or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Screens › DIY Screen Section › Painted DIY Screen Beginner's Guide – Discussion Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Painted DIY Screen Beginner's Guide – Discussion Thread

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
post #2 of 30

I too have an HD72. Here is my 2 cents on creating a good topcoat for your screen. My example is based on the following:

- 116" widescreen
- light controlled room
- dark color walls and carpet

- 1 qt. Filtered Shade by Glidden (Lowes)
- 2 oz. Silver Metallic (Home Depot )
- 4oz. Minwax Polycrylic Satin (Home Depot)

My topcoat solution works excellent with the HD72. I have experimented with many paint combinations over the past 2 years while I had an X1, 4805, 6100, and now HD72.

post #3 of 30
Yes, Filtered Shade is a Glidden tint color.

Yes, I tried RS-MaxxMudd Lite and highly recommend it. The paint color is excellent, but I made a mistake with the ingredients. Not having the exact brand of metallics as instructed, I somehow ended up with too much metallic. Wanting to keep things simple, I took a paint/paper sample to Lowes and color matched it to the various paint samples. Filtered Shade by Glidden was the best match.

Two ounces of Behr Silver Metallic was all that was needed to bring the color closer to my original RS-MM color sample. Plus you don't want to over do the metallic or else it will become noticeable on screen.

For roller painting, i found that 4 oz. Minwax Polycrylic Satin was adequate without making the paint too thin. If spraying then add more.

My mix will yield just enough paint to apply 3 coats max to a 116" widescreen. As for my basecoat, it was already gray from my previous paint application. So to you I would say go with plain Filtered Shade as the basecoat.

As for SilverScreen, I tried several variations and I don't recommend it. RS-MM is more the standard that you should follow.

Once you're done fooling around with paint, you could also try adding a filter to your HD72. A Hoya HMC 81a 82mm will work nicely. It lowers the blacks slightly while maintaining excellent pq. I would stay away from 81b or any type of nd filter.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

It is confounding, and terribly discouraging to me that there is so little interest in putting together a concise summary of the very useful information that is buried in this forum. I guess I was mistaken when I thought a forum like this was all about sharing information and collaboration. I guess it's really all about the ratings (view counter). The amount of useful information that I gleaned after many many hours of reading could probably be covered in a couple of pages.

I agree. A beginner guide would be very useful. It could be added to or linked from the FAQ sticky for beginners to read and save them the time of reading the whole FAQ or hours of posts. I would like to write a paragraph or two and help edit the whole gude down in size if needed.
post #5 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

It is confounding, and terribly discouraging to me that there is so little interest in putting together a concise summary of the very useful information that is buried in this forum. I guess I was mistaken when I thought a forum like this was all about sharing information and collaboration. I guess it's really all about the ratings (view counter). The amount of useful information that I gleaned after many many hours of reading could probably be covered in a couple of pages.


That is because everyone here makes it more difficult than it has to be. Screens, screen paints and screen painting aren't that confusing.

P.S. - I find it amusing that after being on here a month you are upset that no one is interested in helping.
post #6 of 30

The amount of useful information that I gleaned after many many hours of reading could probably be covered in a couple of pages.

I am curious what did you learn ?

When you finish your beginners guide to being a beginner are you going to be able to wrap up this whole diy forum in your concise summery in a couple of pages. ?

You should do ok here but do not be too cynical this can be a pretty fun and humerus forum at times .

I think you would be able to write a concise summary easier if you had a psychology background rather than an alchemist background quite frankly

1time wrote

I would like to write a paragraph or two and help edit the whole gude down in size if needed.

Me too

I am looking forward to reading it and I am very curious how this will unfold .

I think this could be a good idea to bring back a lot of good info that has been lost along the way.

post #7 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

- Drywall preparation
- Simple Boarder Construction
- Overview of alternate substrates
- Overview of alternatives to painting

This is good start, topics for chapters.

