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Which Are The Best Home Theater Paint Colors


Are you getting the best performance out of your home theater? See how the right home theater paint color can improve your movie viewing.

Your home theater's paint color is really important to you getting a great movie experience. Before I go into the details, let me first break down the two important aspects of a particular paint selection; it color and its finish.

When you'll choose your paint, be sure to use a high quality paint from a reputable manufacturer. You can choose a paint color in four different finishes: gloss, semi-gloss, egg-shell (or satin), and flat. The finish determines how shiny the paint will be when dry.

Behr paints, Glidden paints, and Shermin Williams paints are all top quality. Stay away from economy brands no matter how good a deal you think you got.

A glossy paint finish has a lustrous finish and is easy to clean with a damp towel. A flat finish doesn't reflect much light at all and makes it more difficult to clean off little Taylor's unwanted artwork. Despite being a little less tolerant of young children, a flat finish is what you want to use in your home theater.

Gloss and semi-gloss paints are definitely not what you what you use in your home theater. Don't use it on walls, don't use it on doors, don't use it even on the trim. Why not? Glossy paint reflects a lot of light.

"But what's the point if the lights are going to be out?"

Funny you should ask. Whenever you have a bright scene on your movie screen, that light will spill off onto adjacent walls. This will light up the wall and will be really distracting. glossy home theaterIf you put a light source near a wall and you spot a shiny area on the paint, then thats already way too much light.

Check out this image. This is a little on the extreme side because here they're blasting a pure blue 'image'. A really bright scene in a movie would cause the same reflection on the walls. This really shows the reflective nature of glossy paint.

An overly bright room will really mess up the performance of most rear-projection televisions, and will totally kill the performance of even the more expensive consumer front-projectors. Now this isn't just ambient light from windows, but from the paint color itself. That light that bounces off the walls will take on the wall's color. A red wall will reflect red light and bright scenes in your movie will have a permanent pinkish hue. Bright blue walls will result in a light blueish haze, and so on. Not only will is mess up your colors, but your projector's contrast as well.

The solution here is to use a darker color or something neutral for the walls. Dark tan, brown, or black is good. Don't worry about painting your walls a darker color -- you're not going to end up watching movies in a cave.

Once you put your furniture and setup your lighting, the overall appearance of the room will balance itself out when finished. My own family room is painted a nice caramel color, but the walls surrounding the television area and the soffit above are a dark chocolate. The carpet is a light beige and the recessed lighting shines down onto the floor.

With the lights on, the room looks bright and comfortable despite the darker walls. Wallpaper is fine too. Just be sure to bring a sample of it home with you, tape it to the wall and shine a bright light on it at a sharp angle. If it reflects any light, keep on shopping.

Now I did mention black as an option earlier. Who wants to pain the walls of their family room totally black? Even dedicated theater owners shy away from black because they want their theater to have some style to it and totally black walls are pretty hard to decorate. Black is good for trim and such (like the walls surrounding the screen) and can add a classy feel to the room.

So lets go over it again. Stick to a satin or flat finish and learn to love neutral, darker home theater paint colors. Don't be afraid that the color will look bad; you can always repaint later if you really don't like the result of your paint job. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for paint colors and you'll be able to enjoy years of great looking movies in your comfortable home theater.

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