Best Paint for Projector Screen

Remember that geeky kid in high school, the one that ran the projector, or sat in the dark controlling the lighting for the school play?

Best Paint for Projector Wall (Updated October, 2020)

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Editor’s Choice

Paint On Screen Projection/Projector Screen Paint

Paint on Screen

  • Best Feature:
    – designed for high ambient light environments,
    – made for high-end systems,
    – water-based
  • Washability: no
  • Gain Value: 2.0
  • Resolution: HD 1080p, 4K
  • Color: Grey, silverish
  • Capacity: 1 Gallon (3.78 L)
  • Coverage: 170 sq. ft. (240″ diagonal)

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Projector Screen Paint - High Definition | 4K - Ultra White

Digital Image HD

  • Best Feature:
    – 50% brighter than normal wall paint,
    – roll-on or spray,
    – ready in one day
  • Washability: yes
  • Gain Value: 1.5
  • Resolution: HD 1080p
  • Color: Ultra-white
  • Capacity: 1 Quart (0.945 L)
  • Coverage: 40 sq. ft. (8 x 5 Feet 2 Covers)

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Ultra HD Premium Screen Paint

Digital Image Ultra HD

  • Best Feature:
    – “optiperfect” finish for no reflection,
    – water-based,
    – excellent brightness
  • Washability: no
  • Gain Value: 1.5
  • Resolution: HD 1080p, 4K
  • Color: White
  • Capacity: 1 Quart (0.945 L)
  • Coverage: 40 sq. ft. (8 x 5 Feet 2 Covers)

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Pro Screen HD Projection / Projector Screen Paint 1080P Full HD Quality

Pro Screen Projector Screen Paint

  • Best Feature:
    – reduces ambient light,
    – excellent contrast, and clarity in-home applications,
    – former commercial-only grade
  • Washability: no
  • Gain Value: 2.0
  • Resolution: HD 1080p
  • Color: Light Gray
  • Capacity: 1 Quart (0.945 L)
  • Coverage: 40 sq. ft. (8 x 5 Feet 2 Covers)

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Best Projector Screen Paint Reviews

1. Paint on Screen – Best 4k Projector Screen Paint

General impression

Supporting up to 4K high-density resolution, this paint is specifically formulated for areas with high ambient lighting and projection from high-end entertainment systems.  The high gain performance reduces reflection rates, resulting in a bigger, brighter image.

Installation and technical details

Easy to apply on drywall and other surfaces, there are minimal special preparations needed, and the gallon covers 170 square feet.  Paint can be applied by roller, brush, or spray. Two coats are necessary for the final finish. The paint is water-based for easy clean-up and has a low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) rating.

Best features

This paint is part of a large family of complementary products, including primer, frames, and special application tools.  While it is a fairly simple process, professional application is also available through Amazon. With its special formulation of binders and particle size, it provides graphic detail within the realm of 4K resolution.

Pros:
  • Specifically formulated to support 4K, 1080-pixel resolution
  • Dries to a smooth finish for excellent image clarity
  • One-step application, no mixing
Cons:
  • Several comments about the difficulty to stir and dissolve solids into solution.  It must be completely mixed for best results.

Conclusion

If you want to project high-quality 4K images, this is a top-quality paint for that purpose.  It reduces the effect of high ambient lighting, even to the point where some reviewers say you can watch with the lights on.  If you have ultra-HD capabilities in Blu-ray or other video devices and want 4K clarity reflected throughout, you can have a commercial quality projection screen with this paint.

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2. Digital Image HD – Best Washable Projector Screen Paint

General impression:

This paint, from Digital Image, is designed for use in both commercial applications and in-home theater.  Advertised as providing 40 square feet of two-coat coverage, it’s also 50% brighter than a normal white wall, and can be rolled on or sprayed.

Installation and technical details:

This is a one-step product, with no mixing of chemicals required.  It’s a water-based acrylic paint, completely VOC free. The paint claims a 1.5 gain and works with a high-density resolution at up to 1080 pixels.  No indication is given with how well it works with 4K imagery.

Best features:

This paint is the clear winner in the category of washable.  If you have children and can envision sticky fingerprints on your screen, then this is the right paint for you.  It has comparable specifications to other similar products. Expert installation is also available.

Pros:
  • Having the durability to be washed occasionally is a major selling point
  • Acts as its own primer; no additional preparation needed
  • 1.5 gain will give somewhat clearing viewing from an angle than higher gains
Cons:
  • Lower horizontal screen resolution than 4K solutions
  • Quart size only, so a potential lot to lot variability

Conclusion

Given the no-VOC environmental friendliness of this paint, and the capability to clean it, the Digital Image product is very well suited to a family surrounding.  You’ll get no odors during installation, the ability to remove small marks and spots as needed, and all the while enjoying 1080-pixel clarity.

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3. Digital Image Ultra HD – Best Overall Projector Screen Paint

General impression

This screen paint, also from Digital Image, moves up the price ladder a little bit, but it also delivers very solid quality ratings from user reviews.  The “Optiperfect” reflection gives a 1.5 gain, and provides high-level brightness without hot spots or reflections, and gives the user a great view from virtually any angle.

