If you’ve been using green screen and chroma key technology to produce your videos, you already know about the great branding and special effects opportunities it offers. More than likely, you started with a literal green screen or webcam backdrop, but now you’re considering turning part of your office space into a dedicated studio space. While you can continue to use portable green screens, why not go for a permanent fix? Here’s everything you need to know about how to paint a green screen.
Pick the Right Paint
Chroma key paint is green, but it’s a very specific type of green. Knowing how to choose the right paint isn’t easy. It’s formulated and blended to ensure a flat, non-glossy, fluorescent tint that reduces reflectiveness. The green paint for green screens lacks the reds and other colors that turn up in the human skin tone. Simply mixing up a batch of bright green paint won’t ensure you’ll be able to pull a proper key during postproduction, though. As mentioned, most house paints are reflective, even if they promise to be “flat”—and that can interfere with your shoots, creating halo effects, color spill, and more. Pick a proper chroma key paint and you won’t waste time later making corrections.
Prepare Your “Canvas”
Before you start slapping paint onto either normal walls or cyc walls, if that’s what you prefer, make sure they’re clean and in great shape. Look for imperfections like dents, scratches, scrapes, holes, and more. Patch them up with spackle or joint compound and then sand the surface down to a smooth, even level. Next, clean up the wall and surrounding area, removing any dust and residue from your patching job. After that, cover the floor with a tarp and mix up a batch of grey bonding primer. Avoid a reflective primer or one that might contain tints other than yellow and blue. Apply the primer in even strokes and let it dry.
If you want a professional paint job, it might be best to hire a professional painter. But if that’s not in your budget, simply keep the following tips in mind. After the primer dries, take your green paint for green screens and apply it with a roller in long, unbroken strokes, and make sure the strokes overlap. You don’t have to mix or dilute our green screen paint. Just use it straight from the can. After applying it, wait 60 minutes then apply a second coat. Two coats should be enough. As a rule of thumb, one gallon of green screen paint can coat 300 square feet of space. Get another gallon for each 100 extra square feet or extra coats.
Keep It Clean
That’s everything you need to know about how to paint a green screen. Now, all you have to do is maintain it! Warn your crew and talent to not touch the surface you painted and cover up the wall with a protective sheet when it’s not in use. Keep a can of spackle and paint handy for touch-ups and any potential future damage, and reach out to us if you have any further questions.