Cream&Sugar™ - an N9 reflective screen mix. - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 267 Old 04-08-08, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Cream&Sugar™ - an N9 reflective screen mix.

4-27-11
This thread will be maintained for those that already have a C&S screen and wish to discuss it, and for historical reasons. These formulae will not work with the current Craft Smart silver paint sold by Michael's. Those wishing to built a new C&S™ screen should read the thread on the mix that replaces C&S™,
Cream&Sugar™ Ultra.

2-9-11
I must sadly report that Michael's has changed the formulation of their Craft Smart silver paint and it will no longer work well to make Cream&Sugar™ with. Expect a new C&S™ formula soon; until then continue using the old silver paint where available, see this post for details.
************************************************************************


Hi folks!

There seems to be a lot of interest in lighter reflective DIY screen paints. Even though I am really going in the opposite direction in search of a really good dark reflective screen paint, I decided to see if the reflective ingredient I was using could also be used for a very light screen.

The data and photos below should be enough to give you a good idea of what the mix I call "Cream&Sugar" will do. They aren't appealing "screenies", but they tell the story, at least most of it.

I call this mix Cream&Sugar because it isn't white, but an off-white kind of like cream, and the sparkle in the mix is the sugar. As will be shown later, the mix is neutral, but just barely.

Addendum: During the course of this thread I developed three different Cream&Sugar mixes and designated them C&S #1, C&S #2 and C&S #3. The formula given below is now called C&S #1.

All 3 mixes give essentially the same result, they just use different bases or paint colors to achieve the same result.

New addendum: I've added the formulae for C&S #2 and C&S #3 to this post so all mix ingredient info is in one place. To not leave holes in the flow of the thread I've left the original posts (along with their Spectral Reflectance Charts) in their original place in the thread.


C&S #1 (special note: As of October 2009 Sherwin-Williams is discontinuing Luminous White in many of there paints, if you are having trouble finding LW please try either C&S #2 or C&S #3)
[Another special note: as of December 2010 it seems that Luminous White is still available in some areas, but it might have to be special ordered from your store]
First, the ingredients; the "cream" is Sherwin-Williams Luminous White flat interior latex and the "sugar" is Craft Smart Metallic Silver. These are mixed in a 2:1 ratio; 2 parts LW (Luminous White) to 1 part CSMS (Craft Smart Metallic Silver). The LW is available from Sherwin-Williams stores and the CSMS is available from Michael's arts & crafts stores; and only Michael's. In the post following this one I will describe how those not having access to the above ingredients can possibly substitute their own locally available materials.

The CSMS is a reflective ingredient that I am using to make an N7 mix that is showing great promise, but that's for another thread. I should also add here that while I don't know what material is used to make the CSMS sparkle, it doesn't show a prismatic effect like all of the mica-based silver paints I have tried do. No rainbows from CSMS, even when used full strength. In this regard, it acts a lot like aluminum flakes, but it isn't near as "darkening" when added to a mix.

CSMS is also inexpensive; it's $1 for 4 ounces, $2 for 8 ounces and $4 for 16 ounces. That puts it at $8 per quart, which is cheaper than most house paints.

The mix is:
One quart Sherwin-Williams Luminous White flat interior latex (this is a base color, not a tint). Not all SW paints are available in this base color.
One 16 oz. bottle Craft Smart Metallic Silver

It is my hope that others will continue with adaptations to this original mix using different white paints and seeing how they work out. I strongly suggest not deviating from the use of the CSMS, unless absolutely necessary, since that could really throw off the color and reflectiveness of the mix.

The first photo is of a bottle of CSMS so you know what to look for at Michael's.


