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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,
I'm new here. I've learned a lot already from just reading the different forums. Excited to join!

Just wondering if there is any difference between Komatex vs Sintra. I've heard they are just different brands of the same product. There is a place about a little over an hour away that sells Komatex the size I would need. (3mm and 6mm)

I'm wanting to paint it with Black Widow. Would I need to prime it first? I've read that I should not have to prime Sintra, but I wanted to make sure that is what is recommended with Black Widow.

One last question. Which roller is recommended for the absolute smoothest finish with least amount of texture, a Mohair 1/4 or a just a woven fabric 3/16?

Thank you for your help!!

- Nick
 

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Hey Everyone,
I'm new here. I've learned a lot already from just reading the different forums. Excited to join!

Just wondering if there is any difference between Komatex vs Sintra. I've heard they are just different brands of the same product. There is a place about a little over an hour away that sells Komatex the size I would need. (3mm and 6mm)

I'm wanting to paint it with Black Widow. Would I need to prime it first? I've read that I should not have to prime Sintra, but I wanted to make sure that is what is recommended with Black Widow.

One last question. Which roller is recommended for the absolute smoothest finish with least amount of texture, a Mohair 1/4 or a just a woven fabric 3/16?

Thank you for your help!!

- Nick
Welcome to HTS! :wave:

I have never seen Komatex so I can't say from experience, but my understanding is that there is very little difference between it and Sintra when used to make a front projection screen. Komatex should work fine.

I doubt you would need to prime your Komatex before painting it, but be SURE there are no visible scratches, divots or other imperfections on the surface of the sheet. What happens with a mix containing reflective flakes such as Black Widow™ is the imperfections can catch and hold the flakes differently than a flat surface and you can get an uneven appearance under projection.

I am no expert with a roller (I much prefer spraying), but my understanding is that mohair (wool) roller covers are best used with oil-based paints while the woven fabric is best for water-based paints.

The shorter the nap of the roller the smoother the final paint finish will be. The downside to using a short nap cover is that it holds less paint so it has to be loaded more times than a thicker nap cover. Most people seem to get good results using a 1/4" nap cover, but for the finest, smoothest texture go with the 3/16". Just be sure to not over-roll the paint which can happen when you almost have enough paint on the roller to complete a section and try to make it stretch. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your help Don! I really appreciate all the work you and Mech have put into all this.

To try to make a long story short, I've been trying to make a screen work with Black Widow for about a month. I absolutely love the way it looks!!! So it's hard to settle for anything else. I started with my wall, but it has a lot of imperfections in it. When fixing up the garage, my brother and I cut about 2 feet out of the middle of the wall, stuffed it with insulation and then patched it back up. Looks fine unless you project on it... I tried sanding and mudding, but it's just too hard to get it perfect.

At the time I had not heard of Sintra, so I ordered some screen material, built a frame for it, and tried painting it. I suffered from roller marks multiple times, so my Dad, who is a much better painter than me showed me some technique. When I applied what he showed me with what Mech recommends on the Black Widow forum, it turned out perfect with no roller marks. The only problem was after so many mess-ups, the roller texture had built up and was very visible and distracting in bright scenes.

All that to say, I think I've learned from my mistakes, and I believe when I roll my first coat onto the Komatex, it should look really nice. But, even so, is there a huge difference in a sprayed screen and a correctly rolled screen? My brother does have a Wagner sprayer that he said I could use, but I'm not experienced at all with a sprayer, so it makes me a little nervous. There is a man at our church who owns a body shop. I thought about asking him how much he would charge to spray it for me.

Anyway, just wondering how big of a difference you think it would make.

Thanks again for your time!!

- Nick
 

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No problem Nick, we try to help when and where we can.

In general, a sprayed screen will probably be smoother than a rolled finish, but I have been sent screen samples made by members here for color testing that rolled and I can't tell the difference between them and my sprayed test panels! If you are comfortable rolling paint they stick with it. Spraying has it's own "bumps in the road" for new operators, it is still an learned method. I know others on another forum make it seem like all you have to do is point the sprayer in the general direction of the screen and pull the trigger (I'm being a bit facetious here ;)) and good results will be guaranteed, but that isn't the case. That said, a little bit of practice spraying on a large sheet of cardboard should be all that is required to learn how to overlap your passes and get a good screen. You NEED to use either an HVLP or LVLP spray gun to paint a screen inside your house, other types of guns will have MUCH more over-spray and everything in the room would be covered in paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick reply!

I think I know which forum you are talking about. I don't think you are being too facetious. :) I almost bought into it, until I read on some other forums of people having trouble trying to spray their screens, and I knew there had to be an art to it. I'm going to have some left over Komatex after they make the cut. I might could ask for the leftover piece to practice spraying with.

