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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all --

I'm working on a 92" DIY screen to pair with my Mitsubishi HC3800 projector in my soon-to-be-up-and-running home theater, and thanks to some terrific help I've received here from mechman and harpmaker, I decided to paint the screen an off-the-shelf neutral gray.

I am painting the back side of a piece of "Thrifty White" (white melamine hard board) -- the non-melamine, brown side. I mounted the screen on the wall, and began painting it today using a Graco HV2900 sprayer. I first sprayed two coats of Kilz2 primer, and then this evening, when I opened the can of Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Acrylic Latex Enamel paint that was suggested to me here, tinted "Unique Gray" (SW 6260), I was surprised at how "white" this paint is -- I was expecting a much "grayer-looking" paint. In fact, it was white enough that, when spraying it onto the screen substrate (which already had the Kilz2 painted on it), the color of the paint and that of the background primer were similar enough that it was a bit hard to differentiate where I had sprayed the "Unique Gray", and where I hadn't. This is NOT an issue for me per se; the only reason I'm asking is to be sure that the guy at Sherwin-Williams didn't mis-tint my paint. For those of you familiar with it, is Unique Gray indeed a very, very light (almost whitish) gray? If so, then I'm good to go. The screen is looking good after the two primer coats and first coat of paint.

By the way, how many coats of Unique Gray should I use? I am spraying them fairly thin; not a "dusting" coat, but light enough so as to not get any runs. I'm planning on about three coats -- is this about right?

Thanks,

Steve
 

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According to Photoshop is a N8 gray.

It is really surprising that you can't tell the difference with the white primer...:huh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yiannis -- yeah, that's what I thought...I had looked at those color swatches before I bought the paint several weeks ago, and that's why I was pretty surprised when I opened the container. The color I saw was NOT the color I expected. Still, if the Kilz2 is actually a "grayish" primer, and not a nice "white" as it appears to be, then that could be part of why I'm not seeing too much of a difference between my paint and the underlying primer. But, again, it didn't even look gray in the CAN.

Perhaps I should take the remnants of my paint quart back to Sherwin-Williams today, and ask them to mix me up a new batch. Hopefully, if they made a mistake, they'll mix me a new one (and not try to give me some line about how me thinning it with water for use in my sprayer is the problem; obviously, that's not the issue -- and I can vouch for the fact that it did not look any less white BEFORE I thinned it...)

This brings up an interesting issue...how DOES one know if the person mixing your paint does it properly, such that the color you end up with is what you paid for? I guess if you were buying a gallon of paint for your home, to "touch up" walls and such, you would quickly see if the color they mixed you was "off" from what you initially painted on, but in my case, I have no way of knowing for sure. Perhaps the color I have ended up with would do an OK job as a screen, but I was counting on the performance of Unique Gray, and so I think I'll take the remains of my quart back and see what they tell me...

Steve
 

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Hi all --

I'm working on a 92" DIY screen to pair with my Mitsubishi HC3800 projector in my soon-to-be-up-and-running home theater, and thanks to some terrific help I've received here from mechman and harpmaker, I decided to paint the screen an off-the-shelf neutral gray.

I am painting the back side of a piece of "Thrifty White" (white melamine hard board) -- the non-melamine, brown side. I mounted the screen on the wall, and began painting it today using a Graco HV2900 sprayer. I first sprayed two coats of Kilz2 primer, and then this evening, when I opened the can of Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Acrylic Latex Enamel paint that was suggested to me here, tinted "Unique Gray" (SW 6260), I was surprised at how "white" this paint is -- I was expecting a much "grayer-looking" paint. In fact, it was white enough that, when spraying it onto the screen substrate (which already had the Kilz2 painted on it), the color of the paint and that of the background primer were similar enough that it was a bit hard to differentiate where I had sprayed the "Unique Gray", and where I hadn't. This is NOT an issue for me per se; the only reason I'm asking is to be sure that the guy at Sherwin-Williams didn't mis-tint my paint. For those of you familiar with it, is Unique Gray indeed a very, very light (almost whitish) gray? If so, then I'm good to go. The screen is looking good after the two primer coats and first coat of paint.

By the way, how many coats of Unique Gray should I use? I am spraying them fairly thin; not a "dusting" coat, but light enough so as to not get any runs. I'm planning on about three coats -- is this about right?

Thanks,

Steve
There should be a visible difference between the Kilz2 and the Unique Gray. The RGB numbers that I dug up for Kilz2 was 234 237 234. That's pretty much white in the paint world.

