What to Use for a Projector Screen

Updated: Feb 8, 2023 2:21 PM
What to Use for a Projector Screen

Figuring out what to use for a projector screen doesn’t have to break the bank. There are different types of screens you can use, including screen paint on a wall. A makeshift projector screen can work just fine if you can’t afford an expensive projector screen. With that said, you can try free options like a bed sheet or a blank wall. However, commercial applications can be challenging to come by for the average consumer. These options include blackout cloth or an inflatable screen.

The screen material used cannot outpace a low-quality projector, however. Researching the best projectors on the market will help you make a better investment.


  • There are different professional projector screen materials you could invest in, but you can find many materials around your house for a fraction of the price.
  • While a white screen is the most traditional, gray screens have soared in popularity because of their boosted contrast and ability to produce excellent picture quality.
  • Always consider where you’ll be using your projector most of the time and what types of screens will best suit that location.

Possible Projector Screen Materials To Use

While a well-focused and cleaned inner projector lens is also helpful, your viewing experience relies on having a quality projector screen. Multiple factors will decide whether your actual screen is capable of producing quality imagery. Enjoying your favorite movie in ambient light requires the correct screen material, for example. A lot of quality relies on the type of projector and the visual input used. A tablet or laptop can be just fine for this purpose, especially with ambient light that might demand a digital display. If that gets you wondering, “Can you connect a tablet to a project?” the answer is yes, and with great results.

Insider Tip

Invest in quality screen material to use your projector on to get the best viewing experience possible.

Bed Sheet for a DIY Screen

A handful of colors will work for this method. While it might not give the best quality image, you almost certainly have at least one bedsheet color on hand that will work. A white sheet is the best to use. If you have a white blackout cloth, that will work better as a picture backdrop. A bed sheet is a relatively low-quality projector screen that has significant picture quality disadvantages. It will work best when you have nothing else to display your projector image. For a crystal-clear listening experience, you’ll want to learn how to connect a projector to a speaker.

Inflatable Movie Screens for Better Portability

Inflatable movie screens allow you to change locations with ease. If you’re looking for an outdoor screen, then inflatable screens work great. This option is a portable screen that you can bring to your next outdoor movie night to impress your friends and family.

Blackout Cloth to Imitate Black Screens

Blackout material is a non-reflective surface that works wonders, having few picture quality disadvantages. It can be a cheaper option if you have blackout material on hand. Black screens won’t provide image fidelity the same way that a professional screen material might. However, it’s well worth it if you need something easy to fall back on.

A Blank Wall Only When Necessary

While it doesn’t provide the best image quality, a blank wall can work wonders in a pinch. Dark walls will perform poorly, so make sure you have a white wall to project on. You’ll also want to make sure the display surface is large enough to see details on, as well. While a smooth wall might work well, you’ll want to make sure the light level is maintained, so you don’t end up with a brighter image than desired.


A cheap projector will never produce a high-quality viewing experience, no matter the type of screen that you use.


What is the best projector screen fabric?

That depends on where you intend to use your projector. Indoor projector screens don’t need to account for varying light levels since you can control the amount of ambient light.

Should I use gray projection screens?

Gray screens have become wildly popular since their 2001 inception. Before this, folks used a white screen for projectors. Gray screens allow for better contrast in settings with ambient light.

Where can I put my outdoor projector screen?

Any flat surface with ample room will work fine for an outdoor projector screen. Ensure your outdoor projector screen is packed away safely and protected from the elements when not in use.

Is there a downside to using a projector screen?

Projector setups can’t compete with the picture quality provided by a commercial movie theater. A homemade projector screen is excellent for backyard movie nights, but you’ll need a digital display to compete with movie theater screens.

STAT: In 2020, the global revenue for the projector market increased to over 32.4 billion U.S. dollars. (source)

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