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big problems painting with black

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
So we have a media room, and my designer acted like we would hate black if we also used it as an office, so she recommended "Peppercorn" by sherwin williams. That ended up looking really bad, so we switched to black.

I used Duration in a matte finish, black magic color. It covered well, but when the sunlight hit it, it was streaked. I couldn't figure out how to paint it on properly, so the local store recommended going with Promar-400 in flat black.

I thought it would be ok, but I have four coats on it so far, and I still see streaks when sunlight reflects off of it. It looks ok at night with lights but sunlight looks really bad reflecting off of it.

Anyway, any ideas? Best I can figure at this point is that I need to be adamant about smoothing strokes in the same direction. Otherwise i don't know what my problem is other than I should have reprimed, in which the local store said I wouldn't have to do.

It's aggravating because at this point I have a coat of darkened primer, two coats of Peppercorn in Cashmere, two coats Duration in matte, and four coats of Pro-Mar 400 in flat black. Can't seem to make it look right and need to figure out if I need to continue down this path of putting more coats on or what. It looks great except when sunlight hits it. I can't figure that part out.
post #2 of 27
Are you rolling it? Could you spray it?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes I've been rolling. Could potentially spray it but have been told by multiple people at Sherwin Williams that I shouldn't have to.
post #4 of 27
How thick of a nap are you using? If it's too think it will put too much paint on and make it hard to smooth out. I use 3/8" for smooth surfaces. Make sure you work into wet edges and use long strokes. Don't overwork it...as the paint comes off the roller and it starts to get dry and you overwork it, the roller will start to pic UP paint off the surface.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was using 3/8" Purdy White Dove on both the smooth walls and knock-down ceiling. The last coat I put a 1/2" one on for the ceiling only. Once I start up on the walls again I will try a 1/4" nap. My problem right now is the ceiling.
post #6 of 27
3/8 is standard, I used 1/4 and it would probably work for you since you already have so many coats on.

Are you accustomed to painting? It sounds like you may have roller marks. A shorter nap will help avoid paint trailing off the edge of the roller, but unless you're cognoscente of what roller marks are, you will still make them regardless of the nap.

If you know what roller marks are, disregard this message. Black is a b--ch to paint biggrin.gif

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I know what typical roller marks are where you squeeze it too hard and paint comes out the end. I don't do that. My problem is that the sheen is different. It has more to do with flashing than paint squeezing out the end of the roller cover. Best I can tell is to paint more "M" and "W" patterns then do a big smoothing sweep after that. It's just annoying when I specifically ask the manager at Sherwin Williams about this and he acts like that's totally unnecessary and therefore there must be something else going on.
post #8 of 27
Well you have to keep a wet edge. I guess if you're good at painting maybe an M or W pattern isn't necessary.. but that's the way I do it because it works well. The important part is keeping a wet edge.

post #9 of 27
I painted a DIY screen wall some time ago. I found the trick to getting a consistent sheen was to roll in several coats, alternatiing the rolling pattern between typical vertical (W/M patterns) and horizontal (side to side) patterns. The last two coats were rolled with very light pressure and the end result looks like it was sprayed.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
So, this may be yet another BS story, but the sherwin williams manager talked to tech support and got back to me. He said basically I put on some coats before it was fully cured, so it like sealed in the moisture, and led to an effect they call "mirroring". He said to let it cure for 2 months, then try again with the Pro-Mar 400, and I should get tons better results.
post #11 of 27
It also sounds like you might be seeing streaks from previous paint. It may just be that the wall needs to be sanded or skimmed in order to eliminate the streaks you are seeing.

post #12 of 27
If you have established paint ridges, you may consider sanding or somehow knocking down the lines until you have a smooth starting surface again. I'd give you two tips (in addition to that given above) when you go for another coat to smooth out the sheen: 1. Mix in the appropriate amount of Flotrol in with your paint to extend the open time considerably and keep the wet edge; 2. All professional painters use what is called a "finishing stroke" to get the sheen to line up. This means that you roll over the entire ceiling in a single stroke in the same direction. In other words, start your roller at one end of the room and roll to the other end of the room keeping as straight as possible. Once at the other side of the room, lift the roller and walk back to the front and start the finishing stroke for the next row, etc. until you have physically rolled over the entire room in the same direction (using light pressure) then walk away until it dries. You should notice a huge difference. Good luck!
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to let everybody know that I figured out what the problem is. It's Sherwin Williams. I went to the Home Depot and got their Behr premium flat interior paint (not the kind with primer) and it is now velvety smooth. HUGE difference.
post #14 of 27
Prime. Sand. Spray. Win.
post #15 of 27
Strange indeed. I started with Lowes black and it didn't cover worth a darn, with lots of roller marks. Switched to Sherwin Williams ProMar400 (mixed flat black from the factory) and it was GREAT. I gave it 2 coats to completely cover the Lowes paint and it's a blck hole of a ceilling. I found it interesting that the guy at Sherwin Williams told me after I requested him to fill the can with black pigment (I wanted the darkest possible) that over pigmenting paint will make a trerrible uniformity to the finished surface. He suggested the pre-tinted ProMar400 and it worked great for me.

