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How to make a projection screen that's also a painting

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I had this idea that I would make a projection screen that doubled as a painting when you flip it over. I liked the thought that it would look like I didn't have a TV at all while at the same time getting a cool piece of art that I actually made myself. It turned out to be a lot of work but I'm very satisfied with the result even though a lot of things didn't turn out as I thought (some better, some worse).

Anyways, I thought I'd collect what I learned and publish it so that people can go ahead and make even cooler screen+painting combos.
 
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Step 1: Get the stuff

First thing to do is to build the frame. I went to the lumber yard and got regular unfinished lumber (40mm x 30mm) to make the inner frame. I also got some finished wood to use as the outer frame. You also need some L brackets, wood screws, a staple gun and a miter box (if possible though, use one of those miter saws that are attached for better precision).

The picture is missing quite a few pieces, but you probably know what they look like anyway.

Step 2: Make the inner frame

Now it's time to make the inner frame. Just saw the unfinished lumber to make a rectangle of 16x9 proportions (I made miter joints but it's probably easier and better to make regular joints since these won't show anyway). To ensure the structural integrity of the thing I also put a cross in the middle.
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jaime99996 years ago
so, how do you flip it around? from the description and initial photo, I was expecting a Kandinsky-like "double sided painting" mounted on some kind of rotating bracket. Here's how you could build such a thing: Like a Kandinsy, mount a rotating bearing at the exact center of the top of the frame, so the painting can spin in air. Then mount the other end of that bearing on an arm that is attached to the wall. The arm should be slightly longer than half the width of the painting, and itself mounted on a hinge (this hinge would be tricky to fabricate). Then, to rotate the painting, pull it out from against the wall (so the arm is perpendicular to the wall, spin the painting 180, then push back against the wall. Also possible would be a similar design where the arms and bearing are mounted on the sides, so it spins around a horizontal instead of vertical axis. The decision between these two options would have a lot to do with available space and clearances to other furniture and walls. Flyke, in your living room, where the painting-display wall and the screen-display wall are at 90 degrees, you could put an arm up against the ceiling, hinged at the corner where the walls intersected, and just hang the painting from the arm on cables (no need for a bearing on the painting frame).
Fylke (author)  jaime99996 years ago
Hehe, sweet idea Jaime (don't think I haven't toyed with it =)

Now, I wonder what one of those KUKA-robots cost...
about £30000
zigzagchris3 years ago
I like the url of the page
+1
tinker2343 years ago
oh wow how good is the image
eyerobot3 years ago
Do you get any light bouncing from the back of your painting, And onto the projection screen?

I would imagine some light would try to bounce like that, But maybe your material is too thick for that.

Love this instructable, Thanks.
Fylke (author)  eyerobot3 years ago
Hmm, not exactly sure how you mean, but no, I haven't had any problems like that. The canvas part is made from rollup blinds so they hardly let any light through and the screen part is really thick rubber-coated weave (something like 2 mm) which doesn't let any light through either.

Besides, the only natural light-source is from behind the couch anyway so it wouldn't be a problem I think.

Anyhoo, thanks a lot for your kind words! =D
allandnnn4 years ago
instead of ruining your master piece you can make a sanding block with fine grit grab some wood filler angle the wood down so it is the only part pointing down use the wood filler let dry sand the corner down then paint it when i was working as a carpenter helper they did it a lot with filling holes on framing on 8 million dollar work boats might want to try on a practice miter angle till you perfect it first

LunaBomb4 years ago
This is awesome, but how'd you mount it to the wall?
Fylke (author)  LunaBomb4 years ago
I have one of those ledges that you put pictures and paintings on and I just drilled holes in the bottom of it. Then I took the same kind of hook that I used for the bookshelf (which I guess isn't on any of the pictures either, but it's really just a regular hook with a screw) and cut it off so it wouldn't stick up through the ledge.

