How to Paint a Wall to Be a Projection Screen

Written by nicole whitney
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How to Paint a Wall to Be a Projection Screen
Paint a wall to create your own projection screen. (projector ready for presentation image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from

You may consider purchasing a front projector instead of a large screen when installing a home theatre. A projector will give you a screen size of 70 to 120 inches diagonal or more. However, to get the most out of your projector, you need a good screen to show the image on. You can purchase a freestanding screen or mount a pull down screen to the ceiling. If you have a modest budget, you may consider painting a projection screen directly on your wall.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Painter's tape
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Projector screen paint
  • Paint tray
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Putty
  • Trowel
  • Large putty knife
  • White primer
  • Flashlight
  • Self-adhesive black tape
  • Vacuum

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    Setting Up

  1. 1

    Remove everything from the wall where you want to project the image.

  2. 2

    Use the projector to put an image up on the wall that is the size of screen you want. Keep in mind that the screen should be 1.5 times the length of the viewing distance when measured on the diagonal. So if your couch is 12 feet from the wall, the screen should be 8 feet on the diagonal (8 x 1.5 = 12). This process ensures that the screen is neither too big nor too small.

  3. 3

    Mark the corners of the screen with a pencil, using the image on the wall as your guide.

  4. 4

    Turn off the projector. Use a straight edge and a pencil to draw lines between the corners. The box you've drawn will be the area of the screen.

    Prepping the Wall

  1. 1

    Run a strip of painter's tape along the outside border of the screen, following your pencil marks.

  2. 2

    Turn off all the lights in the room and close the curtains. Shine a flashlight on the wall at a sharp angle. Mark the imperfections and bumps you see with the pencil.

  3. 3

    Turn on the light. Apply putty to the affected areas, wiping away any excess. Smooth out the puttied areas with sandpaper when they dry.

  4. 4

    Use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth over the entire screen area.

  5. 5

    Vacuum the screen area to remove the dust.

    Painting the Wall

  1. 1

    Apply one coat of white primer paint. Apply two coats if the paint on the wall is a dark colour.

  2. 2

    Pain the area with projector paint. Do not use regular white or grey paint because those will not properly reflect the projected image.

  3. 3

    Allow the paint to dry.

  4. 4

    Remove the painter's tape.

  5. 5

    Use black tape to make a border around your screen. This will really make the image pop.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint the non-screen area of your wall a dark colour, and always use a black border to make your screen stand out even more.
  • Apply paint in horizontal strokes, overlapping each stroke by 50 per cent.
  • Ambient light can negatively affect the quality of the image, so make sure you have dark curtains that do not allow much outside light in.

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