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I recently purchased a gallon of Image Quality Labs ~18% Neutral Gray (N5) Interior Wall Paint. I'd like to share a sample of this paint with the forum for reference purposes.

A quick 3 measurements with my Colormunki Photo yielded the following readings:

L*a*b* 47.8, -0.4, 0.4
L*a*b* 48.2, -0.3, 0.4
L*a*b* 48.0, -0.3, 0.4

which to my understanding is pretty good for out-of-the-can performance.

The paint is pretty dark (approximately Munsell N5) and would make an excellent candidate for someone attempting a dark screen to enhance perceived black levels and also have a bright projector.

I've added AAA (the new mix) to half of the paint and will begin painting soon. I will gladly submit a sample of the paint with the AAA additive too.

Mechman, please send me information regarding where I should send the sample.
Hello!

That's a pretty dark mix. The projector in use and dimension of your screen are?
 

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Yes, it's quite dark.

I'm using a Optoma HD26 on a 120" 'screen.' The image look great when the lights are out (or dim) and still maintains a great look when the lights are on. The room is not overly bright at all. the front wall is a very dark, deep red and the walls are a dark gray, so even with a light on it's still pretty dim.
 

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Wow.
What an amazing amount of work you have all put in!
I am keen to try out some of your suggestions and have been looking into the BW ultra mixes you have suggested.

Our projector is a Benq W1200- it's in a converted loft space and it is only 2.6 metres to the screen.
We have black out blinds so the room does get very dark but the ceiling and walls are white so reflected light is going to be a problem. We did have it in a bigger room but have since moved house and can't afford to replace it!

Looking at an image of 200cm diagonal, we have a brightness of 45fl which is bright I know.

What paint would work best for this screen? Would I need the AAA to mix in to make the BW ultra? Or would just a plain grey neutral paint be ok.

I am a bit unsure about the N number for the screens- could anyone explain this?

Am based in the UK so have seen some of the Dulux paints mentioned earlier in this thread.

Hope that someone may be able to help!
 

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Discussion Starter #184
Wow.
What an amazing amount of work you have all put in!
I am keen to try out some of your suggestions and have been looking into the BW ultra mixes you have suggested.

Our projector is a Benq W1200- it's in a converted loft space and it is only 2.6 metres to the screen.
We have black out blinds so the room does get very dark but the ceiling and walls are white so reflected light is going to be a problem. We did have it in a bigger room but have since moved house and can't afford to replace it!

Looking at an image of 200cm diagonal, we have a brightness of 45fl which is bright I know.

What paint would work best for this screen? Would I need the AAA to mix in to make the BW ultra? Or would just a plain grey neutral paint be ok.

I am a bit unsure about the N number for the screens- could anyone explain this?

Am based in the UK so have seen some of the Dulux paints mentioned earlier in this thread.

Hope that someone may be able to help!
Your projector is incredibly bright for your screen size - roughly 46fL. You could go fairly dark and still get a decent image. And you would not need any AAA.

The N numbers refer to the Munsell neutral gray values. You can check those out here.

I would go and get samples of N7 and N6 and see how they perform for you. I'd think one of them would be fine for you.
 

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Just a reminder...

For those who are willing to calibrate the projector, know that calibration proccess usually cuts off a significant amount of light (depends on how far off is the unit). Plus, the distance from the screen using the zoom option plays its part as well on how much light is hitting our screens. Therefore, the best advice for anyone is to get a lightmeter which is very very useful to determine what shade of gray would be our screen according to standards.
 

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Image Qualities Neutral Gray N5 measures

RGB 114 115 114
L*a*b 48.3 -0.27 0.37
xyY 0.313 0.331 17.0

That's very dark and very neutral! I'm checking to see if this had the AAA added to it. It appears under the microscope that it does.
 

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Image Qualities Neutral Gray N5 measures

RGB 114 115 114
L*a*b 48.3 -0.27 0.37
xyY 0.313 0.331 17.0

That's very dark and very neutral! I'm checking to see if this had the AAA added to it. It appears under the microscope that it does.

No AAA added, just the paint straight out of the can.

I must say that projected images look fabulous and blacks appear as they should be. I'm really lovin' this paint.
 

