homemade projector screen guide

How To Make A Projector Screen At Home On A Budget

Maybe you are living in a house temporarily and find it unwise to spend money on an expensive projector screen only to replace it later. Or maybe you just purchased a projector by overshooting your budget and don’t have enough cash for a premium projector screen. Or there is no projector screen available that has the exact dimensions as per your needs.

There is no need to fret as you can always make a projector screen yourself. It may not have the same quality as some of the premium screens, but a DIY projector screen is still decent for watching movies and videos.

Things To Do Before You Make A Projector Screen

There are a few things that must be done before you make a projector screen. First and foremost, you must install the projector. It will assist in measuring the dimensions of the screen required. You must decide upon the room where you are going to install the projector and the wall on which it will project imagery. There should be adequate space available in the room for the projector and the screen. Once the projector is installed, turn it on and adjust the image size and quality as per your requirements. Then measure the length and width of the imagery.

Materials And Tools Required To Make A Projector Screen

You will require a few materials before you can start your projector screen DIY project. You will need primer paint and paint for the topcoat of the screen. For the topcoat, shades of white and grey colors are popular. White colors will make your image pop, while grey colors will improve the contrast of the imagery. Using paint chips can assist in finding the best color for your projector screen.

The screen must have structural strength so that it doesn’t flex or bend. A wooden frame will be a cheap way to accomplish the same and you will need wooden pieces cut according to the measurement of the screen. Add four to six inches to the width and length of the screen when cutting the wood for additional headroom. A material for the screen itself will also be required. A white paper or blackout cloth can be used for the same.

In addition to these main materials, you will need tools and items as well. These may include a measuring tape, wood glue, hammer, nails or screws, screwdriver, staple gun and staples, corner braces, regular tape, black trim for the border, sandpaper, marker or pencil, and anchors and hooks for hanging the projector screen.

How To Make A Projector Screen At Home On A Budget?

There are various ways to make a projector screen at home on a budget. We discuss three different projector screen DIY projects.

1. Make A Projector Screen With Fixed Frame

The first way is to use a wooden fixed frame to make a projector screen. Once you have all the required materials and tools, we can begin with our projector screen DIY project.

Build The Frame

The first step to make a projector screen is to build its frame. Use the wooden pieces for the same. It is best to buy wooden pieces from a store that will cut them according to your needs. However, if they don’t, you may have to cut them using a handsaw. You can have a 2 or 3-inch border along the edges of your screen. For a 2-inch border, you will have to add an extra four inches to the dimensions of your imagery. If your projector’s imagery is 100 inches wide and 56 inches long, then you will have to cut the wood at an angle so that the outer sides are 104 inches and 60 inches (two inches of border per side of the screen) while the inner sides are 100 inches and 56 inches respectively.

After cutting the wood for the frame, lay it down on the floor or a large table. You may want to sand it with sandpaper beforehand. Use glue on the edges to stick the pieces of wood together. Place a corner brace at each corner of the frame. Then sink screws or nails through the corner braces. You can use metal braces or make some from the wood. You can skip the glue if you want to and use nails or screws only. Ensure that the frame is rectangular and rigid. If it is not rigid, then you may add horizontal or vertical braces for structural strength.

Attach The Screen Material

Next, you will have to install the screen material on the frame. Cut the screen material so that it is a few inches longer and wider than the frame. Place the screen material on the floor and the frame on top of it by aligning their centers. You can iron the screen material before placing the frame for removing wrinkles. Pull the material over the edges of the frame and start stapling it. Make sure that the material is as taut as possible to remove any wrinkles. It is best to start stapling from the center of a side and move towards the edges. Staple all sides of the frame.

Paint The Screen

Once the screen material has been attached to the frame, it must be painted. You need to use paint rollers that will create a smooth surface. Paint at least two coats of primer on the screen material while ensuring a smooth surface. Refer to the instructions on the paint can to find out out how long it will take to dry. After it has dried out, apply the final paint on top. It is best to use a different roller or at least wash the primer one thoroughly before using it for paint. Put a couple of coats of paint and touch-up later to ensure a smooth finish.

