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This thread is about opening the closet and pulling out the deep, dark secret of DIY screen primers and exposing it to the light of day; or should I say the light of projectors. :nerd:

The reason we use Kilz2 primer seems to be lost in the hoary sands of time; and while other primers have been mentioned and used by a daring few, the community at large seems to be stuck on Kilz2. Is this simply because we are adverse to change, or does Kilz2 have some near mystical advantage over other primers?

I don't have an answer to that - thus this thread. :bigsmile:

I'll start with a comparison between Kilz2 and Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primers.

The contenders:
Kilz2

http://www.kilz.com/pages/default.aspx?NavID=28

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3

http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=11

Bulls Eye 1-2-3 costs a bit more than Kilz2, but not by a significant amount (about $4 more per gallon in my area). And while I haven't done a close review of their data sheets, BE123 seems to be closer in features to Kilz Premium.

I made up a sample chit to measure BE123 with my spectro. These chits are about 1 inch square and are made of 1/8 inch thick hardboard that has been primed with Kilz2. In the photo below you can see that BE123 (the right 3/4 of the chit) is quite a bit brighter than Kilz2; it is also much glossier. It's very hard to truly capture gloss in a photo; I would estimate the gloss of BE123 to be close to satin. Kilz2 is very flat. I angled the chit to try and capture the gloss; that pretty much failed.

BE123 is very much like regular latex paints in viscosity, while Kilz2 is downright thick. When I made the sample chit the BE123 leveled out nicely.



Now for the Spectral Reflectance Charts of the two primers.



 

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Actually no real reason for one over the other.

Unless you are using a very translucent paint mix, the primer isn't a huge issue at all. Still I wouldn't use a red oxide primer or gray primer or anything like that.

I use Kilz2 because it's what I've always used before I ever even got into painting screens. I usually have some around the house, so I use that.

Maybe others have some secret, but not me.

Kilz2 does though make a nice unity gain white screen though :) It does tend to attract dirt pretty easy and can't be washed so it's not my pick for a permanant screen, but to get a baseline calibration... it works great!
 

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Harp you do bring up a very interesting point though.

Like I said, unless the screen paint is a translucent mix, which some are made to be translucent, the primer doesn't matter a super huge amount. It's function is to cover darker colors so the paint you are putting up will cover better (hopefully one coat, two coats tops). Also as we know primer will seal a porous surface so your finish paint doesn't drink in and require more coats, and also provides a surface for the finish paint to adhere too. This is especially important when it comes to substrates like plastic.

Now, what might be interesting is a lot of people have been tweaking translucent mixes but making the main paint darker or lighter. It stands to reason though if the mix is translucent than you could do some tweaking with the primer coat... a slightly darker color to ever so slightly increase percieved contrast and black levels, or a brighter white to slightly elevate brightness and white levels.

I say 'slightly' because unless the screen paint is clear, the undercoating will have some affect but not as much of one as changing the outer coating's shade.

This really isn't a new concept, but hasn't ever really been disected and analyzed as to how much of a difference it really does make, but there will be some difference.
 

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Harp,

Those numbers for the Kilz2 are a bit different than the ones I measured a while back.

From the master list:

234 237 234
0.313 0.332 84.1
93.5 -1.31 0.96
6488

I think I still have my Kilz2 sample. I'll get another reading. It's also doubtful that quality control for a primer's color, especially when it's white, is of high importance. Could be just batch variance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bill.

I've noticed that Kilz2 always seems to be a bit tacky, even when dry and cured; maybe that is why it bonds well with other paints.

The next time I prime a test panel I'll paint half of it with BE123 and the other half with Kilz2 and see if it makes any difference. ;)

Back when I first did the beta testing for BW, my first test panel was a piece of TWH (which I would call a semi-gloss finish). I didn't prime that panel and just sprayed BW on it. I later did another panel of the exact same BW mix on a Kilz2 primed panel and there was a visible difference between the two panels in reflectance even though BW in not a translucent mix. The only real difference between those panels was the gloss of the surface painted over with the BW.


Mech,

Yeah, I would expect to find a greater color variance in primers than top-coat paints since they are designed to be painted over.
 

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Bill.

I've noticed that Kilz2 always seems to be a bit tacky, even when dry and cured; maybe that is why it bonds well with other paints.

The next time I prime a test panel I'll paint half of it with BE123 and the other half with Kilz2 and see if it makes any difference. ;)

Back when I first did the beta testing for BW, my first test panel was a piece of TWH (which I would call a semi-gloss finish). I didn't prime that panel and just sprayed BW on it. I later did another panel of the exact same BW mix on a Kilz2 primed panel and there was a visible difference between the two panels in reflectance even though BW in not a translucent mix. The only real difference between those panels was the gloss of the surface painted over with the BW.


