How to paint a DIY pull-down screen without it cracking?


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Jun 5, 2002
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Hi, I'm trying to put together an 8ft screen on the cheap, and one of the most appealing possibilities is buying a huge roller blind. However, if the colour's not quite right I'd like to be able to paint it (say, one of the Ice Storm colours). Thing is, I would imagine the roller action would cause the paint to crack. Is there any way (perhaps a special kind of paint?) to avoid this cracking? Or has anyone had experience with this sort of thing? Any advice? Cheers,


P.S. - Alternatively if anyone's selling their 8ft screen, let me know! :)

I think paint would not be an option. rolling fabric up stretches it and I am sure that whatever the paint it would crack eventually

I would try and buy some fabric which you think is the right colour, experiment with a sheet of his flat on a wall and see what you think. If the colour needs changing I would try dying it - obviously you are going to need to experiment with lots of rags, different concentrations etc.

Additionally when you make the blind you will need to stiffen the fabric so it rolls properly and stays flat - I think you can do this with a thin solution of PVA glue - this is what John Lewis et al sell in their fabric departments for making roller blinds.

PVA mixed with the paint allows it to flex and not crack - have a search for this, as it has been discussed several times before, in good depth. I used blackout fabric for my (fixed) screen, and found that the paint actually "soaked in" and became part of the fabric rather than forming a layer on top that might crack. Obviously roller blinds are made of different stuff, and need to flex....

An 8 foot roller blind is likely to be a custom made job, is it not? If so, there was a thread about 2 months ago about some suppliers who allowed you to choose the fabric etc.

Do look at the prices, as a roller blind of this size may not be much cheaper than a cheap "proper" screen.
Roller blind..... painted white emulsion to make it brighter with no PVA added 4 years ago..... no cracks have ever appeared....

New blind, made from blackout material, then painted icestorm 5 with black borders, 3 or 4 coats..... no PVA added... painted in July... no sign of it cracking yet, and it doesnt really look like it will!!!!

I have to say, that given this experience... I've never had any problems at all with painting emulsion onto fabric, and that't not using any PVA ever..... I'm sure with a littel PVA in the mix, there's even less That really should be good enough!!!

Hope this helps
My screen is based on a custom-made roller-blind in a blackout material called Masquerade Grey; almost an exact match for Dulux Icestorm 5.

Thanks for all the tips! I'm asking around to a few online roller blind retailers (there seem to be a fair number :) ) to try to work out the cost of, say, a 2m x 2.4m rollerblind in Masquerade Grey. Haven't had a straight answer yet, but hopefully they'll get back to me. I could always try ringing... :p

Thanks again,

Try an online search for The Better Blind Company. I don't know if they have Masquerade Grey, but they certainly stock a wide range of colours. You can order through their website, too.

Just ordered one from in matte white. I figure (given the handy advice on this forum) if it's too bright or if I want more contrast I can experiment with painting it in Ice Storm.

190cm x 250cm blackout rollerblind for £95 delivered - not bad. A far cry from the £250 I'd be spending if I'd gone for a Da-Lite... Dunno how it compares, though. Should arrive by the end of next week at the latest, so I'll let y'all know how it turns out.



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