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· Registered
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to redo my screen. It's a N7.5 shade on Thrifty White, which was a pain to paint. The screen is banged up because the velcro gave out after a few months and it fell. So I nailed a piece of hardwood to the wall and then glued the screen to that. It really looks like garbage and now I want to do it right. I know what I want to do except for the paint.

It's going to be a hardwood screen, with frame, and velveted border. Hung probably by french cleat.

I chose N7.5 to aid with ambient light, but we only watch at night anyway 98% of the time. It's in the basement but not a dedicated theater room, but like I said, it's almost always dark when we watch.

The walls are dark, but the ceiling is white, and I've been told it's staying that way.

Given those conditions, what is the best paint mix?



· DIY Granddad (w/help)
25,297 Posts

Originally Posted by kombat /forum/post/16848101

98" I think. Standard 85x48 cut from a 4'x8'. The projector is an Optoma HD70. I'm fine with the picture I have now. Just wondering if I could do better when I do the new screen.

Hello Kombat,

It's been a while since you last had reason to visit DIY Screens.

Can you do better than your current Neutral Gray Screen? Ya betcha yer Dim Bulb ya can!

I recall that it was a really Light N9.0 that you chose, not a N7.5 which would be considerably Darker. Did you switch at the last moment before painting the TWH? If not, you've been dealing with a Screen whose shade of Gray is at the uttermost limits of the HD70s ability to provide a really "PoP"y image even at 98". More on this below.

I also recall comments to the effect that the TWH would not hold onto the paint as well as you'd like. Besides the tumble the Screen took, how'd that work out for you?

The first thing to consider doing is to up the quality of your build, by making a decent supporting Frame/Trim/Hanging method. And you seem to have that on your agenda.

If your remaining @ 98" diagonal, with the HD70 you have several options. However @ 1000 lumens, while the Bulb was "fresh" you probably were as satisfied (happy?) as you stated. But where is the "OMG" kinda feeling?

Since your White Ceiling will remain, for that reason alone you should consider at least N8.0 to offset the Light splash from the Screen across the ceiling above it. If your PJ is laboring under the old Bulb's efforts, then you could stand to have a Screen surface something along the order of 1.3 gain to assist it now, and allow you to run at Low Lamp for the duration should you opt to replace the Bulb.

Even if you move into a Uber Contrast, 1600 lumen+ 1080p PJ in the future, if the Ceiling remains White, that alone dictates the use of no lighter than a N8.0.

All that being so, I'm suggesting a Paint that employs Metallics AND provides a gain over 1.2 while delivering a surface shade that's just dark enough to handle the Ceiling's effect, as well as what seems to be now only the occasional "Lights On" viewing.

The only Mixes that fall under that umbrella are the MMud-SE / Rs-MaxxxMudd / Silver Fire family. If you really only want "Zowie" Dark room results, then S-I-L-V-E-R comes into the picture as a best-case option.

Stick with the Thrifty White Hardboard...it eliminates the need for priming, (...paint applied correctly will stick just fine...and as for scratching it with your nails...? Your not a Cat, so why that is a consideration seems moot.)

and every decent DIY application these days, outside of Light Fusion, demands that you employ a Bright White underlaying surface.

And speaking of Light Fusion
you should carefully consider the use of a 4' x 8' x 1/8" Acrylic Mirror for the substrate, applied onto a Hardboard panel. As a upgrade, it doesn't get any better than that, and it's cost effective in that a Wilson Art DW Laminate costs almost indentically the same....but is only "White", whereas the LF Screen will afford you the option of going with a 7.5 again, yet keep gain above 1.0, and provide the "Fusion" effect and a true depth of field a simple Paint applied to a Flat surface cannot muster.

So you have to decide just how good you want this redo of yours to be. It's not a big difference between Good - Better - Best in either cost or construction, but a HUGE difference if you pull up short in the decision making process.

· Registered
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks MM. You have quite a memory. I dug out the paint can and you are right. It was N9.

Are you suggesting sticking with the TW? Was the Light Fusion paragraph was just a side-tangent? Also, it would seem that Black Widow might be a good candidate considering the white ceiling issue. Or are those mixes you mention just better for my situation?

I'll read up on the paint mixes you suggested. Thanks again MM.


· Registered
419 Posts
Hi Karl,

There is a good bit of difference between N9 and N7.5 grays.

Under projection BW acts like a N8 or lighter gray paint, but it has the ambient light advantage of being N7.5. The difference is the aluminum in the mix.

As for a substrate, you already said you had problems painting TWH, which is understandable since it is a slick surface. The surface of TWH is made of melamine which is a hard, slick plastic. Paint does NOT stick to TWH near as well as to primed hardboard. You can get by painting TWH, the paint doesn't fall off, but the painted surface will be more susceptible to damage than if primed hardboard were used.
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