Now some microscope pics for those that care about such things. As with most microscope shots, the color is not correct.
C&S at 60x


C&S at 200x (this pic displays an area about 1/32 inch wide)


A Spectral Chart of Cream&Sugar. Note that the fancy name isn't used in the chart. This mix has not been color-corrected to make it neutral, it is a simple two-part mix. Of special note is that the L* value in the top-left of the chart is 90.31, this equates to a Munsell Gray of N9; a pure white would be 100 or N10. The a* and b* values are under 1.0 (+ or - doesn't matter) so the mix is considered neutral.


Since C&S will be compared to a Kilz2 panel, I have included a Spectral Chart of my batch of Kliz2 as well. you can see that Kilz2 is brighter than C&S with a L* value of 92.29, the other values show my batch of Kilz2 wasn't neutral (but close enough for gov'ment work ).


Now some panel photos.

The panels are, from left to right, Kilz2, C&S, Black Widow BB/AAA 4:1 and BW WM/HE558 5:1. Only the left two panels are of true interest to us in this thead. I used the BW panels to hide most of the wall which can still be seen in place of a 5th panel. I placed an "X" there with masking tape, kindly ignore this "panel".

Panels under room light with camera auto-white-balancing.


Panels under projector light using a 100% white image, head on.


Color Bars, head on.


White image at 45 degrees.


Color Bars at 45 degrees.


Color Bars at about 170 degrees. Sorry, I was in a hurry and forgot to take a white image at this angle.


While I don't have the photos to prove it, the C&S panel had slightly deeper blacks than the Kilz2 panel. Of course, they were much lighter than the BW panels, but we're not counting those this time. I didn't have the disk that contained the gray-scale photo I use, so I had to make do with what I had.

All-in-all, I think that C&S has similar whites to the Kilz2 panel while being a slightly darker panel. Also, the C&S was more neutral, which does make a difference if you can't adjust your PJ's R, G and B channels independently (I can't).
-----------------------------
Since people were not finding Sherwin-Williams Luminous White in quart sizes I decided to try to find C&S mixes that did to keep costs down. The following two mixes will also give good results and will be cheaper since you don't have to buy a $30+ gallon of white paint.

C&S#2
The first of the two is a more complicated mix than I wanted to use for C&S, but I'll list it since it is the most neutral mix I have tested so far and the paints, except the white paint, should be in the same area at Michael's since they are the same brand. It goes against my stated "3 paints or less" rule for C&S, but...

The down-side to this mix is it is a bit darker than N9 coming in at N8.8 for my sample chit. The up-side is it is the most neutral C&S mix yet.

You will need 4 different paints to make C&S#2.
One quart Behr UPW #1850 (acording to my spectro, Valspar Ultra Premium Enamel flat should work as well). Use the standard ultra-white base not a numbered base.
One 8 oz. bottle Craft Smart Metallic Silver
One 4 oz. bottle Craft Smart Metallic Gold
One 4 oz. bottle Craft Smart Metallic Bronze


The Gold and Bronze paints are needed to color-correct the mix. The neat thing is that ALL paints added to the white base are metallic so they all help make the mix reflective. The ratio of white paint to metallic paint is still 2:1 as in C&S #1.

The ratio of paint is:
UPW 8 parts
CSMS (silver) 2 parts
CSMG (gold) 1 part
CSMB (bronze) 1 part

Empty the paint into a large container and stir until blended. A squirrel-cage stirring attachment for a hand-drill is highly recommended as is washing the bottles of CSMS out with distilled water to get all the paint out - add the water to the mix.

I know this looks complicated, but it isn't. The key is that NO ingredient needs to be measured. It isn't hard to find the paints either since the white paint is simply a quart off the shelf that doesn't need to be tinted, and all 3 of the metallic paints should be close together at Michael's.


C&S#3
This mix is based on a custom-color paint from True Value hardware stores called "Refinement". The same ratio is used as in C&S #1, but the Luminous White is replaced with the "Refinement".

One quart True Value Trucolor "Refinement"
One 16 oz. bottle of Craft Smart Metallic Silver.