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No AAA added, just the paint straight out of the can.

I must say that projected images look fabulous and blacks appear as they should be. I'm really lovin' this paint.

Very interesting. Just wish it was available in the UK to give it a try.

Also,
Does 18% refer to how much light is reflected back towards the viewer ?
 

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Very interesting. Just wish it was available in the UK to give it a try.

Also,
Does 18% refer to how much light is reflected back towards the viewer ?

I strongly urge you to give them a call or shoot them an email. Support is excellent; the individual I spoke with was very knowledgeable and spent a bit of time with me. They might ship to the UK but shipping charges might be a little discouraging.

To my understanding, the 18% reflects the N5 (Munsell N5) designation. I believe it would be 18% gray on the Munsell scale. Hopefully, someone will chime in with additional information.

STRONGLY recommend giving this paint a try. The results are incredible.
 

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According to another thread,
N5 gives you just 0.20% of your original lumens, so if you getting say, 1000 lumen then you can expect just 200 lumens on screen/reflected back??
 

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According to another thread,
N5 gives you just 0.20% of your original lumens, so if you getting say, 1000 lumen then you can expect just 200 lumens on screen/reflected back??

That sounds about right but with projectors being so bright these days, I think there is little consequence. I have a part of a wall painted with this paint in a room where lighting varies from dark to somewhat bright. Using a Optoma HD26 in either Reference Mode or Cinema Mode and the Lamp Setting in Eco Mode the projected image is fine.

When the room is dark, the image is beautiful, with deep blacks and excellent shadow detail. I usually keep one LED light on at the rear of the room and it does not affect the image adversely. I'm watching a movie as I write and love being able to keep a light on and still get great images.

My main concern was that the paint be neutral throughout the color spectrum. I decided to take a chance after a conversation with the company's support person. As, mechman mentions above, the paint is truly neutral and the color spectrum appears beautifully. I have yet to 'calibrate' the projector to the 'screen' due to an issue with the HD26 (probably going to get exchanged by Optoma) but when I do, I will post my findings.
 

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That sounds about right but with projectors being so bright these days, I think there is little consequence.

When the room is dark, the image is beautiful, with deep blacks and excellent shadow detail.
Problem I have is I'm already losing a HUGE amount of light output due to having passive filter kits fitted and because they are fitted internally, I can not remove one of them to watch 2d movies without having to stripdown and rebuilding one projector and then spending ages getting it to line up again with the lower one :(

So really need as much light as I can get/keep on the screen.
 

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Hi everyone,

All this sounds mighty exciting. I've not made my own screen yet but am looking at spraying one relatively soon.

In my case I have full light control and a small room with a projector (JVC DLA-X35) putting out about 700 lumens calibrated onto a 2.2m wide screen.

Is Black Widow Ultra a good candidate for that? I mean compared to any other formulation (even plain old Black Widow) what are the pros/cons of BWU for a setting like mine?

I can give more detail but I just want to start with a basic orientation...should I even be reading through this entire thread and all other things Black Widow given my basic setup.

Thanks for the general guidance and if this is a strong contender I will dive right in...I'm Europe based so will need to source stuff here.
 

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I doubt you'll benefit much from the added brightness of black widow unless you want to watch more often with ambient light. For me, I intended to paint with black widow, but started with a neutral gray just because I was painting the other walls in my room. The improvement was so drastic just switching from white to gray, that I was satisfied without adding the silver. I would just recommend starting with a light neutral gray to see how you like that. You can even throw it on a test panel if you don't want to commit to painting the whole wall.
 

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I doubt you'll benefit much from the added brightness of black widow unless you want to watch more often with ambient light. For me, I intended to paint with black widow, but started with a neutral gray just because I was painting the other walls in my room. The improvement was so drastic just switching from white to gray, that I was satisfied without adding the silver. I would just recommend starting with a light neutral gray to see how you like that. You can even throw it on a test panel if you don't want to commit to painting the whole wall.
Excellent advice! :T
 

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Thanks and thanks Mechman for your tireless efforts here. I have been getting a great education reading threads here and your posts and Harp and Yiannis have been hugely helpful.

