Instructables

100" Projector Screen for $15

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To be perfectly clear about this screen, it's a fantastic alternative to buying a screen for $300.  This was my "bandaid" screen until I got a real screen.  I'm perfectly happy with it.   Real ones reflect back from the crystals.  This isn't that.
- I had to cut mine down a few inches so it's not 100" now.  (An aspect ratio thing)

I've been using a projector for a few years now and projecting always looks bad on bed sheets, 40" press paper, wax paper and yes, even white walls.  I needed something big, cheap, and light.  My first attempt was with a 4'x3' .25" sheet of plywood that was super heavy and expensive.  Here is what I did, and how I did it.  I'll go through the easy steps.  The only time consuming part is the painting

Here is a list of what you will need.
1.  Paint - Make sure to use latex as I first tried some Krylon spray paint and it melted the foam. One quart of Behr "Silver Screen" (it's light gray - yes light gray).  It's normal latex paint found at Home Depot I believe.   If you can get a better deal on another brand just use the paint chip to have them match it.  If you can't find it just get light grey.  Buy flat or eggshell.  No semi-gloss or gloss.  Using matte/ flat hides most imperfections.

2.  One, 4' x 8' x 2" (actually 1.5" thick)  sheet of Pink Panther (or other?)  ridged Styrofoam insulation .   Look for the smooth stuff and pick one out without any dents.  Some is stamped on one side and smooth on the other.

3. optional - Four, 1/2" x 2.5" bolts , 8 nuts and 8 big washers. (see "Hanging It" section)

If anyone does this, will you post a picture on this instructable?  I'd love to see it, and see what you changed.

 
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spectre94 months ago
You may get less bleed-through if you prime the surface with white as the titanium dioxide is opaque to light and it reflects. Two coats of white primer and a single coat of silver screen may be all that is needed. I'll be getting a projector soon and intend to try this out. PS it is important to paint both surfaces identically to prevent warping. Painting only one side may distort the base material as the paint imparts tension to the surface.
dtommyd (author)  spectre94 months ago
Yeah, I assume I could of painted the back of the screen. Actually, should have. Since mine was backlit with Christmas lights against the back, it became noticeable right away. Taking it down and out to the garage wasn't something I wanted to do again so the space blankets were a better option for me at the time. The bonus was they reflected back on the wall and that's what I wanted anyway.

I guess it's possible to warp them but mine have stayed straight for years now.

Latex based primers should be fine but I tried some oil based paint and it fried the styrofoam. Not sure of the paint your talking about but something to keep in mind. Also I think I mentioned it somewhere but all of the 4x8 sheets I found have slits running every foot. A few extra coats make it nearly un-noticeable. Flat paint helps too but the glossier you get the more imperfections you'll notice. Chances are you'll be the only one who sees it. You'll forget about it in a week just like you get over fingerprints on your phone. Let's keep in mind this is a $15 project and it ain't perfect.
Can't wait to hear back! Put a picture up too.
USAcalc4 months ago
this is epic
billy B1 year ago
Thank you for the awesome instructable! I propped mine up against a spare mattress and tied a string around the top so it won't fall over. I'm happy with the finer detail and color I can see.
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dtommyd (author)  billy B1 year ago
Cool. Glad you liked it. What's the deal with the mattress? I may need to add mattress mounting instructions.
kokla3 years ago
Great improvements to the instructions. This is an awesome alternative and a cheap solution for a low budget arthouse cinema screen.

I'll be staying updated.

The rigid foam insulation is also called polyurethane rigid foam if anyone has trouble finding it in other countries.Many building contractors will now where/who to go to find this material. We sure don't have them at 'home depot' in NZ!

Good job!
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