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Hi,

First of all thank you so much for the invaluable info that folks have contributed on these forums. Really helpful!

I own an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720 projector (720p and claims to deliver 1600 lumens of Color and White Light Output at 1280X720 resolution). I'd an 92" Optoma Panoview Graywolf screen which I really liked. However after moving to a new house, I decided to upgrade the screen to 120". So I bought an Elite motorized screen (VMAX120UWH). It has a gain of 1.1 and unfortunately, the sparkles on the screen make it almost unwatchable. The sparkles and the screen fabric texture is so visible in the white scenes/background. It looks especially terrible when there is motion against the white background sparkles and texture remain obviously stationary against the moving object. Just completely distracts for the movie .. I'm sure those who have seen such sparkly issues understand.

So then after reading on this forum and a few others, I just finished painting my 120" Black Widow screen with a mix of 1 quart of Lowe's “Valspar Ultra Premium Interior Flat Enamel Finish" and 2x4oz of Blick's "Createx Auto Air Aluminum Fine". I did it on my near perfect drywall in the basement (that has completely light controlled environment). Used 5 coats of Kilz2 primer before doing three coats of BW. Now, I have two problems: my painting in spite of following instructions like using 1/4 nap roller etc. does not seem perfect. So on white scenes, I can see some blotches/patterns. The second problem is the 'dirty blacks" in white scenes which has some grains/specs compared to my Panoview Graywolf screen. This is again distracting.

So after going through three screens and spending days and days on this, I'm back to finding a solution that is a bit forgiving of my amateur painting skills and provides bright whites with uniform/non-distracting background. I'm not too concerned about blacks as I watch the projector in complete darkness .. and actually usually like colorful and less dark movies :) . This time I'm looking for something off the shelf to paint over the black widow drywall screen .. (something that does not have any particles etc. :crying: ). I've narrowed my selection to the following 5:

1. Valspar Ultra Premium in eggshell finish tinted to Glidden 'Snowfield'
2. Lowe's Velspar Interior Flat Enamel (Base 1) Winter Mist
3. Valspar Ultra Premium interior latex in eggshell finish that has been tinted to match Glidden Master Palette 'Veil'
4. Behr silver screen in flat
5. Glidden Diamond 450 Velvet Matte

What would you suggest for a situation like mine?

Thanks!
 

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Hi,

First of all thank you so much for the invaluable info that folks have contributed on these forums. Really helpful!

I own an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720 projector (720p and claims to deliver 1600 lumens of Color and White Light Output at 1280X720 resolution). I'd an 92" Optoma Panoview Graywolf screen which I really liked. However after moving to a new house, I decided to upgrade the screen to 120". So I bought an Elite motorized screen (VMAX120UWH). It has a gain of 1.1 and unfortunately, the sparkles on the screen make it almost unwatchable. The sparkles and the screen fabric texture is so visible in the white scenes/background. It looks especially terrible when there is motion against the white background sparkles and texture remain obviously stationary against the moving object. Just completely distracts for the movie .. I'm sure those who have seen such sparkly issues understand.
Something doesn't compute here... are you sure your Elite screen is model # VMAX120UWH? The reason I ask is that that screen uses Elite's "MaxWhite" material which has the following specs as well as a 160° viewing angle:

MaxWhite screen material is the most versatile screen surface for front projection presentations. This material provides the widest possible viewer angles with perfect diffusion uniformity while giving precise definition, image color reproduction and black & white contrast. Screen surface has black-backing to avoid light penetration and can be cleaned safely with mild soap and water. Woven screen material is a multi-layer, cross-array coated with a matte white reflective compound.

This screen should have ZERO sparkles of any kind.

So then after reading on this forum and a few others, I just finished painting my 120" Black Widow screen with a mix of 1 quart of Lowe's “Valspar Ultra Premium Interior Flat Enamel Finish" and 2x4oz of Blick's "Createx Auto Air Aluminum Fine". I did it on my near perfect drywall in the basement (that has completely light controlled environment). Used 5 coats of Kilz2 primer before doing three coats of BW. Now, I have two problems: my painting in spite of following instructions like using 1/4 nap roller etc. does not seem perfect. So on white scenes, I can see some blotches/patterns. The second problem is the 'dirty blacks" in white scenes which has some grains/specs compared to my Panoview Graywolf screen. This is again distracting.
The problem that usually causes blotches or patterns in a finished BW™ screen is either improper application of the paint or the metallic silver and base paint weren't thoroughly stirred together. That you are seeing graininess from normal viewing distance indicates the latter and perhaps both.

