can i use a white sheet for a projector screen

Can I use a white sheet for a projector screen?

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Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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A full projector experience requires a suitable projector screen. Now, you don't need to have a professional projector screen. However, you can always DIY a projector screen from normal household items.

So how can you use a white sheet for a projector screen? Lets find out.

Will a White Sheet Be Adequate as a Projector Screen?

Yes, it will. Of course, nothing beats a professional projector screen, but you have to work with what you have.

Setting up your entertainment system is an awesome experience. But a good entertainment system without the proper setup can be a disappointment.

Many people use white sheets as projector screens. A good quality sheet will make a decent screen as long as it has no creases.

Apart from that, not knowing how bright to project in daytime and nighttime might also affect your viewing.

Aside from a white bedsheet, you can use any other white cloth as a projector screen. There are inexpensive projector screen models on the market. However, they usually get "hot spots" of light.

How To Use a White Sheet As a Projector Screen

A projector can greatly elevate your movie-watching experience. Using a sheet as a projector screen provides the ambient lighting as a cinema.

That aside, a good projector and projector accessories will put a dent in your pocket. Not forgetting you have to connect your projector to a laptop computer.

Apart from lowering costs, a white sheet is very versatile. You can set it up practically anywhere. For example, here is how to use a white sheet as a DIY projector screen.

a) Step 1

Firstly, there are a few materials you will need:

  • A plain white sheet (without wrinkles)
  • Nails
  • Hooks
  • White projector paint
  • PVC pipe
  • Even wall space
  • Dark-colored sheet or blackout cloth

b) Step 2

Considering the dimensions of your projector's image display, you will need to take some measurements.

After selecting where you want to mount your bedsheet, measure out the bedsheet in relation to the image display of your projector.

The wall space you select should be as even as possible. You might get distorted images or poor image quality if it isn't. Therefore, texture in the wall is not recommended.

c) Step 3

Next, cut the white sheet to the dimensions of the image display. It might be an excellent idea to leave extra inches of fabric all around. This will allow for seamless attachment with nails or hooks.

A perfect rule of thumb is to leave 6 to 10 inches of fabric on each side of the sheet. Your projector screen should go onto your wall without any folds.

The extra inches of fabric make sure it happens.

d) Step 4

This step involves some sewing. Take 3 or 4 inches of fabric on the top and bottom parts and fold them.

Fit a PVC pipe through the fold and adjust as needed. You can secure the sheet with pins or sew it (sewing being the better option.)

e) Step 5

Next, attach the dark-colored sheet to the back of the white sheet and sew it on. The dark sheet absorbs light and makes other colors pop out more.

This will give you good image and picture quality. Additionally, it will also perform well as an outdoor projector screen.

f) Step 6

In a well-ventilated area, lay out the projector screen on a flat and firm surface. Using the white projector paint, carefully layer the paint on the white sheet.

The paint will give you a firm screen. More importantly, the paint ensures that the light projected on your DIY screen doesn't scatter. Projector paint will also improve the texture of the sheet.

g) Step 7

Attach hooks to your ceiling or on the wall you want your DIY projector on. First, ensure the PVC pipe on either side of the projector screen is well placed. Next, hoist your projector screen on the hooks and secure it with a few nails.

If you watch movies regularly, you might want to find a spot that will hold your projection screen well. If you aren't sure about the spot, make a portable projector screen.

Then, instead of hoisting it up permanently, you can make temporary hoists for it until you can settle on a spot.

Why We Prefer Projector Screens For Home Entertainment

Projector screens can take your home theater entertainment system to the next level. Sometimes they constitute your entire entertainment system.

That being noted, here are a few pros to having a projector screen instead of a television.

1) Portability

Any projector owner should not have a problem lifting their projector and DIY projector screen.

However, portable and hanging screens are your best bet if you need to go for movie night at a friend's place.

Additionally, portability makes a projector screen very versatile. For example, you can set up an outdoor theater in the summer.

This way, you can have all your friends and family in the same place without lacking space.

2) Cost

A decent projector and makeshift projector screen cost less than a 45-inch television. Therefore, a projector (even under $300), is not a bad way to go if you want to cut costs.

A projector and its accessories offer better value for a home theater system.

Additionally, you get an excellent value-for-money ratio per square inch. You could find televisions in the same price range as a dedicated projector screen and projector.

But, the size and the cost-to-benefit ratio are not as great as a home theater projector system.

3) Customizable Screen Size

As outlined in the above section, it is simple to customize a projector screen. You can easily configure the screen to any size.

Depending on your needs and requirements, you can also change the size of your screen to any size.

For example, your screen requirements might change down the line. It will be much simpler to change your screen size than to buy another one.

