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Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

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Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Old 01-13-12, 04:16 PM
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Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

So I have a theater room that conveniently contains 6 windows. I have 2 blocked but the remaining 4 are skylights and the ceiling is your typical upside down 'V' at that really steep angle. It's also a stupidly high ceiling which adds even more to the fun. I'm dreading the day a light goes out in the ceiling fan.

The issue with using drapes is that I'd need to form a complete seal since otherwise there will be some sagging and light will start to get through. The other option is to fill in that inset, which I have a couple feet to play with.

Right now I have a combination of things going. For two windows on one side, I've cut some cardboard and wedged them in there. Other than not getting an exact fix, which lets some light in, it works ok but it's ugly. They also tend to fall out once in a while.

The other side has cardboard covering, not wedged in, with some drapes covering them. This is magically holding up by using hooks you put in the ceiling to hand things from. Not heavy things but the small plain brass looking hooks. This has some sagging issues and has most of the light coming out of it plus it's ugly. It's all ugly and I'm surprised it's managed to stay up like that. I originally did this on the other side but the cardboard and curtain was too heavy so the hooks would slide out.

Right now I have some blackout curtains but need an idea on making them seal tight. I was also toying with the idea of wedging something light, inside the window frame, like poster board and then putting movie posters over. Nothing framed, just some cheap movie posters I got from the dollar store.

I'm open to any ideas, I have no idea which way to go or what would work good. I just want something more permanent that looks decent.
Old 01-13-12, 04:25 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Are you looking to permanently block out the skylights? Can you do something from the roof side? That might be easier.
Old 01-13-12, 06:10 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

I have a similar "impossible" setup in my living room, with my projector. Several story high windows, no drapes...

Not really a big problem, I decided to only watch movies there at night.
Old 01-13-12, 07:01 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

If I am not mistaken - paint sticks to glass, as does contact paper. As you say, it's hard to get to, but once it's done you don't have to do it again. Is it worth the effort?! Either of these things (paint and contact paper) can be removed by a future buyer of the house.
Old 01-13-12, 09:07 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by danwiz View Post
If I am not mistaken - paint sticks to glass, as does contact paper. As you say, it's hard to get to, but once it's done you don't have to do it again. Is it worth the effort?! Either of these things (paint and contact paper) can be removed by a future buyer of the house.
I've thought of contact paper but I guess paint could work too and it might be easier since I wouldn't have to climb up to get to the window. Then I could throw some posters over the holes and it'd look somewhat normal.

The new issue is that to get to the window, I have to get up in there to remove the blinds that are installed.
Old 01-14-12, 05:34 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Have you tried it yet? Meaning if the light is not shining on the screen might not be a problem.

I hate skylights. I have 4 in my bar and considering removing them. Or maybe upgrading to roof windows.
Old 01-15-12, 12:40 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Haven't done it yet but when I do have them sealed my old ways, before all the sagging and falling, it does help a lot. I have a small window in there that I completely forgot about that I'm going to try the paint job on.

The only con of using paint that I can think of, is that I'll need to put on a new coat now and then. I'm not sure how long it'll last.
Old 01-15-12, 12:45 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
Haven't done it yet but when I do have them sealed my old ways, before all the sagging and falling, it does help a lot. I have a small window in there that I completely forgot about that I'm going to try the paint job on.

The only con of using paint that I can think of, is that I'll need to put on a new coat now and then. I'm not sure how long it'll last.
It is a true roof window (flat piece of glass) or dome?

If flat, I'd just get that film. Home Depot and Lowes have it. I used some decorative film in my bar windows to give them the look of stained glass. But they have some that block a lot (tho I don't know about all) light.
Old 01-17-12, 11:17 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

No domes, just a bunch of windows. Film just seems like way too much work considering how high and large they all are for getting it the right size and not getting bubbles. If it was easier access, I'd probably go with tint but it's too high for my taste. I'm not anticipating enjoying removing the blinds that were also installed to get to the window.
Old 01-17-12, 09:35 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Came up with a new plan. I'm going to do a border in the entrance of the shaft with 2x4s and then put a piece of oak board on top and use some caulk to seal it. Should run me a little over $100 to do all 4 windows and I won't need to worry about taking down the blinds. Then if there's ever a desire to remove it, it'll be much easier than removing paint.