There is a lot more to the screen than one thinks and on reviewing the stickies on the DIY forum one of the things I came away with is you have to match the screen to the room and projector etc.

In my case here are the basic facts:


Room: 3.6m x 3.8m...projection along the longer dimension. Dedicated with full light control - dark surfaces and black velvet on projection wall.
Viewing distance: 2.2m (single couch in middle of room so viewing cone for 2-3 persons is quite narrow).
Throw distance: 3.1m
Projector: JVC DLA-X35 (most references say this puts out around 700 lumens fully calibrated. I have not measured it and working with an assumption of 500 lumens to account for bulb aging I am getting a calculated 16 foot Lamberts reflected off my screen at its maximum area for 1.77 viewing)
Projected image: Constant image width of 220 cm with adjustable vertical masking for 1.77 vs 2.35/2.40 content
Substrate: Either Forex (Euro Sintra) or Dibond. Either one will get attached to an 8mm plywood backing board for attachment to the wall.


Given my short room I will be near the widest angle of the DLA-X35 lens in order to throw a 220 cm image.

When I think about the D-ILA technology which is prized for deep blacks and high contrast ratios it seems to me one of the considerations I should be having is avoiding darkening the image too much with an N of 8 or lower. But the bottom line is I really don't know what paint formulation would be the best way for me to turn to.

I do have an i1 Pro that I use for screen calibration for digital photography so it seems to me that I could at least experiment a bit with spraying sample pieces of my substrate and then assessing their Lab readings.

Any advice or general steer very welcome. I HAVE read good parts of the stickies here but most work/references are dated now. My take is people mostly seem to talk about Black Widow or BW Ultra and C&S and C&S Ultra. I am happy to start down any of those paths or just a neutral "grayish" paint but am not sure which is the avenue that is best suited to my situation.
 

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Hello dave!

Well, i don't see particular problems in your set up. X35 can handle easily a 100'' screen, have no fear. One of the pros of this projector is the use of a manual iris which permits you to level the luminosity values according to standards. So, it's somehow irrelevant if you use a N9,5/N9 or N8 screen. If you opt for a gray screen you will open up a bit the iris and everything will be fine. The better contrast performance is coming with iris fully closed. My suggestion will be to start out with a plain white screen, calibrate your projector with iris fully closed and see where you stand. If you get 12 to 15FLs then the jobe is done and you won't be needing anything else.
 

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I'm currently using a Sherwin Williams Duration based Dover Grey screen (100") with my Epson 5030 at 11'5".

It looks great in dark and in low ambient conditions. But Movies are a bit dark, so I've decided I need to repaint with a brighter mix.

I have 1/2 quart of paint left over and would like to paint the same screen again after adding AAA-F.

I can make a couple test swatches and send them to anyone wanting to test them.

What proportion of AAA-F would you recommend?


Thanks,
AJ
 

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Hello dave!

Well, i don't see particular problems in your set up. X35 can handle easily a 100'' screen, have no fear. One of the pros of this projector is the use of a manual iris which permits you to level the luminosity values according to standards. So, it's somehow irrelevant if you use a N9,5/N9 or N8 screen. If you opt for a gray screen you will open up a bit the iris and everything will be fine. The better contrast performance is coming with iris fully closed. My suggestion will be to start out with a plain white screen, calibrate your projector with iris fully closed and see where you stand. If you get 12 to 15FLs then the jobe is done and you won't be needing anything else.
Hi Yiannis,

Sorry for my delayed reply - I was away on vacation and keeping my wife happy. Thanks for your feedback which is very helpful to me. So looks like I should be aiming for a screen paint formulation of around N9,5. I will scout around here in Switzerland and look for suitable paints.

As I mentioned I do have an i1 Pro which I invested in for digital photography. I have only used it to calibrate my photoediting computer screen and printer but it seems to me that since the i1 Pro is a spectrophotometer I could also use it to measure my own swatches. It's been a while since I have used it but would I be wrong in thinking I could purchase several samples of paints available to me here, spray small samples of my substrate, then let the painted substrate dry/cure for a day or two and measure the Lab reflectance?

Best,

Dave
 
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