Making my own darkroom.

gender bombs

TPF Noob!
May 9, 2005
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New York
Okay, my darkroom class has just ended, (very sad to say) and I am thinking about making my own. My teacher gave me all of the prices for everything and what and where to buy. The question I was thinking of making it in my downstairs bathroom, which nobody uses and has no window. It has a sink, of course. Is it possible to construct a darkroom in my bathroom? Do I need a permit of some kind for using these chemicals and such, fire hazards, etc. etc.
Yes, very possible to make a nice quality darkroom in your bathroom. The no window is an added bonus. I sure wish my house had an unused bathroom!
I'm not sure about the permit thing. I know for black and white you don't need anything. But the guy at my local camera store told me you have to get permits for using chemicals involved with color photos. Not sure if this is true?
Well, turns out my mother won't allow those chemicals to smell up and be in her "beautiful bathroom". So, my last choice is the attic. Has anyone done this? Is it a good place to have one?
gender bombs said:
Well, turns out my mother won't allow those chemicals to smell up and be in her "beautiful bathroom".

Use Sprint brand chems (which may also be marketed under other labels). Their chems smell like vanilla, or don't smell at all. I use all sorts of chems, and except for toners, nothing smells very strong.
No matter what, she still won't let me. She's super protective of her furniture and what not. "I dont want it to smell, I dont want it getting everywhere, chipping the bath" Blah blah blah. Shame on me to speak about my mother on the internet. :blushing:
I guess it would depend. If it's a big open attic, it may well be full of light leaks that are going to be a ***** to cover up. I've seen some people make a mini-room uisng wood and stuff in their attic, but that looks like a lot of effort and carpentry skills that I don't have!
Ah yes, there probably are a lot of cracks that let light through. Ill go up and check later.
I guess in the attic it wouldn't have to be completely open. What I'm saying is maybe you could make a "room" inside the attic, like hang dark thick sheets or a light proof plastic, making four walls. Might work.
The only problem with the attic is the heat factor. Heat rises, so even in winter it will be much warmer than in the basement. The one advantage to the attic is the air circulation. This heat can kill undeveloped film, and shorten the life of chemicals.

As someone who works in an Arch./Eng. firm, I can tell you that an attic under certain circumstances can actually cause the air to circulate through the house. So be careful. The best way to test this is to light up a vanilla incense candle on a windy and calm day and see if you can smell it.
Yeah I forgot to mention heat. I wouldn't even try going up there during the summer. If you do go with the attic route, don't store your chemicals up there.
I have a friend who built a wooden frame about the size of a big closet within a room, and then built the walls with light proof black plastic sheets. It's not pretty, but it works.

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