My darkroom is avacado green and Terra cotta floors. I haven't had any problems thus far.
Color is nowhere as important as the surface of the walls. A flat paint will diffuse light and any reflections. My DR is a nice pleasing beige/tan. My safelight is a string of 35 amber/yellow LED holiday lights strung across the length of my DR. Main lighting is a 40 watt full spectrum flouro tube with a ccr of 96. Room size is 8'x12'. You want the light to be even, and light walls and ceiling will help a lot. Dark colors are just too dreary and it takes a lot of white light to light up the room.
Gun Control is like: Reducing drunk driving by making it harder for SOBER people to buy cars.
Originally Posted by Cruzingoose
Amber/yellow is asking for definite trouble with non-Ilford stuff.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
My darkroom is a pleasant white eggshell lustre. I did think about putting black cardboard on sections of the walls close to the enlarger (my darkroom is 3 foot wide) where the light reflects.
My reasoning goes this way:
1) I want to be able to bounce safelight around the darkroom to make the place as bright, comfortable and pleasing to work in as possible.
2) I use amber safelights a lot, but at times also use red when necessary for materials that might fog in amber light.
3) Semi-gloss white reflects all colors fairly equally without glare, and will thus take on the color of whatever safelight is being used, reflecting the maximum amount of light around. Gray would be neutral, but then reflect only a fraction of the safelight (18% gray reflects only 18% of the light falling on it. Even "skin tone" is only 36% reflectance. White gets up to the 90% range.)
4) Yellow would probably do this as well for the yellow and red safelights, but then everything would take on a yellow cast when the white light was on. This is a problem because...
5) I want to be able to evaluate print tone in as neutral an environment as possible, so white is needed so that I'm not projecting a color-cast from the walls onto my prints. (This is valid for green, blue and other-colored walls as well.) Illumination needs to be taken into account for viewing prints too, but this is separate from the wall-color issue. If I were only developing film, this would not be an issue, but since I print there too, white seems the only way to go.
6) Every one of the Beseler 45 and Omega D enlargers I have worked with spills some unwanted light from the negative carrier/head, no matter what I do in the way of adjusting light source and carrier holder. This has a tendency to bounce off white walls and could possibly fog prints during long print exposures. Yellow (i.e., safe-colored) walls would fix this, but would result in the color-cast problem mentioned above. Therefore...
7) I have surrounded my enlarger's light leaks with flat-black as much as possible. Sometimes this is just a flat-black mat board mounted on the wall, sometimes a baffle or frame hung from the enlarger itself, whatever works in the setup I have. The object is to catch stray light with a minimum of black surface area while leaving the rest of the darkroom white and reflecting safelight. I could maybe get the same result with yellow and red and have a more cheerful (or at least more colorful) darkroom. This is a definite possibility.
Final verdict: Semi-gloss (or flat) white walls for as much of the darkroom as possible. Flat-black (or yellow/red) around enlarger heads to limit unwanted light from the head/negative carrier. I also find it helpful to have safelights around the enlargers that can be turned off easily (handy switch or chain) so that unwanted light from the safelights doesn't swamp detail in the print when focusing.
Boy, that got long real fast... Hope it helps,
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Colour is important, since colour works by absorbtion.
If you want the darkroom to be bright (and despite the name, we do), a dark colour is not the thing to have your walls in. The 'colour' that reflects most is white. So go with white.
If you fear white light (as opposed to safe light) bouncing around your dark room, try to keep it out better, not worry about the brightness of your walls.
White, and glossy around the sink so it's easy to mop up. I want a bright darkroom. The color of the safelight determines it's look in the dark. The white makes it bright in the white light. I can't imagine happily working in a black painted room.
Hey I appreciate the thought that you folks put into your answers, even the funny ones, I particularly like the glass wall idea.
I believe I will go with the white exterior paint in the wet room, flat white in the enlarger "room" with black behind the enlarger itself, and a regular semi-gloss white in the viewing / setup room. I know it will not make a difference when loading film carriers, but then I am one of those people who has to take my glasses off when in the dark loading 120 or 4x5 anyhow.
I just picked up my Omega D5500 this morning so now I am really motivated to get going on it!
I like it!!
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I am color blind. I shoot black and white film in a black camera under a white darkcloth. I have chemicals and paper for black and white prints. I built the darkroom with white panels, some of which I painted black around the enlargers. My walls and ceiling are black and white because I don’t want them to get any ideas that we might be doing color one of these days. You gots to take change and be sure those walls and ceiling know who is boss. Don’t want no uppity colors trying to sneak into my darkroom.