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post #1 of 16 Old 06-11-08, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Primer discussion.

This thread is about opening the closet and pulling out the deep, dark secret of DIY screen primers and exposing it to the light of day; or should I say the light of projectors.

The reason we use Kilz2 primer seems to be lost in the hoary sands of time; and while other primers have been mentioned and used by a daring few, the community at large seems to be stuck on Kilz2. Is this simply because we are adverse to change, or does Kilz2 have some near mystical advantage over other primers?

I don't have an answer to that - thus this thread.

I'll start with a comparison between Kilz2 and Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primers.

The contenders:
Kilz2

http://www.kilz.com/pages/default.aspx?NavID=28

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3

http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=11

Bulls Eye 1-2-3 costs a bit more than Kilz2, but not by a significant amount (about $4 more per gallon in my area). And while I haven't done a close review of their data sheets, BE123 seems to be closer in features to Kilz Premium.

I made up a sample chit to measure BE123 with my spectro. These chits are about 1 inch square and are made of 1/8 inch thick hardboard that has been primed with Kilz2. In the photo below you can see that BE123 (the right 3/4 of the chit) is quite a bit brighter than Kilz2; it is also much glossier. It's very hard to truly capture gloss in a photo; I would estimate the gloss of BE123 to be close to satin. Kilz2 is very flat. I angled the chit to try and capture the gloss; that pretty much failed.

BE123 is very much like regular latex paints in viscosity, while Kilz2 is downright thick. When I made the sample chit the BE123 leveled out nicely.



Now for the Spectral Reflectance Charts of the two primers.



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post #2 of 16 Old 06-11-08, 01:18 PM
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Re: Primer discussion.

Actually no real reason for one over the other.

Unless you are using a very translucent paint mix, the primer isn't a huge issue at all. Still I wouldn't use a red oxide primer or gray primer or anything like that.

I use Kilz2 because it's what I've always used before I ever even got into painting screens. I usually have some around the house, so I use that.

Maybe others have some secret, but not me.

Kilz2 does though make a nice unity gain white screen though It does tend to attract dirt pretty easy and can't be washed so it's not my pick for a permanant screen, but to get a baseline calibration... it works great!

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

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-11-08, 01:32 PM
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Re: Primer discussion.

Harp you do bring up a very interesting point though.

Like I said, unless the screen paint is a translucent mix, which some are made to be translucent, the primer doesn't matter a super huge amount. It's function is to cover darker colors so the paint you are putting up will cover better (hopefully one coat, two coats tops). Also as we know primer will seal a porous surface so your finish paint doesn't drink in and require more coats, and also provides a surface for the finish paint to adhere too. This is especially important when it comes to substrates like plastic.

Now, what might be interesting is a lot of people have been tweaking translucent mixes but making the main paint darker or lighter. It stands to reason though if the mix is translucent than you could do some tweaking with the primer coat... a slightly darker color to ever so slightly increase percieved contrast and black levels, or a brighter white to slightly elevate brightness and white levels.

I say 'slightly' because unless the screen paint is clear, the undercoating will have some affect but not as much of one as changing the outer coating's shade.

This really isn't a new concept, but hasn't ever really been disected and analyzed as to how much of a difference it really does make, but there will be some difference.

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

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-11-08, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Primer discussion.

Bill.

I've noticed that Kilz2 always seems to be a bit tacky, even when dry and cured; maybe that is why it bonds well with other paints.

The next time I prime a test panel I'll paint half of it with BE123 and the other half with Kilz2 and see if it makes any difference.

Back when I first did the beta testing for BW, my first test panel was a piece of TWH (which I would call a semi-gloss finish). I didn't prime that panel and just sprayed BW on it. I later did another panel of the exact same BW mix on a Kilz2 primed panel and there was a visible difference between the two panels in reflectance even though BW in not a translucent mix. The only real difference between those panels was the gloss of the surface painted over with the BW.


Mech,

Yeah, I would expect to find a greater color variance in primers than top-coat paints since they are designed to be painted over.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-11-08, 11:41 PM
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Re: Primer discussion.

Quote:
Harpmaker wrote: View Post
Bill.

