Build Your Own Home Projection Screen

Why spend $500+ on projection screens?.. when you can build your own for under $50.  And not only is this method simple to build, but it’s also very professional in every aspect.  See the results of this DIY projection screen our friend Lou from HowToLou.com created in the images above.  Lou is a master at building high quality systems from home, and saving you a ton of money in the process.

Get step-by-step video & image instructions below on exactly how to easily build this screen; and enjoy movies at home with the closest experience of being at the cinema.

Materials Needed:

If you don’t already have a projector, you can find some projectors at amazon for some really good prices. Here are all the materials that are needed for this project.

Outline Projection Screen

Step #1 – Outline Screen on Wall

The first thing you want to do is mount your projector in your desired location.

Then turn on your projector, and turn on a test pattern if you have one.  If your unit does not have a test pattern, then just make sure it’s something bright aimed at the wall to determine exactly where the edges lie.

Then using masking tape, tape off some equidistant spots around the perimeter of these edges.  When everything is taped off, turn off your projection unit, and proceed to the next step.

Make-flat-smooth-surface-on-wallStep #2 – Prepare Wall as Flat & Smooth Surface

We will need to prepare our wall as a flat & smooth surface.

So, if their are any bumps, you will need to sand these down.  If there are any nails in your wall, these will need to be removed with a pliers or a knife.

If the nail is deeply embedded and can’t be removed, then just bang it in with a hammer.

Use your putty knife and your spackling compound to fill in any holes, or indentations in the wall.  Then let them dry. Then sand them down.  Then fill them with spackle once more.  Let it dry.  And then sand them down one last time.  This process will guarantee that the wall is extra smooth for the layers of paint we will apply in the next step.

Paint Wall With Ten CoatsStep #3 – Apply The Paint

Once your done smoothing out your wall with spackle and sanders, you then want to apply about 10 coats of really thick paint.

Ask at the hardware store, or wherever you purchase the paint from for the thickest brand they have.  Use flat paint as this probably works best.

If using a DLP Projector, get a bright white paint.  If using a LCD projector, get the silver-screen color paint.

Make sure that you apply the paint with rollers, and not a brush.  The paint will be applied within the taped-off area you completed in step #1.

Setup outside trimmingStep #4 – Select & Measure Outside Trimming

Now measure the outside perimeter, which should be the outermost area you just painted.

Record your measurements and bring this with you to the hardware store.  You will want to purchase either casing molding -or- 1 x 4 wood.  Either will work fine.

If you don’t have a Miter Saw, you’re best off just going with the 1 x 4 wood as the hardware store can just cut these to length for you.  If you own a miter saw, you can go with the casing molding, but these will need to be cut at 45 degree angles to join them in the corners.

Overall, it’s probably easier and less expensive to go with the 1 x 4’s — as style doesn’t matter anyway; as these will be covered with material anyway which we will explain in the next step.

Prepare Velvet MaterialStep #5 – Prepare Velvet Material

You want to use Black Velvet -or- velvet like material – which can found can be found in fabric stores.  Make sure that the length of the material you buy is about 6 inches longer than the longest side of your board measurements.  And is at least 28 inches wide.

At home, you want to cut out strips of fabric for the length of each horizontal & vertical board.  Make the cuts are as long, or slightly longer than the boards.  And make the width of the cuts about 7 inches.

The reason why we want to use black velvet is because it serves as the best material for absorbing any over-spraying of light from the projector.

hammer-in-boardsStep #6 – Wrap and Hammer In Boards

Take your long velvet piece, and face it fuzzy-side down on the floor.  Now take your board and lay it centered on top of the velvet.  Fold both sides of the velvet ‘up & over’ the board and duct tape it down. Make sure to stretch velvet tightly prior to taping down.

You can then staple it down every few inches for extra good measure.

If you don’t have a staple-gun, you can hammer in some little nails instead.  Make sure the nails are shorter than the thickness of the boards.

Once all of your boards are wrapped up with the fabric, they are ready to be nailed to the wall.  Use 1.5 inch long finish nails, and prior to hammering into the board, angle them down slightly to the floor.  This will naturally force the nail into the wall due to gravity, and helps hold it in place.  Hammer the nails into the center of the boards, but just short of them protruding through the other side.

Now just line your boards up to the wall, and hammer them in.  Then color in the head of the hammered in screws with a black magic marker.  This will ensure that nothing will be visible in the frame when watching a movie.

Summary

If you follow these exact steps, you will be surprised how professional looking this looks when watching movies, and when friends come over.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our post which teaches you how to build a ceiling mount for your projector.

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