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Help for a beginner - Black Widow Paint

36792 Views 51 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Savingslowly
Hi, I was just wondering if you could help with a couple of questions regarding the black widow paint mix.

1. I accidentally bought the Dulux Wash and Wear 'Low sheen' tinted with Bermuda Beige 427-2 rather than the Wash and Wear 'Flat' :sad:. Would this significantly affect the performance?

2. Given that 'Auto Air Aluminum Fine have rendered the formula for making Black Widow™ useless', should I take the gamble that this supplier: airbrushmegastore . com (the only Australian supplier I could find) stock the older versions of the auto air aluminum fine or just start over and choose a different paint mix?

Thank you for your time :bigsmile:
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Hey guys,

So I finally got the wall done and it's a massive improvement!! :clap:

I had some areas where I had repaired the wall because we had to cut some pretty nasty holes to get the cables down the wall. I went over it a few (3) times with some filler trying to get it as smooth as I possibly could before painting.

I used the DULUX Acrylic Sealer Undercoat with Ultrasmooth for the base. I started with a 5mm Mohair roller because I heard that that would get the flattest result but I've got to be honest I wasn't impressed with the first coat. After reading the can I realised that this was too fine to get enough paint on the wall and utilise the paints hiding properties.

Back to Bunnings I go.....

The can recommended a minimum of 12mm nap so that's what I got. A Monarch high quality roller same as the first but longer nap.

Back to the painting and the improvement was massive. The 5mm made the paint clump a bit and left a strange texture where as the 12mm slapped on plenty of paint and let the paints hiding quality shine through. This undercoat is specifically designed for a smooth finish and superior hiding power and it worked a treat.

I placed on 3 coats of the under coat with a light sand in between each coat.

Next the White Widow!!

I purchased the Dulux wash and wear 101 Matt in Milton Moon grey as that was the recommendation for my 4k lumen proj. Added the new formula of AAA and mixed like a made man for nearly 20 mins.

2 coats later and I was nearly done. Was pretty happy with how smooth it was but I found the 5mm nap just didn't get enough paint on the wall.
For the last coat I decided to use the 12mm nap as after reading the paint can it recommended a minimum of 10mm nap. I've gotta say, the 12mm gave a much more even, smooth finish than the 5mm roller did. The paint just went on easier and dried smoother.

I am really happy with the result. I really struggle to find the spots where the repairs were even from close up.

But more so.... The projector looks SOOO much better:bigsmile: the darks are much darker, black is a lot better still not perfect but a massive improvement, after all this a data projector I'm using not a Home Theater. The colours are much more vivd, particulary reds blues and green really pop. The finish is also very even now where previously it was a little patchy due to uneven surface and poor paint coverage. Another thing that is massively improved is rejection of ambient light. Our room has a massive glass sliding door on one side and a window on the other and now I can watch during bright days without too much interfeance, I wouldnt say it's as good as a dark room, but it's a massive improvement. This is one area I was particularly impressed.

In conclusion, spend the time to get the wall as flat as you possibly can. Go over it with filler and sand back lightly multiple times if need be...until you can run you hand across it and it feels really flat and smooth.
The better you prepare the better the end result will be. If you have small blemishes or the like the super smooth undercoat is the BOMB:hsd: It's not cheap and you need to do three coats but it really does cover over any imperfections incredibly well.


Make sure you put enough top coat on. When I had 2 coats of the Black Widow on, the wall looked awesome to the eye. But when I turned on the projector with a blue screen the colour was still a little patchy. It wasn't until I put the 3rd coat on that I really had it looking perfect.

I work in AV and have set up or seen hundreds of projectors set up in all kinds of environments on all kinds of screens and this formula works great. It will compensate for a lot of issues in your room and with your projector if you get the right shade. It cant make a projector look great but it will make a pretty decent projector look a LOT better!!!:T

Thanks guys!!
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Hey guys,

Ok so now I'm looking to upgrade my projector!! Which means I may need to paint my wall again!!!

What I was hoping to find out is the screen I have painted with the milton moon....what would the gain of this screen be equal to?

I'm looking at getting the epson tw8200 which is is 2400 lumens and I'm worried that I may have too darker colour grey and may need to repaint...