Limiting the scope and depth of this beginner's guide will be key.
post #8 of 30
tidler and rest of you that are helping out with the Beginner's Guide,

I just like to thank you all, i think this is a great idea and i will definitely keep checking this thread. I am a beginner, and will soon venture into building my own screen too, so something like this is priceless to me. There is unbelievable amount of info in this forum, but it is not so easy to find, a Guide that would explain the basics to a beginner and get him going i feel is much needed here

Thats just my take on this, good luck and ill be back soon to see the progress.

post #9 of 30
I think it is a good idea but not just from the perspective of rolling it on. For those of use who are honestly not total AV freaks (No Insult Intended ) but lurkers who come here for info and to ocassionally ask questions a Beginners Guide is great. I recently tried to roll on RS-MaxxMudd. It did not turn out to my satisfaction. Happened to be in HomeDepot and they had a sale on sprayers. Picked up one for 45$. Huge difference. I know that info has been put out before but it was not in "Newbie Format" so it did not sink in.
I think the list of topics by tiddler is a great place to start. Preperation, techniques, comparisons of everything it takes to prepare and paint the surface. How each one of the different paint ingredients affects the mix, ecetra. What you actually put on it comes second to all that. Of course since you volunteered to do this I will be waiting breathlessly for the finished product. Just a newbie/lurkers 2cents which is worth about just that much.
post #10 of 30
Don't forget to use plain and simple english because beginners won't wont understand 235/235/235 or short abbreviations like RS/MM. If you do use them at least provide definitions or explanations. I know from personel experience that when I started in my current job 14yrs ago I didn't understand the abbreviations and was lost.

I like the ideas of chapters.

Anyway that's my two cents.
post #11 of 30
If you go to the thread linked below and read entry #214 you will see I posed the same question and made offer to experiment further into a side by side comparison between neutral gray, poly mix and a gray, poly, metallic mix. I was also looking for a starting point to compare the two apples to apples on their face gray value. I never received any feedback as to this request.

If you read the preceding posts movielvr2006 was also trying to get into the same range to make testing meaningful.


As I have mentioned before I applaud your side by side and off angle screen shot method of displaying the information your tests yield. It must be pointed out to anyone viewing these images that they are a comparison of just one projector on a given size image. They are great for showing cause and effect of ingredients and process, they are of lesser use when trying to determine mix ratios for another projector in a different environment than yours.
The Bcortez color bars are excellent and are sized to 16:9. I have always advocated dividing the screen width into thirds and making sample boards fit that format. Paints that are prone to hot spotting should be tested in two positions one being center stage. I'm also looking into several test images to be projected that repeat real photos. Color bars and gray scales are useful but sometimes face tones etc. are easier to relate to.
Then there is the issue of projector calibration when dealing with different samples side by side. I'm still thinking about that issue myself. (Thus the reason I wanted somewhat comparable gray levels to test against above.)

I hope you understand I'm in no way trying to make the task harder only pointing out things I think are important to doing tests fairly and unbiased.

My plan when I get the time to undertake it, most likely next winter. Would be the three wide test setup. I then planned on equipping my projector with several ND filters that I could use to make my one projectors 2000 lumens reflect a cross section of light levels (4) I was thinking. I then planned on building a ambient light level system that I could accurately repeat time to time with different screens, I was thinking 3 rows of 2 lights above and to the side down the length of the room. With all that in place I thought I could do shoot out type comparisons with results that could be applied to a vast number of projectors in different light settings.
I haven't done this in entirety yet but it's the way I'm leaning to date.
post #12 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

It should be obvious that the lighter the silver metallic the less white paint I will have to add approximate a lightness of gray that compares to the neutral grey paint I am using on other demonstration panels. Most of the silver metallic appear to be quite dark to begin with, and I have not been able to determine which are in a grey base and which are transparent save for the Delta Silver Metallic. I had hoped to avoid using any ingredients that might give the impression that I was leaning towards any particular mix but this may have to take a back seat to preparing meaningfull demonstration samples.

I therefore have reluctantly concluded that if I pursue the exploration of silver metallic any further I will need to use the Delta Silver Metallic and to keep to one manufacturer I will mix it with the Delta Pearl.

If that leads some to think I am trying to sneak in a promotion of RS-MaxxMudd or Black Flame I just have to live with it.

