View Full Version : White Walls :-(

02-28-2011, 02:17 PM
I'll be shooting a film in a fraternity house and they currently have white walls. I know I could simply hang some wall coverings to add color, but I was wondering (I hope this isn't a stupid question): Is there was any way to temporarily paint a wall?

I worked on a music video in LA and there was a scene in a bar with white walls. The art department sprayed some sort of watery paint onto the walls and speared it around with some rags. After it was complete the walls almost looked sponge painted. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to ask what they were doing.

Any ideas?

02-28-2011, 04:51 PM
You could always just repaint it after. Or build a fake wall in front of it. I don't know what that art department had, but if it works for this I'd love to hear about it.

03-01-2011, 04:00 AM
Easiest to get a good result would be probably to ask permission to paint and repaint. The owners might even be happy if they get to choose a new color.

Latex is one option. Put three thin layers of liquid latex on the wall (it dries very quickly) and paint on top. You can tear the latex off. Result would not be very smooth but often good enough for backgrounds. Application on a large surface is a bit tricky as it tends to dry on your tools, and it STINKS due to ammonia, a respirator is recommended. Testing on a small area first is key :) I have used Revultex (LR?) latex, but I don't know it that's available in the US.

There are some similar, commercial (spray) tear-off materials used to cover protect stuff in construction or renovation. I would like to hear about these if anyone of you has tried them or know trademarks.

Fake wallpaper could work too. Use a two-sided tape with weak non-permanent glue on the other (wall) side. Thick bathroom/kitchen-style, plasticky wallpapers are best as real wallpaper is very hard to put up nicely with only tape. Again test the tape on the wall and remember that some tapes take some days to attach permanently - so even if you test it quickly, you might find it will tear off the paint if it's been on the wall for longer time. If there is going to be hard light coming from the sides, it will pick up all the inevitable imperfections in the fake wallpaper, so try to use soft light from the front if possible :)

Also painting and putting up some sheets of SDF or any material really, against the wall could work.

03-07-2011, 08:57 PM
Yeah, the owners might be delighted at the idea of getting their walls painted for free, might even throw in some free brushes and paint.

05-02-2011, 08:36 AM
When they were shooting "Grayson" the guy used wrapping paper on the wall. Couldn't tell the difference.

05-02-2011, 08:50 AM
Interior flat latex is cheap, coverage is not a problem on white walls. Ask yourself "What color is this film/scene?" Then pick a light relatively neutral pastel shade that serves the film. Coming from a theater background, painting is a no brainer; easy fast and cheap if they will let you do it.

Another approach is just to keep direct light off the walls within camera view. Light the subject with motivated keys and practicals. Bounce light off the other walls for natural fill.