The difference a screen makes
You can project onto a white wall and get a really great picture, but if you’ve spent more than $500 on a projector, you will notice a marked difference with a purpose built screen. The benefits of projecting onto a great screen include the following:
- Increased sharpness / perceived resolution of the image
- Increased contrast
- Better ambient light rejection (when using a grey or silver screen as below) which means you can watch TV, movies or Sports with some ambient light on without completely distorting contrast
Enter Projection Paint
SimpleHomeCinema’s projection paint uses a colour-natural base with metallic particles to reflect the light back to the viewers while rejecting ambient light. It reduces light scatter around the room, especially with white or light-coloured walls.
Please note that painting a screen is only suitable for fixed screens or walls, not roll-up screens.
Getting the screen
There are a few options on where to paint the screen.
- If you have the wall-space you can paint the screen on the wall with a black frame or even paint the whole wall with the paint mix below to create an invisible screen… until the projector is turned on that is.
- If you cannot paint the wall, you have the option of getting an MDF sheet to paint or even better…
- Paint on 3-5mm foamex / forex PVC sheets. These sheets are really light and easy to work with. You can nail them to a wooden frame for hanging or even nail them to the back of some bookshelves.
- Any other rigid material that is paintable.
You can calculate the screen size you need here and get the materials cut to size, leaving enough outer rims for nailing and hanging.
What You Will Need to Paint
For now, let’s look at the base, no frills mix, for which you will need the following:
- SimpleHomeCinema Paint from our Ebay store. You can also order custom colours to match your decor by contacting us.
- A short nap roller
- Fine sandpaper
When you have received the required amount of paint, pour it all into a mixing bucket and mix it together very very well. This is required as the metallic particles don’t dissolve in the paint and can have an uneven distribution after transport. It is important to do this before painting each coat as well.
Painting the screen
- Using the paint mix, you will paint the surface with the roller in one direction only (vertical or horizontal) using quick movements. Go over it once quickly.
- Do NOT go over the surface again until it has dried.
- Once the first layer has dried, use the fine sandpaper to remove any imperfections from the surface.
- Remove any dust created by the sanding using a duster or a dry cloth.
- Repeat until you have at least 4-6 coats and a smooth even surface.
- Let the screen dry out completely before using it.
Variations on the above mix
The mix above comes out to a light to medium grey (dependent on which mix you ordered) that is perfect for rooms with light coloured walls and bright projectors. It rejects ambient light well and has great contrast characteristics with the lights off as it rejects reflection from the light coloured walls.
If however, you are building a dedicated home cinema room with dark or black walls and you don’t intend on using the projector in ambient light, and you have a projector with great contrast (such as a JVC), you will want the light grey mix.
Results You Can Expect
Below is an example of painting a whole wall with the Medium Grey mix with a customer.
The end result is below: even with direct sunlight on the screen, which washes out projectors on a white wall, the image is watchable.
Below is another example of a screen with both ambient light and no light. The lights respond to the media remote control and voice control. They automatically dim for movies and switch on after finishing a movie. They have been set to a higher brightest for the pictures.
And another customer’s screen with automated lighting behind the screen that dims when starting a movie and responds to voice control.