(Samsung Blue Ray coming at Christmas for my g/f)---sometimes kick it to Dynamic as all 4 of us love to play those games but not worried as have 2 extra bulbs! It is ceiling mounted then flipped for my room of 25*16 with all white walls, drop ceiling, and dark brown entertainment center, fireplace, computer desk, speakers, movie hutch, sports pictures, Dark Maroon sectional couch, and light grey carpet. Can post pictures of it all if needed :wink: I painted my screen wall with Porter Paints Satin Decorater White paint (before I knew about Stewart film screens and they recommended AVS since can't afford $1K screen)and it looks fine to me BUT we recently went to Century Home Entertainment with dark maroon walls, Epson 1080UB in LR mode too and the Stewart Silverscreen was showing Transformers----great, girlfriend loves home theatre too along with our kids and SHE said we need that!

I saw where someone posted using this tint....
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW #4850
0 8 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Medium Yellow

with Behr 4850 but I bought Valspar Ultra White Satin 100% Acrylic Latex paint since Corporate Lowes account. Stewart films informed me that the Satin paint would more closely match the capabilites of their award winning Optical coatings than Flat mixed 3:1 or 4:1 with that Miniwax Satin Poly stuff would.

and was wondering if that paint combo would be better than using a 5*8 WilsonArt Fashion Gray laminate with 3 inch black border? Yes, I will go with the Designer White laminate if you all think that would be better.

Just trying to make the most of what I have got without having to repaint my entire room a dark maroon color with white drop ceilings, that would be UGLY as my girlfriend stated lol, besides I don't know if even I painted the drop ceiling too then all that work would be sufficient considering it was a Professional Screen!!!!

Any help and advice would be so appreciated especially since Thanksgiving and New Years will be celebrated at my house when I propose to her with a special "Marry ME" addition at the end of our home movie made from this year. Lots of celebration as all will be there and camcorded, we've already talked about me adopting her daughter and she adopting my son when we got married...she's finishing school in May and wants to wait til then to get engaged so I said ok BUT I'm NOT...she's my soul mate !

post #2 of 7
Hi Wes, Welcome to AVS!

I think you saw a difference at Century Home Entertainment because of three basic variables. First of all it was a 1080p projector, then there are the darker walls and ceiling, and finally the Stewart Silverscreen. I also suspect the room was fairly dark too.

In your case you have light colored walls that will cause a loss of contrast due to rebound ambient light. A white surface is most effected by this. If you want to get a similar image then painting the walls a darker color would make a big difference. It is not necessary to paint the entire ceiling a dark color. It is the area of the ceiling directly above the screen that will cause the most trouble. Here is an example of what you could do:

I would recommend the Behr 4850 + Minwax Satin Polycrylic over a satin finish paint. Not just for the added gloss from the polycrylic but also the benefit of the smoother finish. If the wall already has roller texture, you will need to do some wet sanding to get it smooth again.

The Valspar Flat Enamel is also a very good paint that levels out nicely. I would recommend you take it back to Lowes and get them to tint it True Value "Winter Mountain" or Glidden (ICI Paints) "Universal Gray" 00NN 62/000.

The Epson 720 in Living Room Mode used with an N8 gray screen should produce a nice rich high contrast image in the presence low ambient light. The gloss level of the Valspar paints is a bit lower than the Behr paints so you may be ok with the satin. The concern would be that you will get some hot spotting. I can't say for sure since I did not try the Valspar satin enamel. If you could return the satin and get the flat enamel and add 8-10 oz of Minwax Satin Polycrylic, then I could say with some confidence that you will get excellent results.

I would start with ensuring the wall is smooth, then paint the screen with the N8 tinted paint. If you are still dissatisfied then consider painting the ceiling directly above the screen and the walls a darker color.

Here is a simple demonstration of the difference between a white screen and a gray screen:

In the dark:

With some ambient light:

I have no doubt that the Stewart screen is excellent but it will also be expensive. Sanding your wall and applying the paint properly will also provide excellent results for a fraction of the cost. All the other factors such as room colors and ambient light levels are the same for both a painted screen or a commercial screen.

Review this demo video to ensure you are apply the paint properly:

I have tried to summarize all this information in the Beginner's Guide To Simple DIY Painted Screens sticky. Take a look through that to get a more comprehensive overview of the basics of DIY screen painting.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for the welcome to the AVS forum .

I'm going to try posting this as fast as I can because I'm getting annoyed that I took 1o-15 mins to reply to your post the first time and still got kicked out and had to re-sign back in so LOST the few paragraphs ---GRRRRR! Sorry but my son is sick so tending to him too. I just don't understand how that can be because when logged into Yahoo, My space, Classmates, etc....can be on there for an hour just reading then when want to post, posted...not have to re-log back in!

Anyways, summarizing and copying, will use your paint recommendations. Lowes doesn't carry Glidden brand so just going to bring them your posted gray specs. Would the N8 or N9 paint be equal or better than the WilsonArt Laminates? You never mentioned that.

My picture is flipped then shift angled downward so I thought it would hit the carpet, sectional, and side/back walls. My girlfiend told me to just use our dark blue sheets around the image to about 8 feet in to see if any difference is worth it, they are high thread count.
post #4 of 7
Lowes can color match other brands of paint. They do this by way of a database system. Just tell them you want to color match to either of the N8 neutral shades I suggested. I know they can color match both True Value and Glidden. Note that Glidden is a brand of ICI Paints. If they say they cannot find Glidden in the database then try ICI Paints.

Hanging some dark blue sheets up to see the difference is an excellent idea!

As far as I know the Wilsonart Fashion Gray is not as neutral a gray as was thought at first. I have not seen it recommended by those in the know on that. With brighter projectors hot spotting was often a problem with the Fashion Gray and you would end up having to paint it with a clear coat to kill the glare.

At the moment the best option that I am aware of for a DIY neutral gray screen surface is painting.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
My girlfriend is smart! Want it to be perfect for her.

What kind of 5*8 board would you recommend to paint since you don't know of any WilsonArt that is a neutral gray? I figure just prime it with Kilz2 then the N8 or N9 paint unless you think that the gray tinted BEHR or Valspar Flat enamel with Minwax gray by itself will be just fine. I realize that you may have stated it before but there is so much information on here, get's a little hard to remember, confusing.

post #6 of 7
I wonder how this WilsonArt laminate would work?

post #7 of 7
Just going from white walls to taupe made a big difference for me and my Epson 720. You can see the shade of taupe by hitting the link in my sig. You don't have to go completely dark on the walls...
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