Thanks Mech Went ahead and purchased the tw8200 yesterday and my oh my what a projector!! Works great on the black widow screen in eco mode too, I was worried I may have to repaint.

I'm now looking at calibrating my projector as it has a bunch of options to play around with. Is there anywhere you could point me towards in regards to calibration? I actually haven't got a clue where to start. Ideally anything I can do just with test patterns and not requiring me to buy a light meter or anything really (the 8200 wasn't cheap!!!)

Thanks in advance :)
Hi All,

I've been lurking for a while, reading up on Black Widow - finally got around to painting my screen in the last couple of days. Short version: wow!

The long version is:
I had a fixed 99" screen with a previous projector (Epson TW3000, aka PowerLite Home Cinema 6100) but when that died a few months back I replaced it with an Acer H6510BD. The Acer throw ratio is different and I couldn't be bothered moving my ceiling mount to fit my old screen, so I'm now projecting a 114" image onto the wall.

It's in a lounge room that's fairly dark, even during the day when all blinds are drawn, but far from light-controlled. We also do a fair bit of daytime watching (sport etc) and my wife almost always insists on some light on in the room at night, so brightness was a pretty major consideration for me. I'm thoroughly satisfied with the Acer - I haven't even bothered with calibration - it has a couple of decently acceptable modes (for me) out of the box and it's plenty bright, even in eco mode to keep the fan noise acceptable. For $769 Australian (about $718 US), I can happily accept it's shortcomings - it even looked acceptable on the plain cream coloured lounge room wall (colours were a bit off, but surprisingly good black levels).

So for the painted screen I applied two base coats of old ceiling white I had left over first, with a sand before beginning and after each coat. Today I painted the first coat of Black Widow, based on Dulux Wash & Wear in 'Milton Moon' as Savingslowly tried. Even after one coat of this (pic attached), the improvement in perceived brightness, the pop of colours and far darker looking blacks is fantastic, much better than what I had hoped for. Daytime viewing without closing all the blinds will be the really big beneficiary for me.

I wasn't even particularly fussy with wall prep - just patched three nail and screw holes, but there are plenty of imperfections from where old wallpaper must have been removed. Honestly, for anyone considering painting their own Black Widow screen, do it! It's easy to get a vastly improved picture even with relatively average prep. The most annoying thing was that the Auto-Air aluminium wanted to separate out from the Dulux base fairly quickly (i.e. within minutes it would start coming to the surface), but a good shake before pouring and a couple of mixes in the roller tray while painting and it was still easy to get an even result on the wall (the darker sections showing in the pic below are thanks to shadows from vertical blinds which were open at the rear of the room).

Thank you so much to all here on Home Theatre Shack for your combined knowledge and the effort you've gone to in coming up with this simple and inexpensive solution for a great screen!


Room Property Furniture Bed Bed sheet
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Very nicely done!!

We would like to hear you more about the picture quality though and the comparison with your old screen.:)
I'll be painting a second coat of Black Widow today (might not have enough paint for a third, but based on last night's viewing, I'll be more than happy with two coats).

I'll post up some more comparison shots after that - I'll stand the old screen across half of the picture, but even the cream wall appeared better than the screen for contrast ratio during the day and with lights on at night. The screen obviously produced more accurate colours than the cream wall though, and was better at night with lights off, but not by as much as I expected. I think the cream wall was probably a low sheen paint, not matt, which probably helped for max brightness, if not uniformity (picture was just noticeably dimmer near the edges).

It was a unbranded screen though - my father in law used to run a picture framing business and would frame up these screens for a customer who ran a business supplies shop, but they also sold a lot of projectors, and I scored this one free (old leftover, slightly scratched stock) when they stopped making them. They apparently used to sell these for around the $700 Aus mark though (it's a solid screen, not fabric).

Anyway, this room has two overhead light fixtures and a lamp in a rear corner - all with fairly dim globes in them though (equivalent to 25W standard incandescent globes from memory). We used to have just the corner lamp on for night time viewing, which threw very little light onto the screen - the overhead lights are still dim, but brighter than just the corner lamp and they throw more light onto the screen. Based on watching some TV last night, I would rate the picture quality of the BW painted screen, with all lights on better than with just the corner lamp on and projecting onto the old cream wall.

