There is no denying the impact of large screen projection as a way to bring movies to life in your home. Video projectors allow big images in small spaces, but size comes at a cost. One way to keep your home theater affordable is a do-it-yourself projection screen applied directly to the wall of your room. With careful surface preparation, drywall compound and paint designed for projection applications, you can obtain results comparable to projection screens at a fraction of the cost.
Things You'll Need
- Drywall finishing tools
- Drywall compound
- Sanding block
- Surface primer paint
- Projection screen paint
- Painting tools
- Molding painted matte black
- Hook-and-loop strips (optional)
- Finishing nails
Mark your projection area by turning on the projector and placing marks at each corner. Try several channels and different DVDs to be sure the projection area covers the widest and tallest programming you expect to watch. Not all media use the same image sizes.
Prepare your projection surface by smoothing the wall. Reset popped nails, scrape down high spots and patch holes and low spots. Any imperfections in the wall under the projection area will magnify under projector illumination. Prepare the projection area to about one inch beyond your markings on all sides.
Apply drywall compound to the projection area in a light skim coat, sanding after it is completely dry. Repeat with additional skim coats, sanding between each, until you have built up a smooth flat finish within the projection area.
Seal the projection area with surface primer paint. Apply several light coats of primer, and sand in between coats to remove fibers and imperfections.
Paint the projection area with the projection screen paint. Once again, several light coats with sanding between will give best results. Follow the directions provided with your chosen screen paint.
Construct a frame for your projection area using the black wood strips. Consider applying the molding to the wall with hook-and-loop strips to allow repositioning. Otherwise, level the molding carefully for conventional mounting with glue and nails.
Tips & Warnings
- Using a sheet of drywall or smooth plywood may save time if your projection wall requires extensive preparation. Prepare the drywall or plywood as outlined above.
- Best results are obtained with previous knowledge of both drywall preparation and painting techniques. Plan on more trial-and-error time if you are new to these skills.
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