It turns out that some people don't have a True Value store near them (I'm not even sure they are in Canada at all) so I developed a matching paint that can be gotten at Lowe's. In time I will put another tint formula here for Behr #1850.
An alternate base paint to use to make C&S #3 is Valspar Ultra Premium Enamel flat tinted with the following formula:
Using Base 1
107 0.5
116 0.5
113 24


Add 16 fl. oz. of Craft Smart metallic Silver to a quart of this paint.

===
I finally had success matching the base for C&S #3 at Home Depot using Behr #1850.
The tint formula for the C&S #3 base at Home Depot is:
1 quart of Behr #1850 paint (ultra white base, which is what the 1850 means as well as the paint type)
Code:
Tint   oz.   384th oz.
C        0       4
F        0       1
Add 16 fl. oz. of Craft Smart metallic Silver to a quart of this paint.

Last edited by Harpmaker; 10-15-09 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Update
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post #2 of 267 Old 04-09-08, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

For those in other countries that don't have access to Craft Smart Metallic Silver. This post is for you!

While it has been proven that the particular paint used as the base for a reflective mix does matter, I am in hopes that most flat white paints can be substituted for the Sherwin-Williams Luminous White I used. Time will tell.

Substituting another metallic silver paint for CSMS will be more difficult, but I hope not impossible. I would suggest going to your local arts and crafts store and purchasing a small bottle of every water-based metallic silver paint you can find. Put a drop or two of each of these on some white cardboard and spread them around a bit (I find that blowing on the paint is better than smearing it with a finger) being sure to label them so you know what's what; when the samples are dry, look at them under a bright light at an angle such that you see the reflectiveness of the silver particles. Look for any prismatic effect where the sparkles are all the colors of the rainbow. This effect is undesirable. If you can't find a paint that doesn't have this prismatic effect, well... you gotta do what you gotta do. Try one anyway and see what happens.

If you have to use a silver paint other than CSMS you will have to experiment with the amount used. Start adding drops of the substitute silver paint into an ounce (or half ounce) of whatever white paint you are using until you reach the shade of gray you are after. Make a sample of this mix and see what it looks like dry and under a bright light. You should be able to see the sparkles in the mix.

If you find a mix that works for you please be sure to post it on the forum!

Good Luck!

Last edited by Harpmaker; 04-09-08 at 12:35 AM.
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post #3 of 267 Old 04-09-08, 07:48 PM
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

That's very interesting Harp...
I find it quite incredible that such a high concentration of silver added to the white, can still appear quite white, when compared to the Kilz2..

I can barely distinguish between the two in the colour band test, except for a very slight darkening of some of the colours..and the whites look to be almost identical..

The other amazing thing is that the viewing cone doesn't appear to be reduced at all..
That is some amazing silver you have there..

We do have several brands of Craft Silver down here and I have seen one of the brands with those foreign languages on the bottle..Whether that means anything or not, I don't know, but it could be possibly a similar type of silver..

Hmm...decisions..decisions!!

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post #4 of 267 Old 04-09-08, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Quote:
Prof. wrote: View Post
That's very interesting Harp...
I find it quite incredible that such a high concentration of silver added to the white, can still appear quite white, when compared to the Kilz2..

I can barely distinguish between the two in the colour band test, except for a very slight darkening of some of the colours..and the whites look to be almost identical..

The other amazing thing is that the viewing cone doesn't appear to be reduced at all..
That is some amazing silver you have there..
The relatively high ratio of 1 part CSMS to 2 parts LW, and the resulting mix being so light, should tell you that CSMS is NOT a direct replacement for AAA or HE558; not that you said it was Prof. In fact I found that to match the gray level of the BW BB/AAA 4:1 mix using LW and CSMS I had to reverse the order of the paints! 4 parts silver to 1 part white; that comes out to 80% of the mix being silver! At that concentration, the CSMS exhibited a glossy sheen as well, and hot-spotted; which is something the C&S mix does NOT do.

