DIY Green Screen Paint

Painting a wall in your home office den with green paint can be one of the most cost effective ways to create a green screen. Painted surfaces are durable, flat, and not prone to wrinkling (the curse of muslin green screens). But you must choose the right paint or your efforts will be doomed from the start. Choosing the best green screen paint comes down to three things: finish, coverage, and color.

The right paint finish

Interior house paints come in a wide variety of finishes such as satin, semi-gloss, and semi-gloss. The optimum green screen finish provides a smooth, flat surface that minimizes surface imperfections and reflections. The best paint finish for your home office green screen is flat paint. Flat paint creates a slightly dull, chalky looking finish that hides imperfections and will do a great job of distributing light evenly when it’s time to light up your studio.

Flat finishes are less stain resistant and more difficult to clean than others. Keep some extra paint on hand for touch ups.

paint coverage

If you’re choosing house paint to save money on your green screen, be careful not to oversave. Economy paints use inexpensive fillers that reduce the amount of color pigment used in each gallon. The result is a very thin layer of color that does not cover the wall effectively. You end up having to put more coats of paint on the wall to get proper color coverage. Brush marks and uneven color may not be important when painting the interior of your garage, but they will make a big difference in the results you get from your green screen.

Choose a name brand paint designed for single coat coverage. Paints with built-in primer do an excellent job. Then apply at least two coats of paint to ensure even coverage. Most household paints will cover 300 to 350 square feet per gallon. Typically, a gallon will suffice for a large wall with a little left over for touch-ups.

paint color

Successful green screen composition relies on having the correct color behind your artist. Home paints create a specific color the same way you did in art class. They mix several pigments of different colors to arrive at the color on the chip board. The process works well and makes it easy to efficiently stock a rainbow of color options at your local center.

Professional green screen paints do not use pigment mixtures. They carefully select pigments that have exactly the right shade of pure green. There is no chance that the color will be a little ‘off’. This makes the paint more expensive to produce and less versatile for other uses. If you can afford the premium price, buy the good stuff. But you can get great results with less expensive paints.

don’t trust your eyes when selecting colors. Choosing a pure green color is much more difficult than you might think. The one that looks good will usually have subtle shadings that will make it much harder for your editing software to separate the background and foreground. If you can get hold of a small swatch of chromakey green fabric or paint, take it to the store and have them use their color-matching computer to create a custom paint mix. This will give you the best possible results with household paints.

If you don’t have a color swatch to scan, there are some pre-mixed paint color mixtures that independent video producers have tested and found to give the results possible. Choose one of these colors and you can be sure to get great results from your home office green screen.

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