To get the best quality images on a projection screen, consider the quality of the material used in the screen. Don’t deprive yourself of the experience of great viewing because of poor materials. If you thinking of a making a DIY projection screen consider the following material properties.
Various Projection Screen Material
First, be sure that the screen fabric is the kind you can stretch tightly. The presence of folds and creases can affect the quality of the projected images. This in turn can cause viewer distraction.
Second, the screen fabric should have a good reflective property. Light colored materials usually accomplish the requirement here. Avoid dark hues as they tend to distort image projections. A good level of reflection will create the ideal balance in contrast and brightness. This is important for any home theater screens.
DIY Projection Screen Fabrics
Whether buying your own projection screen or opting to build one, there are is a lot to think about. The most important factor to consider is the planarity of the screen itself. Simply said, the screen should be perfectly flat. Otherwise, you would end up with a projection screen that produces distorted images.
A screen like this would decrease your viewing pleasures. Buying the projection screen will reduce the risk. This is because all the essentials are already provided for by the seller. But if you prefer the DIY option, consider the available options of screen fabric.
Non-stretchable fabrics: The surfaces here are non-stretchable. Most manual projection screens are of this kind. They are common in electrically powered projection screens.
Stretchable fabrics: You can stretch the screens involved here. These are typically used for screens that require fixed frames.
Budget fabrics: It is cheaper to involve yourself with a DIY project. This is because you can buy the required fabric at almost all fabric shops. A blackout cloth is a common fabric that is typically used for bedroom curtains. Choose an inexpensive blackout cloth, and stretch it tightly around your designed frame.
Coatings for Projection Screens
Opting for a DIY projection screen will certainly be more economical when compared to store bought screens. Perhaps the best that can work effectively for this purpose is typical canvas fabric. Canvas usually comes with a treated gesso finish. But the reflective property of this finish is not acceptable for projection screens.
Deciding on the proper coating for your canvas screen comes next. Conduct some shading experiments using various white and gray paint shades. Do this to achieve the perfect contrast level of reflection based on where the screen will be located.
Use acrylic paints for the job as they are easy to apply, affordable and non-toxic. If you need more information on the reflective ratings, check the packaging information. Either that or ask your hardware paint clerk for details. What shade of paint you need to apply for the screen depends upon the location of your projection screen:
Matte White Coating
Because of their low-light reflective levels, these screens work well in low-light conditions. This applies to both the store and home-made screens. The white matte will provide excellent dark colors in a dimly lighted room. Conversely, if you use matte white in bright areas, you lose color appreciation as they would be hard to see. Matte acrylic paint is available in all hardware and/or building supply stores.
This coating is the standard used in movie houses and has a reflective index of 15%. You use this type in locations with higher ambient light levels and/or for low output projectors. You can get a pearlescent finish by adding a higher reflection index. Add the pearlescent coating to the standard matte white screen base coating.
It is the best choice for realistic color and contrast in projecting screen images. This coating is available in higher-end paint supply stores. Also, this may require a custom order. Acrylic paint is still best recommended.
One of the most important factors is the coating to get great image quality. But you should consider other factors too. Think about this when making your decision to go for store-built or home-built projection screens.
Canvas fabric can be distracting in terms of the screen’s planarity. This is especially true when viewed up close because of its weaved material. For store-bought built screens, vinyl is the standard; it also offers the best details for close viewing. As a DIY project, canvas is easy to frame because of its composition. Vinyl is tough to work with and is not ideal for DIY enthusiasts.