So you’ve done all of your research and finally mounted your projector screen. The family are all sat around eagerly awaiting the start of the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie. Popcorn ready, lights dimmed, ready for action! What’s the worst that could happen next? Well you could find out that you have a faulty screen.
Even worse, a wrinkly one! Perish the thought. No-one likes wrinkles, whether they are on your face, in your stockings or worse still on your beautiful shiny new projector screen! So, how can you fix them and what about the other issues with your screen that you might stumble across?
How to fix unwanted wrinkles
Wrinkles are a common enough problem, especially if you’ve bought either a budget screen or one that is intended to be highly portable and therefore folds into a nice compact bundle. Fold being the word to watch out for. Generally, when you fold something, you are unfortunately going to create a crease that will drop out but much like when you take your lovely folded fresh laundry out of your basket, you might still need to give it a good old stretch, shake or even another light iron.
Due to the fact that most projector screens are manufactured using a flexible matte white fabric which is what gives them their optimal viewing surface, this does unfortunately also mean that they can be susceptible to the odd wrinkle which no-one wants when they are looking at 120-inch, 160-degree, 1:3 high gain, 16:9 HD picture of The Rock! You get the picture right? So how can you fix the wrinkles to return your projector screen back to its full glory?
Sunlight and massage might do the trick
Well, you could try placing the screen in direct sunlight for one. The gentle heat could be enough to soften the wrinkles out of the screen without causing it any long lasting damage. If that doesn’t 100% work, try next rubbing the back of the screen with your fingers to effectively massage out the wrinkles.
The heat from the sunlight and your hands should help to further work out the wrinkles. Those two actions should have your screen back to its full optimal viewing state. At this point you could also try a little bit of gentle tension on the screen.
If your screen is still beyond hope, try applying more tension to stretch out the wrinkles. You could perhaps attach some additional weight to the bottom of your screen when it’s in the fully extended position as this additional exertion could remove the creases.
As a final resort, and only in extreme circumstances and with caution and very gentle treatment, you could try a light steam or iron across the surface of the projector screen. You are going to want to ensure that you have your iron on its lowest setting, like the one that you use for your delicate silks for example. Do not iron the front of the screen either. Always make sure that you iron the backside and as an additional damage protection precaution, perhaps iron through a towel so that you don’t melt the acrylic coating that your screen might have.
What about those little imperfections?
Besides wrinkles, you might also need to fix ad hoc dimples and little imperfections on the screen too, from things like say dust particles to perhaps flying insects, especially if you often use your screen outdoors. Give your screen a regular and thorough inspection to ensure that its’ always kept in peak condition and if your screen allows it, give it a good wipe over with a cloth and some mild detergrent to keep the surface clean.
The other thing that you can do to fix issues like this is to always be vigilant about how you store and maintain your projector screen when it’s not in use, especially if it is a portable one. Make sure that you loosely rather than tightly fold the fabric and don’t store it away with heavy objects laid on top of it as this really will encourage and exaggerate the formation of more defined creases and wrinkles.
What about if your projector screen gets ripped?
One other common issue that you might get with continued and regular use is wear and tears and even slight rips to the material which could distort and affect your viewing. If this happens, you could try using a bit of thin tape on the back of the screen to try and hold the tear back in place and keep the fabric flat. Thinner tape works better because if you use thick tape it can cause difficulties when rolling up the screen to stow it away.
Remember as well that these days you can buy powerful tape with a strong glue based adhesive in both white and black so depending upon where the rip is on the screen (to the white screen or on the black backing) you do have blendable choices.
Keeping your projector screen clean
Dirty, stained and discolored screens can also be a distraction and impair your viewing. If this is the case and your screen has started to yellow with age, then a good way to fix that in the interim, until you are able to purchase a brand new screen, is actually to give it a coat of paint.
Before you start though, make sure that you purchased a paint that is designed for use on a projection screen surface. You are going to need a few essential bits of equipment on hand to help you do the best possible job. You’ll need a soft brush, some oil free detergent, a non-abrasive sponge, plastic primer, stirring stick, a soft paint roller and of course your projection screen paint itself. Give your screen a quick wipe over either with a cloth or a brush to remove any loose particles and dirt.
Then with your sponge and the diluted detergent solution, start to gently clean away any surface stains. Once the screen has dried, lightly paint the primer solution with the roller onto the screen and leave it to dry. You are now ready to put a nice fresh coat of paint onto your screen to return it to its former glory.
If it needs it, you can always then apply a second coat. Those should be the most common issues you run into with your screen and a few quick fixes to help you get back to experiencing viewing movies on your screen at its optimum.