Wondering how to make a projector screen at home? A well-built project screen can proxy a presentation board, a panel to watch movies, or add an artsy composure to your living room with changing paintings. Building a DIY projector screen is an inexpensive job, and you can start and finish the project in a single day.
To create a projector screen, start by building a rectangle-shaped wooden frame. Add another log in the middle for a robust structure. Staple or duct tape a black cloth on the top of the wooden frame. To make it aesthetically pleasing, use four thin wooden planks to act like the screen’s bezel.
Besides the first wooden frame method, there is another popular method to build a projection screen. We will talk about both types of projector screens, beginning with the wooden projector screen. In case you haven’t already purchased your projector for indoor or outdoor fun, you may be interested in checking our exhaustive reviews for the best projectors under $1000 and the best projectors under $300.
Wooden DIY Projector Screen – Step by Step Process
A wooden projector screen is the most suitable and stable out of the three types. Building a wooden frame means that you can also move around the house if you want to change the spot of watching content on a bigger screen.
Step 1 – Find the Right Spot
Depending on the space on your house’s wall, you need to source the materials. Building a 100-inch screen will require an equal amount of wall space horizontally, with approximately 54 inches of space vertically on the wall.Plus, if you want to get the most comfortable view or find something as comfortable as “Sheldon’s spot” in the room, you need to sit at least 3 meters away from the screen.
If you have this kind of space in your room and on the wall, you can build a 100-inch projector screen in your garage.
Step 2 – Get the Materials
Using the right materials is a crucial aspect of building a sturdy and enduring projector screen. Buy the sort of wood that doesn’t get affected by the weather conditions in your area. If you have termites in the house, get termite-resistant wood.
For the screen, buy a blackout cloth, which is known to block out light. The cloth is specially built for this purpose, and it won’t tear apart with frequent movement.
- Pinewood (used in most cases, can change depending on your conditions).
- Blackout cloth
- Screwdriver and screws
- Flat corner braces
- Picture frame hangers (heavy-duty)
- Level and pencil
- Paint (preferably black)
Step 3 – Build the Frame
Cut the wooden planks into four pieces. You need two pieces each of equal length to make a rectangle. After cutting them, place the four planks in a rectangular shape against corner braces on each corner.
First, glue them together and then drill screws diagonally to fix them together. At the same time, fixing the frame uses the leveler to ensure an accurate shape of the frame to get the best results.
Use a third wooden plank equal to the length of two short planks and screw it in between the frame.
Step 4 – Fix the Blackout Cloth
Fixing the cloth is tricky, so do not rush with this part. You don’t want any creases or wrinkles on your projector screen now, do you? Start by stapling it on one side of the frame, preferably on the shorter plank.
Once it is fixed, pull the cloth from the opposite side and staple it while ensuring no wrinkles in between. You can use some force to fix the projector screen material, specifically the cloth.
Repeat the same process for the long sides of the frame. You can also use duct tape instead of staples, but the former is better and will hold the frame in place more efficiently.
Step 5 – Build the Bezel with Wood
To add some finishing touches, you can also add four wooden planks on each side of the frame. Cut two planks with dimensions matching the wooden frame. One for the vertical side and the other for the horizontal one.
Cut each piece into half as you do not want to make it look too thick for the bezel. After cutting paint black. You can use other colors depending on your wall’s paint, but black is the right color to build the perfect projector screen.
Step 6 – Projector Image and Hanging the Screen
Do not attach the black wood planks yet. Three hangers will suffice. First, drill two holes on the backside of the frame and attach the picture hangers. Followed by this, drill three holes at an equal distance as the frame on the wall where you want to hang the frame.
Hang the screen carefully and adjust the projector screen image. Yes, you must adjust the image angle before attaching the bezel. While adjusting the angle, make sure to leave some space on the outer sides of the frame for the bezel. Otherwise, your video or picture edges will overlap with the bezel frame.
Finally, screw the bezel on the frame, fixing it to the wooden frame on the back. Your homemade DIY projector screen is ready.
Painting the Wall for Projector Screen
This process is simple but a bit messy. Since you will be painting the walls, it is evident that you need white colored paint and one another shade as per your choice.
Step 1: Mark the Projector Screen Dimensions
Begin the process of making a projector screen by painting the entire wall with the dominant paint. You can use any shade that complements the white color because the image projection will fall on the white surface.
Preferably dark and bright shades. After painting the entire wall with the first color, paint the area marked earlier for image projection with white.
Step 2: Tape the Outer Dimensions
For best results, use tape to demarcate the outer dimensions of the projection screen. Paint the area inside the tape with white paint.
Once the white paint is done, you can remove the tape. Next, paint or use black tape to build the screen bezel right on the wall. It will add to the looks of the projector screen and make it look more smooth.
These are the two most popular methods for building a projector screen. You can also use PVC pipes instead of wood, but that will complicate things, and we need an easy method to create a home theatre, don’t we?
What Can We Use for the Screen Material?
The blackout cloth is the most popular screen material used to build DIY projector screens. But if you want to look at other options, there is projector screen paint, roller shades, bedsheets, wrapping paper, and a white picture backdrop.
But if we were to choose a substitute screen material for blackout cloth and that too an inexpensive one, it’s bedsheets. They are cheaper than the cloth and less messy than wrapping paper or paint.
Another way to make the screen is using wrapping paper. But you need to work carefully with the wrapping paper. Its flimsiness is a major risk to your movie night, especially if you sit under the stars to watch a movie.
Besides them, you can also use a shower curtain or white canvas, and tape them to the wall or a plan surface. The problem with these materials is that they are not dense enough to project the image perfectly.
The same applies to every other material but blackout cloth. The latter is specifically created for the purpose, and it has all the qualities required to build an effective projector screen in your backyard.
Choosing the Right Paint for Projector Screen
Projector screens provide a great cinematic experience, but only if you do everything correctly. While building a DIY projector screen, the quality of the materials used in the same is imperative.A few tips for choosing the right type of paint:
- Choose a screen paint that gives a smooth finish.
- The paint material should reflect less amount of light.
The perfect paint screen material, as per research by Project Central, must give a satin finish. Yes, it’s not glossy, matte, or flat. Instead, choose a paint that provides a satin finish to the wall where you want to build the projector screen.
The standard notion is to go for white, but if you want to try other options, take these factors into account.
A white projector screen will reflect more light than any other color. If your projector can produce light of more than 3000 lumens, you can look for alternatives like gray.
Light in the room:
If the room where you hang or paint the projector screen gets more than enough ambient light, you can use white. If you are adding artificial lighting, gray is a better option.
Quality of Colors:
You won’t get the same picture quality as Stewart Filmscreen Studiotek 100 with a DIY projector screen project. There will always be some compromise with color.
It depends on you how much picture quality you can compromise with. Because if you like watching vibrant colors, a white screen is better. However, white won’t reflect the black color too well.
On the other hand, if you want to look at colors with a deeper sense and more black, go for gray paint on the wall.
Need to Watch 3D Movies:
If you want to watch a lot of 3D movies, white is the preferable choice. This is because, with 3D picturization, the image appears dimmer than normal.
Setting up a projector screen in your home is easy. You will only need a few materials and some time to set up everything. A wooden frame is more robust and can be hung easily on the wall.
Painting the wall is the other option, but it takes more time and effort. Plus, you will need to paint all the walls where you want to project the image. So, the ball is in your court now to build your custom DIY projector screen.