Both sides of the Komatex should be exactly the same, correct? If so, this is what I'm thinking. I will paint one side with a roller. Hopefully, I will be happy with it, but if not, then I could try the other side sprayed. Probably taking it to the man at our church who owns the body shop. I would think someone who sprays cars should be able to give an ultra smooth finish on a screen. I'm sure much better than I could do! :) With your experience, would you say this would be a good way to go about this?

My only concern is I would prefer to roll it after it has been hung solid on the wall. So I would need to be careful and not accidentally ding up the other side in the hanging process. The wall behind it will be smooth drywall. My plan was to put screws and large washers all the way around the edge of the screen, attaching it directly to the wall. Then I would cover the screws with a three inch black border after painting. But, I just saw where you recommended "Hangman" to someone. Would that hold it sturdy enough for painting it on the wall, or would screws be the best way to go for that? I'm thinking I'm going to spend the extra 45 dollars and get the 6mm thickness to be sure it's good and sturdy.

Wish I would have signed up at HTS sooner! I would probably have my screen finished already! :) Live and learn... This has been an extremely helpful experience. Thanks again!

- Nick
 

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Thanks for the quick reply!

I think I know which forum you are talking about. I don't think you are being too facetious. :) I almost bought into it, until I read on some other forums of people having trouble trying to spray their screens, and I knew there had to be an art to it. I'm going to have some left over Komatex after they make the cut. I might could ask for the leftover piece to practice spraying with.
I don't mean to scare you away from spraying, it's not all that difficult, but you do have to thin the paint with water to get it spraying properly (it will come out of the nozzle as large drops rather than a fine mist if it's too thick); and you have to be able to overlap your horizontal passes (each pass is about 8" wide) to prevent mottling and striping. We can help with the paint dilution and just a little practice with some cheap latex paint (available cheap as mismatched colors from your paint store) will handle any striping problem. I haven't checked available models and pricing for awhile, but electric or turbine powered HVLP systems can usually be purchased for around $60 give or take.

Both sides of the Komatex should be exactly the same, correct? If so, this is what I'm thinking. I will paint one side with a roller. Hopefully, I will be happy with it, but if not, then I could try the other side sprayed. Probably taking it to the man at our church who owns the body shop. I would think someone who sprays cars should be able to give an ultra smooth finish on a screen. I'm sure much better than I could do! :) With your experience, would you say this would be a good way to go about this?
I'm not really sure if both sides of Komatex are the same texture or not. I would assume so; however, assumptions can come back to bite you in the rear.

As for having a body shop paint your screen for you, there is a large difference in viscosity between auto paints and interior latex house paint (latex is much thicker). It wouldn't hurt to ask about it though. Latex paints, or screen mixes made with them as the chief component, are usually thinned about 30% with water for spraying.

My only concern is I would prefer to roll it after it has been hung solid on the wall. So I would need to be careful and not accidentally ding up the other side in the hanging process. The wall behind it will be smooth drywall. My plan was to put screws and large washers all the way around the edge of the screen, attaching it directly to the wall. Then I would cover the screws with a three inch black border after painting. But, I just saw where you recommended "Hangman" to someone. Would that hold it sturdy enough for painting it on the wall, or would screws be the best way to go for that? I'm thinking I'm going to spend the extra 45 dollars and get the 6mm thickness to be sure it's good and sturdy.
Yes, the Hangman (or any other "French Cleat" style hanging system) should provide a firm screen than can be rolled after hanging. Be sure to get a bracket (or brackets) that will handle the weight of your screen.

Getting the 6mm thickness is a good idea since it doesn't need a separate frame for stiffness, the 3mm sheet does.

Wish I would have signed up at HTS sooner! I would probably have my screen finished already! :) Live and learn... This has been an extremely helpful experience. Thanks again!

- Nick
No worries Nick. :T If you have any further questions or clarification on anything said don't hesitate to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Don!
Thanks so much for your help. I got the sample of Komatex in the mail today and it is really impressive-incredibly smooth. To the point that I realized there is no way I can replicate that surface by rolling.

So... I called the man at our church I was telling you about who owns the body shop. His name is Wesley. He's been painting cars for thirty five years, but he's never painted a screen. He said he believes he could do it, but he would love to ask you a few things first. His questions were over my head of course. He did mention viscosity. :) Please forgive me if this is not proper forum etiquette, (I'm new to forums) but if I gave you Wesley's contact info, would you be willing to answer his questions? I know he would be able to do it confidently after getting a few pointers from you.

Thank you Don!!!

- Nick
 

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Hey Don!
Thanks so much for your help. I got the sample of Komatex in the mail today and it is really impressive-incredibly smooth. To the point that I realized there is no way I can replicate that surface by rolling.