Mech,

Yeah, I would expect to find a greater color variance in primers than top-coat paints since they are designed to be painted over.
I've never noticed anything I painted with Kilz2 to be tacky after it dried, but it will get dirty very easy. Just oils from your fingers are enough to make a mark. It is afterall a primer and not really meant to be exposed to long periods of time, but... it's also cheap and easy so a person can 'freshen' it up pretty quick.

I don't know about the Henry version of BW, but the AAA is a bit more translucent than just the base paint alone.
 

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Perhaps tacky wasn't quite the right word, but it's as close as my vocabulary will get me. :)

The Kilz2 is as dry and cured as my environments temperature and humidity will allow, but even months after spraying a panel stuff that falls on the panel, and is left in contact with it for any time, will stick to it hard enough so that just blowing on the panel won't clean it off. Things like sawdust will come off, but it has to be wiped with a cloth or paper towel.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but I agree that straight Kilz2 wouldn't make a very good PJ screen by itself from a cleaning standpoint.
 

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Guys is there a preference between Killz2 Premium and the Latex....I saw two versions at home depot yesterday when I went to pick up the last materials needed for my project. :)
 

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Guys is there a preference between Killz2 Premium and the Latex....I saw two versions at home depot yesterday when I went to pick up the last materials needed for my project. :)
Kilz2 will work, and you may not notice a difference between the two; but to be honest, I would probably go with Kilz Premium. It is a water-based primer as well and it has better hiding and sealing properties than Kilz2, at least according to the Kilz website.

I'll pick up some next time I get to a store that has it.
 
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Actually no real reason for one over the other.

Unless you are using a very translucent paint mix, the primer isn't a huge issue at all. Still I wouldn't use a red oxide primer or gray primer or anything like that.

I use Kilz2 because it's what I've always used before I ever even got into painting screens. I usually have some around the house, so I use that.

Maybe others have some secret, but not me.

Kilz2 does though make a nice unity gain white screen though :) It does tend to attract dirt pretty easy and can't be washed so it's not my pick for a permanant screen, but to get a baseline calibration... it works great!
If planning on a gray screen, why not tint the primer to the same shade? This allows a test of the shade before getting too many coats on the screen, and may require fewer coats total.

On the other hand, I recently repainted a dark gray screen white. After 3 rolled coats of white paint, it was still a light gray.
 

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If planning on a gray screen, why not tint the primer to the same shade? This allows a test of the shade before getting too many coats on the screen, and may require fewer coats total.
In my testing of screen paints so far (mostly Black Widow) I have noticed that the base color/sheen of the primer/substrate does make a difference in the final appearance of the screen.

My first BW test panel used a leftover piece of TWH (Thrifty White Hardboard). This is hardboard that has a hard white semi-gloss finish on one side and reminds me of a dry-erase whiteboard. I didn't prime this with anything and just sprayed on the BW. I later used the exact same batch of BW to spray a hardboard panel that had been primed with Kilz2. With everything else being equal, the TWH panel was just a bit brighter under PJ illumination. I believe this was because it was the brighter and more reflective base.

I plan on doing some testing in the near future of different primers to see if they really do make a difference in the final appearance of BW.

BTW, I can't recommend THW as a substrate since the paint can be scratched off it very easily.
 
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Has anyone else had a problem with Kiltz2 pealing off? I used it to prime my screen on a previously painted wall that I had carefully cleaned (with TSP) and then leveled with several thin coats of wall board compound. I rolled two coats of Kiltz2 over this with a 4 hour dry between them. I had a couple of "bubbles" show up but they shrank when it dried (but bugged me). After testing with it for a week or so, I decided to paint the walls and ceiling dark (almost black). I put some masking tape (blue stuff) on the Kiltz figuring it might lift some of the paint but it was in the "border" area so I did not care. Unfortunately when I removed the tape it not only pulled some of the paint under the tape but in places it pulled up well back into the good screen area. It was the paint, not the drywall compound, that pulled up.

I'm now thinking Kiltz is not a good drywall or drywall compound primer. I've done a LOT of drywall priming and always used primer designed for that job (like close to 30 gallons in doing the 2,400 sq ft extension I just built). I airless sprayed most of it but did roll it in smaller areas. The main complaint :bigsmile: I could give is that it sticks to everything and dries almost instantaneously.

My theory is that the Kiltz takes long enough to dry that it softens the topmost part of the compound (that stuff never "sets" like plaster) and somehow that produces a lousy bond. Bottom line, I'm going to scrape it all off (should be easy, I was using a piece of cardboard to see how loose it was). I'll probably need to re-level the area. Then I will use my trusty drywall primer, probably HVLP spray it on. It does not hide as well as Kiltz, but a couple of coats should do it. I could try putting Kiltz on top of it but I'm sort of gun shy. :gah:

Al
 

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I can't speak from personal knowledge whether Kilz2 is a bad primer for bare sheetrock, but I can say I've been using it for years and never had a problem with it peeling. Is it an old can or new?
 