Black levels were fantastic, colours bright, and no graininess or hot spotting - it honestly looked much like viewing a 100+ inch plasma screen, with 4 x 25W lights on (admittedly all obscured by a lamp shade or light fittings).

A picture paints a thousand words though :heehee:, so I'll post a couple of photos with the projector running after the second coat. I know photos never accurately show how bright a picture looks in real life, but the comparison of BW wall to screen should be fairly obvious.
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A couple of pics, still only with one coat of BW, but during the day with all the vertical blinds closed. They're not great pics, just from my phone, and I didn't pause the movie (or I'd be dealing with a screaming 3 year old) so they're blurry, but they do show relative brightness.

First is with no flash used - the room appears far darker than it actually is:
Projection screen Projector accessory Media Technology Wildlife

Next is with flash on - the room appears brighter than it actually is, about as bright as it would be with the side vertical blinds open, but rears left closed (how I would normally view sport during the day):
Property Room House Interior design Building

The room in reality with blinds closed during the day actually looks about halfway between the relative darkness indicated in these two photos, and the screen just looks like a 114" plasma :D

I'll get some better photos up later after the second coat goes on, with something better than a cartoon to show picture quality.

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I finished painting - ended up having enough for a third coat, hence the delay posting back here.

In a bit of a rush right now and didn't have time to resize and save the pics to the gallery, so for now you can see a bunch of pics at: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/tud7c1e9se1fe6x/AACaZqQBLjs2Qyxoikg9LuKGa

Sorry they're still average quality pics from my phone, but hopefully they show a useful comparison between the new painted screen and the old fixed screen (not all pics have both screens in view).

Our night-time viewing is now pretty much all with overhead lighting on, and I no longer complain about the lights to my wife :R

For any beginners out there here in Aus hesitant to have a go - it's easy - just do it! 1L of Dulux Wash and Wear Matt in Milton Moon, plus 240ml of Auto-Air Aluminium new formula (not quite 4:1, but pretty close) worked for me. If you don't want quite as grey a screen, then Tranquil Retreat or Ashville are the next two Dulux greys that are very neutral, Ashville is the brightest, with Tranquil Retreat in between the two - I'm guessing they'd work well too.

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Hi all, Though I've had projection based HT's for over 10 years, I'm a newbie to screen painting (and to this forum). I've searched (not well enough?), but haven't found a page with specific spray paint advice for applying BW. I picked up the recommended $50 Wagner sprayer, primer, Valspar base paint tinted to Glidden Gray and two small bottles of the Aluminum paint. I'd like to get clear about things like thinning and straining before starting out. This will be going on the backside of Carl's flexiwhite, tensioned up the wazoo on an emt frame. thanks
I realise I'm digging into an old thread but I need HELP!!!

I have been forced to repaint my wall from earlier in this thread as after filling it with spray foam for acoustic purposes some of the repairs showed up again.

So the backstory is earlier in this thread I was advised that Milton Moon from Dulux in flat would suit my projector (at the time). Because I changed to a much better projector I elected to go with Ashville also from Dulux. Using the colour picker app this gives an even more neutral Grey but a few shades lighter to match the lumens better however.....

After painting the wall I now get a slight purple tinge on cinema mode with the projector. If I look in the right light I can see an ever so slight purple tinge in the grey as well and the colour balance is annoyingly out of whack.

I'm trying to figure out why I would be having this problem?

I used the auto air aluminium fine the same as before, in the same quantity with 500ml to 2ltr paint (1/4). The only thing I can pick is that the barcode looked totally different so I was unable to determine the batch. I assumed it must be a new formula as the barcode was new and the bottle didn't look very old at all. Unfortaely the bottle is long gone so I am unable to post a picture. It looked exactly the same bar the barcode. Is it possible they have changed to formula again? Or have I just received a dodgy paint tinge from the store???

Any help will be appreciated....as you can imagine I'm devistated this has happened and really trying to avoid making matters worse. I even installed some paintable primeacoustic panels which I painted to the colour which will now lose a great deal of their absorption with a re-paint!!! GRRRR
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