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Cream&Sugar™ - an N9 reflective screen mix.

80636 Views 298 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  Harpmaker
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.

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. :sweat:

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. :cunning: 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. :T

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. :bigsmile: 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 :heehee: which can still be seen in place of a 5th panel. I placed an "X" there with masking tape, kindly ignore this "panel". :whistling:

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. :doh:

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. :huh:

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.

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.

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)
[B]Tint   oz.   384th oz.
C        0       4
F        0       1[/B]
Add 16 fl. oz. of Craft Smart metallic Silver to a quart of this paint.
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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?


PS Have you tried rolling your C&S?
Comparing whites and blacks on dark/light grays is always moot. Blacks look much better on the darker. Whites look much better on the lighter. Darks perform much better in ambient light... you get the idea.

So, the next logical step would be for Don to test this against True Value Winter Mist in flat, matte, and satin. Then get some of the Craft Mart base only - no silver - and add the proper ratios to a flat paint for comparison. And when he's done with that, go get some stucco and siding paint cause I hear it's the bomb! Don't forget computerized still images! Do not do comparisons showing actual content! :unbelievable:

Don - that was all tongue in cheek! If I were you I'd keep this one here! Of course, they're probably on their sixth different twisted avenue for ambiguity/ double entendre! ;) :rofl: You may just want to say it's the 3rd best option for a N9 screen! ;) OK! I'm done poking fun!
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

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. ;)
Simplicity is something that escapes people. Simplicity is the key to all of this! Well, that and neutrality. These are the mantras of DIY screens! I am going to add this to my list though Harp! I'll probably get to it around October! :bigsmile:
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Is this paint Sherwin-Williams Luminous White flat interior latex the one the you guys consider the "best white"?
I don't think there's been much testing of whites. Most whites lack blue. And yet white is very forgiving as a screen when it comes to neutrality. I do intend to testing Smokey's Dulux White which has the best spectrum of any white I've ever seen. It's just a matter of whenever I get near the store again.
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Interesting Harp! I would've thought that the UPW would have been a bit better than the Luminous White. :scratch: It is interesting to see how the different whites perform though. It would be nice to see the spectrum stabilize itself as well. Even the LW shows a variation of 5 and the RGB's are a bit off.

If your open to suggestions, I'd recommend a touch of yellow and magenta. That should bring the green and blue down. I'd try to tackle it like the Bermuda Beige, mix up your base until it's right and then when it is dialed in you can get measurements and color match - if need be. Since you already have a bunch of metallic in the mix I'd leave the gold out. But what do I know! :neener:
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

No...it was a "Todd" thing completely. Was it accurate? Well, no one seemed to dispute the findings at the time. I myself was wary of the whole thing, but eventually after examining the method and results, I was convinced because what was being stated corresponded with what I had been / was seeing.
You said it not me! ;)

I do hope that the "neutral" findings do lead Harp further down his path toward a perfect helping of C&S, because as it was originally presented...and much like BW, the simpler it remains, the more impressive any degree of performance increase becomes.

Somewhere out there awaits a real "Mongrel Mix" of a DIY Screen that has all the "cuteness' any of us could hope for, or would / should ever need. The DIY Kennel is getting quite crowded....a virtual "Puppy Mill" as it were.
We still have several things up the old sleeves! ;) Both Bill and I have found some things that haven't been tried before - that we can recall anyways. And progress is being made on a 'white killer'. :T
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

I'll take door number two please! KISS! :rofl:

That's an awful lot of metallic in that one mix! One would more than likely need sunglasses! :sn:

I don't think the first is more neutral at all by looking at the spectrum. The second one... brilliant! Plugging numbers the firs is closer by about 30 degrees but I think they both fall within the classification. Those 2 blue points could vary well be the store variance! ;)
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Ooops, I forgot to ask....

Have you done sheen tests on this yet?!?!?! :rofl: Maybe you could rig up a glossometer with a spatula and light bulb? :rofl2:

Seriously though Harp, if you think this may be ready for prime time I think we need to add it to our N9 list. :T
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

I thought we were going by the L*a*b* values to determine neutrality. Am I doing it wrong? I know what you mean though about the spectral curve of C&S#2, I almost dubbed it "The Sine wave version". :joke:
Lab values are one of many factors.

So is a -.6/.6 worse than a -.09/.9? Only by about 30 degrees Kelvin! ;)
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Thanks mech!

The True Value "Refinement" worked out better than I had hoped! My next step is to take the tint formula from the can to Lowe's and have it made using Valspar int. latex enamel. At that point I think I'm done for awhile with the super light gray paints.

