Projector screen vs Wall: Which one is better for projection?

Last updated by Nitish_Lakra on March 8, 2022

projector screen vs wall

Projection surface is a very important thing to be noticed. When you are doing the projection.

 There are two objects that are mostly considered as projection surfaces. Professional projector screen and texture-free home wall or textured wall.

But there is a big debate. Which is good or perfect for the projection? 

Projector screen vs wall. To get the best projection quality. Which one we can appreciate. 

No doubt if you are doing the projection on the bare white wall. And another hand doing the projection on the professional projector screen. 

Then you will see the difference in the projection quality on both surfaces. Definitely, the projector screen will have the best image quality. In the comparison of the bare white wall.

But there is also another scenario. The projected wall can be well treated. 

And the projector screen can be cheap. Or compromise quality by the manufacturer.

To get into the details. Let’s get into the main discussion of our article. And discover more about the projector screen vs wall.

Projector screen vs Wall: What is the difference & comparison? 

Let’s talk in-depth about the projector screen vs wall. And try to understand the projector and wall as a projector screen. 

What they give us during the projection. In different situations.

When you project the image on the wall and projector screen (simultaneously). 

You will see not that much difference between the wall and projector screen. 

If you are away from the wall and screen. And if your wall is white and texture free as well very smooth.

But when you go near the wall and good quality projector screen. 

For sure on the wall from the near distance, you will see some distortion on the wall projection. 

Which is not noticeable from a distance. But remember the wall. 

Do not use paint or be treated by the professional projector screen paint

Wall is just plastered or wall putty used (but it is smooth). Once you get into the movie. And you will notice that much difference.

But if you’re using the projector screen. Which is good quality. While another hand wall is bare but there is a textured wall.

And not a well-treated wall. You will definitely see the difference between the good projector screen

No matter where you are sitting. Wall will be exposed. During the projection.

If you have both things are good. Good thousand dollar projector screen

And well-treated wall as well applied professional projector screen paint. Then it will be hard to say. 

Which is good at contrast ratio and image quality. But there is one thing a well-treated wall can’t do. 

Reflecting the projected light and ambient light rejection. At a good angle. 

Manufactured projector screens are slightly better than the well-treated wall. As well it depends. 

How you have done the work of applying projector screen paint on the wall.

Read also: How to project a movie onto a wall without a projector?

Do You Need a Projector Screen In Your Home Theater or not?

Do you need a projection screen for the projection at home or not? 

Let’s decode this by seeing the pros and cons. Using the projector screen and bare wall as a projection surface.

Pros and Cons: Using a projector screen. 

projection on the projector screen
  1. Pros.
  2. You will get a smooth projection surface. And for that, you don’t need to work. Just spend a hundred dollars on the screen.
  3. And the projector has an accurate reflecting angle towards the audience. So the projection can be viewable. As it should be.
  4. Manufactured projector screen. Have the ability to reject the ambient light with accuracy. Which allows you to use the projector in the presence of ambient light.
  5. And the manufacturer projector screens. Are slightly better than the treated wall for the projection. 
  1. Cons.
  2. If you want to use the wall as a projector screen. Then you can go to the bigger projection surface. Which may be possible or not with a projector screen. If this is possible. You have to pay lots of money. Which not everyone can afford.
  3. The projector screen can be damaged. When you are shifting the screen from one place to another place. The reason could be you are changing the projection place, home, or room. And something else.

Pros and Cons: Using a bare wall as a projector screen.

projection on the wall
  1. Pros.
  2. If you want something big for the projection. Manufactured projector screens. Can’t satisfy you. If they can do that you have to spend thousands of dollars. Which is not reasonable for everyone. But with the wall, you can go up to a 240-inch big screen. Which is massive. At an affordable cost.
  3. If you are the DIY guy then. It will be great to utilize your time. On some hobby work.
  4. No, I need to spend a thousand dollars for a good screen. You just need a few hundred dollars for the good screen paint. Or even less than this. 
  1. Cons.
  2. You can’t move the wall. Indirectly you can’t move your screen. If you want to change your projection. To enjoy the movie.
  3. Using the wall as a projector screen. Your wall may not be able to reject the ambient light. And reflect the projected light at a good angle towards the audience.
  4. And also walls with the texture. Will degrade your image quality.

