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Which DIY Screen Solution did you use?

  • Flat Neutral or near Neutral Gray

    Votes: 7 29.2%
  • Matte Neutral Gray or Neutral Gray + Satin Polycrylic

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Black Widow

    Votes: 2 8.3%
  • Silver Fire

    Votes: 5 20.8%
  • S-I-L-V-E-R

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 33.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IntroductionThis thread does not promote a solution of my own creation. It is more of a digest of information that was first presented by bud16415 in his thread A Simple Screen Paint Solution . It also relies heavily on the work and presentations of wbassett regarding off-the-shelf neutral gray paint tints. I'm not sure who first introduced the idea of adding waterborne polyurethane to paint but pb_maxxx has long been an advocate of the Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic as a paint mix component. In the Beginner's Guide To Simple DIY Painted Screens I tried to summarize a lot of what I have learned from this forum and my own experimentation, but there is a lot of information and some may find that thread a long read.


This thread is intended to offer a simple and effective alternative to the big three DIY Screen Paint "Mixes". It is not meant to discourage anyone from trying Black Widow, Silver Fire, or S-I-L-V-E-R, however I would suggest "Beginner's Delight" is a good place to start. You will have an excellent screen surface that will work very well with the current crop of bright high contrast projectors and provide you with a solid basis for comparison if and when you decide to make up a sample panel of any of the aforementioned DIY Screen Paint Mixes.


What to Paint

Any surface that is smooth, flat, and that paint will adhere to. The simplest thing to use is the wall. Fix any bumps or dents and wet sand if the wall already has roller texture. The smoother the better. Recommended reading.

To Prime, Or Not To Prime

For truest color, it is always recommended that apply one or two coats of good white primer. Painting a screen is no exception. If the wall is already a uniform white and you are using a self priming paint, then maybe you can get away without priming. A white primed wall also offers an opportunity for you to see how well a flat white screen surface will work in your room with your projector.

Primer IS NOT Flat White Paint

Primer is formulated to provide a white surface that is porous to promote paint adhesion. This fundamental characteristic makes it a poor screen surface because it is neither durable or washable. If white is right for your situation, then use a good white base paint.

Two Flavors

The "Beginner's Delight" solution will be presented in two flavors. The first flavor is "BD OTS Matte". While it is true that we now know how to tint most paint bases to some shade of neutral gray, you should not just use any paint base. The second flavor, "BD OTS+Satin", is technically a mix, but a very simple one. It is simply any one of a number of OTS neutral gray paints mixed with Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic.

Getting Paint On The Wall

With the "Beginner's Delight" solutions you can achieve excellent results by using a roller and a simple application technique. I am in no way apposed to spraying these solutions but I have no experience with spray painting and will offer no suggestions or comments regarding spray painting. For those curious about or interested in spray painting, I do recommend you take a look at this post in the Beginner's Guide.


~
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
"White" or "Which Shade of Neutral Gray"?


Given a projector with deep black levels, and a room with dark walls and ceiling, a white screen will reflect a bright vibrant image. While the current crop of digital projectors do boast much deeper black levels, they can still benefit from a gray screen.


A gray screen will make black levels appear deeper in a room with low controlled ambient light and/or light colored walls and ceiling. This is explained in more detail here. Generally if you have ambient light, then I would suggest an N8 shade. If you are more interested in a brighter image or your ambient light situation is minimal, then consider one of the lighter shades. For a more extensive gray shade selection guide look here (scroll down past the Behr tint formulas.


Lowes can color match their Valspar Flat Enamel via computer data base. For a near N8 shade ask for either True Value "Winter Mountain" 1982 or Glidden (ICI Paints) "Universal Gray" 00NN 62/000 W/B. For a lighter shade (~N8.6) ask for either True Value "Winter Mist" 1983 or Glidden (ICI Paints) "Snow Field" 00NN 72/000 W/B.


Behr custom tints for neutral gray shades are presented here.