So... I called the man at our church I was telling you about who owns the body shop. His name is Wesley. He's been painting cars for thirty five years, but he's never painted a screen. He said he believes he could do it, but he would love to ask you a few things first. His questions were over my head of course. He did mention viscosity. :) Please forgive me if this is not proper forum etiquette, (I'm new to forums) but if I gave you Wesley's contact info, would you be willing to answer his questions? I know he would be able to do it confidently after getting a few pointers from you.

Thank you Don!!!

- Nick
Sure thing Nick. :T After you post one more post in the forums here you will be able to send PM's to folks (like me ;)). If your friend would prefer to ask me questions via regular email just ask and I'll PM you my email address and you can pass it on to Wesley.

Some info that might help him spray latex paint:

An HVLP or LVLP gun is a must. He is probably using one already unless he is very old school and still uses a conventional high pressure gun.

I use a 1.4mm needle and nozzle on my gun, but sizes from 2.0mm to 1.0mm will work as well.

I use about 45 PSI of air pressure AT THE GUN. My air compressor is set to around 70 PSI.

Thin the latex paint around 30% with distilled water and mix well.

If the paint wants to spit and sputter then add water until the paint atomizes well.

Set the guns "fan" control wide open.

With my equipment 2 sprayed coats is approximately equivalent to a single rolled coat in thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great!!

I'll send him all this helpful info. He did tell me that his gun is a Sata Jet 4000B HVLP.

How much paint would you recommend him have for a 125 inch screen. I think I have about 45oz left. About 12 or so of those oz are in a separate can, watered down 10 percent from where I rolled a thin coat and had some left over. Do you think this would be enough for him to work with? I don't want him to feel hindered by how much paint is left, and I wasnt sure if spraying uses more or less paint than rolling.

If you don't think this would be enough, there is a man in Arkansas who still has some of the old AAA in stock (at least he did back in June) that he had marked down and could ship to me, but I would need to get it ordered from him tomorrow.

Thanks Don! I'll send you a PM shortly!

- Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Actually, I'm not seeing where to PM you yet. It's probably me still getting used to how this works.

If you don't mind, could you PM me your email address? I'll pass it on to Wesley.

Thanks!!!

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cool, thanks Mech! It worked now!

I know that you have had experience with rolling and spraying Black Widow screens. Wondering the difference you have been able to see in the two different approaches. My guess is the overall texture is the main difference. But I was also curious how the aluminum flakes are affected, if at all.

I've purchased some Komatex and the sample looks extremely smooth, and I'm thinking that achieving that smooth of a surface with a roller would be hard to do. As you may have read, Don has been helping me. There is a man at our church who owns a body shop and has been spraying cars for 35 years, who thinks he can spray the Komatex for me after asking Don a few questions.

Thanks Mech!

- Nick
 

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I've seen no difference between a sprayed and a rolled screen. I can roll a screen as smooth as I can spray one. The whole key to this is preparation. Have a light setup off to the side so that you can see any blemishes as they are created and you can eliminate them right away. The main issue with rolling would be bubbles and roller marks. Bubbles tend to gather the aluminum in them and when they pop they leave a dot of concentrated aluminum. Bubbles don't happen that often and generally occur because of over rolling. With a light setup off to the side, you'll be able to see roller marks as you roll and roll them out right away.
 

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Great!!

I'll send him all this helpful info. He did tell me that his gun is a Sata Jet 4000B HVLP.
Compared to his gun mine is a piece of junk! The good news is that if I can spray a decently smooth screen with my Harbor Freight HVLP guns he should have no problem at all.

How much paint would you recommend him have for a 125 inch screen. I think I have about 45oz left. About 12 or so of those oz are in a separate can, watered down 10 percent from where I rolled a thin coat and had some left over. Do you think this would be enough for him to work with? I don't want him to feel hindered by how much paint is left, and I wasnt sure if spraying uses more or less paint than rolling.

If you don't think this would be enough, there is a man in Arkansas who still has some of the old AAA in stock (at least he did back in June) that he had marked down and could ship to me, but I would need to get it ordered from him tomorrow.

Thanks Don! I'll send you a PM shortly!

- Nick
I assume you have a 125" diagonal screen. This would have a surface area of 46.17 square feet. I usually recommend that folks plan on having paint on hand, whether rolling or spraying, amounting to one fluid ounce per square foot of screen area. The saving grace here is that many times people use less paint than this so I think your 45 oz. will be fine. Wesley should practice with a standard interior latex paint first to learn how much he needs to thin it and what pressure works best with his gun. The best paint to use would be the same base paint you used to mix your BW™, but about any name brand should get him in the ballpark. After he gets a finish that pleases him he should be able to then switch over to using your BW™ for the real screen. Remember to thin that as well.

