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Old 2007-11-04, 12:42 PM   #1
tiddler
 
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Default Sources Of Neutral Gray Paints In Canada for DIY screen

Introduction

The ideal screen surface will reflect all wavelengths of visible light with equal efficiency. For those that want to pickup some paint from the local Home Depot or similar store the choice of gray paint is difficult. Most store staff will have no idea what you mean by neutral gray. Actually they may actually think you are talking about neutrals in the context of interior design. This is not what you want.

Luckily CIL has neutral gray tints that are easy to identify. CIL is a subsiduary of ICI Paints. ICI Paints uses a color code that is universal to all it's brands world wide. The neutral gray tints all have a color code like "00NN ??/000" The ?? is a number indicating the shade of gray. The higher the number the lighter the gray.

Here is a list of CIL tints that are available through any CIL or Glidden paint retailer.
  • 00NN 37/000 W/B . . "Granite Gray" (~N6.5)
  • 00NN 45/000 W/B . . . "Dover Grey"
  • 00NN 53/000 W/B . . "Veil" (~N7.75)
  • 00NN 62/000 W/B . . "Universal Gray" (~N8.25)
  • 00NN 72/000 W/B . . "Snow Field" (~N8.5)

Here are scans of the CIL color cards with the Munesll neutral Gray Shades cards included for reference:



More to come . . .
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Old 2007-11-04, 02:40 PM   #2
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CIL Paint has an interior Smart3 Wash & Wear Ultra Matte finish that would be suitable for screen surfaces. The other base that I would be inclined to try would be the CIL Endurance Exterior Flat. Typically exterior paints are more flexible, durable, and a flat exterior paint will be more like a matte interior paint.


Behr Paint Options


Home Depot also sells Behr paints. Unfortunately, like the CIL paint, it is not included in the EasyRGB database. Tha leaves three possibilities as far as getting a near neutral tint in a Behr Ultra Pure White base paint.

The first possibility is to simply use the CIL tint formulas in the Behr UPW base. I know that people say you cannot get the same color using the same tint formula in a different base. That is quite true. However I have found that other than shade the neutrals are a bit more forgiving in this respect. The Behr paint has more Titanium Dioxide (white pigment) than the CIL so the shade will be lighter for the same tint formula.

The next option is to color match the CIL color card for a Behr tint formula.

The third way is to start from a N7 tint for Behr UPW that was provided by Xrite. You can then mix it down with un-tinted UPW. Un-tinted UPW is not neutral with an RGB of 248 248 241. So as you increase the un-tinted UPW in the mix the gray will move away from a true neutral towards the RGB balance of the un-tinted UPW. However this is as it gets lighter in shade so the imbalance becomes less significant.
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW #1050/1850/4850
Lamp Black 0 15 1
Brown Oxide 0 3 1
Medium Yellow 0 1 1
Of the Behr UPW bases I recommend the Flat #1050 for very rough surfaces or as the base coat for a pearl clear coat screen. The Flat-Enamel #1850 has a low luster that makes it good as a one-can solution. For the best possible results and whenever painting a retractable screen I recommend the Behr Exterior ULTRA UPW Flat #4850. It is self priming, more durable, flexible, and UV resistant. It also rolls on and levels out better than the other Behr bases.

I recently repainted my retractable screen with the Behr ULTRA UPW #4850. I am very pleased with the results. I used a 2 part N7 to 1 parts un-tinted mix. The color balance looks great and the waves and humps in the screen material are no longer visible in the projected image. That is an equivalent tint of:
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW #1050/1850/4850
Lamp Black 0 10 1
Brown Oxide 0 2 0
Medium Yellow 0 0 1

Last edited by tiddler; 2007-11-04 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 2007-11-04, 02:52 PM   #3
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Additional Brand Name Near-Neutral Gray Paint Tints


