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Thread: Best Cheap Background? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-31-2013 10:36 AM
Saxtonhill Mat board comes in a lot of neutral colors and can get it at an art supply store.
01-30-2013 04:49 PM

Originally Posted by TetraFan View Post
Hi guys. I am looking for recommendations on the easiest, low-cost black background you can put on your tank (that isn't paint!) and how to do so. Thanks in advance!
I use vinyl similar to what a sign shop uses. Not the cheapest as it costs about 15 dollars for enough for a 48x20 tank. It looks like paint when viewed through the water and has the benefit of being able to change. I recently changed from dark green to navy blue.
01-30-2013 04:47 PM
Originally Posted by Redtail84 View Post
+1 on the trash bag. I'm using it on my 20 long, and it works great.
Good to hear. It was just the first thing that came to mind for me. Never actually done it yet. Mylar wrapping paper could work as well.
01-30-2013 04:45 PM
Redtail84 +1 on the trash bag. I'm using it on my 20 long, and it works great.
01-30-2013 04:36 PM
discgo You could cut up a black trash bag and tape it to the back.
01-30-2013 04:16 PM
callisto9 I used that plastic backing with the oil stuff you rub on first and after about three months, it started peeling away.

I just used some acrylic craft paint. About $3.
01-30-2013 04:14 PM
TetraFan Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I was definitely looking for something that I could easily take on and off, so I might try the poster board first and see how bad it looks. :P

PS. Did not think about the reverse side haha
01-30-2013 03:52 PM
TonyK You can peel it off if you don't like. Its a nice benefit with Plasti-dip.

Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
Or try Plasti-Dip, which sprays on, and is black, but isn't truly paint. More like a thin rubber sheet.
01-30-2013 07:41 AM
shift I like the window tint idea!
01-30-2013 07:24 AM
Best Cheap Background?

I used black limo tint on one of my tanks
And the other I used a brand name artscape it's a white smoke ,they are both very good and for that super clean look.
01-30-2013 07:14 AM
lochaber I'm a big fan of the painted-on background. I've only done spraypaint in the past, but am going to try brush-on latex next.

Maybe take a stroll through the paint section of your local hardware/paint/home store. sometimes they have discounted cans that were returned/problematic/ihavenoidea for really cheap. Usually it's typical household colors, various shades of beige and off white, pastel blues, etc., but sometimes there is something interesting in there.

Also check and see if there are any hazmat recycling/collection centers in your area, I remember one near me was offering free latex paint (I think they just mixed all the excess they collected, but I'm not sure...), but it's likely to be in the common shades.

If you are really hard up, you could probably just take some oil (cooking oil, mineral oil, crisco, vaseline, used motor oil, etc.), smear it on the glass, and then stick even a plastic trash bag or something on it, work it a bit with a credit card/stiff scrapertypethingy, and get a cheap (free?) background...(I haven't tried this, and wouldn't recommend it...)
01-30-2013 12:40 AM
dprais1 poster board! lots of color choices. 67 cents a sheet or so. scotch tape to apply.

got the wrong color? no problem, take it back (you didn't use it) and get a different one.

hobby stores are more $$ but instead of the 6 choices at the dept stores you have tons of choices!
01-30-2013 12:39 AM
Originally Posted by TetraFan View Post
Thanks for the replies! All I have seen at my LFS so far are pictured background rolls, but I will keep my eyes peeled for a black one!

Check the reverse sides.
01-30-2013 12:10 AM
GMYukonon24s I use a hard plastic material background.
01-29-2013 11:59 PM
accordztech I use a frosted light for the florecents it gives it a nice quiet foggy look. 4 bucks...and much better than the cheesy backgrounds
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