As for the number of coats, I'd do at least 6. I've always found that 3 is never quite enough.
 

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yiannis -- yeah, that's what I thought...I had looked at those color swatches before I bought the paint several weeks ago, and that's why I was pretty surprised when I opened the container. The color I saw was NOT the color I expected. Still, if the Kilz2 is actually a "grayish" primer, and not a nice "white" as it appears to be, then that could be part of why I'm not seeing too much of a difference between my paint and the underlying primer. But, again, it didn't even look gray in the CAN.

Perhaps I should take the remnants of my paint quart back to Sherwin-Williams today, and ask them to mix me up a new batch. Hopefully, if they made a mistake, they'll mix me a new one (and not try to give me some line about how me thinning it with water for use in my sprayer is the problem; obviously, that's not the issue -- and I can vouch for the fact that it did not look any less white BEFORE I thinned it...)

This brings up an interesting issue...how DOES one know if the person mixing your paint does it properly, such that the color you end up with is what you paid for? I guess if you were buying a gallon of paint for your home, to "touch up" walls and such, you would quickly see if the color they mixed you was "off" from what you initially painted on, but in my case, I have no way of knowing for sure. Perhaps the color I have ended up with would do an OK job as a screen, but I was counting on the performance of Unique Gray, and so I think I'll take the remains of my quart back and see what they tell me...

Steve
If you look at the swatch that Yiannis posted, available here, Unique Gray is the third color in from the left (counting the white square with the '38' in it). Kilz2 would be fairly close to that first square with the 38 in it.

It wouldn't be the first time that a counter person screwed up. It happens. But you rarely hear of it from an actual paint store. Usually it's from Home Depot or Lowe's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mechman --

You have confirmed my suspicions, with the info you gave about Kilz2. As you state that it's essentially "white," then I can guarantee that my "Unique Gray" is way off, color-wise.

Looking at the swatch from yiannis, the color I'm now spraying is actually much lighter than the SECOND color from the left (let alone the third -- which is what mine should be). It is somewhere between the "white," and the second color on the swatch -- i.e. WAY whiter than it should be.

Yes, I'm surprised they screwed it up at Sherwin-Williams, also -- ESPECIALLY since it is one of their colors using one of their base paints. I wasn't sure I trusted the guy who mixed it; he seemed new; when I asked him for "B20" base paint (which is the ProClassic Interior Acrylic Enamel, Satin), he had no idea what I was talking about...

Hopefully they'll mix me a new quart without any hassle.

So, six coats you think? I am assuming that you mean six coats of paint (not counting the two primer coats), right? Any rule of thumb on how long to wait between coats? Just until it "looks" dry (seems to take about a half hour or 45 minutes), or should I wait longer, say 1-2 hours?

Thanks,

Steve
 

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So, six coats you think? I am assuming that you mean six coats of paint (not counting the two primer coats), right? Any rule of thumb on how long to wait between coats? Just until it "looks" dry (seems to take about a half hour or 45 minutes), or should I wait longer, say 1-2 hours?
Yes six sprayed coats. That's probably close to the equivalent of two rolled coats. As for the drying time, a sprayed coat usually dries pretty quickly - somewhere around a half hour or so.
 

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Yes six sprayed coats. That's probably close to the equivalent of two rolled coats. As for the drying time, a sprayed coat usually dries pretty quickly - somewhere around a half hour or so.
Would you suggest 6 coats for all sprayed applications or just for OTS paints?
 

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I went from Uniquey Gray to SW Extra White, and there's a huge difference.

You'll enjoy the gray screen, if you have enough lumens for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
smokars -- I THINK I have enough lumens...the experts here recommended the Unique Gray, after seeing my projector and room specs.

OK -- I went to SW and the paint is correct. Here's the deal...the paint, when WET, is very light -- relatively white. It dries MUCH darker. The guy tested my paint at SW; he put some of my paint on half of a white card, and left the other half of the card white. He then put it under a dryer and waited for it to dry. Once the paint on the card was dry, he then placed card next to a Unique Gray sample strip in the store (the kind you take home when you are paint shopping), and showed it to me. My paint, now dry, was a match with the color on the sample strip! BEFORE it was dry, though, it was not that much darker in tone than the white card he painted it on. Check out this picture I took once I got home...



Notice the white card, half showing the white, and half showing the dried "Unique Gray" paint, and then notice the lid to my paint can, with the still-wet Unique Gray. That is why I was confused...