Installation and technical details

This is a water-based acrylic latex paint, with no mixing of compounds required, and provides two coats of coverage over a forty square feet area.  It can be installed with either roller or spray gun, and professional installation is also available through Amazon.

Best features

This product gets very strong customer reviews on the 1.5 gain improvement over standard white paint.  With an ultra-high-definition 4k projection system, you’ll get great viewing at 1080-pixel detail. The paint is also washable, but with mild detergent and no scrubbing.

Pros:
  • Users claim greatly improved visibility and clarity over standard painted walls
  • Recommended for consumer and professional screens
  • High clarity when viewing from angles
Cons:
  • The highest price of the four different screen paints reviewed
  • Only twelve customer reviews

Conclusion

If you are a believer in “you get what you pay for,” then this is probably the paint for you.  Yes, you are paying somewhat more than for other brands and qualities, but you will also see a real difference in your application.  Markedly improved clarity, detailed 4K imagery, each combined with all the standard features of other paints included here, make this the Best Overall Projector Screen Paint.

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4. Pro Screen Projector Screen Paint – Best Budget Projector Screen Paint

General impressions

With this Pro Screen brand screen paint, we move from the highest end of the price spectrum to the lower end.  This paint is a two-part system, with components that must be mixed together. It is also a gray-scale, where all the others reviewed here are white or even ultra-white.  Reviewers feel this gives clean contrast, especially to very light colors when compared to white screens.

Installation and technical details

Even with the gray color, this paint offers a 2.0 gain value, double the brightness of a standard flat white paint.  The added is a powdered glass, which helps reduce ambient lighting to provide a clearer picture, even when viewed from an angle.  The result is a 1080-pixel, 4K ultra-high-definition picture, and the paint is even compatible with 3D viewing.

Best features

The 3D compatibility is a nice touch, not specifically detailed by any of the other paints in this review.  While there is an extra step involved in mixing in the additive, the resulting clarity makes this incidental to the total package.  A one-quart can cover up to 80 square feet of coverage; most users say a single coat is sufficient.

Pros:
  • Budget price, high-end results with this paint
  • Reviewers claim excellent picture clarity, even with light in the room
Cons:
  • Two-step process; not fully mixing can yield poor results

Conclusion

Don’t get hung up on the gray color of this paint, when all the others run from white to ultra-white.  It offers clear results for a projection system, with good clarity and light tolerance. The one-coat coverage offsets the time to mix the components.  If you are looking for a high-performance, budget-priced projector screen paint, this is one of the best.

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Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose Best Wall Paint for Projector Screen

In this section, we’ll present some of the key terms, specifications, and features of the best paints for projector screens.  Having a little extra knowledge in these areas will give you a leg up in making the best buying decision based on your individual needs.

Gain

Gain is a measure of the reflection of light off the projector screen.  A gain of 1.0 is neutral – gain is measured against a standard of a white (magnesium oxide) coated board.  Therefore, a gain of 2.0 will reflect twice as much light as the standard; a gain of .8 would be 80% of the standard.  Gain is measured at the brightest spot of the screen – directly in front of it, and perfectly perpendicular. So, is more gain then better than lower gain?  Not necessarily. See the next section.

Gain vs. viewing angle

The higher gain will give you a better look from directly in the front of the screen, but viewing from angles will not give the same clarity.  Conversely, a lower gain will not look as good from directly in front as a higher gain, but you will have better views from an angle. This is because lower gain screens (around 1.0) will diffuse light much more evenly over a wider angle of view.

Restated, a high gain screen will be clearest directly in front of you, but not so clear from an angle, where the opposite is true of a lower gain screen. So, to summarize, the gain should be thought of in the context of the seating arrangement in your home theater.  More seats off to the sides – try to stay with gains of 1.0 to 1.5. Seats centered on the screen, such as tiered seating – higher gains for you. The three pictures below represent the impact of the gain on the best seating:
Matte White Screen 1.0 Gain 
Matte White Screen 1.0 Gain

Angular Reflective Screen 1.3 Gain 
Angular Reflective Screen 1.3 Gain

Angular Reflective or Retro Reflective 2.0+ Gain 
Angular Reflective or Retro Reflective 2.0+ Gain

Pixel

A pixel, or picture element, is the smallest visible unit that can be displayed on a display screen.  Large numbers of pixels are joined together to form a complete image on the screen. An example of a pixel is below (courtesy computerhope.com).  This image is zoomed in at 1600%, and you can see the individual color squares within it. Each of these blocks represents 1 pixel.
Pixel

4K vs. 1080P

Each of these terms is used to define the quality of the resolution on a viewing screen.  Both are expressed as the number of pixels, which we defined above. First, let’s think of these two numbers verbally; consider 1080P as high definition and 4K as the ultra-high definition.  In terms of pixels, 1080P resolution consists of 1920 pixels X 1080 pixels. 4K is 3840 X 2160 pixels, and the 4K refers to the almost 4000 horizontal pixels, and 2160 refers to the vertical pixels.