I believe you have already answered your own question refer to thread.


In fact your use of SS as the control with its noticeable darker shade of gray as compared to the metallic mixture points out what I and movielvr2006 said in that thread and that is metallic addition improves gain. Your off angle shots show the two competing neck and neck at about 45 degrees from straight on. In that thread I suggested lightening the gray not darkening the metallic (see post 13) and movielvr2006 expounded on that in (post 17) asking that it also be compared with a flat gray also. I think what he was hoping to see and what I believe will happen is that the poly like the metallic is a gain improver. Each having some different cross over point in off angle viewing as the directional gain weakens the off angle light and the lower gain surface then catches it.

It could be very well true that greater gain enhancements can be had using metallic and that they may be able to sustain higher numbers before the sheen effect causes hot spotting. That testing as far as in the DIY world has yet to be conducted as far as I know.
But at least in my mind the cause and effect of metallic has been demonstrated. To your point wanting to compare them at the same gray level under projected ambient levels is still out there to be done. (keep in mind the gray level should compare under very low light conditions or at the level of ambient when we expect the screen to appear as black. After all that's the whole reason for going to gray is to help convince our eyes the screen without projected light on it is black.) What I would hope you do is lower the neutral gray sample until it hits the gray shade of the metallic you are testing against. That would be best case apples to apples test. Then the off angle shot to determine how much of the increased improvement is attributed to gain.

It's always been a given in my mind that any shade of gray applied to a screen is a lumen robber that's just the nature of light. The trade off being sacrifice some light for the benefits of improving dark end contrast the addition of the poly allowed the light level to be brought back up this time sacrificing viewing cone. It's all robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The screen can not make light only redirect it or absorb it.

As for your interest in screen texture I have been contacted by several members doing some work with this and maybe we can get them to share their results when complete.
post #13 of 30
I'm certainly no expert. But alot of what I just did is fresh in my mind after completing the BF screen. I'm spouting off what I know it as, if I am incorrect, please correct where appropriate:

: Definitely consider creating a framed border of dark high quality velvet. It adds as much to the screen as the substrate. I prefer the Fidelio JBMartin black velvet available at JoAnns. It is considered some of the darkest fabric on earth. Visit this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=652174 for more details on how wrap velvet around the wood frame. MMan likes the black madonna velvet available at Hancocks. The Fidelio velvet is $12.99 but almost every week Jo Anns has a 40% off coupon in the Sunday paper. Which brings the cost down to $7.79 a yard. Don't cut the velvet, make a slit with the scissors and wrip it. Do this job outside as thousands of fibers come off the velvet.


Mixing Paint: Use a squirrl cage mixer or generic available at HD or Lowes.


Measuring Paint: If you're going to do a paint mix with precise measurements, use kitchenaid measuring spoons (they are more accurate) and where appropriate, Syringes. Tractor Supply sells 60cc ones for horses.. They work great and are very accurate.

As funny as this may sound, have your wife/girlfriend help you with the paint mixing. I am one of the worst cooks around. She really helped me out with the mixing. If nothing more she confirmed what I was adding was the correct measurement.


Planning: This wasn't mentioned yet but I think it's the #1 most important part of a DIY screen. Don't begin until you've thought everything through down to the details on how you're going to hang it once it's finished. The more time you spend up front the less time and money it will take in the long run.


Wet Sanding: ripped from my MMan emails: Get a "Fine / Medium " Large Wet Sanding Sponge A bucket of water, and have several old towels at hand.

Soak the sponge, then squeeze out all the water you can by folding the sponge into you fist as you squeeze "ONCE". Just start squeezing and pull the sponge inward. You'll see.

A big part of the secret is to have just enough moisture in the sponge to suppress dust and prevent gouging streaks into the finish.

Using sweeping, gentle but firmly applied strokes about 3' in a line, go very each line about 3 -4 times and move on, overlapping as necessary. Don't over work the surface as you go, but do watch to see irregularities are being sanded down. Spot sand a big defect in a more vigorous, area defined sweep, but don't over do it.
(I'll say that a lot.)

