"New coating" Excellent results - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 02-06-09, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Smile "New coating" Excellent results

Hi Everyone-
I have been reading with interest some of the posts on DIY screen coatings. I just built a 6 ft x 4 ft DIY screen and hit on a new coating that is in my opinion outstanding. I do NOT have calibration instrumentation so take that with a grain of salt if your a measurement geek. A brief description of how I made it follows. Keep in mind this is a "portable" screen as we all ready have a 52" Plasma and this is mostly for movie night etc but is not permanently on a wall.

After reading about various base materials, and based upon my need for portability and after a few trips to Home Depot, Lowes etc to scout things out. I purchased a 4x8 sheet of tile board which is also labeled for use with erasable markers. Basically this is a very thin laminate of glossy white ceramic-ish over a think board. Obviously this is a bit reflective and worked for a larger than life Elmo episode for my boy, but was not going to hold interest for me. To prepare it for a top coat, to stabilize the surface (it is a fairly bendable board so it needs rigidity), and to dress it up I did the following fairly mundane things.

Using construction adhesive I glued 1x2 strips length wise along the top and bottom (as laid out for a 16:9 or wider picture) and then cut to fit three more which were about 3 ft 8 inch and glued them in as stringers.. whalla very sturdy, still light (like less than 15 lbs). I got a roll of 3 inch wide black velvet ribbon at my wifes favorite store (Michaels craft/fabric store) as well as three rolls of a VERY HANDY super thick project PERMANENT sticky tape in 1/4" width. I ran this along the front and back of the screen about 1/2 inch in as a border and then lined up the ribbon and wrapped it around the back and hit that tape strip. It looks GREAT and that tape is very serious stuff, it will never come off.

Now for the interesting part.

I top coated with two cans of Rust-Oleum "Specialty" Frosted Glass Semi Transparent finish. The UPC code is 20066 19038 with a item number (I am guessing) of 1903830 all of which I am taking from a sticky label on the back of the can. It is a spray paint and it worked out very well by marking out something like 3 inch segments on the masking tape I used to cover the ribbon (smart people will top coat first but I was originally doing this quick and dirty) and then sprayed more or less starting and ending at the marks first length wise and then for a second coat I tipped it long way up and sprayed across the short dimension again in 3 inch intervals. It coated extremely even, has no hot spots and I swear the pic is VERY close to as good and maybe in some ways better than our 52 inch plasma running an HD feed (DISH). I would not put it on par with blue ray on the plasma, but my DLP projector is 1024X768 Native.

My feelings on this is that the semi transparent frosted glass acts as a diffusion layer over the very high gloss ultra pure white tile board. It is a perfect matte finish in bright light. The projected image has very nice blacks and amazing contrast and color as well as astonishing highlights. I watched a bit of a number of movies and I have to say this is FAR FAR better than anything I ever imagined I would get out of this. Just so you know, I am a known pain in the neck when it comes to being happy with image/audio and I would love to see if anyone else has tried this. I see no point in posting pics with video on the screen as its pointless, it looks like a screen with a movie on it.

Anyone else care to try this and test it, without window dressing you can do this for 24 dollars 14 for the tile board and 4 bucks a can for the spray paint. I would recommend three cans if you want a permanent very high end screen. Two was adequate for my portable and I see NO hot spots but if you take a spot light to it at a severe angle you can find defects in the top coat.

Anyhow, thanks for all the advice I received by reading your posts, hopefully someone will try this and either confirm or deny my experience. But this comes in as one of the cheaper DIY screens I have seen and its amazing.

Oh... just so you know. I am do a lot of work with very expensive projection (15K dollar projectors) and conference room screens, which I use for presentation purposes or to attend other presentations in (not for movies sadly). My 24 dollar screen is as good as far as my eyes can tell. Seriously. My projector cannot hold a candle to a 6000 lumen HD projector but thats another story.
Rufessor is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 Old 02-06-09, 02:27 AM
Elite Shackster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,405
Re: "New coating" Excellent results

I once tried that glossy board also, but I never had been able to make it sturdy because nothing would stay glued to it. You say you used strips for the framing and contruction adheisive. Was that wood strips, and which construction adheisive did you use that bonded to the smooth texture?
thewire is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 02-06-09, 10:48 AM
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 3,772
Re: "New coating" Excellent results

Hi Rufus,

Welcome to the forum!

It sounds like you found a way to tame the gloss on that tileboard. You wouldn't happen to know the brand name of that super-sticky tape would you?


If that tileboard is like the stuff I tried, the back is regular hardboard and normal adhesives would work fine. As for gluing the border to the front of the screen, there is some amazingly sticky tape available that should do the trick. I have some stuff by 3M that I used to stick plastic hooks to a formica wall in my bathroom to hold up a towel rack. When I needed to take the rack down, the actual surface of the formica came off with the holder! Now that is sticky!
Harpmaker is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 02-06-09, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Re: "New coating" Excellent results

In response to first question, I used a dual purpose adhesive caulk. I believe its a latex product. I simply beaded the back of the pine boards and then positioned them and added some weight to make the bond tight. As that set up a bit I ran a fairly generous bead of the adhesive caulk along the edges (like caulking siding or tile seams in your bathroom) and then smeared that with my finger so that it was exposed to a large surface area both on the back and on the pine board. All good so far. I went this way because the board is flexible and this adhesive gives a flexible bond. I suppose you would be fine otherwise but a little give is good sometimes.

