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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm getting a Panasonic AX200U projector. I plan on ceiling mounting it about 12-15 ft away from a 106" screen (in a 13'x27' room) that I want to make out of painted laminate, mounted and framed.
The room will have controlled lighting conditions but I may want to have some ambient light in certain situations.
The room will be painted neutral colors and the ceiling will be white tiles.

I read through the threads on Black Widow and Cream And Sugar but not really any of the others. The laminate sheet that I'm getting is colored (unknown earth tone) but I planned on just shooting it with Kilz2 and using that as a base for whatever screen paint that I end up using.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response Mech. Do you say BW because I mentioned ambient lighting or is there another reason?
 

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Hi chumbucket!

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not answering for mech, but BW will handle a LOT more ambient light than C&S. C&S is almost white and it doesn't take a lot of ambient light for it to lose that snap, crackle and pop that we all like to have in our projected image.

The only reason to go with C&S is if BW is too dark for your taste with your equipment in your HT environment.

I take it you will be spraying your screen?
 

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Hi chumbucket!

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not answering for mech, but BW will handle a LOT more ambient light than C&S. C&S is almost white and it doesn't take a lot of ambient light for it to lose that snap, crackle and pop that we all like to have in our projected image.

The only reason to go with C&S is if BW is too dark for your taste with your equipment in your HT environment.

I take it you will be spraying your screen?
Yeah in fact I think I may head up to Harbor Freight and pick up that puppy in your avatar. How much did that thing run?

So if I was going to have the room darkened for movies, would the C&S be a better bet than BW?
 

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Yeah in fact I think I may head up to Harbor Freight and pick up that puppy in your avatar. How much did that thing run?
I paid $50 for mine some years ago. Today they are selling for $30, and this includes the air-gauge!
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=43430

So if I was going to have the room darkened for movies, would the C&S be a better bet than BW?
It's this way... my shop is 20x24 feet in dimension with an 8 foot ceiling. This is where I do my screen paint testing with my projector. The walls and ceiling are a flat bright white and I have an unpainted cement floor. This is a bright environment. There are no windows; when I turn off the lights it could be used as a photographic darkroom; but, even then, when projecting movies I have enough light from the screen bouncing off the walls, floor, ceiling (and even me) that makes it's way back on to the screen (this is a form of ambient light) that C&S shows less "ummph" in the image compared to BW.

The darker your HT environment is (meaning the reflectiveness of walls, floor and ceiling), the less this will be a problem.

It all boils down to what your preferences are in the viewed image. I need to have the blackest blacks I can get (I truly miss the image I got from my old CRT TV) so I will take a hit in white-level to get those blacks. Some people must have the whitest whites they can get. :huh:

I know I always come off sounding like I'm straddling the fence, and perhaps I am, but it does really come down to viewer preference, so I can't tell you that such and such a paint mix is THE best mix for you.

Unless you have very dark walls, I, personally, would go with BW. The good thing is that these DIY mixes are so inexpensive, compared to even the cheapest commercial screens, you will be ahead of the game even if you find BW too dark for your tastes and choose to go with C&S or another mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I paid $50 for mine some years ago. Today they are selling for $30, and this includes the air-gauge!
I was over at my Mom's today and decided to take a spin by the Harbor Freight around the corner from her. They had that sprayer marked at $40 (on special!). I asked if they met their online prices and they said yes but you have to bring in a printout because they don't have a way of viewing their website in the store. Ugh.
 

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Thanks for the response Mech. Do you say BW because I mentioned ambient lighting or is there another reason?
Yep. Plus it's the best diy mix in it's class (N7.5). Nothing else holds a candle to it. That, plus I'm using it (although I am looking into an Elite Silver Frame screen! :) ). And no, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! :bigsmile:

mech
 

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I have a Panny AX200u and I concure, Black Widow is like it is tailor made for that projector. You have more than enough lumens to spare and plenty of modes. I have one mode set for night time viewing with lights out, and another set for daytime viewing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for helping me make up my mind guys. I'm heading over to Harbor Freight tomorrow with a 25% off coupon in hand to pick up a HVLP sprayer. I think I have a hobby shop locally that carries the Auto Air Aluminum Fine also.
 

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Hey Harp,
I scored that HVLP sprayer at HF yesterday for the low, low price of $22.99.
How much water do you recommend adding to the BW mix to spray it?
 