Note to anyone using Unique Gray -- it will DRY much darker than it is when wet!

Thanks, all...

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Sure thing, Mech, and thank you for what you do here. Thanks to the advice and education I've received here, I now have an AWESOME-looking screen; can't wait to project my first images onto it (probably this weekend, if I can get my projector mounted).

Incidentally, I'm REALLY worried about getting that last step done right...these DLP units, without any "variable lens shift" ability, mean you have to be REALLY precise, both vertically and horizontally, and I'm not looking forward to having to do that...!

Steve
 

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This brings up an interesting issue...how DOES one know if the person mixing your paint does it properly, such that the color you end up with is what you paid for? I guess if you were buying a gallon of paint for your home, to "touch up" walls and such, you would quickly see if the color they mixed you was "off" from what you initially painted on, but in my case, I have no way of knowing for sure. Perhaps the color I have ended up with would do an OK job as a screen, but I was counting on the performance of Unique Gray, and so I think I'll take the remains of my quart back and see what they tell me...

Steve
One of the problems of buying paint is that there really is no way of telling if you are getting the correct color or not. Even if I took my spectrophotometer and laptop PC to the store I couldn't tell because the paint has to dry at least several hours before you can even get a ballpark figure on the color. For truly accurate spectral readings the paint should have 24 hours to dry and cure. You really do have to trust the store to get it right, but sadly sometimes they don't. :rant: You should have NO trouble having SW mix you up a replacement can of paint at no cost to you - THEY made the mistake.

Kilz2 is not as white as most brands of "ultra white" paint. The samples I have taken of it come out around N9.2 while the white paints are around N9.6.

I concur with Mech, 6 sprayed coats would approximately equal 2 rolled coats of paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well, Don, I ended up spraying six coats, as you two suggest. It looks great. The only issue -- and it's a very minor one -- is that with the lights off, and just the low ambient light in the room, if you stand at just the right angle from the screen so that the ambient light illuminates/reflects off of the screen JUST RIGHT, you can barely tell that there are some hints which reveal that I sprayed my last coat with vertical passes of the sprayer. Apparently, my "overlap" was not perfect, so the last coat went on heavier in some spots and lighter in others, in vertically-oriented strips. I tried to "dust" that last coat -- and didn't worry that much about coverage; I didn't think coverage was all that big of a deal on that last coat given the five coats underneath, and thus I may not have been as careful to make that last coat perfectly uniform in terms of my overlap. However, I may have been wrong in this assumption, since if you try hard enough, you can move to a position where you can see those "hints" that my coverage was a bit uneven. BUT, with the lights in the room turned on, illuminating the screen, you can't tell it at all. It looks perfect. So, I am thinking that when the light of an image gets projected onto the screen, there will be no hints visible. I should have the projector up and running this weekend; if indeed those subtle vertical "stripes" would somehow turn out to be slightly visible, I do still have some paint left and can do one more coat, being more careful not to "dust" it on, but instead to pay close attention to getting consistent coverage.

ANYWAY, thanks for your advice! It's interesting that the Kilz2 is roughly 9.2; you can see from my picture though that even compared to a presumably whiter color (that card that the SW guy painted my Unique Gray onto), that the wet Unique Gray on my paint lid is definitely in the middle, color-wise, between the white part of the card, and the dried Unique Gray part of the card. The wet pain MAY even be closer to the white than the dried Unique Gray, in terms of shade. Anyway, it's all moot now, as it has dried the proper color.

THANKS again!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ALMfamily --

Sure thing, glad it was helpful to you. I'll definitely re-post to this thread after this weekend to report if there were any "flaws" evident in the projected image. I really feel like there won't be, as it is SUPER subtle, but we shall see...

Steve
 

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In all honesty Steve, the notion of "duster" coats pushed so hard on another forum is one of the worst things to happen to DIY screen painters everywhere. There is simply no need for such nonsense if the screen paint was developed properly. That technique was promoted primarily to reduce hot spotting of their mixes by having the paint droplets be almost dry when they hit the screen thus lowering the effective gloss of the mix.

Also remember that the last coat of paint on a screen is literally the top coat and thus the coat of paint that light interacts with the most so it is really the most important coat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don --

I didn't know that about the "dusting" thing...good to know! :)

As for that "top coat" being most important, yeah, makes total sense. I simply didn't think there would be ANY "texture" show up, with the other five coats underneath. I surprised...but don't think it will be an issue at all. Like I say, if it is, I have enough paint left for another coat! :)

Take care,

Steve
 
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