Okay... guys next time your wife goes shopping for groceries, have her drop you off at Home Depot or Lowes. That's what I did tonight!
Seeing that she was gone and I had no wheels I literally went up and down every isle. Clarence made a suggestion of rare earth magnets for a simple masking system, and I had an idea on that suggestion for rigging test panels and full size sheets.
I found the magnets, and tested them with a piece of sample laminate and Clarence really has a great idea! Unlike other screen materials that are too thick for a magnet to work through the sheet, laminate is definitely thin enough. My problem was though if I put magnets on the back of the test panels they would protrude an 1/8-1/4 inch from the main screen. That could make comparison shots look a little odd. I wanted the panels to be as flush as possible to the main screen, so I needed a super flat magnet, and that wasn't going to happen... I started looking for a very thin piece of metal. I found galvanized duct hangers back in the heating isle. They are the same thickness as the laminate sample and worked like a champ! What I am going to do for my permanent setup is attach magnets to the back of the main screen so I can put up two test panels (DW will be the third spot as a baseline) or I could put up a full sheet if I wanted. ALSO I can still use the magnets for a manual masking system like Clarence suggested! My plan for the test panels is just to simply duct tape the metal straps to the back. That way I can reuse them and the duct tape would prevent any potential scratches or marring of the main screen. I don't think that would really be an issue, but I don't want to take any chances, some of the galvanized straps are like razors!
I'm getting my permanent screen setup just about done so I should be able to start top coat testing very soon! What's taking so long is I am working on building a Bose VCS-10 center channel speaker into the bottom border, so I have to plan this one out a little. I'll probably take the pegboard and build a frame on the back side to bring the whole thing out from the wall a little since the VCS-10 is 6" deep. That way it will be closer to being flush with the black trim border.
I also got some window film that reduces incoming light by 60% (it also acts as a barrier for heat loss in the winter). I'm going to kill my ambient light at the source! Well kill it as much as I can and still have a living room with some light during the day. I figure after I get home from work and early evening it should be perfect. I can already watch movies with my one room lamp on. It's approximately 20' from the screen and a 60W bulb, so when it's on there really is not much of an impact on things.
I thought about trying to tape a piece of the film to the screen, but after mulling it over and the fact it stops 60% of light it probably won't do anything but make the image super dull and dim.
I'll start getting pictures of my permanent setup going. Like I said I still have to work out the details for the center channel speaker, and I have one other twist I am going to try to incorporate...
So walk all the isles sometime and just look... there are things that are very interesting that you may not have thought about but once you see them ideas start popping.