Check you sponge after at least each 10 lines or so, better still, at first, just keep checking it after 10 sweeps to see how much paint is coming off, and in what pattern it's taking on the sponge. Adjust you pressure so that when you check, your sponge has a fairly even distribution of debris on it.
Watch for areas where you seeing the next base coming out and STOP if you see that happening.

After you've got you area smooth to the eye and touch, let dry then wipe all dust off the surface before applying ANY finish of any type.


Random Things: If your mix is to thick, add a little water. It won't alter the mix since the water will evaporate and it will be easier to apply.

Wear gloves when wet sanding, It will take off the skin on your fingers. ouch

Choose hard woods for frames (Poplar, Oak), less warping.

Use coarse thread drywall screws when dealing with MDF, the fine thread tend to strip out easy.

HD/Lowes cross cut saws aren't perfectly accurate.

HD MDF 4x8 sheets are actually 1" wider 49x84 (at least in Ohio)

If you plan on wrapping the frame in a material, buy a good staple gun. I like the electric arrow available at HD for $29.99

When storing paint, tip the metal containers upside down. Gravity forces the paint to the bottom sealing off from the air (someone please confirm this).

During the summer months Lowes has plastic sheets for free that you use to transport plants and flowers into your car. They make excellent drop cloths for painting

Paint in a cool low humidty area.

If you're going to use a 3/16" roller, don't use the red ones at HD:

If you want a very nice bright gloss white base coat for a substrate roll 1:.5:.5 UPW:Minwax Poly Satin:Water. If you are spraying use 1:1:1. 1:1:1 is just a little too thin for rolling very well. It should dry in approx 45 mins.

For shortterm storage of the roller between coats of the same substrate use a plastic bag and surround it trying to eliminate as much air as possible. This should keep the roller fresh for days.

You can use your broom hanldles as roller extenion poles. They fit perfectly and they are cheaper.

French cleats work great for hanging your screen. Details on what a french cleat is: http://www.newwoodworker.com/frenchcleat.html
post #14 of 30
I have an HD72, and this simple combination of UPW, lamp black, and polycrylic works well for me.

My viewing room is large with big windows, and I do not have full light control.

Here is the combination that produced the best picture for me.....
UPW flat - 3 parts
polycrylic matte - 1 part
lamp black - 2 drops per quart

I tried various combinations of these ingredients, viewing 2 formulas at a time, each on 1/2 the screen. My wife and I would choose the winner, and repaint the losing side with another formula.

post #15 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

Well I took all the demo screen shots last night but I cannot upload them to the gallery. Not being an AVS paying member I am only granted a small amount of gallery space. Putting these demonstration photos on a site like photo bucket does not seem like the right way to handle this. I suspect those sites cleanup periodically and the photo links would break. So I'm not sure where to go from here.

Personally I think the photos hosted off site is a much better way to go. There is chance of loss anyplace you put them. I did all mine at webshots and didn't even link them so they would come up auto. I think if someone wants to see them they can go to that sight and review them. So all I have ever done is provide a link. So far to date I have had 50,000 plus views of those photos over there.

If at some point some admin here wishes to make your efforts sticky they should be able to get access to move the full size pictures onto the site.

The nice thing about off site is you have total control of the content. Plus they will allow much larger files / cleaner images. Quite frankly the pictures here are so poor because of file size they don't show the detail we all want to see.
post #16 of 30
I perfer flickr for photo storage
post #17 of 30
I just wanted to say thanks to Tiddler for all the work he's putting into this. I really appreciate it. I've been reading for several weeks now. Originally I thought I was going to start my screen a week ago but I realzied I still didn't have a lot of the details ironed out. I'm hopefully going to start tomorrow with sanding down my wall and prepping it. So you're beginner's guide has already proved very useful to me, especially the demos of rolling technique. I consider myself to be an above average painter, but a DIY screen has special concerns and I was really glad to be able to look at the pictures.

So thanks, and keep up the good work.
post #18 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I. M. Fletcher,

Send MM a private message and maybe he will throw a few quick tips in his post on Dry Wall / Substrate Prepration. He just can't resist cries for help from a puppy-eyed newbie. Remember to shuffle your feet nervously and look down at the floor a lot. Ringing your hands will probably push him right over the edge.