Add A Border

The next step to make a projector screen is to add a border. A border passively improves the perceived image quality. Use non-reflective trim material or artist’s tape with a matte minish for the same. Depending on how thick you want the border to be, cut the material to the desired length. You will need to staple the material to the back of the frame. Wait until the paint has dried completely before installing the border.

The last thing to do in the projector screen DIY project is to hang it on the wall. Use wall anchors and hooks for the same. Install sufficient hooks on the frame so that they can bear the weight of the projector easily. Hang the frame on to the wall and enjoy.

2. Build a Portable Projector Screen

If you want to build a portable projector screen, you can use PVC pipes or round sticks of wood instead of square ones.

Cut The Pipes

Buy PVC pipes and cut them according to the required size of the projector screen. You may need a handsaw or other tool for the same. If you want a 60-inch wide and 34-inch long screen, then you will need pipes an inch or two larger than these measurements. The extra length is for the joints that will be used to create the frame to build a portable projector screen.

Build The Frame

After cutting the pipes to appropriate lengths, you can connect them using 90° connectors. You will need four connectors, one for each corner. The pipes will be slightly smaller than the connectors in diameter and will fit in them easily. It will create a rectangular frame.

Attach Screen Material

The next step to build a portable projector screen is to attach the screen material. Cut the screen material according to the appropriate dimensions. To attach the screen material or tarp to the PVC pipes, you can use a cord or rope as well as glue.

If you are going to use a cord or rope, then cut four holes in the four corners of the screen material. The holes should be a couple of inches away from the edges. Next, drill holes near the top and bottom corners of the shorter PVC pipes of the frame. Pass the cord through the holes on the screen material and the pipes and tie it. Make sure the screen is tight and not loose. You can also use zip ties or buckle straps. Attach additional hooks or loops to the top pipe for hanging the frame.

Alternatively, you can glue the screen material to the shorter sides of the PVC frame to build a portable projector screen. Pull it over the sides and glue or sew it to its rear. Only glue the screen material to the sides of the frame and leave the top and bottom sides free. Glue or sew one side first and let it dry. Use a high-quality adhesive with super bonding strength. Once it has dried, then glue the other side while ensuring the screen material is taut. Let it dry.

If you build a portable projector screen with a PVC frame, it will be easily movable. You can remove the top and bottom pipes and roll the screen material onto the side pipes just like you would roll a chart. You can also use T-joints at the bottom corners of the frame for creating a stand using more PVC pipes.

3. Use A Wall To Make A Projector Screen

You can also use a wall of your home to make a projector screen. The wall itself will act as a projector screen. It is one of the cheapest projector screen DIY projects.

Select And Prepare The Wall

Select the wall of the room that you will be using to project imagery. Ensure that it has a smooth surface and is free from any deformities. Remove any existing paint on the wall using sandpaper or a scrapper. Make any repairs if required to fill holes or make its surface even.

Prime The Wall

Prime the wall using a paint primer and apply two coats while allowing appropriate time in between them for drying. Once it has dried, use tape to mark off the area where the projector will be projecting the imagery. Use regular paint on the outside area of the wall. Opt for a paint color that will be darker and non-reflective as compared to the paint used for the projection area. Use at least two coats and allow adequate time for it to dry.

Paint The Projector Screen Area

Next, you can paint the projection area on the wall to make a projector screen. Mark its outside boundary using a tape. Sand the area and apply paint primer if not already done. After the primer dries, apply paint of a suitable shade of white or grey. Use multiple coats while allowing adequate time in between for drying. Ensure that the surface is smooth.

Add A Border

Finally, to make a projector screen, you can add a border to the image area. You can use an artist’s tape or a black velvet tape for the same. You can mark the boundaries with a pencil for ensuring an even or leveled border. Make sure that the tap is smooth and free from crinkles. You have completed your projector screen DIY project. Now enjoy!

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