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It was a new can, well stirred. I think my mistake was rolling it on too thick, which is easy to do. The Kiltz site recommends their general purpose primer for new drywall. Kilz2 is really designed to cover stains and prevent bleed through. It needs to form a thick layer to do that effectively. I think this results in a surface skin that holds the moisture in. I don't think this would be much of a problem on previously sealed surfaces or any surface which does not soften when wet. Kiltz also states it takes 14 days to cure and to avoid abrasion during that time.

I guess that's why they sell drywall sealer, it drys really fast and is not easy to put on thickly. I've never had a problem with it. It is a pain to get off of brushes, trays, and other paint tools when you let it dry for about 30 minutes (like when you are priming a large area). Unlike Kiltz, you cannot easily scrape it off the wall (or the floor) even after only 30 minutes (rather unforgiving if you get it somewhere you did not intend -- I would never do that, would I? :bigsmile:).

Back to my current problem: I did start scraping a larger area and a lot of it came off very easily. Unfortunately some of it is sticking pretty well (where there was little dry wall compound). I'm debating just trying to level what I scrapped with the remaining area. Not sure it will be easy to avoid a "hump" even if I feather it a lot, but I have had some success in the past doing such a "cut-in" with existing paint. I'd like to avoid adding a separate substrate because the wall is amazingly flat. Most of the walls in my house are nowhere near as good as this one. I used the drywall compound mostly to fill the roller texture on the existing paint.

But I know there would be some advantages to a "removable" screen. I'm going with 8'x4.5', so that makes my choices a little more complicated. For something that started out as a quick project to add some entertainment to my "home gym" this project has already gone way overboard (typical of most things I do). So I'm trying to avoid making it even more involved.
 

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Al forgive me! I forgot to welcome you to the Shack! Welcome aboard!

You sound well versed in painting and drywall mudding so if I say anything you already know it's not meant as talking down to you like you don't know what you're doing.

What I do is I use the widest trowel that I can get and I put in three very thin layers to build up the compound. Wait for it to dry between each layer, but since it's so thin it dries really fast. Then hit it very lightly with a sanding block to knock down any ridges or clumps, and put the next layer on. I like the wide trowel because there is almost no feathering required. When you hit it with the sanding blocks the outer edges are so thin they usually come right off and it's a very gradual build up to the area you are trying to even out. A guy in construction taught me that and it has worked like a charm every time.

Removable screens are always nice because if you change rooms, or sell the house or move, you can take it with you. The biggest problem you face is that 4' width (sheet width) barrier. Depending on the area you live in you may not be able to find any commonly used substrate that is over 4' wide.

Check with sign manufacturers and plastic manufacturers, you may be able to get something from them. Another alternative is to go with a sheet of laminate. Normally I don't recommend painting the laminates presented here and elsewhere because they are such a great screen to begin with painting it would be a shame. I'm not talking about the same laminate though. Usually the home centers also carry a 'generic' ( locally made or a company of lesser quality than Wilsonart and Formica) that can be as much as half the price of the main brands. Check around, you might be able to find a 5'x8' sheet of this for around $40-50, which really isn't much more than what you will pay a sign shop, at least in my area. If you go this route, get whatever white laminate they have. Actually it doesn't matter as long as it's not some deep colored laminate that could bleed through even the primer.

Prime it good so the paint has something to adhere to and then paint whatever you want. You can also go with BOC or painter's canvas, but personally I have been tinkering with a light weight BOC frame system and stretching the BOC by yourself so you get a perfectly taunt and wrinkle free screen isn't easy. I definitely prefer a substrate over materials, but that's my personal opinion. You may find it easy, or if you have help then it probably won't be an issue.

You'll still need to prime it though, as well as build a rigid frame to stretch it on. Honestly, by the time you get the material and then the lumber, stretcher bars, or aluminum for the screen support frame, you'll have as much into that 'cheap screen' as you would in a sheet of laminate.

Just some ideas and food for thought! :)
 
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Thanks Bill, I pretty much had come to the same conclusions. For the time being I think I will just smoothen the wall. If I don't like it or want to try something else, I can aways go with something "better" when I get time.

Even if I go with laminate I would probably build a frame, so I doubt anything could be done real quickly. I've got a fully equipped workworking shop, so I can build anything I feel like. What I do not have right now is a lot of time. Even though I am semi-retired, I've got so many projects going that it seems like I will never get done. I'm not really complaining, I like doing most of the things on my agenda. But my wife has some things I've been ignoring that are getting hotter (like a kitchen remodel) so I'm thinking I better take a quick and dirty approach on the screen for now. I have to keep telling myself I just want something to watch while I'm working out, so it does not have to be "perfect". But that's tough when you're a die-hard perfectionist.
 

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Al I have liner paper up as my screen! So many many things will work that's for sure!
 

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Kilz2 readings from this sample board done last fall.







And the spectrum done with iShare and excel.



A little side note - Kilz2, as well as every other white I've spectro'd, does not push blue! ;) :rofl:

:dancebanana:​
 
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