That's one approach but I'm sure a better method would be if I came out and stated I know he wont do it. or better yet I don't think his arm still isn't strong enough to handle that amount of typing.

Stand back I'm expecting a 30 page how to will be heading your way now.
post #19 of 30
I posted a question over in the BFLF explained thread the other day. Well it was part question part experiment. If you are going to make the mixes you might consider trying this. In affect what I'm trying to do is what you suggest in the above post about trying several different bases under the top coats but I think trying it in the way I suggest below would be testing each base against the very same top coat. It would also let us look behind the top coat and see what's coming thru.


Copied from that post:

A simple test

I have read with great interest all the threads pertaining to paints that have translucent properties painted over surfaces that are ether bright reflective glossy paints or even mirrors etc.

After pondering a lot of these ideas for a while I would like to propose a test. It's a test I could do myself but would prefer that it be done by one more skilled in the application of these ingredients than myself and maybe someone that is currently painting one of these screens could do the experiment at the same time and it would then involve a minimum of effort if done then.

What I would like to see is the application of just the top translucent paints minus the base coats and or mirror, applied over a clear sheet of glass. What I think this would show and prove or disprove is the translucent properties of the top layers. If once the top layers of paints, poly, metallic, pearls, etc were deposited on glass it could be projected to and the resulting lost light could be viewed coming thru like a rear projection screen. Based on the brightness of the image front side and then back side it could be assumed how many losses are in play without the backing reflective layer.

Once you had the sample on glass you could put a mirror or bright white surface tightly behind it or even a black card to show the improved gain from the LF effect.
post #20 of 30

I think the old window pain would be a perfect size for the test. And sure why not give the one half a couple coats of a gray poly mix. It's always been my thoughts that regular gray paint and or top coating of paint/ poly would become opaque but I don't know that for a fact. Who knows maybe all paints can benefit from a white base coat. From all my painting experience over the years I assumed that when you got enough coats of paint on that the primer was completely covered you were also at the point the paint was opaque. But I really don't know under these bright light levels that's the case so it will be interesting to find out.

On the same note hopefully the paints that are counting on letting light thru and then reflecting it back will not show opacity.

Several months before you came here I did a couple experiments with a film (drafting Mylar) I don't know if you know what this is but it's a heavy gray Mylar material that I found worked pretty well as a RP screen. What I did was view it alone and then backed up with a mirror and also mirror Mylar it was around Christmas time and I had a roll of the shiny stuff. So it was a type of LF I was trying but didn't involve paints just frosted film in front of a mirror. It boosted the gain 5 fold but along with it lightened the blacks 5 fold. Like I said it was crudely done at best. I also did some painting on the back side of the frosted sheets and this did show some good results. One thing about painting the back side of a film was you get a perfect paint job every time.

I for one do know how much effort and time you have been putting into this. And I'm sure I speak for many when I say job well done we surely don't want to burn you out to this so take your time. My job as a machine designer and systems integrator like yours involves creative thinking much the same way the stuff we are playing with here does. It's always been my practice to take time to let things soak in from time to time. Sometimes being to close to a project is not the right way to advance it.
You have taken hold of many of my suggestions and applied them into what you are doing and I have to say so far what you have done I couldn't have done any better myself. I for one am enjoying the new supportive nature showing itself around here.
post #21 of 30

Great DIY pictures on the other thread.

If you are going to do the RSMM, is it possible to do the LL(low lumen) for comparison to the original?

Is that flat white UPW or something else?

Also, IMO I think you should always put up the primered white test panel for reference when you are posting photos.

I believe that the BOC will not be a good reference since it is somewhere below a 1.0 gain. I painted my BOC with UPW and the picture was brighter. Just my .02

post #22 of 30

I noticed that you had a panel labeled "Flat Gay". Is that some special kind of paint?