So after going through three screens and spending days and days on this, I'm back to finding a solution that is a bit forgiving of my amateur painting skills and provides bright whites with uniform/non-distracting background. I'm not too concerned about blacks as I watch the projector in complete darkness .. and actually usually like colorful and less dark movies :) . This time I'm looking for something off the shelf to paint over the black widow drywall screen .. (something that does not have any particles etc. :crying: ).
I understand your frustration.

I've narrowed my selection to the following 5:

1. Valspar Ultra Premium in eggshell finish tinted to Glidden 'Snowfield'
2. Lowe's Velspar Interior Flat Enamel (Base 1) Winter Mist
3. Valspar Ultra Premium interior latex in eggshell finish that has been tinted to match Glidden Master Palette 'Veil'
4. Behr silver screen in flat
5. Glidden Diamond 450 Velvet Matte

What would you suggest for a situation like mine?

Thanks!
I would go with #1 if you want to have even the smallest amount of ambient light during viewing or have light colored walls and ceiling even with no ambient light.

If you have dark walls/ceiling and no ambient light then #5 would provide a brighter image.

#2 can no longer be made since Lowe's stopped using one of the tints required to make 'Winter Mist'.

#3 is too dark for your current HT setup.

#4 is darker than you need and uses an inferior paint if you actually use Behr paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Harpmaker for your response. Unfortunately, Elite's advertising is unlike what the screen really is. The shiny particles in the Elite VMAX screen are almost like the sparkly silica/mica particles that you see in the sand on a sunny beach.

I'm pretty sure I mixed the Auto air and Valspar paints extremely well with an egg beater. I primed the wall nicely as well though my application indeed leaves tiny shadows cast by tiny bumps that I can observe from close. Overall it seems like my application skills may be contributing to quite a bit to this issue.

Obviously, I love the concept of BW to get such a nice contrast .. it's the slight dirtiness in the "white" scenes with BW versus Elite Maxwhite. The Elite screen white images just look so "pristine".

I'm buying a paint gun today, so I suppose I can possibly try BW one more time after getting the roller painting imperfections issue out of the way. (It's going to be the "Wagner Control Spray Plus HVLP" gun). I'll be painting upon the black widow screen after sanding it down to remove paint crests and troughs. (Will be wearing a painter's mask and glasses to avoid aluminum particles getting in the body).

At the same time, I do like your suggestion of Valspar Ultra Premium in eggshell finish tinted to Glidden 'Snowfield' ... it's ots and I believe it should work well in my case where I watch stuff in a completely dark room basement.

So, what do you think .. give BW another chance after sanding and spraying, or shift to Snowfield?

The other issue that I'm concerned about is that maybe I'm wasting my time with the dry wall. Might be better off painting on a panel or something to avoid the tiny bumps on the drywall. In that case, any suggestions on easily obtaining a smooth projector screen substrate? The largest MDF I see at Home Depot yields less than a 100" screen while the Joann BOC maximizes to 106" screen due to its breadth limitation. Wish there was something bigger than that.
 

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Thanks! This helps. What kind of places usually carry it? I'm in Chicago suburbs .. wonder if a store like Home Depot or Lowe's have it.

If you decide to try some other material, I used Sintra PVC which turned out really well. The place I got mine from carried sheets up to 5'x10'.
 

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Thanks Harpmaker for your response. Unfortunately, Elite's advertising is unlike what the screen really is. The shiny particles in the Elite VMAX screen are almost like the sparkly silica/mica particles that you see in the sand on a sunny beach.
I think you may have gotten a mis-marked screen from Elite. I'll ask Mech about this, I think he has samples of many of their screens. Have you talked to Elite about your screen sparkling?

I'm pretty sure I mixed the Auto air and Valspar paints extremely well with an egg beater. I primed the wall nicely as well though my application indeed leaves tiny shadows cast by tiny bumps that I can observe from close. Overall it seems like my application skills may be contributing to quite a bit to this issue.
It would take a long time to properly mix in the aluminum paint using a manual egg-beater. The aluminum is so reflective the 20% that is in BW™ can't be increased without introducing granularity to the image. But even if the mix was properly stirred together the roughness of the wall may be the problem. Any areas where the aluminum in the mix can "pool" could cause those areas to reflect more light. This is why a foam roller can't be used to paint BW™, air bubbles coming out of the roller into the mix pop while the paint is drying and leave little craters that show this effect.