Pratt & Lambert Near Neutral Tints

161 166 164 - 2241 Carolina Gull

175 175 175 - N7

176 180 177 - 2240 Minnow
192 193 190 - 2239 Gigs' Grey
198 199 195 - 2310 Armory

202 202 202 - N8

197 200 200 - 2316 Hearthstone
213 213 208 - 2238 Winter's Gate
222 218 219 - 1120 Souvenir
223 225 223 - 2315 Doverfeather
223 225 220 - 2231 Hesperia
223 226 222 - 2327 Wraith

229 229 229 - N9

228 233 230 - 1285 Sky Cloud


As per Randall' Paints in Ottawa recommended C2 brand of paints that the P&L colors can be mixed in.
I would stick to the actual Pratt and Lambert paints myself.

The Pratt & Lambert paint is called Accolade® Interior Acrylic Latex Flat. It is described as "child-proof" so it should be fairly durable and washable. There is also the Accolade® Interior Acrylic Latex Velvet which is also said to be "child-proof".


Benjamin Moore Near Neutral Tints

Benjamin Moore Color Preview

171 168 166 - 2112-50 STORMY MONDAY

175 175 175 - N7

181 182 177 - HC-169 COVENTRY GRAY
196 200 200 - 2121-40 SILVER HALF DOLLAR

202 202 202 - N8

201 204 204 - 2134-60 WHITESTONE
201 203 205 - 2133-60 SIDEWALK GRAY
206 204 201 - 2112-60 CEMENT GRAY
214 218 220 - 2126-60 GRAY CLOUD
219 222 222 - 2121-50 ICED CUBE SILVER
220 222 222 - 2132-70 MINERAL ICE
220 223 224 - 2119-70 FULL MOON
223 224 223 - 2133-70 TUNDRA
223 223 225 - 2118-70 HEAVEN
223 225 224 - 2125-60 MARILYN'S DRESS
223 226 225 - 2134-70 GENESIS WHITE

229 229 229 - N9

230 232 231 - 2124-60 MISTY GRAY
232 229 230 - 2116-70 MIRAGE WHITE
231 233 231 - 2126-70 CHALK WHITE
236 237 235 - 2125-70 WEDDING VEIL
235 237 234 - 2121-60 WHITE DIAMOND
239 240 237 - 2124-70 DISTANT GRAY
241 242 238 - 2121-70 CHANTILLY LACE
239 243 239 - 2123-70 ICE MIST


SICO Near Neutral Tints

175 175 175 - N7

181 186 185 - 4208-31 ABSTRACT GREY
183 183 179 - 4203-31 WARM GREY
187 185 189 - 4186-31 HALF-TONE
187 188 190 - 4209-31 OLD PEWTER
181 186 183 - 4206-31 SMOKED NICKEL

202 202 202 - N8

202 203 204 - 4209-21 SILVER REFLECTION
207 207 203 - 4203-21 GREY WOLF
210 208 209 - 4186-21 FASHION GREY
206 210 206 - 4206-21 SILVERY MOON
209 212 210 - 4208-21 SILVER SHORES
209 212 213 - 4210-21 QUIET GREY
221 222 221 - 4209-11 PELICAN
227 227 229 - 4185-11 VIOLET VEIL

229 229 229 - N9

227 229 226 - 4208-11 SNOWFIELD
230 231 229 - 4210-11 EARLY FROST


True Value Trucolors

189 191 190 - 1981 WINTERS EVENING
200 201 201 - 1982 WINTER MOUNTAIN

202 202 202 - N8

216 218 216 - 1991 MIDTOWN GRAY
220 220 220 - 1983 WINTER MIST
217 220 219 - 2007 QUIET GRAY
221 222 222 - 1999 PEARL GRAY
220 224 222 - 1695 WINTER FROST
225 228 227 - 1984 CULTURED GRAY