Sorry, just had to ask.

post #23 of 30
tiddler- Concerning the DIY roll up beginner's guide, I posted this in that thread and will post it here as well-

tiddler- When you ask about anyone wanting to research it, do you mean to ask 'is someone interesting in researching it themselves' or do you want to gauge the interest in someone here researching it? I want a DIY AT roll up screen, but I'm far from being able to research it myself.
post #24 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I was looking for someone interested in doing the research on this forum and the internet to collect information together on a topic they were interested in. If you are doing the research anyway then why not share what you have found with the rest of us.

I was hoping the Beginner's Guide would turn into a more collaborative work.

Because of my work schedule (traveling to PA and back) I can't start testing out what I want to right now, but if anyone has already researched or tested a top coat that is clear (non yellowing) and doesn't change the color that the base color appears, I am interested in that.
post #25 of 30
Originally Posted by mynym View Post

If you're going to use a 3/16" roller, don't use the red ones at HD:

Wish I would have read this BEFORE I bought/used the red roller from HD.

Worked okay, but the some of the fibers came off while rolling... not many though... I think it happened in 4 places so I had to stop and remove them.

post #26 of 30
I was using a 9" 3/16" nap red roller to roll the screen with UPW Flat latex yesterday... that was all I used. Today I realized that I missed a few spots (kind of of blotchy), so I went to HD and picked up a sanding sponge (to sand down some paint blobs) and a 9" 1/4" nap synthetic. Laid a few coats down today with the 1/4", and it went down well... better than using the 3/16" red roller alone.

post #27 of 30
Whilst doing some reseach into the clears and pearlemetallac paints I had a very good discussion with a rep from the brand I am using.

Tip 1.

He pointed out that both types are not best applied by rollers, but spay and brush methods. But he said that it is not impossible and the key is a small step at the start.

This is the important tip, and applys to roller and brushed use of clears and metallics.

Do not shake or vigorously stir the clearcoats or pearlmetallics. This leads to frothing which will leave a poor surface once applied.

The correct way to mix clearcoats and metallics is to carefully fold the paint with a flat paddle with slow and deliberate stiring/folding motion. (something in the order of 1/2" to 1" flat paddle/stick).

Tip 2.
Construction of pearle metallics and clear.
This is for knowledge of use.

The base of the majority (hand on my heart) of pearlmetallics is a clear, if of the acrylic type will be slightly milky wet and dries clear. The majority will be high Gloss level paint. The type is usually the exact same stuff as the clearcoats, without the pearle.

In a comparison between gloss and matt, when it is the matt form the additives to make the dried result matt, leaves the paint slightly milky. As apposed to gloss which dries clearer.
This is outside the main difference of gloss/matt, where gloss the paint components chemically attract each other and lay down flat, and matt the additive chemically opposes the components making the paint stick up in blobs.

The result being gloss, light striking the surface reflects straight back, and matt the light reflects in all directions. Outside this the light in matt is also absorbed by the milkyness.

So how does this knowledge be of use to us.
Well outside of the pearle component which adds gain boost, the gloss too matt range effects the final viewing cone, or off angle viewing performance.

So when you are testing or viewing the result and looking at adding a clearcoat or seeing a hotspot from the surface being to glossy, you can mix up a clearcoat with a gloss to matt ratioto suit your pleasure.
post #28 of 30
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I've got more than 8 pms from Theatre Girl! How many have you got!

post #29 of 30
Thanks for the beginners section, but before you get into painting, can you just start with a primer on why paint vs other options? Im a pretty handy guy and always looking for alternatives that i can build vs buy but not sure if it is the best route. Many times I see many people posting on DIY because it is cheap but I am not necessarily in getting something cheap, i want the best value without having to pay top dollar if i dont have to....

with that said, can you begin with why I would paint vs. buy? Is it always or sometimes or never better, why etc...
post #30 of 30
thanks tiddler, so let me break it down to even further...

If I have the skills and can get materials easily and the size of my screen is typically available for purchase, (and all the other inconveniences) we can make this into a performance question

it seems to me that the recipes people come up with and the goo, xfs etc are way more cheaper...Therefore, is there any chance i can get to a firehawk type performance by painting? or at least close?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: DIY Screen Section
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Screens › DIY Screen Section › Painted DIY Screen Beginner's Guide – Discussion Thread