Updated Behr Custom Tints (384ths)


Xrite N7 Tint Formula {Ultra Dark Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

124 Lamp Black

028 Brown Oxide

012 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

496 Lamp Black

112 Brown Oxide

048 Medium Yellow
~N7.5 DIY Tint {Extra Dark Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

093 Lamp Black

021 Brown Oxide

009 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

372 Lamp Black

084 Brown Oxide

036 Medium Yellow
~N8 DIY Tint {Dark Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

062 Lamp Black

014 Brown Oxide

006 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

248 Lamp Black

056 Brown Oxide

024 Medium Yellow
~N8.5 DIY Tint {Medium Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

048 Lamp Black

011 Brown Oxide

005 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

192 Lamp Black

043 Brown Oxide

019 Medium Yellow
~N9 DIY Tint {Light Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

031 Lamp Black

007 Brown Oxide

003 Yellow Oxide


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

124 Lamp Black

028 Brown Oxide

012 Medium Yellow


Note: I have included the old three number tints at the end of this post.




ICI Paints includes Glidden, Dulux, and in Canada CIL. For an N8 shade ask for "Universal Gray" 00NN 62/000 W/B. For a lighter shade (~N8.6) ask for "Snow Field" 00NN 72/000 W/B. NOTE: It is the color code that is universal across all ICI Paints brands. Therefore be sure to ask for the tint by the code first. The tint name may vary from brand to brand and even from store to store. To be sure you have received a neutral shade tint look for the tint code to be of the form 00NN ??/000 where the ?? value indicates the shade. The higher the shade value the lighter the gray.


Ignoring the tint names here are the color codes for screen paint shades:

00NN 53/000 W/B . . ~N7.5

00NN 62/000 W/B . . ~N8

00NN 72/000 W/B . . ~N8.5
If you are purchasing your paint from Lowes (ie, Valspar Interior Flat Enamel) you will need to ask the attendant to "Color Match" the code. I'm not sure which ICI Paint brands they will have in the computer database, so be sure to ask them to lookup the code for ICI Paints, Glidden, and Dulux. If the clerk says they cannot do it, then find another clerk because they most certainly can.


Attention Canadians: Canadian Tire paint is also an ICI Paint product. Therefore the neutral shade codes are valid there as well.


There are a lot of other neutral gray tints for various paint brands presented here.


Original Three Number Behr Custom Tints (Ounces 48th_oz 96th_oz)


Xrite N7 Tint Formula {Ultra Dark Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 15 1 Lamp Black

0 03 1 Brown Oxide

0 01 1 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

1 14 0 Lamp Black

0 14 0 Brown Oxide

0 06 0 Medium Yellow
~N7.5 DIY Tint {Extra Dark Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 11 1 Lamp Black

0 02 1 Brown Oxide

0 01 0 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 46 1 Lamp Black

0 10 1 Brown Oxide

0 04 1 Medium Yellow
~N8 DIY Tint {Dark Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 08 0 Lamp Black

0 02 0 Brown Oxide

0 01 0 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 31 0 Lamp Black

0 07 0 Brown Oxide

0 03 0 Medium Yellow
~N8.5 DIY Tint {Medium Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 06 0 Lamp Black

0 01 0 Brown Oxide

0 00 1 Medium Yellow


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 24 0 Lamp Black

0 05 0 Brown Oxide

0 02 0 Medium Yellow
~N9 DIY Tint {Light Gray}

Quart Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 04 0 Lamp Black

0 01 0 Brown Oxide

0 00 1 Yellow Oxide


Gallon Custom Tint

Behr UPW (1050,1750,1850,4850)

0 15 1 Lamp Black

0 03 1 Brown Oxide

0 01 1 Medium Yellow
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"BD OTS Matte"


Given a good projector you can achieve excellent results with a simple matte gray paint as demonstrated in this screen shot




As you can see from these screen shots, it is quite possible to get nice bright whites as well as deep blacks and good shadow detail.


Don't Use Flat Paint!


Unless you are painting a rough surface, I do not recommend truly flat paint. There are only two paint bases I have first hand experience with, that I would recommend.


Lowes: Valspar Ultra Premium 100% Acrylic Latex Interior Flat Enamel
Alternate recommended by wbassett: Valspar Signature Colors™ Interior 100% Acrylic Matte Wall Paint.


Home Depot: Behr Premium Plus Ultra™ Exterior Flat #4850
Note: I do not recommend the Behr Interior Flat Enamel #1850 as an OTS Matte Neutral Gray. In my experience it does not level out very well and therefore results in excessive roller texture. I see that Behr now has an interior ULTRA paint. Behr Premium Plus Ultra™ Interior Flat Enamel #1750. If the 1750 levels as well as the 4850 it would make an excellent OTS Matte.