I've noticed that Kilz2 always seems to be a bit tacky, even when dry and cured; maybe that is why it bonds well with other paints.

The next time I prime a test panel I'll paint half of it with BE123 and the other half with Kilz2 and see if it makes any difference.

Back when I first did the beta testing for BW, my first test panel was a piece of TWH (which I would call a semi-gloss finish). I didn't prime that panel and just sprayed BW on it. I later did another panel of the exact same BW mix on a Kilz2 primed panel and there was a visible difference between the two panels in reflectance even though BW in not a translucent mix. The only real difference between those panels was the gloss of the surface painted over with the BW.


Mech,

Yeah, I would expect to find a greater color variance in primers than top-coat paints since they are designed to be painted over.
I've never noticed anything I painted with Kilz2 to be tacky after it dried, but it will get dirty very easy. Just oils from your fingers are enough to make a mark. It is afterall a primer and not really meant to be exposed to long periods of time, but... it's also cheap and easy so a person can 'freshen' it up pretty quick.

I don't know about the Henry version of BW, but the AAA is a bit more translucent than just the base paint alone.

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

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-12-08, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Primer discussion.

Perhaps tacky wasn't quite the right word, but it's as close as my vocabulary will get me.

The Kilz2 is as dry and cured as my environments temperature and humidity will allow, but even months after spraying a panel stuff that falls on the panel, and is left in contact with it for any time, will stick to it hard enough so that just blowing on the panel won't clean it off. Things like sawdust will come off, but it has to be wiped with a cloth or paper towel.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but I agree that straight Kilz2 wouldn't make a very good PJ screen by itself from a cleaning standpoint.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-13-08, 06:12 PM
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Re: Primer discussion.

Guys is there a preference between Killz2 Premium and the Latex....I saw two versions at home depot yesterday when I went to pick up the last materials needed for my project. :-)
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-13-08, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Primer discussion.

Quote:
shaolin95 wrote: View Post
Guys is there a preference between Killz2 Premium and the Latex....I saw two versions at home depot yesterday when I went to pick up the last materials needed for my project. :-)
Kilz2 will work, and you may not notice a difference between the two; but to be honest, I would probably go with Kilz Premium. It is a water-based primer as well and it has better hiding and sealing properties than Kilz2, at least according to the Kilz website.

I'll pick up some next time I get to a store that has it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-16-08, 08:06 AM
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Re: Primer discussion.

Quote:
wbassett wrote: View Post
Actually no real reason for one over the other.

Unless you are using a very translucent paint mix, the primer isn't a huge issue at all. Still I wouldn't use a red oxide primer or gray primer or anything like that.

I use Kilz2 because it's what I've always used before I ever even got into painting screens. I usually have some around the house, so I use that.

Maybe others have some secret, but not me.

Kilz2 does though make a nice unity gain white screen though It does tend to attract dirt pretty easy and can't be washed so it's not my pick for a permanant screen, but to get a baseline calibration... it works great!
If planning on a gray screen, why not tint the primer to the same shade? This allows a test of the shade before getting too many coats on the screen, and may require fewer coats total.

On the other hand, I recently repainted a dark gray screen white. After 3 rolled coats of white paint, it was still a light gray.
post #10 of 16 Old 06-16-08, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Primer discussion.

Quote:
kbgl wrote: View Post
If planning on a gray screen, why not tint the primer to the same shade? This allows a test of the shade before getting too many coats on the screen, and may require fewer coats total.
In my testing of screen paints so far (mostly Black Widow) I have noticed that the base color/sheen of the primer/substrate does make a difference in the final appearance of the screen.

My first BW test panel used a leftover piece of TWH (Thrifty White Hardboard). This is hardboard that has a hard white semi-gloss finish on one side and reminds me of a dry-erase whiteboard. I didn't prime this with anything and just sprayed on the BW. I later used the exact same batch of BW to spray a hardboard panel that had been primed with Kilz2. With everything else being equal, the TWH panel was just a bit brighter under PJ illumination. I believe this was because it was the brighter and more reflective base.

I plan on doing some testing in the near future of different primers to see if they really do make a difference in the final appearance of BW.

BTW, I can't recommend THW as a substrate since the paint can be scratched off it very easily.
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