Obviously, I love the concept of BW to get such a nice contrast .. it's the slight dirtiness in the "white" scenes with BW versus Elite Maxwhite. The Elite screen white images just look so "pristine".
Are you comparing both screens side-by-side? A gray paint will always have "dirtier" whites than a white screen if viewed together. Likewise, a gray screen will always have better image contrast that a white screen.

I'm buying a paint gun today, so I suppose I can possibly try BW one more time after getting the roller painting imperfections issue out of the way. (It's going to be the "Wagner Control Spray Plus HVLP" gun). I'll be painting upon the black widow screen after sanding it down to remove paint crests and troughs. (Will be wearing a painter's mask and glasses to avoid aluminum particles getting in the body).
Spraying BW™ won't make the whites in the viewed image any whiter so if you are seeing dim whites then there would be no sense in doing another BW™ screen, or a screen that produces similar whites. That leaves out an N8 OTS screen as well.

At the same time, I do like your suggestion of Valspar Ultra Premium in eggshell finish tinted to Glidden 'Snowfield' ... it's ots and I believe it should work well in my case where I watch stuff in a completely dark room basement.
Since you may be having problems coming from a screen surface with too much texture I don't think I would use an eggshell finish, but go with either Valspar Ultra (name changed from Valspar Ultra Premium) in super flat finish (this used to be called their interior latex enamel finish) or even go with Valspar Signature paint in matte finish. Go with the Glidden 'Snowfield' color.

So, what do you think .. give BW another chance after sanding and spraying, or shift to Snowfield?
Answered above - go with the 'Snowfield'.

The other issue that I'm concerned about is that maybe I'm wasting my time with the dry wall. Might be better off painting on a panel or something to avoid the tiny bumps on the drywall. In that case, any suggestions on easily obtaining a smooth projector screen substrate? The largest MDF I see at Home Depot yields less than a 100" screen while the Joann BOC maximizes to 106" screen due to its breadth limitation. Wish there was something bigger than that.
The drywall should work for you if you sand it well and use a low gloss paint (with flat/matte being the best at hiding imperfections). As for using a different substrate for a screen something that I feel has been given short shrift is building a screen using vinyl flooring. HUGE screens can be made from this inexpensively. In case you were wondering, you would paint the BACK of the flooring after attaching it to a sturdy frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Harpmaker said:
The problem that usually causes blotches or patterns in a finished BW™ screen is either improper application of the paint or the metallic silver and base paint weren't thoroughly stirred together. That you are seeing graininess from normal viewing distance indicates the latter and perhaps both.
Harpmaker said:
It would take a long time to properly mix in the aluminum paint using a manual egg-beater. The aluminum is so reflective the 20% that is in BW™ can't be increased without introducing granularity to the image. But even if the mix was properly stirred together the roughness of the wall may be the problem. Any areas where the aluminum in the mix can "pool" could cause those areas to reflect more light. This is why a foam roller can't be used to paint BW™, air bubbles coming out of the roller into the mix pop while the paint is drying and leave little craters that show this effect.
Harpmaker, I'm a bit intrigued as to why you are suggesting not giving BW another chance even though you feel that the issue may be improper mixing, application and roughness of the wall. Wouldn't better sanding of the wall, better mixing of the aluminum paint, and using the paint gun instead of the roller help obtain the BW screen that folks rave about in this forum?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I do not think they do - Mech pointed Midwest Sign out to me:

[Link]Cannot past url with less than 5 posts[Link]

I would check in your area for any place that does sign work - they might carry something like this or have a vendor that they can get it from.
Thanks, this really helps. The closest vendor in the list is still 60+ miles for me, but let me call around to see if there are other sign work vendors who sell this in the Chicagoland area. Currently, I'm leaning towards sanding my drywall one more time before I change the projector screen substrate. The wall is in very good shape ... I think it deserves another chance :)
 

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I think you may have gotten a mis-marked screen from Elite. I'll ask Mech about this, I think he has samples of many of their screens. Have you talked to Elite about your screen sparkling?
I'd picked up the screen from somebody at craigslist. The screen is already 3-4 years old - so not sure if calling Elite will help in any way. I compared the pics and specs on the web and the screen does not seem to be mislabeled. VMAX120UWH is an older 2004 model and has been replaced by VMAX2 series for quite a long time now. I think the sparkling is a known problem with several white screens with >1 gain e.g.:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/projector-screens/905006-newbe-has-screen-sparkles-texture-hi-white-sceens.html

