Agree about white paint - the more 'safe' light bouncing around your darkroom, the better. As long as the safelight itself is at the recommended safe distance you will have no need to worry. I did paint the wall directly round my enlarger black, including the area where I cut paper, but agree it's not always necessary - a test should prove whether or not.
Some enlargers spill light more than others,
sometimes the appurtenances that reside near the enlarger reflect light,
so black paint behind the enlarger is always in good taste.
White everywhere else.
In my college days, I printed for the bio-physics department.
Scientists, naturally they painted the darkroom black.
During a long, long session,
in the large black box with pools of orange light in the ceiling,
which switched off during an exposure,
I became disoriented and walked full stride into an L-138
and went out like a light.
When I went back to work, it was to a big white room with Thomas safelights.
I painted mine "Kodak Yellow." Next time I might try something akin to "safelight orange."
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
In spite of what some of the high-priced paints say about not needing a primer, for a darkroom I would suggest using a good oil-based primer like Zinsser Cover Stain. The smell will go away in a couple of days, particularly after its painted over. Look into a high quality waterborne enamel with ceramic or porcelain components like Muralo Ultra. A bit pricey, but makes a super hard finish.
Originally Posted by Sparky
"I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.
Smooth, next textured. Textured catches dust.
Most darkroom walls are never black, you want a light color to reflect the safelight.
Just as our world on average is 18% gray, the universe's average color is beige.
We have standard beige walls in the darkroom at the college where I teach. We had standard beige walls in the darkroom at the college I attended. We had beige walls in all the newspaper darkrooms I've ever worked, from The Billings Gazette to USA Today.
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My darkroom is white with the lights on, and black when not. The wall behind is green board whichis the dry-wall required in most cities for bathrooms especially behind tile on shower walls.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]
Mine is black around the enlarger (relatively small area) in case of light spill. The rest is pale green and pale grey......well I like it. Nice bright place to work in when I'm not doing darkroom stuff.
Use a good quality matt or vinyl emulsion paint. Oooops should have said vinyl matt or indeed vinyl silk.
Last edited by Trevor Crone; 07-08-2008 at 11:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Well, if you REALLY want a FLAT BLACK, may I suggest the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) Optical Coating Flat Black Type 101-C10.
In the area where I had my optical bench, they painted the walls with Parson's Black paint; the darkest thing available from the regular paint store. It was darker than Cadillac Black. They painted the metal boxes with the electrical power for the area with the 3M coating.
After allowing a suitable period of dark adaptation, with only the red "Power Available" lights from the equipment under the bench glowing softly inside the area, you could see the darker rectangles of the electrical power boxes at the other end of the 20 foot long bench.
Warning: The 3M Company has one of the world's finest stables of attorneys on staff in their legal department. Their prices reflect this.
You will get a lot of opinions about this, but listen to me:
Neutral white glossy paint on non-textured green board.
Glossy paint is easy to dust and clean. The glossy white reflects a safelight well and makes for a "bright" darkroom.
I did paint the area around my enlarger gloss black. Matte black is a nuisance to clean. An alternative to black paint, which is a nuisance to overpaint, is to use sheets of black foam core attached to the wall with blue tack. I do this in some areas around the baseboard.
Colored paint is pleasant but can distort neutral viewing of prints. All black is overkill and unpleasant. A combination of black, white, and gray can be pleasant and offer a more "finished" look.
Equal to paint color is adequate lighting and appropriate safelighting. Certainly if you paint your room all you need more light than for a white room.
My darkroom has concrete walls. I painted them red. Just as good as black as far as paper is concerned. looks nice in the light and looks like Satan's den in the safelight.
Gets me the chicks.
That's just, like, my opinion, man...