As for the taming of the reflectivity.. yeah it works really really well. I was looking at it again and I am very surprised with the appearance, very professional looking and a nice sheen that is "reflective" with out being glossy, just what your looking for. I should also note that there is very little reflected light off the screen into the room. I do not for instance see a significant glow on the ceiling (it ends up about 3 inches from the ceiling) even under bright scenes.

For those trying this, I would be careful that you spray as evenly as you can using those 3-4 inch marks while keeping a constant velocity and distance from the board. If I look VERY closely I can still find areas of subtle stripping, a third can will fix this.

Another thing I forgot to mention. The first coat will look amazingly "dirty" in that lots of stringy hair like glassy stuff gets clumped up. This is not an issue, I simply let the coat dry for a few minutes (very fast drying, amazingly fast) and then rub it gently with a very clean non linting cloth. It knocks off all the junk and then I re-coat and repeat. Note, I have NOT A CLUE how durable this surface is. But as it is a screen and I can rub it with a cloth (have done this about 3-4 times) and its still great, I would guess its more than good enough.
Rufessor is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 02-06-09, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Re: "New coating" Excellent results

Sorry, no idea on brand. I do not recall there even being a brand. Its a red color tape that has a peel off coating covering the top so it goes on as single sided and then you peel the top off exposing the sticky surface. Its fairly thick and gel like, it says it takes 24 hours to cure. Was about 5 bucks a roll so this ended up being the most expensive part of the screen! Fairly funny. I will post if I get a brand name. If I figure out pics I will see if I can find the packaging and post that as well as the spray can I used.
Rufessor is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 02-06-09, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 93
Re: "New coating" Excellent results

Very intersting.

I have fooled around abit with mirrorglas and a plastic foil. The plastic foil was of the type for mimicing frosted glas. So it is kind of a dry version on-a-roll of your frosted-glas paint.

To my surprise I got a fantastic picture but with ridiculous hot-spotting, so I kind a let that go. But I wonder if it would work combined with your idea? The plastic foil on a super high glossy super white board?
robert_1967 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 02-07-09, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Re: "New coating" Excellent results

Not sure what you are talking about with respect to the foil, but I can tell you that the coating is designed to adhere to glass, and I would guess it will hold on plastic. To be honest though, I really like the idea of using this as a diffusion layer over the top of a very glossy pure white surface. I put a third coat on today and sanded with 350 grit paper lightly. We just watched another movie, I am now using this screen, which cost 50 bucks more than my 52 inch plasma with a Blue Ray source. It is amazing. If you have the time, I would just try it as I did and skip the plastic and the foils, seriously, its going to cost you 25 dollars including tax to make a 4x8 test screen. Thats 13 for the white tile board or sheeting or whatever they call it, and 3-4 bucks a can for three cans. Let me know what you think. I would certainly overtop anything you are finding too bright as this solved the problem for me, but I have no idea what it will do on your surface. I think it will be great. But I cant say.

Have fun . I hope someone else can give their 2c!

Good luck

I would guess it will adhere to lots of surfaces.
Rufessor is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 02-18-09, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Re: "New coating" Excellent results and UPDATE and Comparison


After making the DIY screen I detailed above, I decided that the quality picture I was getting was worth a more permanent installation, rather than the moveable screen I initially manufactured. Since my wife was NOT going to let me paint a wall or make a installed permanent screen I had to go with a drop down screen with a ceiling mount. I found a new motorized GrandView 100" diagonal 4:3 white screen with a gain of 1.0 for 200 bucks (which is an incredible deal) from someone who purchased it but NEVER opened the box! Anyhow, thats now installed and I wanted to provide a comparison with the screen I made.

I set them up so that the left side was projecting onto my DIY screen, the right was onto the Grandview. Reading the few ratings I can find, I would say the Grandview is a respectable performer and even a good value at its price point (600-800 retail for motorized) but is clearly not a high end projection screen competing with the multi thousand dollar screens.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my DIY screen was equal if not ever so slightly superior to the grandview in that I think the DIY coating I used has a slightly higher gain and the whites were ever so slightly brighter with perhaps a tiny bit more contrast. Basically, I will leave it at that. In my opinion the 35 dollar screen I made is at least as good as the grandview white PVC surface, perhaps better but its a very tough call, they were very nearly identical. Having said that, I am equally pleased with spending the money for a motorized drop down screen as its relatively unobtrusive and much easier to set up (push a button) than hanging my portable (now for outside use!).

Thanks for reading, good luck if you try this.
Rufessor is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 02-18-09, 06:49 PM
Elite Shackster
mechman's Avatar
Steve Mechelke -mech
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Empire Township, MN
Posts: 14,914
My System
Re: "New coating" Excellent results


Thanks for the update!

mechman is offline  


coating , diy , paint , screen , theater

Quick Reply

Register Now



Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address



Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.


See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome