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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First off, thank you to all of those on these forums that helped me build my screen! This is my way of saying thank you and giving back to such a great community.

Step 1 - Determine screen size and position. Don't rush this. Watch a few movies at different sizes, positions, walls, etc before selecting the final product. I chose to build a 120" 16:9 screen using drywall as the substrate. (I had previously used unpainted black out cloth for a 96" screen which was great for a cheap starter)



Step 2 - Mark the corners of the screen on the wall and stud positions. Cut the drywall to size with as few seams as possible. Generally seams running horizontally are better than vertically, easier to patch too. I went to the hardware store and bought 2 sheets of 4x10' drywall. No special mold barriers or anything. ~$15





Step 3 - Tape the seams, fill with joint compound, and let dry. I used the self-sticky tape (gridlike) and pink putty that turns white when dry. Get as large a block sander as you can as its easier to keep sanding even and level. Repeat this process until the screen is perfectly smooth! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP, IF YOU RUSH IT YOU WILL HAVE TO REPAINT YOUR SCREEN (LIKE I DID) AFTER SMOOTHING MISTAKES. The seams will naturally have a concave rounded edge which shows up in bright scenes if not perfectly smooth. (Honestly, if you can find black out cloth in the size you need, that's an easier route) ~$10



Step 4 - After the screen is perfectly smooth, it's time to paint. I chose an Elektra 8.3 Mix (Cream & Sugar N9 + N6) I believe it was around 2oz N6. I have an extremely bright projector (Epson 8100 @ 1800 lumen) and chose the slightly darker grey screen for better blacks. If you watch movies in the 500-1000 lumen range you will probably want to go with an 8.5+, likely straight C&S N9 screen. All personal preference. ~$30

*NOTE: You need to first prime the drywall with a white primer. I used leftover Kilz. I'm not sure if a BEHR paint + primer will work.

All the required ingredients for just enough paint for 120".
1 qt BEHR UPW mixed to C&S N9 mix. - Home Depot
BEHR Sampler of N6 - Home Depot
8oz Craftsmart Metallic Silver - Michaels
4oz Craftsmart Metallic Gold - Michaels
4oz Craftsmart Metallic Bronze - Michaels



Empty all of it unmeasured into a gallon can. Add preferred amount of N6 grey. Mix together to create a sparkly white mix.




Paint the screen using a premium roller (don't skimp) or spray if you know how. At this point you're technically done. The screen will cure over a few days and get better each day. I chose to add a nice frame using 4" baseboard from HomeDepot. ~$60




Here are a few screenshots using a Canon IS950 camera, no flash, no tripod. Using a tripod would help show the detail a bit better. These are unaltered with the exception of resizing and saving for web. (original quality is even better) Uncalibrated Epson 8100.









I'm really happy with the results. The only thing I would do differently next time is make it bigger! :D
 

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Wow, VERY nice work! How much did it end up costing in materials? :T

Matt
 

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Did you prime/seal the sheetrock before painting with the screen paint color?

I'm wondering what the advantage of doing this is over just sanding and painting the existing wall?
 

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Did you prime/seal the sheetrock before painting with the screen paint color?

I'm wondering what the advantage of doing this is over just sanding and painting the existing wall?
My understanding is that the sheetrock should be sealed with a primer/sealer before painting with regular latex paint, or really any other paint, so that the sheetrock doesn't suck the paint up like a sponge and give a blotchy appearance.

Cool pics smuggs! Thanks! :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did prime the sheetrock before painting with leftover Kilz from another project. Any white primer will work. I should make a note of that in my steps. ;)

Yes, you could sand and paint the wall itself. In my case I already had a big hole in the wall from removing the TV/wires and wanted to have the screen look professional and stick off the wall a few inches with the trim rather than flush mounted.

Total cost for the drywall, supplies, and paint was around $55. The wooden frame is optional and adds another $60, for a grand total of $115. You could keep always paint a black border to keep it to $60 total.
 

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In reference to your comment "*NOTE: You need to first prime the drywall with a white primer. I used leftover Kilz. I'm not sure if a BEHR paint + primer will work"; from what I have been reading of the new Behr paint the answer is no. The Behr Performance Plus Ultra paints that are billed as "Paint & Primer in one" are latex paints that have better hiding qualities than their older paints, but they are not true primers. In a pinch one might be able to "prime" with this paint, or a mix based on this paint, but then the normal number of "finish" coats should still be done. When possible, I would recommend using a true primer first and then a latex "finish" paint or mix.
 

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that looks awesome. I have no expierence in Home Theater but if that looks as good as a bought screen then I want to do this also:T
 

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that looks awesome. I have no expierence in Home Theater but if that looks as good as a bought screen then I want to do this also:T
The only screens we can't do as good or better than commercial equivalents are special purpose screens such as the Da-Lite High Power or SI Black Diamond. These screens are made with special components or techniques that the Do-It-Yourselfer just can't match (yet ;)). In general, the gray screen mixes we offer here match, or exceed, the gain of commercial gray screens while still maintaining a wide viewing cone, and they are actually more color neutral than their commercial cousins. We consider screens with narrow viewing cones (and commensurate high gain ratings) as special purpose screens and have not developed any such mixes, but have concentrated on mixes that are preferred for most normal home theaters.
 

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The only screens we can't do as good or better than commercial equivalents are special purpose screens such as the Da-Lite High Power or SI Black Diamond. These screens are made with special components or techniques that the Do-It-Yourselfer just can't match (yet ;)). In general, the gray screen mixes we offer here match, or exceed, the gain of commercial gray screens while still maintaining a wide viewing cone, and they are actually more color neutral than their commercial cousins. We consider screens with narrow viewing cones (and commensurate high gain ratings) as special purpose screens and have not developed any such mixes, but have concentrated on mixes that are preferred for most normal home theaters.
That was way over my newbie head....but I will take your word for it. I've been looking at the GOO SCREEN paint today but I would like to try what this member has done first as it looks quite fine to me
 

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That was way over my newbie head....but I will take your word for it. I've been looking at the GOO SCREEN paint today but I would like to try what this member has done first as it looks quite fine to me
Sorry about that, didn't mean to talk over your head. When I answer a question I many times try to phrase it as a general statement as well if it fits the situation.

As for the Goo paints, take a look at our review of them here, they don't fair too well when looked at with an objective scientific eye.

We approach DIY and commercial screens from a scientific aspect here. We care enough about our hobby (screens) to have actually gathered the equipment to measure screen color and gain and measure these with the same methods that commercial screen manufacturers use. There are industrial standards in the screen world, but we are the only forum I am aware of that can actually test our screens, and screen samples sent from other sources, to these standards.

We talk a lot about "screen neutrality" here. The reason is that no matter if the screen is white or a shade of gray if it isn't neutral in color (reflecting all colors equally) but rather is a blueish or reddish or greenish color the projector will have to be color corrected to try to compensate or the viewed image will also be off-color too. The fact is that some projectors can't accurately compensate for a large color-shift caused by the screen. The further a screen is from being neutral in color the harder it is to compensate for the "color push" of the screen.

All if our screen mixes have been designed to be easy to mix and to be very, very color neutral. They won't hot spot (produce a spot on the screen that is brighter than the rest of the screen), have a wide viewing cone (the viewers seated at the side of the room will see the same brightness of picture as the people seated under the projector) and they can all be rolled or sprayed.
 

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I missed these pics somehow. :foottap:

The screen looks fabulous smuggs! :clap:

And to add to Don's list, we can't match the Supernova either. I'd guess we could add some of Sony's stuff too but I've never seen them personally. :dontknow:
 

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Sorry about that, didn't mean to talk over your head. When I answer a question I many times try to phrase it as a general statement as well if it fits the situation.

As for the Goo paints, take a look at our review of them here, they don't fair too well when looked at with an objective scientific eye.

We approach DIY and commercial screens from a scientific aspect here. We care enough about our hobby (screens) to have actually gathered the equipment to measure screen color and gain and measure these with the same methods that commercial screen manufacturers use. There are industrial standards in the screen world, but we are the only forum I am aware of that can actually test our screens, and screen samples sent from other sources, to these standards.

We talk a lot about "screen neutrality" here. The reason is that no matter if the screen is white or a shade of gray if it isn't neutral in color (reflecting all colors equally) but rather is a blueish or reddish or greenish color the projector will have to be color corrected to try to compensate or the viewed image will also be off-color too. The fact is that some projectors can't accurately compensate for a large color-shift caused by the screen. The further a screen is from being neutral in color the harder it is to compensate for the "color push" of the screen.

All if our screen mixes have been designed to be easy to mix and to be very, very color neutral. They won't hot spot (produce a spot on the screen that is brighter than the rest of the screen), have a wide viewing cone (the viewers seated at the side of the room will see the same brightness of picture as the people seated under the projector) and they can all be rolled or sprayed.
Makes more sense now. I am 100% in on a DIY screen. After I settle on the room color and carpet color it will be time to decide what screen mixture to go with. Thanks for the advice
 

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If home depot already sells a sample of Behr N6 , what is the product # or code on the container. What does is say on the container ? Does is say Behr N6 on the container , or do you have to have it tinted to get a N6 ? Because I can't find the N6 sample at home depot.
 

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If home depot already sells a sample of Behr N6 , what is the product # or code on the container. What does is say on the container ? Does is say Behr N6 on the container , or do you have to have it tinted to get a N6 ? Because I can't find the N6 sample at home depot.
No latex paints that I know of are named after their neutral gray Munsell value like N6 or N8 (the values range from 0 for pure black to 10 for pure white).

Here is the data from the Elektra™ thread. I put it into a "code block" in that thread to keep formatting, but that cuts the end off the text unless you use the slider; I'll try to rectify that. I've copied that formula below, but took the text out of the "code block" so you can see the full name of the paint to get - I've also highlighted it in red.
give the paint name in red and the tint formula beneath it to the paint department at any Home Depot and they should have no trouble making it. If they say it can't be made ask to talk to the manager or a senior paint tech.

N6 match in Behr Premium Plus ULTRA Interior/Exterior Flat 8 fl. oz. sampler Medium Base #UL204:

Code:
[U]Tint:       oz.     348 oz.[/U] 
[B]B   -        0        98 
C   -        0        20 
F   -        0          5[/B]
Read more: Elektra™: a range of screen paints from N8.5 down to ? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com
 

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That was way over my newbie head....but I will take your word for it. I've been looking at the GOO SCREEN paint today but I would like to try what this member has done first as it looks quite fine to me
It will look more than fine! GOO is a waste of money. The results from any of the DIY formula's will surpass GOO for a fraction of the cost (and a whole lotta pride cos you did it yourself...)

You can check out some more Elektra results and screenshots in the link in my sig.
 

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We talk a lot about "screen neutrality" here. The reason is that no matter if the screen is white or a shade of gray if it isn't neutral in color (reflecting all colors equally) but rather is a blueish or reddish or greenish color the projector will have to be color corrected to try to compensate or the viewed image will also be off-color too. The fact is that some projectors can't accurately compensate for a large color-shift caused by the screen. The further a screen is from being neutral in color the harder it is to compensate for the "color push" of the screen.
I think one more point to make here is that some projector manufacturers have done a pretty good job of providing a reasonably accurate image out of the box. Some of the reviews will look at this, and give credit to a projector that has done well in this area. Not everyone has a colorimeter or spectrophotometer to calibrate their projector, or want to pay for someone to professionally calibrate their projector. Making a screen that isn't color neutral completely defeats this purpose.
 

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I think one more point to make here is that some projector manufacturers have done a pretty good job of providing a reasonably accurate image out of the box. Some of the reviews will look at this, and give credit to a projector that has done well in this area. Not everyone has a colorimeter or spectrophotometer to calibrate their projector, or want to pay for someone to professionally calibrate their projector. Making a screen that isn't color neutral completely defeats this purpose.
Very good point Brian. The people that say that screen neutrality doesn't matter that much are usually those selling or promoting non-neutral screens. ;) One member here tried a screen mix from another forum, but ended up going with BW™ because the other mix was just too blue. IIRC he couldn't adjust his PJ for it, the controls didn't have that much adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update: 3 years later and the screen still looks just as good! All my friends with HTs are now doing this as well. I can't recommend this screen enough!

Best part is that even with kids running around putting scratches and dings in the screen (kids will be kids), I just patch, smooth, and repaint a small section. Colors match perfectly and there are no hot spots.

I am thinking of putting a bob-light or cool white glow behind the frame for an even more impressive look.
 

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Thanks for the update! :T

Sadly, the Elektra™ mix formulae are no longer possible to do since Craft Smart has changed the formula of their silver paint. The good news is that it is now possible to get the Elektra™ colors in mixes using Auto Air Aluminum (called Black Widow Ultra™).
 
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