I'm not sure how much the LW is hiding the silver, but even though I currently have no personal interest in such a light mix I'm going to pick up some of the Valspar enamel paint that mech uses and make a C&S mix with it to see if more reflective flakes are visible.

There doesn't seem to be any viewing cone with C&S, but yet the reflective agent does seem to lighten it to around the Kilz2 white level.

If I had a low-lumen PJ, or was happy with a white screen but wanted more pop in my colors, I would give C&S a try.

I want to stress that even though C&S ISN'T a Black Widow mix, it does share the simplicity of those mixes. That isn't an accident.

Quote:
We do have several brands of Craft Silver down here and I have seen one of the brands with those foreign languages on the bottle..Whether that means anything or not, I don't know, but it could be possibly a similar type of silver..
If they're not overly expensive, I would get small bottles of them and see if they have any prismatic effect. Who knows, you might luck out!

Quote:
Hmm...decisions..decisions!!
Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't mean to "push" C&S, but it could be the simpler solution for you; and even if it doesn't work out, the testing of your local silver paints would serve you well in your other screen paint endeavors.
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post #5 of 267 Old 04-10-08, 07:25 AM
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

The white on the BW seems so grey in these shots. Is that because the PJ is calibrated for the white? How would the shots look if you calibrated for the BW?

Thanks,

PS Have you tried rolling your C&S?
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post #6 of 267 Old 04-10-08, 09:20 AM
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

I used a very similar paint mix here although my screen shots seem to be missing (must have something to do with the old screen shots program going bust on here) But am very happy the results. It was also a 2 to 1 mix.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #7 of 267 Old 04-10-08, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
I used a very similar paint mix here although my screen shots seem to be missing (must have something to do with the old screen shots program going bust on here) But am very happy the results. It was also a 2 to 1 mix.
Hi Tony!

To be honest, I forgot you did this; maybe my subconscious didn't. I now remember reading your thread with interest. It would be great if you could re-post your photos. I can recommend photobucket.com as a hosting site, it's very intuitive and easy to use.

I want to be clear that I'm not proclaiming C&S to be some incredible new invention, it's just a simple mix of white and silver paints. What makes CSMS different than the other silver paints I have tried is it shows no prismatic effect.

Tony's results have piqued my curiosity. I think I'll make up some sample chits using several other silver paints and see what comes up. I won't be using the Behr SM since it is only available in quart containers at around $20 each; too rich for my blood just to experiment with.

Last edited by Harpmaker; 04-10-08 at 12:26 PM.
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post #8 of 267 Old 04-10-08, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Quote:
tweakophyte wrote: View Post
The white on the BW seems so grey in these shots. Is that because the PJ is calibrated for the white? How would the shots look if you calibrated for the BW?

Thanks,

PS Have you tried rolling your C&S?
Actually, the calibration on my PJ is almost non-existent, that is one reason screen neutrality is so important to me. That said, I guess you could say my PJ is "calibrated" (brightness and contrast) for gray screens. With the simple white and color bar images I used I don't think PJ calibration matters too much; but I could be wrong.

Mech's answer is spot-on. You can't compare white and gray screens side-by-side for performance. I almost didn't put the BW panels in the C&S shots, but I wanted to show how "white" C&S was compared to gray screens as well as a white panel (I also wanted to hide most of that wall ).

I see no reason C&S couldn't be rolled, but I have never done it. Paint rollers and I have a mutual understanding, I leave them alone and they leave me alone.
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post #9 of 267 Old 04-10-08, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Quote:
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Don - that was all tongue in cheek! If I were you I'd keep this one here!
I hear ya dude!

I might share C&S at LumenLab since that is the crowd a paint like this is designed for.


Again folks, the key thing about C&S is simplicity, availability of ingredients and ease of application. Also, it does seem to work fairly well.
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post #10 of 267 Old 04-10-08, 09:02 PM
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Yeah Don, looks like the LL crowd would be digging that.

Keep up the good work bud,

m

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