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Painting muslin background
Old 01-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've just put on my first coat of latex paint on a 8' x 12' sheet of muslin. I'm not really jazzed about it so far. Anyone done this before? I thinned the (black) paint 50/50 with water, applied with a roller, and it's really kinda yucky, blochy gray looking.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-20-2008, 11:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakins View Post
I've just put on my first coat of latex paint on a 8' x 12' sheet of muslin. I'm not really jazzed about it so far. Anyone done this before? I thinned the (black) paint 50/50 with water, applied with a roller, and it's really kinda yucky, blochy gray looking.
I don't think you paint muslin for the base color, but rather use dye. There are probably paints that will work on muslin, but I somehow wonder if latex paint is one of them. Did you not have some guidelines to go by to start with. Are you trying for a black muslin?
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-20-2008, 11:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just recently tried something similar. Painted a 6x8 bed sheet using a roller and white primer paint and then added some spray paint to give more of a cloudy look. It has the feel of canvas due to how thick it got. Haven't shot with it yet to see how it looks.
Tie dyed another bed sheet with a couple of light blue tones and want to add more to it. This one is not finished yet.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-20-2008, 11:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, I read a thread I found on PhotocritiQ (aka zuga.net) and I posted there, but that forum seems to have imploded. Not a lot of activity there. I think I'm going to build a frame for it and put a couple more coats of black on it. I'm trying to make a motled background, but, I just maybe making a mess. I've already found a little paw print trail running across the floor.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-21-2008, 12:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Keep adding layers of paint to it and it might turn out ok. For the modeled look you might try painting with more of the same or another color by using a sponge rather than a roller.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-21-2008, 12:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have to agree with whoever said dye it.

Paint gets stiff. Move the muslin around much and you are going to have a crinkled effect as the paint cracks everywhere there is the slightest stress.

But maybe you want a cracked desert floor effect, it's pretty cool. Of course, the heavier the paint, the more pronounced the cracks...
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-21-2008, 09:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have painted and dyed muslin. Paint is easier to work with in that you can always lighten with other paint. Dye is a different animal. I presoak the muslin, lay it out on a garage floor or surface that can be trashed. Mix up the dyes that I want to use. (Usually 3) and then paint away with a straw broom.

I would recommend waterproof boots and rubber gloves as the dye does not come off very well. You can always sponge, brush or whatever technique you like later with a bit of paint.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-21-2008, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been painting my own backgrounds for years, and find that muslin is not the best fabric to paint. An 8x12 foot of muslin will become stiff and difficult to use, unless you plan to hang it permanently. As mentioned, the paint will crack, or the muslin will have areas that will be stiffer because the thickness of the paint will vary.

Sometimes paint thinned with water will work, but the sponge method will be best. I would suggest for smaller backgrounds, that can be rolled up, use canvas. For my full length permanent studio background I use the backside of linoleum.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-21-2008, 12:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have worked with another photographer in his studio several times. He buys painted muslins from a background company on the internet. His muslins seem more flexible than the bed sheet that I painted, so they may be using another kind of paint than I did. Don't notice any cracks in the material but the colors seem very opaque. Going to try putting some dye into a spray bottle to splatter some added color to the one I already started to see how that works.
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Re: Painting muslin background
Old 01-21-2008, 03:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Perhaps this will help.

Look under "dyes"

http://www.chicagocanvas.com/
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