BTW, the main, and perhaps only, difference between the Valspar int. latex enamel "Base 1" and "Ultra White" is the "Base 1" has one half ounce less paint in the can to leave room for tint! I'll be using all that space since the formula for "Refinement" is 1/2 ounce White + 1/96 ounce Yellow Oxide + 1/96 ounce Exterior Red for a quart.
I actually knew that! ;) When I was looking for a match for AAA I had asked them what the differences were and they basically said that each has a bit less paint to accept more colorant.

I just got done spraying a RS-MaxxMudd-LL test panel using the formula MMan gave earlier in this thread. I'll test it with the spectro tomorrow.
Oh boy! :hide: Some magnifications would be nice as well. But I'm pretty certain I know how those will look! ;)

One thing you can't tell from spectral charts is how the paint performs under PJ light (angular gain). I'll probably stick with the white and color bar images I used before, plus one of a gray scale. Screenies look nice, but really don't tell you much. Reference images are boring, but tell you a lot. :bigsmile:
Does it have a pretty sharp cone? With regards to reference images, I agree. Screenies are not an issue with a neutral mix in my opinion. If you want to show the viewing cone just throw up an white image or an 80% gray.

Keep pluggin'! :T
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Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Also, if the tint formula works with the Valspar paint it should work with the Behr paints at Home Depot.
Has the big orange store expanded their library then? I didn't think they could match a TV color. I bet someone has a 'custom tint' all set up for you on this though! :rolleyes: ;)
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.



Nice job! It turned out as I suspected it would. I promise I'm gonna get this up in the stickies today! :T

The RS mix hot spots and appears to have an awful viewing cone. We've always said it was because of the cheap mica but I think you've proven us wrong with C&S!
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

BTW, I'm going to be doing another thread called "Why "screenies" don't matter" soon using photos I took from the above white screen.
Oooooooooo! I'm really looking forward to this!! Screenshots are nice and everything, but the hard data is the real thing of importance.

C&S was an off-shoot from my main area of research, which is making a darker screen than even Black Widow was giving me. I think the C&S mixes are pretty good and easy light-screen solutions, especially C&S #1, but I developed them for use by others. As soon as I make this last panel using the Valspar "Refinement" clone I'll publish the data at Lumen Labs where light-colored screens are almost a must because of their home-made PJ's lack of lumens.
From what little I gathered there before tiddler ran us all off, those guys have as many lumens as I have - 450 or so video optimized. You do realize you may be opening up a can of worms there as well right? Honestly Don, if I were you, I'd just leave it here. They'll find it if they really want to. If you do head over there though, bump the chat thread! :bigsmile: :T
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

I made a screen with about 12/32 ounces of black pigment in a quart.

Now why would you go and do that when there are numerous matches for just about every Munsell known to mankind already out there? :scratch: You could have just walked in and said "I'd like a quart of Winter Mist (or Winter Mountain or whatever) in a flat enamel"? :scratchhead:
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Tiddler in another forum has posted a video on how to roll paint. ( s94.photobucket.com/albums/l84/tiddlerPics/Rolling%20Vids/?action=view&current=682566e6.flv ) Would this method to include adding a small amount of water to thin the mix work for C&S? It seems like it should be ok, but wanted to ask anyway.
While Todd means well, I think his video (which i watched for the first time a few months back) is not on the 'recommended' list. Painting a screen isn't as complicated as people make it out to be.

And water is only to be added if one is spraying normally.
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

This weekend I will be doing one or both a test ~N8/N8.5 BW and a BW with a poly mix.
As soon as I can figure out all the information sent to me by various very helpful folks including Harpmaker.
I was wondering when beta testing was gonna begin! :bigsmile:
Re: Cream&Sugar - an N9 reflective screen mix.

Is the manual mix formula you have shown, for a quart or a gallon?
I'm fairly certain that it's for a quart. Wait for Harp to confirm.

Is the reflectivity axis on the right from 0-100, the same as "gain"? Is is fair to say that Cream & Sugar has gain of about .75 across most of the spectrum? Or is gain an entirely different reading than "reflectivity"?
No it's not the same as gain. It's a measure of the luminance valued in nits. If you look at some of my charts here they're measured in foot lamberts. I haven't done any Cream & Sugar gain measures yet. But if I were to hazard a guess I'd say it's more than likely 1-1+. Gain is a measure of reflectivity. But gain is an overused beast in my book. High gain screens have way too many disadvantages to consider. And a lot of folks don't understand the terminology or the technology behind a lot of the screens. They just understand and want hype. Take a look at the Da-Lite High Power. It's a retro-reflective screen. And I'd guess more than half the folks using one right now (I'm guessing, I don't really know) are not using it as such. When set up improperly, the High Power is no better than an average 1.4 gain gray screen. Bill started up a good thread on gain way back when....

I've given you a lot of homework! Sorry about that! :hide:
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