The adaptability of your screen will do away with the need to buy new hardware every time.

4) Eye Comfort

Televisions emit light. This causes more eye strain compared to projectors that reflect light.

On the other hand, the reflected light is easier on the eyes and doesn't cause much strain. Additionally, you can display it on any surface.

Your choice of surface will affect your eye comfort, so selecting a smooth surface with no texture is important.

5) Larger Image Size

Larger images create less strain on the eyes by providing easier viewing. Therefore, compared to televisions, projectors produce larger images that you can adjust.

Furthermore, most 4k projectors produce very large images.

Another benefit of using a projector is changing or adjusting the image size, and brightness to your preferred setting.

An important point to note is that images might become distorted when they are too small or too large.

Best Materials For Making A DIY Projector Screen

Making a projector screen is simple and cost-effective. However, being cheap doesn't mean you shouldn't get the best materials for it.

Here are some of the top materials for making a DIY projector screen.

i) Blackout Cloth

You have probably heard of blackout cloth. It is mostly used for curtains. It completely blocks light and works well as a projector screen.

It is made to block out any light. Additionally, it is an affordable solution.

Blackout cloth doesn't have any creases or wrinkles. It is also very flat, with a matte white color. There are other blackout-type materials in various colors.

So the choice remains yours. White blackout cloth can be used as it is. Blackout cloth in other colors should work well with a white sheet draped over them.

ii) Projector Screen Paint

Whether you choose to paint on a wall surface or your trusty bedsheet, you will need a high-quality projector screen paint.

At some point, you might consider using normal paint. However, it is a bad idea.

Normal paint will leave texture, especially if you don't know how to paint. However, even if you do a decent job, you might get a few uneven areas.

The smallest uneven area will distort projector screen images. Remember to apply projector screen paint; your surface needs to be flat.

If the surface is not flat, shadows will be formed every time you project onto your DIY projector screen.

iii) White Sheet

A white sheet will work immediately. However, it is a temporary solution. To make your DIY projector screen more durable, you could consider reinforcing it.

Any white sheet will make a projector screen.

Without reinforcement, a white sheet will have creases. Additionally, there is no feasible way to make it taut without ripping it.

Therefore, for temporary purposes, a sheet will suffice. However, if you want something long-term, consider reinforcing it with paint, blackout cloth, and hooks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) Will My Projector Screen Survive Getting Wet?

Be it a DIY projector screen like the one we discuss in this article or a professional one; they aren't made to be wet.

But, of course, accidents might happen. For example, you can forget your screen outside, and it gets rained on.

Be it a professional, or outdoor DIY screen; you should air dry it in the open as soon as possible.

It is not advisable to let it remain folded when wet. If that were to happen, the screen would be destroyed permanently. The only option would be to purchase another.

2) Why Do I Need To Paint My Projector Screen White?

White is the most common color for projector screens. Painting your wall or white sheet with white projector paint makes the surface suitable for projection.

In addition, projector paint on a sheet smoothens any stray fibers. This makes the texture smoother and convenient since there won't be any creases or folds on the screen.

In addition, the evenness that projector paint provides is helpful because it also makes the sheet taut.

3) Can I Use My DIY Sheet Projector Outdoors?

Yes, you can. Your screen should be fine outside as long as you know where to place it. However, your screen will only do well outdoors if it is not wet or rainy.

Therefore, a warm summer evening would be perfect for a movie on your patio. We suggest that you mount the projector screen well. It would be very unfortunate if it had to come tumbling down.

4) Do I Need A White Surface For My Projector?

Not necessarily. Apart from white screens, there are black and grey screens. Each screen color has its purpose. This is where ambient light rejection comes in.

A black screen would be adequate if your space has lots of ambient light. Black screens are better when you have to watch horror or thriller movies.

On the one hand, white screens have been around forever and are well balanced when reflecting light.

But, on the other hand, grey screens provide a little bit of white and black screen advantages.

5) Does My Projector Screen Size Matter?

Yes, it does. For home theater purposes, a 60 to 80-inch projector screen should be adequate. However, you will need a very large sheet.

There are also projectors as small as a phone. They would also do well with a single sheet.

Therefore, you need to measure how large your projected screen is before buying or repurposing a sheet.

The Bottom Line

A quick and cheap fix for a projector screen would be a white sheet. It is not the best long-term solution. However, it works.

There are multiple advantages to using a projector screen. Therefore, you should consider experimenting with a few sheets to find the best one.

A white screen will brighten the images and maintain great image quality. However, we are obligated to let you know that television would be better if you have a small viewing room.

A projector and projector screen will be adequate if your viewing room is large.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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