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  1. #1
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    My cheap DIY screen project...

    After continuously reading about how you have to spend $2000 for a good screen and people saying there's no way a painted screen would work (other internet forums) even with $200 Goo paint I figured I would at least try and see what $12 worth of paint would do on a spare piece of drywall I had.

    I set it up in my storage shed while we're building the room, and I think the results are simply stunning. The projector is an Optoma H31 ($1100) and the setup I have now results in about a 90" screen. Half the screen is painted ordinary flat white, and the other half is eggshell white with silver metallic mixed in. The final installation will make about a 130" screen

    Of course you can't get the full impact without seeing it in person, but here are the pictures (at the bottom of the page):

    http://www.chuckamuck.com/ht

    Don't let anybody tell you that you can't make a DIY screen with ordinary house paint. This thing is awesome.

  2. #2
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    Dude That's Awesome

    That screen is totally awesome I'll have to read the rest of your details later. Your DVD Shrink discs will look great on it, LOL! What HDTV service do you have? How far is the seating going to be away from the screen? You can charge your friends for football games on that one. Awesome!

  3. #3
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    I concur; totally awesome, and I'm not just saying that because I grew up in the Valley.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Thanks guys

    I don't have HDTV service yet, that will be on down the road. This will mainly be used for movies and Xbox. We will be watching football games, but in standard def for now!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Thanks guys

    I don't have HDTV service yet, that will be on down the road. This will mainly be used for movies and Xbox. We will be watching football games, but in standard def for now!
    You got to get HDTV with this and NFL Ticket I never saw a screen that big in a residence before. Now all you need are Orb Audio Mod 1 speakers

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    NA buddy, that's a pretty sweet setup you got shaping up there...
    I love the idea of saving a cool G on the screen too. Did you use the green drywall or the normal stuff? (Just kiddin).

    Best part, you can patch it up super easy if something happens to it. That's inexpensive enough for it to be even just okay and still a great value.

    Well done!

  7. #7
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Actually it is the green drywall! The lumber place was bringing a load of stuff to put the roof on so I had them throw a sheet of drywall on the truck that I could play with and it was GREEN! I'd never seen that before!

  8. #8
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Damn nice setup you got there. The screen looks awesome. Let us know when its complete and i'll bring the cold ones for some Monday Night Football!

  9. #9
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Haha...the green stuff is the kind you should use in bathrooms and kitchens to block out moisture and wetness. Might be better for painting too?
    Good stuff, a bit more money. When I rebuilt my bathroom last year, I used it. You could tell the old normal stuff took abuse over the years.
    For the record, building bathroom's ain't fun.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    For the record, building bathroom's ain't fun.

    I have to agree... we redid ours 3 years ago... it's a PITA...




    back on topic for the screen, I really like the effect of the silver paint! the contrast is a little better then plain white. Once i'm done with my basement I think I'll have to try that

  11. #11
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Screen update:

    Goo Systems samples came in. I'm not at all impressed considering my self mixed $6 paint looks just as good. The Goo is nice, but not $200 nice. I got a quart of paint for $6. I'd go with Goo if it were twice the price...$12, sure. Why not. But $200? It's just not worth it for me.

  12. #12
    asdf bjornb17's Avatar
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    hey awesome project you've got goin on there

  13. #13
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Screen update:

    Goo Systems samples came in. I'm not at all impressed considering my self mixed $6 paint looks just as good. The Goo is nice, but not $200 nice. I got a quart of paint for $6. I'd go with Goo if it were twice the price...$12, sure. Why not. But $200? It's just not worth it for me.
    How many times have we said that same thing about speakers or a CD player?

  14. #14
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    N.Alstintia Great pics ,your room is really started to look good.Your screen picture had really great colour from this side.All this for $6 and a sheet of drywall.Did you use the clear primer on drywall before painting it?Pat.P

  15. #15
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Nope, no primer or anything. Just two coats of paint. When I paint the final thing though I'll probably put down a base coat of pure white Kilz primer.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    How many times have we said that same thing about speakers or a CD player?
    Many, many?

  17. #17
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    N.Abstintia This is better than the screen type and child proof.Can't bend this ,wonder if lacquer would protect last coat?Pat.P

  18. #18
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    i think what you are doing, NA, is great! i appreciate you updating the site to keep us up to speed on your project. it helps everyone learn from your experiences.

    good luck and i'm looking forward to hearing and seeing more regarding your project!!

  19. #19
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Killer project, bud. Without a doubt, you'll have the best equipped tool shed in the county . Your running commentary is great, maybe you missed your calling as a comedic writer?

  20. #20
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Yeah but I'm itching to get it out of my shed and into the room! Due time, due time.

    All my friends tell me I should have been a comedian....I don't know if they are serious or sarcastic...

  21. #21
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    Senor Abstentia,

    Great job! I love common sense DIY projects like this. Some questions:
    -How did you apply the paint to the drywall- brush, roller, spray?
    -What paints, exactly, and in mixed in what ratios did you use?
    -How is the drywall fastened to the house wall? Not sure I'm up for putting holes in my wall. Maybe I could build a wood stand for the drywall sheet?
    -What does a sheet of drywall cost these days?

    Thanks.

    -Jon

  22. #22
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Hi Jon,

    The paint is applied with a roller, the cheap kind. I think there were 5 rollers in the pack and was like $4.

    The paints are just standard off the shelf flat white, eggshell white, and metallic silver. The whites were maybe $6 for a quart and the silver was $3 for a pint. I don't know what the mix is (the flat white part is nothing but flat white), I just added silver until it had a nice grey look to it.

    Right now (since this is just a temporary setup in my tool shed) it's just in there with some drywall screws. The final product in the theater room will not be a seperate piece of drywall, it will be the actual wall. I'll mask off and paint the screen portion the screen color and put black border around it. I'm not sure how you could mount a screen without putting holes in the wall.

    Drywall is about $10-$11 a sheet now.

  23. #23
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    Hey N,

    Thanks for the response. OK, cheap roller, got it. And you just mixed the paints until you saw a little grey. Interesting. I don't know much about video or projection or screens (I'm more into audio, but thinking about a movie setup of some sort), but I would have thought just bright white is best. Idunno.

    OK, this will be your actual wall. I've got a really old, pretty house. So I can't do anything like punch holes in it to hang a screen. So I wonder if there's a way to make a screen out of a sheet of drywall and then just support it on some stands or an easle or something. Just thinking out loud here. But drywall is pretty heavy. No need to use that. Although drywall does have a smoother surface than, say, plywood sheets. Oh, maybe MDF would be even better. Hmmm...

  24. #24
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    A thin sheet of MDF would work fine, the main thing to remember is you have to keep it perfectly flat and perfectly vertical. You don't want it waving, bowing, or leaning at all.

    I used the cheap rollers for my testing but I will get a nice roller when it comes time to paint the final thing.

    At first glance, pure white looks good. Colors are nice, but the black level is awful. Black is not black..black is grey. Throwing a little silver in there brings the black level down and sharpens the picture up. My next test will be matte white paint which is almost grey.

  25. #25
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    Interesting that blacks don't look good on pure white. I wouldn't have guessed. Maybe it's the projector (not the screen) that is the problem there- putting out some light even with black? No matter if it's fixed easily with some grey color added to the paint.

    For a thin MDF sheet, I could brace the back easily, with some 2x2 or 1x4 or 2x4 wood. That would keep it straight and flat. For keeping it vertical, that would be tougher. I'd have to come up with some easel-type assembly. This might require some thought.

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