I know folks have gone to the extent of painting such retractable screens (possibly an option for me as well):

http://www.avforums.com/forums/projector-screens/909524-guide-retractable-fabric-screen-painting.html


go with either Valspar Ultra (name changed from Valspar Ultra Premium) in super flat finish (this used to be called their interior latex enamel finish) or even go with Valspar Signature paint in matte finish. Go with the Glidden 'Snowfield' color.
I see that "Valspar Ultra Premium Super Flat Finish" shows up on Valspar website:
http://www.valsparpaint.com/en/find-the-right-product/interior/paint/vup-super-flat.html
It seems to be an Acrylic resin (213484 Ultra White)

However, when I went to Lowe's they could no find it, and instead suggested "Valspar Ultra Premium Quart Interior Flat Enamel Ultra White Paint":
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=213482-4-007.0213482.005&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3101879&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1
This one is a Flat Enamel Latex (213482 Ultra White). This is also the one I used for BW after getting it tainted to 427-2 Bermuda Beige.

Are the above two paints the same? Seems like Lowe's keeps changing the names of the paints :rant:
 

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I made a 96" sintra screen w/rolled BW. It was a great screen, my issue was that I sit too close, and did notice the grittiness at 7 ft away. I rolled sw duration unique gray matte over it and it was fine. While not as good a performer as the BW with the whites, but the slightly glossier sheen of duration matte helped some, and it was an altogether pretty satisfying screen. I'd still have it, had I not chipped the edge by dropping it. Now I'm back to the dalite model B matte white, but I'm contemplating painting it, because the black level sucks
 

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Harpmaker, I'm a bit intrigued as to why you are suggesting not giving BW another chance even though you feel that the issue may be improper mixing, application and roughness of the wall. Wouldn't better sanding of the wall, better mixing of the aluminum paint, and using the paint gun instead of the roller help obtain the BW screen that folks rave about in this forum?
The calculator at projectorcentral shows your PJ hitting a 120" 16:9 screen with 11 fc (this assumes the lamp has dimmed 25% from new) which is too low for BW™ for most people and is possibly the reason you are seeing "dirty" blacks. I think a lighter gray screen would work better for you. However, if you have enough BW™ left over it wouldn't wouldn't cost you anything but time to try fixing the texture in your wall and spraying on the BW™ to see how that affected the image quality.
 

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I see that "Valspar Ultra Premium Super Flat Finish" shows up on Valspar website:
http://www.valsparpaint.com/en/find-the-right-product/interior/paint/vup-super-flat.html
It seems to be an Acrylic resin (213484 Ultra White)

However, when I went to Lowe's they could no find it, and instead suggested "Valspar Ultra Premium Quart Interior Flat Enamel Ultra White Paint":
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=213482-4-007.0213482.005&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3101879&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1
This one is a Flat Enamel Latex (213482 Ultra White). This is also the one I used for BW after getting it tainted to 427-2 Bermuda Beige.

Are the above two paints the same? Seems like Lowe's keeps changing the names of the paints :rant:
Yes, they are the same paint. I talked to a guy that works in the paint department of my local Lowe's store and he said that Lowe's sent them new labels to put over the old ones. :doh:
 

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The calculator at projectorcentral shows your PJ hitting a 120" 16:9 screen with 11 fc (this assumes the lamp has dimmed 25% from new) which is too low for BW™ for most people and is possibly the reason you are seeing "dirty" blacks. I think a lighter gray screen would work better for you. However, if you have enough BW™ left over it wouldn't wouldn't cost you anything but time to try fixing the texture in your wall and spraying on the BW™ to see how that affected the image quality.
I think you convinced me to go with less darker screen given my projector's limitation and preference for cleaner whites versus watching stuff in any ambient light. So now that we are on the topic of brighter screens, shouldn't I try something like C&S Ultra with:

Valspar Ultra Premium Quart Interior Flat Enamel Ultra White Paint (Base 1?) tinted 115-0.67 from Lowes:
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=213482-4-007.0213482.005&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3101879&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

16 fl. oz. Liquitex BASICS 'Silver' acrylic paint from Michaels:
http://www.michaels.com/Liquitex-Basics-4oz/fa2135,default,pd.html

I have bought the squirrel mixer to mix the paints thoroughly with a drill. Do you think that Glidden 'Snowfield' with the above Valspar will still be better for my set-up compared to C&S Ultra?

