Best Paint For Projector Screens – Our Top 4 Choices!

Author: Pat Freling | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

You would be forgiven in thinking that all painted walls would display the same type of image from a projector, especially if they were white. While the projector screen in lieu of a physical screen isn’t a new innovation, the way it is being utilized has changed quite a bit in the past decade.

While some people may still choose to use the old fashioned pull down screens when projecting, this limits the size of your projection. In order to project on an entire wall, you should consider designating one wall in your home or office to paint with projector screen paint.

These paints are formulated to have a certain finish and a certain balance of white tones so that it gives off the correct amount of reflectivity and brightness from the picture being projected. You can adjust the distance of the actual projector without having to worry about the image being distorted too much.

While painting an entire wall with projector paint is more permanent and fixed than using a screen, it is far cheaper and can always be painted over in the future if you desire.

Best Projector Screen Paints

1. Digital Image Projector Screen Paint

This ultra white screen paint helps to disperse the light that hits it from the projector, which helps to eliminate that dreaded center “hot spot”. It’s also capable of maintaining 4K and HD quality images with no noise or distortion.

This is a latex based paint that applies just like any other wall paint. It can either be rolled on by hand or sprayed on with any equipment that can handle latex paint. It will tend to congeal together more than typical wall paint, so take extra care when removing taped edges. I recommend scoring the tape before you remove it.

You should still use a primer as you would if you were using regular paint. This gives a solid, uniform, white surface to apply the projector paint too and ensures the finished product looks clean and performs well.

In terms of price and performance, the Digital Image brand of projector paint can’t be beaten. One gallon will cover up to 160 square feet, which is a fairly decent size for a large projection surface.

2. Paint on Screen

This is a great product because of the versatility of surfaces it can be painted on, including glass/windows. It can handle the detail of 1080P projection with no light scattering or visual distortion.

It boasts similar imagery to an LED TV when applied correctly and does wonders to eliminate hotspots while maintaining contrast from the original video sources (this will also be dependent on the type of projector you use). 

Like most paint on projector screens, it is recommended you apply it in two coats after applying primer. You can either apply to the whole wall or frame out the area you want to be the “tv” with painters tape. It can be applied by hand with a roller or sprayed on with a compatible mechanism.

It’s low VOC makes it safe to use in closed spaces, although it’s still a good idea to allow for ventilation. It can be painted over white, black, or gray primer backgrounds. If the image from your projector isn’t as clear as you’d like, apply another thin coat and let dry completely (especially if applying on a darker background).

3. SmarterSurfaces Clear Projector Screen Paint

If you are wanting to create a projector screen in a room that doesn’t get completely dark - such as a bar for sports casting or a classroom with teaching - the SmarterSurfaces screen paint is an excellent choice. It works best in rooms with moderate to high amounts of ambient or natural light.

It has been tested for use with some of the top tech brands and their projectors, including Sony,
Epson, and LG. So you can be sure that any projector screen made with this paint will be able to handle high quality images with no distortion.

There are various color options to choose from depending on what you will be using your projector for. For example, light gray is best for high resolution images. SmarterSurfaces also has a clear option which you can paint over any existing wall color. It dries with a matte finish and boasts the same clear viewing properties as other colors.

It can be applied with either a roller or with the spray method. Even though it is a bit on the pricier side, when it comes to consumer satisfaction, it has one of the highest ratings for available projector screen paints. 

4. Ultra HD Premium Screen Paint

If you are wanting to paint a home theater or a game room, the Ultra HD Screen Paint is going to be your best bet. It has been noted as being “forgiving” by customers because it lays on thicker than other paints, allowing some wiggle room between coats.

Although a good projector will produce a better screencast than a low end one, this screen paint still delivers clear quality images with even the cheapest projectors on the market. It will vastly improve the resolution over projecting on a flat white wall.

One drawback to this particular paint is that the odor tends to be a bit more obnoxious than its counterparts. So it is recommended that you paint it on in a well ventilated area and avoid the area until it is dry completely. 

For best results with this screen paint, make sure you use a neutral color primer underneath it. Not only will it reduce the thickness or coats needed, but it will help balance out the natural whites that are present in any projected image so you can avoid the “gray out” effect.

Things to Consider

Paint Finish

To achieve the sharpest image from your projector, make sure you opt for a satin finish on the paint that you choose. Too much of a glossy finish will be too reflective and make the image look blurry and physically difficult to look at (i.e. it could harm your eyes).

Consider Primer

While it is not crucial that you apply a primer before applying any screen paint, it can greatly improve the quality of the projected image. A light gray or soft white primer is going to give you sharper whites and yellows, while a dark gray or black undercoat will make other colors more vibrant.

There’s also the added benefit of your screen paint having the proper surface to grip onto, especially if you have freshly sanded your wall. You can skip the priming step if you decide to paint on canvas (more on that later).

Only Apply & Store Indoors

The formulation of these paints is only suitable for indoor use. Too much exposure to the elements will quickly degrade the quality of the paint and will make it so that you have to continuously reapply it. Just make sure you have proper ventilation.

Many of these screen projector paints are also extremely sensitive to cold. So take caution if you are storing them in the garage of the attic during cold months because it could easily make the paint unusable if it gets below freezing.

Measure Before You Buy

Projector screen paints are not necessarily cheap but they are specialty paints. Measure the area you wish to paint your screen to get the square footage, and then only purchase enough paint to do two solid coats. 

Any leftover paint can be saved for touch ups of the same area in the future, but unfortunately there’s much else it can be applied to practically. 

Fix Wall Imperfections First

Projector paints tend to dry in a uniform sheet. Because of this, they can accentuate any cracks or dents in the wall and make them more visible which will distort your overall image. Take time to repair and prime your wall prior to any application. 

Also, if the wall is textured you MUST sand it smooth before applying these paints or else it will distort any projected image.

A Canvas as an Alternative

So you already know you can project onto a screen or you can paint a wall with screen paint in order to project an image. But did you know there is a 3rd option? It’s a midway point between the two and involves painting onto a canvas.

This is beneficial for several reasons. For one, it is still cheaper than purchasing a pull down screen. Also, it gives you the ability to move the canvas to different locations so your screen doesn’t have to remain in one spot. Lastly, you won’t have to paint on a wall so you won’t have to worry about painting over the area should you not need it anymore.

You can choose to fix the canvas on the wall if you’d like to protect any type of paint job that is below it. Most screen projector canvases also negate the need for primer since their material and color provide the same qualities that any primer would.

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About Pat Freling

Pat has been into DIY painting since he was 14 years old. He's painted interior walls, decks, patio, and even the first car that he'd purchased at 18.

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