229 229 229 - N9

226 230 230 - 1680 WHITE IVY
239 236 239 - 1624 SPOTWHITE
238 242 241 - 1464 MURMUR
243 244 239 - 67 SILVER PEARL


Sherwin Williams Near Neutral Tints

165 167 163 - SW 7066 GRAY MATTERS

175 175 175 - N7

202 202 202 - N8

199 203 203 - SW 7071 GRAY SCREEN
204 205 202 - SW 7064 PASSIVE
205 203 206 - SW 6260 UNIQUE GRAY
215 218 218 - SW 6253 OLYMPUS WHITE
221 223 220 - SW 7070 SITE WHITE
221 224 224 - SW 6231 ROCK CANDY
224 224 223 - SW 6259 SPATIAL WHITE
227 227 229 - SW 6539 SOOTHING WHITE

229 229 229 - N9

229 230 227 - SW 6252 ICE CUBE
227 231 230 - SW 6518 SKI SLOPE
227 231 232 - SW 6525 RARIFIED AIR
237 237 231 - SW 7005 PURE WHITE
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Old 2007-11-05, 08:51 AM   #4
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Tint Visualizations

I have been compiling collections of near neutral tint visualizations in a PhotoBuckect Folder.

Here are some examples from the Pratt & Lambert near neutral tints:


Click images to enlarge.
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Old 2007-11-05, 04:30 PM   #5
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I have added the Benjamin Moore Near-Neutral Gray Tint Visualizations.
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Old 2008-01-01, 01:25 AM   #6
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Base Paint Selection Summary

For rough surfaces a very flat latex paint is the only choice. The characteristic 180 degree viewing cone of a flat surface, causes bumps, pits, and blemishes to literally dissapear when an image is projected on it. For smoother surfaces a "flat enamel", "washable flat", or matte finish provides a bit more gain without significantly narrowing the viewing cone. There may be some brands that offer low luster sheens less than an eggshell but greater than a matte. Before using anything approaching an eggshell I would caution that it may cause hot spotting. The use of exterior paints as screen paint is advisable. Exterior paints are less likely to fade and they tend to be more durable than their interior counterparts. The following are only suggestions based on manufacturer's information available on the internet. I have only investigated the Behr products first hand.


BEHR Paints

* CIL Paints (Canada)

* Glidden Paints

* DULUX Paints (Australia)
* - The Glidden Neutral Gray tint codes are applicable to all ICI Paint brands. If you can find an ICI Paint brand that is sold in your region then the neutral gray codes should be applicable. Visit the ICI Paints web page to locate their international paint brands.


Valspar Paints (Available @ Lowes)

Sherwin-Williams Paints
Input from: Jeff the Painter

Benjamin Moore Paints
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Old 2008-02-19, 05:03 PM   #7
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ICI Neutral Gray Shades Color Data

I contacted ICI Paints and they have provided color data for their neutral gray shades. ICI Paints is the parent company of Glidden, CIL, and DULUX paint brands. They also have several international paint brands. They all support the tint codes displayed in these images. To find international brand from ICI Paints visit this website and use the brand locater in the lower left corner of the page.

The data as provided:





Recalculated RGB Data Using EasyRGB and the Lindbloom color calculators:

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Old 2009-01-10, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Behr Silverscreen

I actually painted my roll up matte white screen with Behr 'silver screen' after doing a number of tests on a piece of cardboard. I find it works very well.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=390146

Behr "Silver Screen" (770E-2) mix using Ultra Pure White (UPW) flat latex

Generic Formula of Behr SS:
1 gallon flat white latex base
20/48ths of Lamp Black
20/48ths of Raw Umber (a dark, murky yellow/orange-based pigment)
2/48ths of Red
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Old 2009-01-21, 11:16 AM   #9
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Behr flat UPW #1050 latex tinted "Silver Screen" (770E-2) was introduced as an off-the-shelf DIY screen paint back in 2004. It enjoyed some success but many found it caused unusual color shifting. "Purple lips" was the usual complaint. It was subsequently determined that it is not a neutral gray, and has a slight blue push to it. The blue push is not really the problem though. I suspect it does not have a smooth flat spectral reflectance curve, and that is why some people could not properly colour calibrate their projectors to it.

