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How to Paint a Darkroom

    Lights Out

    • 1). Turn all the lights off in the room and look for any rays of light that leak into the room. For a proper dark room you will need absolute darkness. Any light contamination can ruin photos as they're being developed.

    • 2). Determine the best way to fix the light leak.

    • 3). Cut a sheet of thick plywood to match the interior size of any windows in the room and nail them into place. Covering the windows with a self-made wall will ensure that no light leaks through the window. If you want to make it look professional, you can cover the plywood in plaster, sand it down and make it even with the surrounding walls so that when you paint, you won't even be able to tell there used to be a window there.

    • 4). Check the height and width of the door to make sure the door closes completely without any cracks that light could sneak through. If there are cracks, identify where the light is coming through, open the door and use small, thin pieces of wood trim to fill those gaps. Secure the wood trim with wood glue and let dry over night. For a more professional look, you can install a new door that does not have any cracks.

    Choose the Paint

    • 1). Decide if the dark room is going to be used by multiple people at once or if you will be the only person working in there.

    • 2). Buy black paint if the room is going to be shared by multiple people at once and buy white paint if the room is going to be used solely by you. Group dark rooms need to be black because black provides the least amount of light reflection, which is fatal to developing a decent photograph and which is more likely if many people are working in the room together. However, if you are using this as a solo dark room, white will be just fine. White may not seem like the appropriate color, but in fact white walls can actually increase the efficiency of your safe lights, which are the lights used to see in a dark room.

    • 3). Prime the room with a decent wall primer to ensure maximum hold of the paint.

    • 4). Cover each wall in at least two coats of the appropriate colored paint.

    • 5). Apply a stain resistant coating to the walls to prevent spills and odors from setting into the pores of the wall and paint. If your floor is concrete paint it as well. Concrete is porous and any spills on the floor, which are virtually inevitable, will be able to be wiped up easily.

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