Finally escaping the house.. building a darkroom/studio

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by photomem, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. photomem

    photomem Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Medium Format
    I have finally found a space away from my house to work in. It does not have water in the space, but there is an artists workroom less than 10 feet down the hall. The landlord has graciously given me permission to park a print washer on a cart in the workroom.

    Here are the questions I am trying to figure out.

    The space has three small windows. I had thought about blocking them out but I want to be able to use natural light when I am shooting in there. What do you folks would suggest, I have looked at the eclipse curtains, but I am also thinking about rigging up a system where I can place masonite panels over the windows when I am printing, then they could be removed. Maybe something with rails where I could just slide them to the side.


    The walls in this space are ugly, and so is the floor. The landlord has told me I could paint whatever I wanted. There is a inset on the north wall that I was going to set up with a table for my enlarger and trays. I am just about convinced I am going to paint that nook a semi-matte (eggshell) black. As for the rest of the walls and floor, I am at a loss. What would be some good colors that would look nice with a big black wall but would be photo friendly. I am going to be shooting about 90% black and white in there. I had thought about color matching a grey card, but I am not sure.


    Finally, the landlord has offered to put a sink in the space provided I pay a portion of the costs.. since there is running water about 10 feet from the door, do you think it would be worth it. I do not know the cost at the moment, but it will easily be a couple hundred dollars.

  2. Denis R

    Denis R Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    50156 & 5133

    black is bad, sucks the light out of the room

    in my space grey concrete walls and floor works quite well

    don't worry about painting black around the enlarger, not necessary

    large sink, yes 8ft long 20" wide as a minimum :D
    large workbench with drawers and lower shelf 8ft long 30" wide works well for 2 enlargers and extras


    here's my setup after moving sink to current position, but before second enlarger
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Mar 31, 2009
    northern Pa.
    Large Format
    If you are going to paint, use a 'flat' sheen paint to keep light reflectance to a minimum. Paint color is not so critical as reflecting light. I would also suggest using an exterior paint as they are washable, contain mildewcides, and are generally more resistant to whatever might hit it. Next, cover the ceiling. Open rafters invite dust. If there is a floor above, foot traffic can dislodge it. Get an inexpensive air purifier, that will help with dust control.