Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT - Page 3 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

Thread Tools
post #21 of 28 Old 05-10-10, 09:17 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 16
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

Harpmaker wrote: View Post
Hi JGibson,

Relying on blind ignorance is usually a bad idea in my experience. Hopefully we can give you some help to alleviate both conditions.

From reading what you have posted in other threads I take it you still want to make a 120" diagonal screen. Your HC3800 in Cinema mode on the low-lamp setting is shooting this size screen with about 12.25 fL. of light when properly calibrated for color. This doesn't leave you with a lot of latitude to use a non-reflective gray screen such as the Kilz 'Ash Essence' you mentioned. Instead I would recommend one of our reflective screen mixes such as Cream&Sugar™ or Elektra™ (which is based on Cream&Sugar™ with some dark neutral gray paint added to make darker shades of gray).

The other thing is that I doubt that the Kilz color you mention (I couldn't find it in the Kilz Color on-line palette) is most likely not a truly neutral gray, all our mixes are. A true neutral gray screen makes it so you don't have to try to compensate for a screen with a color-push by adjusting the PJ.

Since you have painted your wall with white latex paint I doubt you need to paint again with the Kilz2 primer, but it wouldn't hurt anything to do so.
I think I need to get back to reading some Huygens!

Yep. This is what I have come to realize. . .

I believe that the good ole cheesy Flat White Interior Latex that I painted with originally- 2 regular coats and a thin coat- seem to work pretty well for my unsophisticated eye. I was thinking that something more complex would be better. But alas, I threw in a BD ("The Dark Knight") twas quite breathtaking. It's looking like I'll bin the "Ash Essence" and throw on a coat of Kilz2 and a coat of a better grade flat white and be content. (Need the Kilz2 to iron out some wall blemishes.) The room itself is a sort of dark blue, yes, that is a technical description of the color, for me Jay Gibson, the troglodyte. . .

Thank you for taking the time, brother.
JGibson is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #22 of 28 Old 05-10-10, 09:59 PM
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 3,772
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

OK, gotcha.

If a white screen is working to your taste then stay with it! You can always go gray if needed later.

You simply won't find a complex screen mix here at HTS, there is no need for such things. Our flagship mixes (Black Widow™ and Cream&Sugar™) don't need ANY measuring, just empty the paint cans and bottles into a large mixing pail and stir! Scorpion™ N8 is simply equal amounts of BW™ and C&S™ mixed together. Our only mix so far that requires any measuring is our Elektra™ mix where one must measure a given amount of neutral gray paint into a batch of C&S™ as a "shade adjuster" and the amount can be off 1/4 ounce without notice even in the lightest Elektra™ mix (N8.5). Other forums make some of their screen mixes way over-complicated, much to their detriment.
Harpmaker is offline  
post #23 of 28 Old 05-14-10, 09:16 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 16
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

Decided to now try the C&S #3. I did what I typed but am not quite satisfied. I guess I am the try and fail type, who eventually just listens
JGibson is offline  
post #24 of 28 Old 05-14-10, 11:55 PM
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 3,772
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

JGibson wrote: View Post
Decided to now try the C&S #3. I did what I typed but am not quite satisfied. I guess I am the try and fail type, who eventually just listens
No worries. The good news is that it's just paint! In many cases it is relatively simple to repaint the screen and try a different mix.

We can't tell you what you will like in a screen. I personally prefer a darker gray screen because my PJ needs all the contrast help it can get, and then some. Others prefer a lighter screen than I like just because that is their subjective preference. After you reach a certain point it gets very subjective.

When it's feasible, we actually recommend trying a white screen first (usually the primer coat) before going with a gray screen; this lets the user get acquainted with calibrating their PJ (which is HIGHLY recommended ) and gives them a base-line to judge further screens by if they find the white lacking.

I think you could paint your next screen mix over your white screen without priming first. C&S™ is a very light gray and while there will be a visible difference between it and your white screen, it won't be a day-and-night difference. Depending on what you didn't like about the white screen, it might be a better idea to skip C&S™ and move directly to one of the Elektra™ mixes which are darker grays than C&S™ so you will get more of a "gray screen effect" with them, meaning a higher contrast image and more saturated colors as well as more ambient light tolerance. Elektra™ is simply C&S™ with a bit of N6 neutral gray paint added to it.

Once again the good news is that our mixes are easy to make and are also very inexpensive compared to ready-made screen paints and most mix formulae found on other forums.
Harpmaker is offline  
post #25 of 28 Old 05-15-10, 01:32 AM
Elite Shackster
wbassett's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,234
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

I agree totally with Don and would like to add that DIY can also be used by a person not interested in DIY at all and who plans on using a commercial screen! Let me explain...

