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painting MDF for a screen...

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by 2surreal, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. 2surreal

    2surreal
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    Hi,

    I've got a Sony VPL-HS1 pj with a cheap Luna screen, and reading around on these forums I believe that using Icestorm 5 on some MDF might help improve the black levels (they've always bugged me)?

    Anyway, I've been to B&Q and priced up the stuff but the people at the paint desk have confused me by saying I can't matt paint MDF, I'd have to prime it first... can someone confirm the best way to get good results from this?

    Also is MDF likely to bend or warp when painted? If so should I go for the thicker stuff?

    Finally, when you put edging on, do you allow for the maximum 1.85:1 picture size, or do you make different edging for different aspect ratios?

    cheers
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK
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    I've got a Sony VPL-HS1 pj with a cheap Luna screen, and reading around on these forums I believe that using Icestorm 5 on some MDF might help improve the black levels (they've always bugged me)?

    Probably will, but it will also dim off the whole image too at the same time.
    It may work well if the screen isn't particularly large, but on a large screen you may find that although the blacks are indeed blacker, the whole image becomes a bit dull and lifeless! Your projector is not the brightest of models to start with!


    Anyway, I've been to B&Q and priced up the stuff but the people at the paint desk have confused me by saying I can't matt paint MDF, I'd have to prime it first... can someone confirm the best way to get good results from this?

    They are correct.
    Emulsion paint is water based, and MDF does not like water.
    Prime first with a solvent based primer, sanding the surface between coats.
    I'd apply two/three, the first thinned slightly with white spirit, using a gloss foam roller! Ensure you sand down the primer before applying the emulsion, or you may get adhesion problems!

    Also is MDF likely to bend or warp when painted? If so should I go for the thicker stuff?

    Hard to say - it may bend slightly just from being in your warm living room.
    The thicker stuff may be more resistant to this effect, but not immune!

    Finally, when you put edging on, do you allow for the maximum 1.85:1 picture size, or do you make different edging for different aspect ratios?

    Personally I'd do it for a visible screen shape of exactly 16:9 (which isn't 1.85:1). However, I'd make your screen 4:3 in shape to match the PJ - the visible part is up to you, but if 16:9, then paint the rest black - this will help deal with the light spill you get from 4:3 panels when displaying widescreen material. Of course, it won't help with 2.35:1 ratio films.....unless you use a variable masking system or two different screens.
     
  3. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Incidentally, for a tougher finish you could try eggshell paint, and matt it off with talcum powder (this is a bit tricky to get right though), or else buy an Icestorm 1 mixer for 2quid and mix it with Dulux Realife Ultratough Matt white emulsion (use a shade card from the paint mixing desk to make sure you get the right shade).
    Surprising as it might seem, this Realife emulsion IS actually a lot tougher than normal matt emulsion, and doesn't go shiny when you wipe/rub it (as normal matt tends to do).
     
  4. 2surreal

    2surreal
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    great, thanks for the info Mike... I think I'll get a small bit of MDF and do a side-by-side comparison then - I know the pj isn't the brightest but its in my cellar which has no ambient light so its not been bad at all, a good intro projector anyway. But I don't want it getting any dimmer, so I will try it first.

    cheers
     
  5. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Make sure you don't get the Icestorm which is too dark...I bought one of them and it was too dark...Whichever is the darkest out of Icestorm 5 or 6 is NOT the one to use...use the lightest. (CAN'T REMEMBER WHICH WAY ROUND THEY GO)
     
  6. mattym

    mattym
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    you can seal mdf with shelac first, then paint it in matt, that works.
     
  7. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    sealing sounds a good idea, though I didn't and haven't had any probs on 6mm MDF.

    I used wooden batons to prevent any warping...PJ
     
  8. C.Wolf

    C.Wolf
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    Ive used 9mm mdf 85inches x 48inches. I painted it with crown matt white non reflective emulsion, as recommended by crown themselves. The board has warped very slightly, but this makes no difference to the picture, which is superb. As for matt emulsion not working, all I can say is that mine took perfectly and crown made no comment when I told them it was for mdf. All in all a superb 7ft screen for £17, a bargain :clap:
     

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