I'm planning on getting supplies Saturday and I'll post some photos when it's done.
Old 01-18-12, 01:11 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
No domes, just a bunch of windows. Film just seems like way too much work considering how high and large they all are for getting it the right size and not getting bubbles. If it was easier access, I'd probably go with tint but it's too high for my taste. I'm not anticipating enjoying removing the blinds that were also installed to get to the window.
The film is easy to work with. And easy to install if there is no pattern (if there is a pattern than you really got to get straight). But for black out or mirror or something like that no pattern. Easy to cut a 1/4" bigger than normal, install and cut the excess. Just get the install kit they sell in the same department. Tho I just used a credit card myself to smooth it out, the kit would have made a 30 minute job a 15 minute one (and mine does have a pattern). If you follow the directions, bubbles won't be an issue and if the ceiling is that high, you wouldn't see them anyway. Of course no glue is used, so it is easy to remove if you change your mind.

If your worried about how high, just rent a commercial ladder. Or hell if you got the room a lift. Or use two ladders and planks (again rent this, don't just use two ladders and 2x4's).

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
Came up with a new plan. I'm going to do a border in the entrance of the shaft with 2x4s and then put a piece of oak board on top and use some caulk to seal it. Should run me a little over $100 to do all 4 windows and I won't need to worry about taking down the blinds. Then if there's ever a desire to remove it, it'll be much easier than removing paint.

I'm planning on getting supplies Saturday and I'll post some photos when it's done.
Wow...now that sounds like work. Or are you going to try to build in the garage and install once together? But again, that might be awkward. Are you sure there is some framing there to screw/nail into? Or you going to use drywall hangers?
Old 01-19-12, 01:20 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Wow...now that sounds like work. Or are you going to try to build in the garage and install once together? But again, that might be awkward. Are you sure there is some framing there to screw/nail into? Or you going to use drywall hangers?
They're deep enough shafts to get it in there. As long as we measure before, we can just put each piece of the 2x4 in, attach it, then screw the board on top. It's going to be closer to the opening of the shaft than near the window.

It should look decent and it also saves me the hassle of having to get way up into each shaft to remove the blinds that were installed, just to get to the window.

That's the theory anyway. We'll see how it goes down.
Old 01-19-12, 01:42 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
They're deep enough shafts to get it in there. As long as we measure before, we can just put each piece of the 2x4 in, attach it, then screw the board on top. It's going to be closer to the opening of the shaft than near the window.

It should look decent and it also saves me the hassle of having to get way up into each shaft to remove the blinds that were installed, just to get to the window.

That's the theory anyway. We'll see how it goes down.
But what are you attaching the 2x4's to? I wouldn't trust drywall to hold it. But I'm guessing they had to frame out the shaft before drywall. But where exactly is that framing in relationship to where you want to mount this is the question.
Old 01-19-12, 05:37 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

I think you should just hand out baseball caps.
Old 01-20-12, 10:33 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
But what are you attaching the 2x4's to? I wouldn't trust drywall to hold it. But I'm guessing they had to frame out the shaft before drywall. But where exactly is that framing in relationship to where you want to mount this is the question.
This weekend is when I'm dragging the ladder upstairs to check and measure things out. The shaft is at least 3 feet deep and the goal is to put the frame up closer to the ceiling, around 6 inches in, or closer to the entrance to the shaft rather than closer to the window. The goal is to use some deck screws to attack the 2x4s to a frame within the shaft.

Originally Posted by Spiky
I think you should just hand out baseball caps.
Depending on the time of day and year, there's sometimes an annoying strip of light that'll shine right across my face.

My temp solution that I've had going was sheets of cardboard that I wedged in there. They'd fall out from time to time plus there's spaces the light can shine through since it's not a perfect seal.

My end goal for this project is to have the right windows sealed, get all my movies on shelves and cleanup the video game and VHS stuff that's laying around. I think I have just enough shelves to even keep my blu-rays in there as well. I've been spending the last week cataloging the movies I've received over the last few months and slowly getting those shelved.

