Using chroma key paint

Using chroma key paint as opposed to green screen drapes or sheets has a number of advantages. Having just painted one wall of my little studio with 2 coats of chroma key green from Stage Depot I thought I’d share the results. I actually shot a time-lapse video of the process just for fun, which you can see below. After shooting the video with less than ideal lighting, I edited in the chroma key effect so that you can see the background appear in real time. I was quite impressed with the results. For more details read on.


I’ve been using a green non-woven textile drape stretched onto a wall for video marketing for some time. The results were adequate but I’d always thought that using chroma key paint would give far better results. I have a little home studio so having one permanent green wall was a possibility. Colour is a matter of taste and I happen to quite like Stage Depot’s “Deep optic green”, you might not though so bear that in mind before committing!

Key Benefits Of Using Chroma Key Paint

Over time the drape material had become patchy and increasingly difficult to get an even result even when properly lit. The main advantage of using chroma key paint instead is that it is extremely non-reflective. This gives a very flat finish which makes it much easier for editing software to work it’s magic. Ideally you want to light the green surface itself and the subject separately. This helps to remove shadows, green tinges and to make everything look more “real”. Again using chroma key paint on a nice flat wall makes this much easier.

After watching a number of Youtube videos on using chroma key paint it looked like Home Depot in the USA has a green shade that works very well. Here in the UK I could only find 2 suppliers of the pro stuff: Rosco and Stage Depot. While Rosco’s 3ltr cans sell at around £80, Stage Depot’s were half that – just a little more than standard emulsion so that’s what I went for. I reasoned that a purpose made paint would just be better.

Is Using Chroma Key Paint Cost Effective?

I started with a plastered wall I’d stripped of wallpaper and painted white originally. Stage Depot’s 2.4 ltr can easily gave me the recommended two generous coats on a 3m x 3m wall with a some left over. I plan to build a small wooden plinth to give me the option of using head to toe videos of people and for background free product shots. The paint looked very liquid when opened and needed a good 5 minutes of vigorous stirring to thicken up. It then went on really well with a standard roller and a brush for the edges.

As I mentioned earlier I spent no time on lighting for the demo video I shot while applying the paint. It’s shot in natural light from my studio window although I did switch on one diffused lamp, which happened to be pointing in the right direction. The results were surprisingly good but are even better with the blackout blind down and the wall evenly lit with two lamps. If you have studio space or can live with the colour in a domestic situation I thoroughly recommend using chroma key paint for green screen video. I got mine online from Stage Depot UK and use Telestream’s Screenflow for editing.


using chroma key paint