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Hey Harp,
I scored that HVLP sprayer at HF yesterday for the low, low price of $22.99.
How much water do you recommend adding to the BW mix to spray it?
Sweet!:T

I like to thin my Kilz2 primer 40% with distilled water and the BW 30%.

On the gun itself, I have the 'fan' adjustment all the way out to give the largest fan and the paint flow needle backed off 1 1/2 turns from being fully closed. I use around 40 PSI at the gun, but you will probably have to adjust this to your individual setup. You want enough air going through the gun to give even atomization of the paint, but not enough to cause paint bounce-back. Once you have used HVLP and don't get a room full of paint mist, you will never go back to conventional sprayers.:bigsmile:

On the compressor setup, I have a pressure regulator/water filter close to the compressor (I think it's set to just above the max pressure rating of the regulator on the gun), and no other filters in the air line (they cut the air flow too much).

Be sure to practice on something besides your screen. Unless you have used an HVLP sprayer before, it will take a little getting used to. The Kilz2 is cheap at around $14 a gallon (less on sale) and shows up nicely when sprayed on cardboard. You want to put down a nice even layer of paint, but not get runs. It is better to do a few more coats than it is to have even one layer run or sag because it was put on too heavy.

The coats will go on as individual droplets of paint that kind of flow together a little after hitting the target. You don't get an instant layer of paint as you do when rolling or bushing. Depending on air temperature and humidity, sometimes I have to make two or three 'passes' over my target before I consider it a 'coat'. A 'coat' is when the target gets to the point that I think the paint may run or sag if any more is put on. If this isn't understandable, just let me know and I'll take another shot at it.:bigsmile:

I find that my typical coat of Kilz2 or BW dries in about 10-15 minutes at around 70 degrees F.

Since BW contains a significant amount of real aluminum, it is a REAL GOOD idea to wear a respirator and not just a sanding or dust mask. You don't want aluminum in your lungs if you can help it. I know Lowe's and Home Depot have them, and come to think of it I believe HF has them now too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the help. Yeah, I don't have any experience with an HVLP so I'll practice some. I've got some fresh drywall walls that could use some primer that I could try shooting to get my technique down.
 

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I had a good respirator that I used for a year or two and it cost me some bucks. My 5 year old daughter managed to break the strap clips on it in a matter of minutes.
 

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I rarely measure water before adding it to the mix. I estimate what's left in the bottle when I'm done.

Add water until the mix doesn't stick in between the tines of a plastic fork. Some days you need more. Some days you need less.

mech
 

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So if I mixed up a 4:1 BW mixture with a quart of base and 8 oz of AA fine, I would add 13.33 oz of water to that? That seems like a lot?
32 oz. base paint + 8 oz. AAA = 40 oz. total paint.
40 oz. x .30 = 12 oz. distilled water (30% of total paint).

40 oz. paint + 12 oz. water = 52 oz. total mix for spraying.

If you think that 30% is too much dilution, you could start with 20% then add water to the mix if you get spattering instead of a mist when spraying (just be sure to mix it in well). The only reason to add water to the paint is to make it spray properly through the gun. Too thick a mix and you will get spattering no matter how much air pressure you use. Spattering is when you get a variety of droplet sizes coming out of the gun (most of them quite large). When thinned enough so the gun properly atomizes the spray (very fine paint droplets mostly the same size), you're there and no more water needs to be added. For my BW mixes and equipment, this has always been between 25% and 35% added water; depending on what brand my base paint was (some are thicker than others).

When I spray my 1x4 foot test panels I use about 4 oz. of paint mix (this is the amount before adding any water). This means that to get the equivalent amount of paint on your 106" diag. screen (I assume a 16:9 ratio) you should use around 33 oz. of the 40 oz. of total paint (measured before thinning); which means using most of your total mix (the water will evaporate and not remain part of the screen). This is not a hard and fast rule, just something I thought you should know. Maybe I'm putting too much paint on my test panels.:bigsmile:

The beauty of spraying is that you should be able to complete your screen in around 2 hours or less, and the finish will almost certainly be smoother than you can get with a roller (the texture difference between spraying and rolling lessens as rolling experience is gained, or so I'm told; I don't roll:devil:).

Any more questions - Don't be afraid to ask!:T

Mech has a good point. I only learned of his 'fork' method of determining paint viscosity after I had completed most of my test panels. It would be a good way to be sure of getting the same viscosity again once you find a mix that sprays well.
 
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