The hooks go in the two metal loops that are screwed into the top of the painting. I think I'll go back and add pictures for these bits since I even have trouble explaining it =P
Valche5 years ago
Couldn't you just plane and repaint the corners?
Fylke (author)  Valche5 years ago
Heh yeah, I've been meaning to do that for about a year now. I'm sure I'll get around to it soon... =)
swatdoc5 years ago
AWESOME instructable...do you think you could email me the artwork?
OnTheLevel5 years ago
Nice work! Thanks for the tutorial
clintta5 years ago
What program for editing the images did you use?
Fylke (author)  clintta5 years ago
I used Gimp in Linux, but I think the filters I used to create the effects are called almost the same in Photoshop. So you could use Photoshop just as well. I haven't tried any other programs but I imagine Paint Shop Pro would work too.
Hedgie6 years ago
Not sure if you knew and just found them too expensive or what...but just in case you ever have to re-canvas the thing...I would definitely suggest a pair of painter's canvas stretchers...they'd certainly save your finger tips.
Fylke (author)  Hedgie6 years ago
Umm, wich I'd known about them. Is it these things you are referring to? http://www.rexart.com/stretchingacessories.html
Hedgie Fylke6 years ago
Yep, That's be them
rallen713666 years ago
It is VERY difficult to make tight frame joints with a hand saw. I made a jig for my table saw to cut the picture frames. It's almost a necessity, as even 1 degree difference in the cutting angle shows up as a huge gap. The trick is to make a sliding table with a 90 degree block to back the strips against when pushing into the blade. Set the block so that it is bisected into 2 * 45 degree angles, before it is fastened to the sliding table. Then hold your frame pieces against the block and push. Even if the block isn't set perfectly, the angles will always match into a "perfect" 90 degrees.

Even this won't guarantee a "picture perfect" frame. (sorry, I had to!) Be ready to use some sandpaper taped to a block of wood and some wood putty to get the best appearance.

Fascinating design! I really enjoy it, and looking forward to more from you!
Fylke (author)  rallen713666 years ago
Thank you, I'm beginning to realize that I probably wouldn't have ended up with perfect joints even if I had a quality saw and just four pieces for the outer frame. I think I'll give the wood putty idea a shot and if it doesn't come out well I can just proceed with the metal idea and cover it up. A friend suggested to get the metal painted at a car body shop and just glue them on with some serious epoxy.
Pre-built corner connectors are a very good option to hand building "picture frames". If the frames aren't visible (covered by canvas) you could probably use just use pipe and fittings. A painted pipe "frame" with a canvas "skin" stretched on it would be nice also. My late uncle (a pro artist) did an ink-on-chamois of a wolf, stretched inside a frame made of a looped branch. Very nice! The same idea with a more industrial flavor would also work well, I'm sure.
The jig described above is indeed a good idea. However, you can make the joint stronger by using a spline. See this linkthis link. It describes how to do it using a table saw, but it can also be done with a handsaw. In fact, a handsaw is safer when the pieces you are working with are long, as in this Instructable.
mattress6 years ago
nice work, now I just have to get a projector. BTW, is that a braveheart sword on your wall?
Greenehouse6 years ago
Great job, thanks for the idea. One thing a painter told me on a jobsite was "caulk and paint make it what it 'aint!"
slimguy3796 years ago
awesome Idea, I have an old set up projector screen that is horrendous and could be used for this idea. thanks... keep up the good work.
Eclecticos6 years ago
Its a Steve McQueen Screen. Hell Yea. Looks Fantastic.
hernanai6 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-projection-screen-thats-also-a-pain/?ALLSTEPS

um... do you see anything odd about the link... that's what caught my attention... "also a pain"

Great instructable and i love the result...
Aren't most projection screens also a pain?
especially when they don't roll back up...
Or when they roll up right in the middle of watching something, especially something live, like NASCAR.
or a LAN party... like Halo 3 and your entire team is one the one screen... and your enemies are on another... one hell of a night...
Ouch! I like playing CoD 4, with one team on broadband and the other team on dialup. As long as both teams are good sports, it is great fun. Especially when you get a few flash-bangs going and make it a rave.
Fylke (author)  hernanai6 years ago
Hehe yeah, I'm especially pleased with that part. =)
normalicy6 years ago
Latex Caulk. It's what many carpenters use to seal the seams between the wall base trim in houses. You could also use filler putty, but it's a bit more fragile.
Thornburg6 years ago
For that corner just get some wood filler, and sand it down. Then just paint over. Nice work.
Gjdj36 years ago
That's really cool. You can have your big projector screen and not have it look ugly when it's not being used. 5 stars!
codester6 years ago
Nice job!
Nice 'ible, you can get Binding corners for boxes that look nice, they'd do well, they're usually galvanized steel...
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