I was provide with a Munsell N7 neutral gray tint for Behr UPW and calculated the following custom tints for the Behr UPW base paints.

Initial N7 Tint Formula {Ultra Dark Gray}
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 15 1 Lamp Black
0 03 1 Brown Oxide
0 01 1 Medium Yellow

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 62 0 Lamp Black
0 14 0 Brown Oxide
0 06 0 Medium Yellow
~N7.5 DIY Tint {Extra Dark Gray}
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 12 0 Lamp Black
0 02 1 Brown Oxide
0 01 0 Medium Yellow

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 46 1 Lamp Black
0 10 1 Brown Oxide
0 04 1 Medium Yellow

~N8 DIY Tint {Dark Gray}
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 8 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Medium Yellow

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 31 0 Lamp Black
0 07 0 Brown Oxide
0 03 0 Medium Yellow

~N8.5 DIY Tint {Medium Gray}
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 6 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Medium Yellow

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 24 0 Lamp Black
0 05 1 Brown Oxide
0 02 1 Medium Yellow

~N9 DIY Tint {Light Gray}
Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 4 0 Lamp Black
0 1 0 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Yellow Oxide

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 15 1 Lamp Black
0 03 1 Brown Oxide
0 01 1 Medium Yellow

Here is a spectral reflectance plot for the Behr 1850 Flat Enamel tinted using the ~N7.5 custom tint above.



As you can see it is very neutral and the curve is fairly smooth and flat. Just what we want in an off-the-shelf neutral gray screen paint.


Comments On Behr Base Paint Selection

I do not recommend the truly flat UPW #1050 base for a screen paint unless the surface is very rough.

The UPW #1850 Flat Enamel is not only more durable but it has a low level sheen that enhances the white levels. My only complaint with the 1850 is that it does not level out as well as one would want for a screen paint. However you can add 1 part Minwax Satin Polycrylic to 4 parts of the Flat Enamel #1850 and get addition brightness as well as a paint that levels out to a very smooth finish.

The Exterior UPW #4850 is by far my preferred UPW base paint. However despite assurances from my contact at the Behr Color Lab in California that it is safe to use it indoors, exterior paints do have higher levels of VOCs and anti-fungal agents. The characteristic of the 4850 that first caught my attention was how well it levels out. It also benefits from a 4:1 mix of Minwax Polycrylic.


Adding Waterborne Satin Polyurethane

I have tried many variations of DIY screen paints. Many of them have reflective particles such as mica or aluminum flakes in them. I have come full circle though and prefer a simple neutral gray latex paint enhanced with Minwax Satin Polycrylic. I have not tried it myself but I suspect the water based Varathane Satin Polyurethane will work just as well. I mention the Varathane product because, at my local Home Depot, it is available in an 250ml cans while the Minwax Satin Polycrylic is only available in 1 liter cans. However I have seen the Minwax Satin Polycrylic on sale as low as $9.99 a liter at Canadian Tire (it is usually close to $20 a liter).

Here are some comments from a fellow Canadian that gave this a try:

Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle
Well I finally got around to redoing my screen last night. My screen a was a few years old and still a product of the ambient light improvement thread days. IMO it had a lot of shortcomings in the form of shimmering from the mica flakes. It had fairly good blacks and outstanding whites, but at times I could catch myself watching the screen instead of the image on it. Then I squished a spider on it a while back and even after cleaning could still see the spot. SO it was time for sure.

I ended up using Glidden "universal gray" (N8) as my color of choice. The base paint I used is imo the best flat finish paint on the market in terms of drying with a uniform finish. The product is Dulux Lifemaster flat. It is product number 59170 and is only available through Glidden ICI company stores. Its quite pricey as well, but worth it imo. It is also VOC free, so it is safe for use in any environment.