Generally speaking, I think that a screen can be sprayed with less paint than it takes to roll it on. In my experience it's also faster to spray than to roll. My sprayed coats usually try to the touch in 10-15 min.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you Don and Mech!
After a lot of thought and talking it through with Wesley, I think I'm going to give rolling one more try. I think I'm figuring out that the texture that I got on the first screen I painted was due mostly to how many improper applications I put on, but also to the primer. I have a piece of the old screen material that I painted with primer and another piece that I painted with just paint. The one with primer has a similar lumpy/orange peel type texture and the one with paint looks just like the screen material only a different color. I spoke with someone at Goo Screen today to get their opinion, because their website recommends Sintra (much like Komatex) and he said that primer does have a tendency not to lay flat like paint does. And he felt that if I painted the screen with a tight nap roller not using primer that I should get as smooth a texture as I would get with a sprayed screen. Just as Wesley suggested, and you guys have told me as well.

All that to say, I think if I can paint the Black Widow straight onto the Komatex without priming, I should be happy with it. I did a test with the two tightest nap rollers I could find on the wall beneath where the screen will be. So far the Sherwin Williams roller seems to be the winner.

If this doesn't work, then I will probably take it to Wesley and see if he can spray the opposite side for me. But, I feel pretty confident that I can do it now! I'll keep you guys posted on the progress!

I do have a couple more questions. First, I'm assuming two coats will be needed, but wanted to make sure. Also, I'm thinking about trying The Hangman. Will one in the center be enough for a 125 inch screen, or would it be more sturdy to maybe use three, one on each side and one in the center? Keep in mind that I would like to paint it while it's hanging on the wall. So I don't want to risk it shifting or falling.

Thank you so much for your help!! You guys are awesome!

- Nick
 

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There is no sense of accomplishment like doing the screen 100% yourself. :T

Two coats are what most people have to put down to get a homogenous (non-mottled) look to the screen. but some have been known to be happy with a single rolled coat. Plan on two to be safe.

Generally one Hangman bracket is used, but I see your point of wanting as much stability as possible due to rolling the screen after hanging it up. Hangman makes a 5" bracket 3-pak for $15.99 retail that looks good. The only caveat is that you will NEED to make sure all 3 brackets are at the EXACT same height and in-line. Each bracket has it's own bubble-level built right in, but that won't help to get them in-line.

Good luck! Please keep us up-to-date on your project. :T

http://hangmanproducts.com/collections/hanging-solutions/products/heavy-duty-mirror-picture-hanger

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Don. Yes, I'm looking forward to that feeling of accomplishment. I believe it's finally almost here! :)

I did some tests tonight to make sure my rolling is going to work. I cut out two pieces of the old screen I painted, and taped them both to the wall. One piece, I flipped over on the back and painted one coat of Black Widow, the other is the screen after my multiple coats of horrible paint jobs. I can't even believe I'm showing you guys this. It's really bad... But hey, hopefully someone else can learn from my mistakes and not have to purchase more than one substrate. :) The back side of the screen is not the best material to paint, as the black is still trying to peak through, but it was good enough to show me the difference. I was so nervous that I was going to get the same results, but now I feel confident that it's going to be worlds better! Here are some pictures. No point in telling you which side is which, I'm sure you will be able to tell. :)







Thanks again for all your help. I'll keep you posted and hopefully have more picture in the coming days.

- Nick
 

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Thanks for the photos Nick! Yes, I'm sure they will help someone that might be in a similar boat with many coats of paint on a wall or substrate. That is sure a case of mad texture build-up!

For those wanting to (or having to) stay with the overly-textured substrate (it could even be a wall) an answer would be to sand down the texture, but sanding paint has it's own little quirks and takes time to remove so much texture without going too far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey Don and Mech!
I got the screen hung and it looks great. I'm ready to paint. I went ahead and ordered more of the old AAA from a guy in Arkansas who had it marked way down. This way I knew I could do my tests and not risk running out. Long story short it came in the mail today, so I thought I'd go ahead and make a fresh batch, and then mix my leftover with it.

For some reason the new batch came out a touch darker gray than the first batch I have. Just wanted to make sure this is okay? I guess if I would have not had the two different mixes to compare to, I would have never known... The first mix I did seems to lean slightly more towards the Bermuda Beige color, and the new mix leans more towards the AAA color. Both are close, but at this point I don't want to risk messing anything up.

Just wondering if this is something I should be concerned about, or just let it rip. I'm ready to paint. If you were me would you just mix the leftover paint from the first mix in with the new? Or would you use the new mix or old. I put a picture below so you can hopefully see the difference. Looking forward to hearing from you guys, so I can get to painting! :)



Mech, the first few coats I painted the screen, I used a 3/8 nap. BIG mistake! :) I didn't see the shorter naps when I looked at Lowes the first time, and I just figured, "These are what I use all the time, never had an issue before." Boy, was that not smart... After that, I used a short nap roller for the rest, but it was too late. Live and learn...
 
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