DIY Silver Fire Screen Project - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-12-2019, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY Silver Fire Screen Project

Here's my experience with the DIY Silver Fire V.2 screen paint. I went with 2.0 colorant in a fully light-controlled and darkened room with a JVC RS540U projector on a 150" diagonal screen.

My first go at the Silver Fire turned out very poorly due to using a canvas as a substrate. Long story short, do not use a canvas or BOC. There's several issues involving texture and water retention which interfered with paint application. It made for a nightmare all around. Just don't.

Based on tips in the Silver Fire thread, I then tried Carl's FlexiWhite screen material, which is PVC and comes completely smooth and doesn't retain water. When I received the material, I could tell right away it was so much better than my old material.

Also I'd note that it's my belief that the corners of the framing should be rounded, because the sharp edges can leave viewable impressions through the screen material over time. So I rounded all the frame edges with a sander.

Because of the higher pressure at the gun (40 psi) recommended for this application, I thought maybe a gun designed for higher pressure would work well. So before getting started spraying the screen, I tested a few guns on leftover test material comparing HVLP to an RP ("reduced pressure") style gun. RP is also known as High Efficiency/High Transfer, but it's actually higher pressure than HVLP, between HVLP and conventional in pressure. It's a relatively newer design which provides the advantages of HVLP and conventional with minimal compromise. The RP gun I tested is the Astro EUROHE103 with 1.3mm tip. This is a very well made copy of the Sata RP. The Astro EUROHE103 costs $100 while the Sata RP costs $850, and the Astro is generally considered nearly as good. I have to say, the Astro EUROHE103 blew me away how well it did this job. The fan was much larger and much more evenly diffused with finer spray than HVLP of the same tip size. It made the job a breeze. Also it used half the paint for the same coverage. I did not test an electric gun, so I can't comment on how an electric gun would compare. But for when using a compressor, I'd recommend this gun. It's a fast mover with excellent clean coverage. Definitely have to move the gun at least three feet per second, for sure. Also, it does seem to need to be cleaned more than once very three coats. This was evident halfway through the third coat, so we cleaned every coat thereafter.

I did skip the sanding step and not sure if that was the right decision. The issue I ran into with sanding on the test piece was that the edges of the recommended sanding sponge were very bad on the surface. The reason is because the surface is flexible (as apposed to rigid board commonly used), and even when sanding very lightly with the sponge, the material would depress slightly wherein the edges of the sponge had more contact pressure than the flat surface, leaving unsightly marks. I suppose I could have tried sandpaper but I didn't. So the end result without sanding is a not a completely smooth surface (albeit perfectly uniform), which in itself doesn't bother me. But I don't know if it affects the image. It sure doesn't seem to. The image is wonderful.

I do have some areas which appear as minor grub. It's definitely *very* minor and difficult to see. It's only visible in the very brightest of scenes. It's not something that would bother me overall. I'm curious if it comes with the territory with a high contrast screen or if it's something that can be avoided with a little more work. To be clear, it's not even something anyone notices unless I point it out, and even then they don't care at all.

Photos

Room sealed off. The screen is wrapped in plastic sheeting during spraying of test material...




Here is the excellent diffusion pattern of the first coat over just a small area of the large 150" screen...


First coat close up...


2nd coat close up...


3rd coat close up...


4th coat close up.


5th coat close up. Possible could have stopped here. Coverage seems complete already...


6th coat close up. Definitely could have stopped here. Would liked to have sanded here, but had issue with sanding sponge edges on flexible screen, so no sanding. Note that the photos are taken with lights directly on the side to fully emphasize texture. Notes this is not what it looks like to the eye. The texture is practically invisible to the eye...


8th coat close up (no photo of 7th). To the eye up close, the texture still isn't nearly as apparent as this photo. It's not completely smooth to the touch, it has a very fine grit sandpaper feeling, again not sure if it affects the image but doesn't seem to. The texture to the eye up close is best described as fine silver...


Final texture from the side. This is what the texture looks like to the eye up close...


Completed screen...


Scenes from The Meg. Note that the plastic sheeting is causing reflections and illumination that isn't normally present in the room...




