What Color Should a Projector Screen Be

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Updated December 9, 2022

If you’re trying to figure out, “What color should a projector screen be?” then keep reading. Screen innovations have led us to have all types of screens on the market. There are gray, black, white, and even silver screens available.

The screen type is important as the projector you have, such as 3D projectors, the ever-expensive 4K projectors, and WiFi projectors. You’ll also want to know which projectors work outside, especially if you’re using an outdoor projector. All of these are key to using it with the right screen.

Overall, choosing the right color for the right top-rated projector screens matters a great deal.


  • When it comes to color for projector screens, several styles are available, and each provides a different set of benefits. You’ll want to find out what material is projector screen made from
  • Making sure that you choose the right color option for your needs is crucial for movie watching, gaming, presentations, and other projector usage.
  • The color you choose will come down to your personal preferences, but overall you should probably go with either white or grey screens.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to repair a projector screen, we have a resource article specifically for that. Or, if you’re trying to figure out why does my projector keep turning off, we have a guide for that, too.

Why Projector Screen Color Matters

The type of screen you choose can make or break a modern projector’s ability to produce a bright image when faced with ambient light. If you’re worried about creating a brighter image, the question “What are lumens on a projector?” should answer everything you need to know.

Insider Tip

Using retractable screens can help you save on space if a small area limits you.

The Different Types of Screens

Do you have an idea about what to use for a projector screen? Years of screen innovations have culminated in a sweeping variety of screens available for purchase. Sifting through every known type of screen can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re new to digital projectors. Luckily, we’re here to explain why these screen innovations matter and how they affect your bottom line.

Another thing to consider is what distance should your projector be from the screen. The type of screen matters less than the projector screen size in this case. Plus, lighting matters, especially if you want the best projector for your living room, where bright light is often available. 

White Screens

Movie theater screens are often white screens. For movie nights, there is hardly a better choice. It’s essential to implement light control when using white screens, however. These screens have reflective properties that struggle to produce imagery in bright lights. These screens will probably work best for a homemade overhead projector or a projector made with a smartphone. 

Gray Screens

Gray screens are a fantastic choice for those who need a high-contrast image. This is especially true if you have a hard time controlling ambient light. The purpose of gray projection screens is to absorb light pollution in the room. Gray and silver screens are cost-effective while still providing an excellent surface for a bright projector.

Although, read our guide to a grey projector screen vs white for a better look at the differences between grey and white screens.

Black Screen

This expensive option provides a cinematic experience even when light levels aren’t in your favor. A black screen will produce a sharper image with deeper blacks than white or even gray. On the other hand, this optimal viewing experience comes at a premium. A black screen is always an expensive option.

But, if the color doesn’t seem accurate even on your black screen, chances are the color wheel needs repair. In that case, read our guide on how to repair the projector color wheel to learn how to repair it fast.

Using an Alternative Type of Screen

A few other screen types are out there. If you can’t invest in a projector and screen combo, skip the screen part. Here are some ideas of where you can project without a screen:

  • Lighter-colored wall
  • Hung-up bed sheets
  • Standard whiteboard

No matter what screen you choose, it will work with the model in our Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector review.


Ensure that your lens and screen combo match up; otherwise, you could have less accurate images than you desire.


Where should I place my projector for a better viewing experience?

That depends entirely on what type of projector you have. A short-throw projector is a solid investment if you’re working with limited space. Short-throw projectors provide better image quality from a shorter distance.

Why is a black projector screen so expensive?

The reason that they’re so expensive is that they’re new to the market. Beyond this, they provide excellent black levels and better screen colors.

Can I use a white wall as my projector screen?

You absolutely can. You could use any white surface, like a standard whiteboard. However, a matte surface is always superior. Neither compares with white projector screens, however.

How do I create a commercial movie theater vibe in my home?

Remove as much ambient lighting as possible to achieve that perfect, dark theater aesthetic. Light-controlled rooms are perfect for imitating the theater for movie-watching.

STAT: Most viewers do not notice differences as large as 30% in the image luminosity unless presented with a test image and asked to look for variations in brightness. (source)

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