Okay first before I explain I want to say I am a big fan of DIY but I certainly will not tell anyone that commercial screens are garbage. They trump DIY in several areas, mainly fit and finish but they absolutely win out when it comes to weight and ease of installation and portability.

Alright- With that said, why and how can DIY benefit a person only interested in commercial? Fine tuning and test evaluation...

The mantra is for a dedicated HT room white is the only screen option. Depending on the size of the screen and the brightness of the projector will dictate how much gain if any is needed. For a non-dedicated room most recommend a gray screen to help aid with ambient light issues as well as help out with percieved contrast.

Thing is gray can and is often used in a dedicated Theater setting. Actually... and this is technically speaking folks, eveyone uses a gray screen because unless the screen is 255 255 255 it's not white, rather a shade of gray! So in that sense even the 'white screens' the commercial guys sell for dedicated setups isn't white.

Like I said, that's picking nits. Most people will say anything above an N9 gray is white to them. Some will even say N9 is white. While technically they are wrong, that doesn't matter. What matters is what they like.

I know some people out there are saying "Bill how can you say that???! You always speak about the data and specs!" Actually no I don't. I mostly speak of data and specs, but also talk a lot about performance and preference. Specs and the data are important when it comes to weeding out the hype and sometimes snake oil type comments of complete superiority over anything and everything. When the specs/data are laid out on the table along with perfomance factors it then is easy to separate the hype from the real thing. The exact same thing holds true for commercial screens and screen paint products too!

Where DIY comes into play is a person can't and doesn't typically audition full size commercial screens, and let's face it, those small sample patches the manufacturers send out are just about useless to judge how a full size screen that's calibrated to the projector will perform. That would become a very expensive endeavor since most companies charge a restocking fee if they will even take a screen back at all! Also expect to pay shipping charges as well. These will add up real quick and after only two screens a person might have spent as much on an entry level commercial screen and definitely will have exceeded the cost of the simplest DIY methods.

I also recommend a calibration on a unity gain white screen before jumping right into anything. This is the only way you will see your projector at factory settings and specs. Without seeing this it can be impossible to say whether you improved things or made them worse.

Since most people will be painting their room when they setup a theater or are doing a dedicated room... the step of projecting onto a wall painted with Kilz2 isn't really any extra effort at all. At this time the screen size can be dialed in. Typically most want the largest image possible, but sometimes it's just too big for the room and this way a person can play around with sizes... who knows... maybe they might go up in size from a 98" diagonal screen to a 120" diagonal, or reduce the screen to a more reasonable size for the room.

Once the size is determined it is extremely easy to test out various grays and audition them to see exactly which shade looks the best to the owner. Why settle for something someone else tells you? This method allows a person to try out multiple gray screens (OTS is the best way to go here) for the cost of a couple of DVDs... or better stated for less than what one restocking fee will cost them if they tried this with commercial screens.

Now a person can buy their screen knowing they will be happy. Some may even opt to remain in the realm of DIY, but that too is totally up to them.

So DIY isn't just a poor man's HT screen, not that the performance of DIY screens is substandard at all. It will surprise many that DIY can actually meet or exceed certain commercial entries and there is even an area where DIY trumps commercial in spades... and that is size and cost. Over a 120" diagonal screen size and commercial screens start to become almost prohibitively expensive. DIY on the other hand doesn't.

Think of it this way, right now you auditioned a method and eliminated it without the hassle of shipping and handling, RMA number or restocking fees. Don't worry, you'll find what you like

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
wbassett is offline  
post #26 of 28 Old 09-20-10, 03:17 AM
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

Don't have much ideas. But still stick to a satin or flat finish and learn to love neutral, darker home theater paint colors. Don't be afraid that the color will look bad; you can always repaint later if you really don't like the result of your paint job. Behr paints, Glidden paints, and Shermin Williams paints are all top quality.
Palmspring is offline  
post #27 of 28 Old 09-20-10, 05:01 PM
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 3,772
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

Hi Palmspring, welcome to the forum!

We don't advocate using Satin paint as a screen paint since it will almost certainly hot spot. Also, I have been hearing some negative things about the new Behr ULTRA paint.
Harpmaker is offline  
post #28 of 28 Old 09-21-10, 03:11 AM
Senior Shackster
SAY IT LOUD's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 232
Re: Best DIY paint upgrade for my HT

If you want a fantastic screen for a dark room i used British Paints ULTRA FLAT acrylic designed for Home Theatre screens. I used it for my DIY 130" 2.35 screen straight onto my wall as it was in mint condition.
SAY IT LOUD is offline  


paint , upgrade

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