Water-based paints

All of the paints reviewed here are water-based, meaning that the colors, fillers, and binders are all contained within a water mixture.  Water-based paints offer two main advantages over oil-based. First, they give off little to no volatile organic compounds (VOC), meaning less odor.  Second, clean up is much easier, complete with soap and water rather than the special solvents required to clean oil-based paints.

Ambient light

Ambient light refers to any light in the theater that is not directly coming from the projector, or the images coming off of the projector.  Ambient light will reflect off the screen, and wash out, or reduce the clarity, or the projected image. Ambient light can be countered by having a brighter projecting device or using a darker projector screen.

FAQ

1) How to paint a projector screen?

Painting a projector screen is a fairly simple project.  First, make sure that the wall is properly prepared. Smooth out any pits, holes, or scrapes, as they will impact the viewing quality of the images.  Use a high- quality spackle and sand to be flush with the surrounding areas. For unfinished walls, we recommend putting on an initial coat with primer paint.  You can then use removable painter’s tape to mark off the area where you will be painting your screen. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the type and quality of roller or brush to use, and whether a single coat is sufficient or if two are needed.  Once completed, you can make your screen look very professional with the installation of black framing tape around your painted area. It’s available from most of the manufacturers, or also from Amazon.

2) What color paint should I use for a projector screen?

Choosing the color of your screen paint will be a function of the level of ambient light you expect in your theater area.  If there will be higher light levels (for example, from windows in the room), lean toward a darker color with neutral or low gain.  For low ambient light, you can use white or ultra-white paint with a higher gain.

3) What base coat to use for projector screen paint?

As noted above, depending on the condition of the wall you choose for your screen, little to no preparation may be required.  Imperfections in the wall finish will affect the picture projected, so level out the wall scratches and dents prior to painting.  If the wall has not been previously finished, we recommend a good-quality primer. You may get too much absorption with the screen paint on an unfinished wall, and not have enough to finish the recommended number of coats.  And, let’s be realistic, primer is a lot less expensive than the screen paint.

4) Which is better for a projector – screen or paint?

Both screens and painted screens have their pros and cons.  A portable screen will give you the mobility that you will not get with a fixed mount screen or a painted screen.  A fixed mount screen will give you a permanent solution, but will typically cost a bit more. It may also have mechanical parts, such as a motor to drop and rewind the screen, that might require periodic maintenance.  A painted screen will probably be the lowest cost of the three options. If you decide to go to a different room in the future, the screen can be painted over to match the rest of the room. For our money, a painted screen is the way to go.

Conclusion

The projection capabilities of equipment on the market today are amazing.  What’s more amazing is that a can of paint can turn any room in your house into a home theater.  Simple enough that anyone with a modicum of handyman talent can install, it can take what you are viewing on an iPad screen and project it into a 5’x8’ screen.

These paints are relatively inexpensive, almost foolproof in their simplicity, and give great results for your viewing. By selecting one appropriate for your particular requirements, you’ll have a home theater to rival the professional ones.  We hope this review has been helpful in giving you some projector screen paint options, and the additional knowledge needed to select the one perfect for you. Happy viewing!

Stephen James
Stephen James

Hello! My name is Stephen James, and I am a home-improvement fanatic! It is amazing how many interesting items there are that can make your home a lot safer and comfortable. What I do is seek for all the innovative inventions that each and every one of you can easily introduce into your house. Every item that I see fit to be reviewed and incorporated into your home is carefully picked and then tested by me. My primary goal is to help you fix any possible issue in the household with the best fitting solutions. If you want to know some more about my daily activities, you can follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/stephenjamespro

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Leave a Reply

  1. Avatar
    Frederic

    Can paint for projector screen be rolled on?

    Reply
    1. Stephen James
      Stephen James author

      Sure, it can. However, you are going to need to use a teflon coated microfiber roller. I can advise a good roller kit you can get.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Joses

    I must say that those who are looking for the best paint for the projector wall should definitely consider Paint On Screen. It is an incredible product, and once you use it, you will certainly realize what you are paying for

    Reply
    1. Stephen James
      Stephen James author

      It is not always true that the price dictates the quality. However, it is hard to deny the obvious with Paint on Screen.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Tom32

    My situation is the following – I am looking forward to creating my own outdoor cinema. I need the best projector paint and the surface it suits well. I wonder if it is worth the investment or should I just think about buying a regular screen.

    Reply
    1. Stephen James
      Stephen James author

      Paint on Screen is one of those quality paints that can be painted almost on any surface as long as it is smooth enough. The truth is that the surface you are going to use is supposed to look smooth from the distance that you are going to view a movie. In case you see any imperfections such as holes, cracks, and other related issues from average viewing distance, I would suggest you get rid of them or consider another surface. Paint On Screen is a long-lasting paint, but if you are going to use the Screen outside for a long time, the chances are that you are going to need to repaint it in a few years.

      Reply