Making your theatre room at home is harder than it looks.
It’s not just about having a dedicated space and buying a projector.
It’s also about learning where light doesn’t hit your wall directly and figuring out how to get the best contrast and colors while watching.
The go-to solution is to paint the room pitch black and draw the curtains every time you watch. But it’s just so, so tiring. And it doesn’t completely do the trick.
To end this exhausting and inefficient routine, we’re recommending you to try using Ambient Light Rejection (ALR) Screen Paint. This way, you don’t have to spend five minutes closing all curtains and enduring low-quality viewing.
In this article, you’ll learn what ALR Screen Paint is and how it helps your theatre room set-up.
- Wait. What is ambient light, and how does it affect my viewing experience?
- Okay, so what is ambient light rejection and, ultimately, ALR paint?
- I saw that there’s a metallic finish ALR paint available. Should I get this instead?
- How do you paint ALR on the wall?
- What are the benefits of using ALR screen paint?
- Any watch-outs before doing the paint job?
Wait. What is ambient light, and how does it affect my viewing experience?
Ambient light is your source of unwanted light in the room that comes from multiple sources – either your lamps at the corner, that ray of sunlight peeking into your room, or the shiny surface from your decor.
If this ambient light hits the same area where you flash your content, it competes with the light from your projector and degrades image contrast and saturation. It turns out faded or washed out.
We don’t like that.
Okay, so what is ambient light rejection and, ultimately, ALR paint?
You’ve probably heard this phrase coined before but not fully understood it.
Ambient light rejection is a process where light is being reflected to the audience. Think of it as a light collector that receives and immediately returns the light to a different space. So even if your curtains are drawn, you can still see your movies.
So now that you know, ALR paint is a type of paint you can use over the part of your room or walls where the projection lands, so it reflects the unwanted source of light.
I saw that there’s a metallic finish ALR paint available. Should I get this instead?
If you want your screen to further increase in brightness while keeping the dark surface on your walls, you can grab the metallic or pearl-like finish ALR paint available.
All you need to do is mix your dark gray or black ALR paint and mix it with the metallic ALR solution. We advise you to ask assistance regarding the concentration, so all turns out evenly and not overly metallic.
You may check out screen paints from Digital Image Screen Paint Digital Image Screen Paint, with anti-glare sheen for less reflection and suitable for 4K and HD projectors. They have gray shades available you can mix with metallic solutions.
How do you paint ALR on the wall?
Painting ALR on the wall is not different from how you paint using regular solutions – a roller is all you need! We suggest that you invest in a good quality roller, so it doesn’t shed and get loose easily as you work.
In terms of application, it’s better to start from the top to the bottom and do not do back rolls.
Two coats work fine; let the first coat dry first before applying the second one. If you think there are some areas with uneven shades, best to re-apply on that area only.
What are the benefits of using ALR screen paint?
I know. It already sounds amazing. But here are the benefits of using ALR paint in your rooms.
- It removes the muscle work every time you watch. The great thing about ALR paint is that once you apply it once, you don’t need to keep fixing or maintaining it. Just paint over the area, and you’re good to go! No need to stand up to close all curtains and move items around that reflect light.
- You can say goodbye to pitch dark rooms from ceiling to floor. Admit it; you don’t want to have a dark and gloomy room 24/7. Now, you can paint your room even in white and still watch without quality being sacrificed.
- It’s cost- and time-efficient. Renovating a space at home is often more expensive than going to a local hardware store, buying a can or two, and a good roller brush. These are all you need and maybe a day or two to work on the paint job. No need to hire contractors and designers to fix this issue!
- No other calibrations are needed. Before, you must check all the lights and their brightness and opt for a 4K projector to make sure the images and videos look well. With ALR screen paint, rest assured that you can have all lights on and your content still looks as good on a small screen.
Any watch-outs before doing the paint job?
You’re probably convinced and ready to buy the materials. Before you do so, we’re giving you a heads up on things to remember and consider.
- The designated wall. What is the wall you’ll be using for watching? Is it big enough and well located from where you’ll be sitting? Make sure your measurements fit the target projected area.
- The wall needs prepping. Check if your wall has bumps and uneven surfaces. You need to clean it out and smoothen it over, so there won’t be image distortions later. To smoothen the wall, all you need is sandpaper and a good dusting cloth or brush to remove dust and remaining particles.
- Have a good base. Before you paint it over with ALR screen paint, you can cover it up with a good white base to make sure it’s even. This step is important, especially when the designated wall has seen multiple paint jobs.
- It’s more expensive than your regular paint. Since this paint is made specifically for this purpose, its chemical makeup is different from the regular ones. Depending on the brand, it usually ranges from $150 – $300. But using this will save you from possible thousands of expenses for a renovation or rework.
Getting your desired theatre screen set up takes time, trial and error, and additional work. But by using ALR screen paint, you remove the many hassles of fixing up your room and all its fixtures to get the quality you want. Plus, your bank account won’t suffer as much as having a room makeover for several weeks. Hopefully, you get to enjoy your screen time more with this solution.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.