Thanks!
 

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I think you convinced me to go with less darker screen given my projector's limitation and preference for cleaner whites versus watching stuff in any ambient light. So now that we are on the topic of brighter screens, shouldn't I try something like C&S Ultra with:

Valspar Ultra Premium Quart Interior Flat Enamel Ultra White Paint (Base 1?) tinted 115-0.67 from Lowes:
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=213482-4-007.0213482.005&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3101879&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

16 fl. oz. Liquitex BASICS 'Silver' acrylic paint from Michaels:
http://www.michaels.com/Liquitex-Basics-4oz/fa2135,default,pd.html

I have bought the squirrel mixer to mix the paints thoroughly with a drill. Do you think that Glidden 'Snowfield' with the above Valspar will still be better for my set-up compared to C&S Ultra?

Thanks!
First off, I meant to say "dirty whites" not "dirty blacks". Sorry about that, glad you knew what I meant.

I can't remember comparing C&S™ Ultra to any paint tinted to Glidden 'Snowfield', that is something that should be done. C&S™ Ultra gives you the same, or a bit brighter, whites than Sherwin-Williams 'Extra White' (which is a base color and not a tinted color - no colorants are added to the base). A paint tinted to 'Snowfield' should be just a tad darker than C&S™ Ultra, but we are talking about differences that are just barely detectable by the human eye in side-by-side comparisons. If you were to have two whole screens, one of C&S™ Ultra and another of 'Snowfield' then view one screen, take it down and put up the other screen you probably couldn't tell the difference - the human eye/brain simply can't remember color information to that level of precision.

If you want the absolute best screen for your use then go with C&S™ Ultra and no ambient light during viewing. A very close second choice would be a 'Snowfield' screen. With the latter you are sacrificing a small bit of performance for the ease of getting an OTS paint rather than having to mix your own.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
First off, I meant to say "dirty whites" not "dirty blacks". Sorry about that, glad you knew what I meant.

I can't remember comparing C&S™ Ultra to any paint tinted to Glidden 'Snowfield', that is something that should be done. C&S™ Ultra gives you the same, or a bit brighter, whites than Sherwin-Williams 'Extra White' (which is a base color and not a tinted color - no colorants are added to the base). A paint tinted to 'Snowfield' should be just a tad darker than C&S™ Ultra, but we are talking about differences that are just barely detectable by the human eye in side-by-side comparisons. If you were to have two whole screens, one of C&S™ Ultra and another of 'Snowfield' then view one screen, take it down and put up the other screen you probably couldn't tell the difference - the human eye/brain simply can't remember color information to that level of precision.

If you want the absolute best screen for your use then go with C&S™ Ultra and no ambient light during viewing. A very close second choice would be a 'Snowfield' screen. With the latter you are sacrificing a small bit of performance for the ease of getting an OTS paint rather than having to mix your own.
Thanks ... so i started this thread to explore the ots substitute for BW, and now here I'm tempted to do another mix! However before I run to the neighborhood Michael's for Silver, I was wondering if my light walls (light brown/beige) and completely white ceiling on which the projector is mounted will make c&s ultra still a better choice then Snowfield? The light is definitely controlled in my basement .... Basically no light and the doors are always closed .... It's just the 8 foot white ceiling that's worrying me.:help:
 

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Thanks ... so i started this thread to with explore the ots substitute for BW, and now am tempted to do another mix! However before I run to the neighborhood Michael's for Silver, I was wondering if my light walls (light brown/beige) and completely white ceiling on which the projector is mounted will make c&s ultra still a better choice then Snowfield? The light is definitely controlled in my basement .... Basically no light and the doors are always closed .... It's just the 8 foot white ceiling that's worrying me.:help:
Could you post a photo of your home theater?

How far is your PJ mounted from the screen?

Is your PJ calibrated to your screen?

My answers so far have been predicated on your BW™ screen producing dirty whites and showing the imperfections of the wall surface. To combat the first problem a lighter gray is called for and the second problem calls for smoothing the wall or using a paint without any shiny components or too much gloss. The "metallic" paint used to mix C&S™ Ultra has VERY small mica particles (which aren't really metal) in it so it would probably work for you, but if you only want to paint one more time and be done with it it would be safer to go with 'Snowfield' in a paint with very moderate gloss (Valspar Super Flat) or minimal gloss (Valspar flat).
 
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