Projector Screen vs Wall

While purchasing your projector, questions like “Is a projector screen really necessary?” and “Won’t a white wall work?” will revolve around your head. While both surfaces are good enough for projection purposes, there are noticeable differences between them.

Focusing on that, we’ll share the content of the extensive research we carried out on this simple comparison, and let you decide which surface will be the best choice for you.

Differences Between Projector Screen and Wall


For projecting pictures at the highest-quality, the surface you’re projecting on must be flat and smooth. Although both projector screens and walls look pretty smooth to the naked eye, walls have a lot of uneven surfaces.

You’ll understand it better when you move your hands over the wall. It won’t feel as smooth as the surface of a projector screen, because the wall has tiny cracks and places where it’s not finished properly.

These tiny imperfections may not seem as important for lower resolutions. However, for high-quality pictures, these will cause a noticeable drop in the quality, which wouldn’t happen with the smooth projector screens.

Lighting And Color Features

A reflective surface with good color features is needed to watch pictures in the best quality.

Walls come in a variety of colors, and all these paints are designed to absorb light more than reflect it. Even if you used white, reflective paints on the wall, it’s just not the same as the projector screen panels. The less reflective surface of the walls will cause the output to be dull and faded.

Projector screens come with special panels or coating that can properly receive light from the projector. These receive and reflect the abstract lighting properly but can filter out the natural lights, which helps to see the picture better.

The reflective features of projector screens are also top-notch, making the pictures look bright and colorful.

Again, the effects are more remarkable in higher resolutions, where picture quality and colors are sharper. You won’t get the optimal experience using your projector if you end up watching on a wall rather than a projector screen.


This feature has a lot to do with our psychological point of view. Having a frame or border around a graphical representation enhances its quality in our brain and makes it more eye-catching. That’s exactly what happens with projector screens and walls.

Projector screens have black borders on their sides, which encloses the screen and creates a more focused point on the screen.

This helps to understand your projector’s specifications and change the screen size, while helping you concentrate on the projector’s output. This is absent in walls.

You must’ve already figured out which projection surface is better. Projector screens are far better than walls in all aspects and provide a much better picture quality than walls ever will.

How Can You Use Your Wall as a Projector Screen?

Projector screens can be fairly expensive and not fitting for your budget right now. Well, that doesn’t mean you should miss out on watching 1080P and 4K movies with your projector.

Even though the standard might not be as outstanding as an actual projector screen, you can modify and turn the wall in your room into an excellent surface for watching movies and playing games. There are two simple methods.

Blackout Cloth Method

All you need is a blackout cloth or blackout fabric, which you can hang over your wall and use as the projector screen.

Made with layers of thin rubber, blackout cloth comes with excellent features to block out sunlight. This fabric processes the projector light perfectly for bright and colorful pictures, while also reflecting the ambient light away.

Painted Screen Method

1. Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

For the painted screen method, you’ll require a few things:

  • Primer
  • Two paint colors (two shades of White-Grey or Bright White paint)
  • Sandpaper
  • Roller Brushes
  • Pencil
  • Black Velvet Tape

2. Make The Wall Ready

  • Take your time to decide on which wall you want your projector screen to be on. It can be quite annoying if you finish it up with so much effort and then change your mind.
  • Make sure there are no unnecessary dust or dirt particles on the wall by cleaning it thoroughly with a dry cloth.
  • Using sandpaper, fill out the cracks and crevices on the wall. This will make the wall very smooth and if you rub your hands over it, you’ll feel that it got much smoother than before.
  • Next, use the roller brush to put primer on the wall and leave it to settle for a day or two.

3. Decide Where You Want The Screen

  • First, you should figure out the maximum screen size you’ll be projecting. This also depends on your projector’s specifications.
  • Making sure the primer is dry, use your pencil to create an outline of the maximum dimensions you’ll project.

4. Paint The Frame

  • Use the darker shade of paint color and outline the border of the screen, which you created using the pencil.
  • Attach the Black Velvet Tape all around the border paint, so that the paint doesn’t spread around the wall.
  • Leave it to dry for a day or two.

5. Paint The Projector Screen

  • Take the other lighter shade of paint color and paint the central area, inside the border completely using a roller brush.
  • Paint again to apply a second coating after the first one has dried.

6. Add Solid Borders

  • Use black velvet tape and place it all around the screen.
  • Make sure the tape is flat and straight, which will make the frame or border uniform.

That’s all you need to do for the best wall prototype of a projector screen! It’s sort of a lengthy process, but it will pay off once you finish it.

You can comfortably watch your favorite movies and play high-resolution games and enjoy them at the most optimal quality.

Final Word

Walls can be undoubtedly used instead of projector screens. But, the quality of the picture is hampered. The rough surface of walls won’t process light and colors as well as the smooth projector screens, which eventually affect how the pictures look.

If you have the budget, it’s always the smarter option to go for projector screens and not any other alternatives. But, we’ve also provided two methods of how you can still use your projector properly if you don’t wish to go for screens.

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