After that, I want to arrange seating a little better and I also have some rope light I might mess with after everything else is done.
Old 02-27-12, 10:43 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
But what are you attaching the 2x4's to? I wouldn't trust drywall to hold it. But I'm guessing they had to frame out the shaft before drywall. But where exactly is that framing in relationship to where you want to mount this is the question.
Finally got to looking at it. We're going to use some 3" screws to attach to the frame of the shaft of the skylight. The plan right now is to do it next weekend, along with putting a frame around my screen, which has been held up with thumbtacks since I got the place.

The price for everything is a lot cheaper than I was expecting. 4 skylights and the screen are going to be around $125.
Old 03-01-12, 08:47 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Did you look at exterior shutters/binds? Ones that you can open with a pole?
Old 03-03-12, 11:52 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Originally Posted by redbill View Post
Did you look at exterior shutters/binds? Ones that you can open with a pole?
Nope. I have 0 need to ever have the skylights open. The existing windows are good enough and even that is too much. Even one stray crack of light coming out of how I had it blocked is enough to really cause an effect when watching movies with a projector.

All that has changed now. We sealed them up this afternoon. We still have to do the trim around the screen and we're also going to do it around where we sealed the skylights. Then I'll stain everything and it'll finally be done.

Then the new project of putting the projector up a little higher begins but that's just putting a shelf up, so there's not much to that one. I'm also going to swap out my receiver and do a little reorganizing of how the game consoles and receiver are positioned.
Old 08-14-12, 10:17 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

5 months later, I have finally gotten around to staining the boards and the trim that will go around them. Still need to buy the trim to go around the screen. I'm guessing I'll buy that and cut it this weekend. If I have some time, I'll stain it before putting it up.





I'm probably not going to put the projector on a shelf. I have a futon frame I need to get the mattress for and that should take care of any heads being too high. I just need to make a better stand for the projector. Right now it's on a step stool that's sitting on a TV stand. I also picked up a new recliner last month, kept that one downstairs and then lugged my huge deluxe one upstairs to the room. It's the third seat in there that I can easily doze off in

Still haven't swapped the receivers but I'm not in that big of a hurry since the current one is fine.

I also managed to get a couple cube shelf things built over the summer and now I just need to go through the painful task of rounding up all the stray movies all over the house and reorganize them all alphabetically. That's always been a giant pain.

And of course all the cleaning up, which will be a breeze compared to the rest.
Old 08-20-12, 04:13 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Close to the same solution I used for my windows. I first covered the window with some black plastic using a staple gun to staple it into the drywall right next to the frame. This was to block any stray sunlight that might make it past the plywood. Then I took 1/4" plywood cut to fit just inside the window frame and attached 1/4" thick closed cell polyethylene foam to one side using spray adhesive. I "upholstered" the whole thing with microfiber fabric and used velcro to make sure it stays where I put it. This way, the whole thing is reversible in a matter of minutes. As an added bonus, I can hang decorations on it.

Old 08-27-12, 10:56 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

That looks like the direction I'm heading for. We put trim around two of the skylights yesterday, so now it looks like I have picture frames on my ceiling. It's too thin and long for a standard movie poster, so I have to figure out something that'll fit. Last I heard, our art department will print stuff out for you fairly cheap if you bring in an image.

I only had enough trim to do two of the skylights, since it was originally just going to be used around my screen, so we bought more yesterday. In theory, I'll have them all stained by this weekend and in a couple weeks, all the trim will be up and I'll just be looking for something to fill them in.
Old 08-27-12, 01:15 PM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Sounds like you need to letterbox a poster.
Old 08-29-12, 04:06 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

US insert posters are 14x36. They stopped making them in the early to mid 80s, so it will have to be an older title. Just watch out because there are a number of fakes inserts out there, especially for the popular titles (Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, Godfather, and others).

Barring that, many foreign posters are smaller. Thai, and Japanese are my favorite.
Old 08-29-12, 10:30 AM
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Re: Need tips on blocking skylight in theater room

Thanks for the advice. I haven't measured the dimensions but I might look into having my wife pick up some Japanese posters next year when she goes to visit her family.

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