I mixed the paint at a 3-1 ratio with the minwax poly and then added 10% of the total mix in water. I rolled it with a 5mm lint free roller and then with a dense foam roller. The paint went on very, very smooth, and stayed wet for a long time allowing a lot of work time if a person should need it. This finished product is uniform as could possibly be.

Playing around this AM with a few Blu movies and some telvised HD the difference from the old screen is night and day. Colors are better, skin tones are better, and the image has a tremendous amount of depth. It really does get that looking out a window feeling. No shimmering, and screen door effect is also noticeably less than before. At this point I really see no reason at all to try anything else as any improvement would be minimal at best. It really is amazing to me how one of the simplest DIY paint solutions I have tried, also appears to be the best one I have tried.
You may have noticed that BigLyle used a 3:1 mixture of paint to satin polycrylic. That is the recommended ratio if you are using a truly flat base paint. The Behr 1050 is a truly flat base paint so it too can be mixed 3:1 with satin polyurethane. However it will still benefit from a 4:1 mix. To minimize the cost that would be a 1 liter can of Behr #1050 mixed with a 250ml can of waterborne satin polyurethane.

The standard practice of applying the paint using a 1/4" nap (3/16" nap if you can find it), will result in a very smooth finish.



From all the experimenting with metallic paint mixes I developed a method that employs a normal low nap roller to apply the paint and a 6" hard foam trim roller to blend and smooth it. This requires the addition of about 10% water for best results.



If anyone is considering the Silverscreen tint, please reconsider. There are better choices and they are just as easy to get mixed as the Silverscreen proprietary tint. Don't forget that we already have neutral gray tint codes for the CIL/Dulux/Glidden/ICI paints as well. Things have come a long way since 2004.
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Old 2009-01-21, 01:55 PM   #10
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Thanks tiddler.

I would like to test your Behr examples. Which one is closest in shade to the silverscreen's gray? The lightest one? I'm not sure if I should go any darker.

Thanks
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Old 2009-01-21, 02:10 PM   #11
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The ~N8 tint is closest in shade to the Silverscreen.

Quart Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 8 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Medium Yellow

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr UPW (1050,1850,4850)
0 31 0 Lamp Black
0 07 0 Brown Oxide
0 03 0 Medium Yellow

What projector do you have?

What color are the walls and ceiling?

What size of screen will you have?

What is the throw distance?

Will you want to have some ambient lighting on during use?

Will any ambient lighting be directed away from the screen?
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Old 2009-01-21, 08:07 PM   #12
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To your questions:

1. I have a BenQ W5000 and a 106" roll up screen that is painted with silverscreen.
2. The walls are a medium tan. The ceiling is white.
3. The throw distance is approximately 15'
4. There is normally no ambient light whatsoever in the room during use.

My screen was originally matte white. I painted a cardboard box with some silverscreen (several coats), put it up beside the matte white, and projected some films and test patterns onto both at the same time. I liked the blacks on the silverscreen...I only wish I found this thread first.

Would you recommend a darker or lighter gray?

Thanks for the suggestions and this great thread.
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Old 2009-01-21, 08:36 PM   #13
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If you go to a lighter shade the blacks will not be as deep but the whites will be brighter. It all depends on what you want to improve. Just going to the Behr Ultra 4850 tinted to a similar shade, I think you will see an improvement in the whites while maintaining the black levels.

If you have not done a contrast & brightness calibration for the Silverscreen, that should be the first thing you try. Look for the THX Optimizer on one of your DVDs. I know it is on the Nemo, Cars, and Terminator II DVDs.

I would not add anything to the 4850 if you choose to paint your screen with it. Adding the satin polyurethane will brighten the whites further but also narrow the viewing cone. This will lead to the visibility of the usual V waves in a retractable screen. The V waves will not show in the image with a matte finish like the Behr 4850.
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