DIY: Paint a Projector Screen

DIY Home Theater 1

There’s no doubt that a high-quality screen will give you the most bang for your projector buck. Manufacturers like Screen Innovations and Da-Lite use materials designed to enhance contrast and color in their projector screens. The results are deep blacks and punched-up white levels.

But not everyone has the spare change to purchase a projector screen.

And some people simply prefer to take a DIY approach to their home theaters.

Like Nelson.

DIY home theater 2

We had the pleasure of chatting with Nelson last week about his homemade projector screen.

Nelson built a 120-inch diagonal screen using Home Depot white ceiling paint and poplar 1x4s. Check out the pics at right.

To ensure a smooth surface, Nelson filed away any imperfections on the wall. He then applied two coats of Kilz primer followed by several layers of the ceiling paint. He painted the poplar black and used it to build a frame around his “artwork.”

He sent us some shots of his screen in action. Check out Quantum of Solace and Spiderman 3 at right.

DIY projector screen 4

“The room is not a designer showcase but it is only used with the lights off,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s Painted Projector Screen Stats

  • Room Dimensions: 13 by 18 feet
  • Wall color: terracotta
  • Ceiling color: black
  • Paint used: Kilz primer, Home Depot store brand white ceiling paint
  • Distance he sits from screen: 10 feet, 4 inches
  • Projector used: JVC HD350 (“The JVC black levels are stunning!” Nelson told us.)

We were pretty dazzled by Nelson’s DIY creation, and we’re sure there are other fantastic home theater projects out there. If you think yours is up to snuff, send pictures and info to You could be featured on our blog!