Overall I'm thrilled. The picture definitely has that extra punch in contrast with nice compromise in highlight speckle. I feel the 2.0 colorant was a great choice in this fully light-controlled and darkened room with a projector having the best black level depth. Even in this light-controlled environment, I wanted a screen with some silver/gray to it to help combat in room reflections which affect high contrast scenes which take me out of the movie, and this does the trick.

I have yet to take down the plastic sheeting in the room in case I find something that bothers me, or if MississippiMan says I need to do something more for that final touch. Everyone here says "take down the sheeting, it's fantastic".
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Last edited by Mr. Neverbicker; 03-12-2019 at 04:44 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-12-2019, 05:44 PM
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The Screen is brand new and hasn't cured yet. Over the next 2-3 weeks you may see the sparkles disappear. You will see even more improvements.



Yes...because the paint went up so even, your intuition about the 6th Coat might have been right. The 8th Coat looks like it got to be a bit heavier than the earlier Dusters, so the surface started taking on more of a sheen. Not much...but as you noted, the screen is high contrast, and everything shows.


Personally, I speak with the "take down the sheeting, it's fantastic" Crowd. Go ahead...enjoy it!

"They said it couldn't be done. Well, we sure showed 'em otherwise!"
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-12-2019, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
...Personally, I speak with the "take down the sheeting, it's fantastic" Crowd. Go ahead...enjoy it!
Fantastic. Thanks MississippiMan for all your effort in coming up with these solutions over the years and helping others get these incredible results!
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-04-2019, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Neverbicker View Post
Fantastic. Thanks MississippiMan for all your effort in coming up with these solutions over the years and helping others get these incredible results!
Does anyone else think large flat neutral-gray surfaces like this are beautiful? Inspires me to resurrect my languishing 3 year-old build. Reading, so much reading to catch up on. Think I'll look at the pictures instead while you enjoy them.

Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-07-2019, 07:02 PM
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I "rolled" back over this Thread and realized that I didn't really expound upon what a great job following almost every dictate suggested the OP did, and how it turned out for him.


Big is best...and do-able by anyone with the want, will, and whereto-fore to get'ter dun.


All in all an excellent result!


Now I want to see more screen shots and Theater shots.


Please.

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post #6 of 11 Old 04-08-2019, 05:18 AM
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I love the progression shown in the photos for the different coats. It would be interesting to see an image projected on the intermediate layers to see how it improves from bare substrate to final coat to fully cured final coat.

Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?

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post #7 of 11 Old 04-08-2019, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adult Beverage View Post
I love the progression shown in the photos for the different coats. It would be interesting to see an image projected on the intermediate layers to see how it improves from bare substrate to final coat to fully cured final coat.


Hmmmm....if your suggesting taking successive shots during the painting process....there would be issues.
  • Bringing a PJ repeatedly into a somewhat paint-dusty environment would be a bit risky, unless a significant amount of time elapsed between the last coat applied.
  • That would drag out the time it takes to do the project, something that would erase the advantage the quickly drying Duster coats provide.
  • There would be uneven, spotty areas that would essentially make the projected image look crappy. Usually, simple "Before-After shots suffice.


Now if instead the suggestion involves taking some screenies of the bare substrate....and then the newly completed screen and then revisiting the Screen after 2-3 weeks curing and taking shots at that point in time....that makes perfect sense. You were probably referring to the latter....but I had to have something to keep me busy while consuming my morning cup.

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post #8 of 11 Old 04-08-2019, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes it would be interesting to see the projected image through the progression of coats. But the sheer amount of dust after spraying is nuts. It was all over everything else in the room that was even outside of the plastic sheeting. I'd never have the projector anywhere near that room until it was all cleaned up.

I'll take pics of the completed room in a few weeks. I'm changing up a lot more than the screen at this stage. Still much work to do.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-10-2019, 05:13 AM
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Nice work... inspired
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-10-2019, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago66 View Post
Nice work... inspired

Great! Now perspire a little.


JMWY

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post #11 of 11 Old 04-23-2019, 04:33 PM
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This is work of inspiration!!! Great job, I hope my projects looks close to yours.
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