Want to Build a DIY Projection Reflection Screen?

Here are the Tips You Need to Successfully Build and Install One

Nothing defines a home theater better than a big screen. However, a big screen comes with a big budget, which you might not have. But why should that stop you from enjoying a movie or a game?

DIY projector reflection screen to the rescue! With a DIY screen, you can save a few hundred dollars but take your movie experience to the next level. What’s more, you can tailor the screen to meet your needs.

This article takes you step-by-step through the process of creating the ideal projector screen to meet your needs. As you are about to see, a DIY projection screen is not hard to pull off and will:

* Save your money. 
* Make you a hero before your friends.

Make no mistake, though, there will be a lot of time and effort investment on your part. 

Ask Yourself: Where Will the Reflection Screen Be?

Even though the screen’s location is not part of the build process, it is something you need to decide from the outset. The screen location will determine the screen size and material to use.

I’m not going to lie to you:

 You should spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the screen location. Also, keep in mind the distance of the recliner seats from the screen, how the speakers will be arranged, and the projector’s zoom range among others.

You should not place the screen on a wall that is in the direct path to sunlight. Long exposure to direct sunlight usually destroys the screen and harms picture quality. 

Comfort for the Viewers

For ergonomic comfort, the screen should be between 24 to 36 inches above the floor. This way, you will avoid eye and neck fatigue. For maximum comfort, your eyes should align with the line between the top two-thirds and the bottom third. 

And that’s not all…

The projector should be positioned at the right distance from the screen. In the projector’s users’ manual, you will find this distance written as the throw distance.

Selecting the Right Screen Material

Projector screens can be divided into two categories based on their mechanical properties: stretchable and non-stretchable screens. Majority of the manual screens around are made from non-stretchable fabrics.

On the other hand, stretchable screens are in almost all display screens especially tab-tension and fixed-frame screens. All factors held constant, go for the stretchable material as it can withstand tension and create a uniform surface. 

Here’s the deal:

Other than fabric material, you should also consider factors like the reflector screen gain, acoustic transparency, viewing angle and contrast. We briefly discuss these factors in the following section. 

Standard Matte White

Matte white is the standard fabric used for projection screens. It shows uniform images from any angle by diffusing light in every direction. In case you want to use your wall as the screen, you can paint using matte white paint. 

High Contrast Fabrics

Unlike standard matte white materials, high contrast fabrics reflect less ambient and projector light. This gives them a better color contrast. Grey fabrics are normally used for high contrast fabrics. With lower gain than matte white screens, high contrast screens display darker images. 

High Gain Fabrics

If your projector has a little brightness or the room gets more ambient light than you can shut out, then high gain fabrics are the answer. They reflect more light than what hits them.

The problem with high gain fabrics is that they tend to have hotspots and a smaller viewing angle. To avoid such effects, you can use a medium gain fabric screen. 

Perforated Fabric Screens

In case you plan to place some speakers behind the screen, then go for a perforated fabric screen. Perforated screens have many small holes that the eye can barely notice. These perforations allow sound waves to pass through. 

Choosing the Right Material for the Frame

Whether you choose a metallic, wooden or a hybrid frame, there is no question that it’s an important part of the display. Several factors determine the choice of the frame such as your budget, screen location, and mechanics.

If you are pretty sure that the projector screen location will be permanent, you can go for a heavy frame fashioned out of metal piping and wood. You can also use connectors in addition to nuts and bolts for better support.

If you are likely to move the screen in future, you can use plastic pipes, PVC or thin metal pipes for the frame. These have a lower weight than wood or thick metal pipings and will be easier to move around the room or house. 

Add a Finishing Touch of Soft Padding

After building a frame using strong support such as hardboard, you’ll add the projection screen. For a better quality feel, you should use a layer of soft padding to cover the intersection between the screen fabric and the backer board.

The result?

You will hide any shortcomings of your DIY projects such as projecting screws or misaligned panels. Even better, you will end up with a smooth screen surface.


Even with great recliners, speakers and LED screens, without a projector setup, the theater is always incomplete. You can save some money on a DIY screen but you will make up for this with hard work and time on your part.

This article has shown you how to create a DIY reflector screen and how to position it for the best experience.

Ssidisplays has 14+ years of experience building high-quality projector screens for different purposes and different clients, including the military, corporate and individuals. Get in touch and leverage our years of experience.

Want to Build a DIY Projection Reflection Screen? Want to Build a DIY Projection Reflection Screen? Reviewed by GlamourTreat on 04:18:00 Rating: 5
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