Glad you got your problem sorted.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'd say it was just me, except it was multiple SW products, and the drying time and thickness of the 400 is nowhere near the same as the Behr. The 400... I got six coats on the ceiling with 1.5 gallons, and just threw the rest away due to being disappointed, and after every coat I was covered in black paint due to so much spatter. It is extremely thin and dries too fast. The Behr was much thicker, took much longer to dry, didn't have any spatter, and was totally uniform after one coat, which used up most of an entire gallon. Huge difference.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Carpet being installed today. Paint's not perfect but it's 100 times better than it was. For a roll-on job I can't expect any better while using black.

post #18 of 27
Just wanted to let everybody know that I figured out what the problem is. It's Sherwin Williams.

I'm not surprised. I worked at a Sherwin Williams paint factory right out of High School. I lucked out on the day shift at the end of the line putting complete cartons onto pallets to be taken into the warehouse. A buddy of mine (right out of High School) worked the late shift actually mixing the paint batches. One day I'm loading cartons and some supervisors come running in yelling, "STOP! STOP!....How many pallets went through? We HAVE to get them back!" Turns out, my buddy, who was supposed to put 5 pounds of the drying compound into the mix dumped in a whole FIFTY pound bag. Later I was asking one of the chemists that test every batch what happened and after he told me he said, "that paint was dry before it even got on the wall!"
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
post #20 of 27
Corndoggy: Did you paint the whole room black?
post #21 of 27
Do you find the white trim to be distracting in such a dark room?
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by squigly1 View Post

Corndoggy: Did you paint the whole room black?

Yes, except for the trim. It's super dark. Haven't painted the doors yet, I'm assuming white for those too.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Do you find the white trim to be distracting in such a dark room?

This is new construction and I just got finished, so I have no TV in there yet so I can't really say in terms of watching a movie. However I will say that the white trim looks quite nice and breaks up the room enough to make it look nice and more expensive instead of like a cheap cave. The white trim really pops out in a nice way, plus it is so friggin dark in there, just unbelievably dark, I'm talking kind of squinting even with 1,200 watts worth of halogen spotlights, so our idea is that the white base will serve the same purpose as the floor lights in a real theater and can be used to navigate around the room. Who knows though, I just know I like it. Also I am putting velvet curtains over the window so that trim won't be seen, only the baseboard.

The only thing that stands out in a somewhat bad way is that I have white speaker terminal plates, but those will be covered up with black and gold Klipsch surround sound speakers, so once I'm up and running with all the equipment installed, that will be a non-issue.

Biggest thing that sucks is that you have to be pretty good with installing and painting your trim. Light or at least similar colors allow you to be a little sloppy, but gloss white on flat black... not so much. You have to caulk and cut in PERFECTLY. The least little thing stands out pretty badly. Even though I found a nicer paint that works, flat black is very unforgiving. If somebody wanted a not so hard and not so dark color to work with, Sherwin Williams "Sealskin" looks quite nice. Had I not been doing a pirate theme I would have used that. It's plenty dark but looks classier when the lights are on.
Edited by corndogggy - 7/18/13 at 8:29am
post #24 of 27
I had actually selected "peppercorn" from Sherwin williams to paint the screen wall and cieling. Can you please tell me what you didnt like about it when you painted it? I still have time to pick another color if that ones does not look good for a dedicated home theater.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by llkingsz View Post

I had actually selected "peppercorn" from Sherwin williams to paint the screen wall and cieling. Can you please tell me what you didnt like about it when you painted it? I still have time to pick another color if that ones does not look good for a dedicated home theater.

The problem with Peppercorn is that is has a blue tint too it, plus it's not very dark. The blue tint clashes badly with anything brown, which did not go well with our pirate theme whatsoever. Anything like oil rubbed bronze or dark brown wood looks like ass next to Peppercorn. It would look nice if you had alot of white trim, but if it's a sea of Peppercorn, it just doesn't look nice. I especially did not like it on the ceiling, especially since the only color of lighting fixture that looks good against it is white. It looks nice and dark in the store then you get it on the wall and it looks like light gray with a blue tint and just kind of blah. If you used it on the ceiling I would highly recommend crown molding to break it up, as lots of white trim does look nice with it. If you don't want to do that, I would just stay with white on the ceiling. If you use it at all, I'd do it with the idea that you are decorating the place as a very modern room. Peppercorn and antique/rustic does not mix at all.

I would recommend looking at Sealskin. It's very nice. Actually more than anything I would recommend to get a large piece of drywall and put up against your wall, then paint it with some samples before you paint an entire room.

But anyway, it was the blue tint more than anything. It's not a pure gray.
Edited by corndogggy - 7/18/13 at 9:47am
post #26 of 27
Wanted to thank you for your detailed explanation and steering me away from peppercorn. I contemplated with sealskin and am sure it would have been great but went ahead with SW Urbane Bronze, it is dark grey with shades of dark brown. I am very happy with the choice and would recommend it for dedicated home theaters if anyone is looking for that color scheme. Did take 2-3 coats to get rid of any streaks but end result was great.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yeah that one looks nice, as does "black fox", which is actually a dark brown. Brown highlights and furniture ought to look good with both those.
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