Sherwin Williams, Duration Home - Flat has also been tried by wbassett and recommended. "Gray Screen" was the tint wbassett used and you can find other Sherwin Williams neutral tints here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"BD OTS+Satin"


Adding Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic to an OTS neutral gray paint has two main benefits. First it adds a small amount of surface sheen that brightens the image. It also has a thinning and smoothing effect on the paint. As a result the paint will level out better producing a smoother finish. Don't just take my word for it . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle /forum/post/14925343


Well I finally got around to redoing my screen last night. My screen a was a few years old and still a product of the ambient light improvement thread days. IMO it had a lot of shortcomings in the form of shimmering from the mica flakes. It had fairly good blacks and outstanding whites, but at times I could catch myself watching the screen instead of the image on it. Then I squished a spider on it a while back and even after cleaning could still see the spot. SO it was time for sure.


I ended up using Glidden "universal gray" (N8) as my color of choice. The base paint I used is imo the best flat finish paint on the market in terms of drying with a uniform finish. The product is Dulux Lifemaster flat. It is product number 59170 and is only available through Glidden ICI company stores. Its quite pricey as well, but worth it imo. It is also VOC free, so it is safe for use in any environment.


I mixed the paint at a 3-1 ratio with the minwax poly and then added 10% of the total mix in water. I rolled it with a 5mm lint free roller and then with a dense foam roller. The paint went on very, very smooth, and stayed wet for a long time allowing a lot of work time if a person should need it. This finished product is uniform as could possibly be.


Playing around this AM with a few Blu movies and some telvised HD the difference from the old screen is night and day. Colors are better, skin tones are better, and the image has a tremendous amount of depth. It really does get that looking out a window feeling. No shimmering, and screen door effect is also noticeably less than before. At this point I really see no reason at all to try anything else as any improvement would be minimal at best. It really is amazing to me how one of the simplest DIY paint solutions I have tried, also appears to be the best one I have tried.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasAquinas /forum/post/17016082


Well guys. After 2 days of testing both paints, the RS-Maxxmudd and the Neutral gray + Polyacrylic, my dad and I have decided on the Neutral gray + Polyacrylic.


Both paints were rolled on top of panels (for testing) and compared at separate projector calibrations. What i noticed was that the neutral gray actually (to my surprise really) Had more pop to the image. It was the closest thing i had seen to 3D without actually being 3D. The metallic mix just did not do this for us. Also, my dad is a huge advocate of aesthetics. He loved the white screen, no matter how much poorer the quality was (and boy were BOTH of the paints a night and day difference between the white flat enamel we were using before), and it was even a challenge to convince him to go gray (tho once he saw the image that was easy). Anyway, the metallic mix, when rolled at least, made metallic particles fairly visible and neither of us were very much a fan of this fact.

I have tried Valspar satin waterbase polyurethane with poor results. Therefore I only recommend Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic.

Mix Ratios

If your choice of base paint is a truly flat finish then mix 3 parts paint with one part Minwax Satin Polycrylic. If you are using one of the matte (ie flat enamel) base paints then mix 4 parts paint to 1 part Minwax Satin Polycrylic.


Use a paint mixing attachment. Mix the polycrylic in the can well before drawing any off to mix with the paint. Mix the paint and polycrylic thoroughly and stir it well before each use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Application


Use a good quality 1/4" nap lint free roller (3/16" if you can find it).


Watch this video and do the same:
Click image to view video.


Note: you should go a bit faster than I did in the demo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rolling A Super Smooth Finish - A Tale Of Two Rollers








Suggestions For Thinning & Mixing


?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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"BD OTS Matte"


Note: I do not recommend the Behr Interior Flat Enamel #1850 as an OTS Matte Neutral Gray. In my experience it does not level out very well and therefore results in excessive roller texture.


I thought 1850 was one of the recommended bases. I've had roller texture issues as well, but figured it was doing something to cause it.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/16968942


"BD OTS Matte"


Note: I do not recommend the Behr Interior Flat Enamel #1850 as an OTS Matte Neutral Gray. In my experience it does not level out very well and therefore results in excessive roller texture.


I thought 1850 was one of the recommended bases. I've had roller texture issues as well, but figured it was doing something to cause it.

Ahhhhh...but when you spray....all your worries go away as far as Roller marks, leaving you to judge the paint on a different set of standards and potential. Really, do you think limiting someone to a specific paint because another might be too difficult to roll doesn't point out the slings and arrows Rolling can present?


Since Flat Enamel seems to be universally acclaimed as a superior medium for almost ever DIY paint that requires such...either the Behr or Valspar paints will be used in my own upcoming tests, with specific choices limited only to Mixes whose Designers require such to be used. I'll relate further on the appropriate thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To be absolutely clear . . . I have found Behr Flat Enamel 1850 to have poor leveling characteristics that result in excessive roller texture when use on it's own. Therefore I do not recommend it as a one can off the shelf screen paint solution. When mixed with Minwax Satin Polycrylic (4:1), the mixture will level nicely.


Valspar Flat Enamel levels well right out of the can.


These two paints are very different in this respect.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/16970635


To be absolutely clear . . . I have found Behr Flat Enamel 1850 to have poor leveling characteristics that result in excessive roller texture when use on it's own. Therefore I do not recommend it as a one can off the shelf screen paint solution. When mixed with Minwax Satin Polycrylic (4:1), the mixture will level nicely.


Valspar Flat Enamel levels well right out of the can.


These two paints are very different in this respect.

I can vouch for this. I applied a couple of coats of Behr Silvescreen, and sanded each coat. Then finished it off with a top coat of Silverscreen and Minwax satin at 4:1. It produces a remarkably smooth coat -- much smoother than the paint on its own.
 

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I am going to have a large screen - approx 52"x124". It will be in a darkly painted room that opens up in the back to a lighter room. There are no windows, but I would like to be able to watch with some ambient light for football, parties, etc.


Is there a good high gain paint that also works well with ambient light?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneotool /forum/post/16975176


I am going to have a large screen - approx 52"x124". It will be in a darkly painted room that opens up in the back to a lighter room. There are no windows, but I would like to be able to watch with some ambient light for football, parties, etc.


Is there a good high gain paint that also works well with ambient light?

The pure white base paints that are matte or that have had polycrylic added, will have gains higher than 1. Of course they are white and will not tolerate the ambient light you desire. You will want to consider one of the metallic mixes that come in a lighter shade of gray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Behr has introduced a new interior paint similar to the ULTRA Exterior Flat 4850. It is the Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Flat Enamel . I am no longer in a position to try this new paint myself. If anyone else is in a position to give it a try, I would appreciate some feedback. The Ultra Pure White base is #1750. The custom tints for the 1050, 1850, 4850 should be applicable for this paint also. These can be found here.


It is my hope that this interior paint is essentially the same as the Exterior Flat 4850 minus the fungicides typically added to exterior paints. If this assumption is true then it should have the same leveling characteristics.


If someone does give it a try I would like to know if it levels out to a smooth finish. This would make it superior to the 1850 which does not level well and therefore it introduces more roller texture than is desireable. We would also like to know if it has a low luster sheen that does not cause hot spotting.
 

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I'll give it a shot when mixing up the NGs for what's upcoming. But it will most likely be sprayed...not rolled so I do suppose you'll still need someone who wants to go that route to provide the definitive info your looking for.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/16976601


The pure white base paints that are matte or that have had polycrylic added, will have gains higher than 1. Of course they are white and will not tolerate the ambient light you desire. You will want to consider one of the metallic mixes that come in a lighter shade of gray.

Thanks - I was afraid of that. I'm not really a scientist, so I was hoping a one or two ingredient beginner solution may work.


I will probably just start with one of the recomended matte white base paints with a little poly added and just adjust as needed later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have recalcuated the Behr Custom Neutral Tints and added them to Post #2.


I inquired at my local Home Depot and confirmed the new formulas are 384ths ounce. This new finer tint resolution is to enable the tinting of small 8oz sample pots. You will soon be able to purchase small 8oz jars of paint to get more accurate samples of a given tint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I contacted ICI Paints to see if I could find out why some folks are having trouble getting the neutral gray tints. The problem is likely that people are asking for a tint by name rather than by the color code. The name may vary from brand to brand. It is the neutral shade color code that is universal across all ICI Paints brands. Ignoring the tint names here are the color codes for screen paint shades:

00NN 53/000 W/B . . ~N7.5

00NN 62/000 W/B . . ~N8

00NN 72/000 W/B . . ~N8.5
You should also refer to the color code when asking for Color Matching at Lowes. Also make them look it up for ICI Paints, Glidden, and Dulux. It will be in the Color Match database for at least one of the ICI Paints brands.


In Canada ICI Paints are also available through Color Your World and Canadian Tire stores.
 
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