Projector on a textured wall?

Yes, you will be able to project on the textured wall. And you will get a decent quality image on the wall.

But, it will only happen. When you are using a long throw projector or short throw projector.

But if you have the ultra-short-throw projector. I will suggest you get a professional projector screen.

Because by using the ultra-short-throw projector on the textured wall. 

You won’t get great image quality. If you want to learn more about it. 

The difference between the UST, Long throw or Short Throw. Then follow our article on UST vs Long Throw vs Short Throw.

Is a projector screen worth it? 

Yes, if you are using the bare wall for the projection at present time. Then updating from the wall to projection. 

It will definitely be worth it. On the manufactured projector screen. You will get a better projection experience. 

Is a projector screen better than a wall? 

Yes, a projector screen is better than a wall. In every aspect. Unless your wall is well treated. 

Wall gives pencil neck competition in the terms of contrast ratio and image quality. Except in the right direction, light reflection.

What color wall is best for any screen surface?

There are three primary screen colours white, grey and black. People are confused between these three colours. 

There are lots of factors. In which all colours perform differently according to the situation.

If you are one of those people. Who is confused between these colours? I will suggest you read these two articles. 

Where I have covered everything in detail. So you guys can understand easily. 

And make decisions between these primary colours. Those two articles are:-

Tell me the best color to paint a wall for a projector? 

There are various types of colour paint available for the wall. By various companies. 

It will be a headache to choose between them. That’s why I have listed some great colours to paint the wall. 

Choose according to your needs. For that follow our article on the best colour or paint for the projector screen.

How to make your wall a projector screen?

Let’s learn how you can use your wall as a projector screen:-

Prepare the wall

If your wall is not prepared for the wall paint. First off, prepare your wall for the wall paint. 

For that, you have to make your wall texture-free. To texture free your wall use sandpaper. 

And rub over the wall. To make it smooth. If your wall has cracks. Fill the cracks with the wall putty (and let it dry). 

Which is made of the finest particle of white cement. Make sure your wall surface is flat from all sides.

Do projection on the wall

 Now do the projection on the wall. And adjust the size of the projection. On the wall. And choose which size of screen you want for the projection.

Take the measurement

Until you have decided on the projection screen size. Over the wall. Don’t close the projector, keep on the projector. 

Now you use the straight object like a scale. To draw the line at the edges of the projected screen.

After that use the wide tape around the edges. So you won’t spread the projector screen paint. 

On the other surfaces. Where you don’t need to paint the wall.

Prepare the paint

Now the important thing is to prepare the paint. So you can start the paint on the wall. 

There are different ways to prepare the paint for the wall. I will suggest that you read this avs forum conversions

Where you get a detailed explanation about the projection screen paint formula. And expert advice. 

Or check out somewhere else. Because it’s important. To use the paint in the right ratio. 

Do well research for the “projector screen paint formula”.

Start main stuff and End

Until you have prepared the wall. Outline the area and use the tape around that outline. 

And your colour is also prepared. Now start painting your wall. But remember you are using a good quality roller. 

Which don’t lose the fibre. Also, take care. When spreading the colour over the wall using a roller. 

Make sure you are using the roller from one direction. Back and forth. Not a zig-zack. 

Once you have done the one coat let it dry (repeat this process until you have done three coats). 

And your wall projector screen is ready to rock.

Tell me the best material for making a projector screen? 

Carl’s Blackout Cloth is cheap and the best material for making a projector screen. It’s very famous among home theatre enthusiasts. 

It’s best because its back is black. It won’t pass the light through it. It ensures the maximum reflection of light towards the audience. 

For this, you have to create the word frame. Then you have to fix the frame. 

To give the structure. How you will make a wood frame. For that check out the below video

Other than this. There are more than ten projector screen materials available. 

Like Spandex, Tarp/PVC/Vinyl, DIY Paint Wall, Inflatable, Bed Sheet, Trapeze, Tyvek, Plastic & Metal, and Glass. For a detailed overview. 

Check out this article 11 best materials for projector screen outdoor and indoor use?

Will a projector work on a colored wall? 

Yes, it will work. You can project on the coloured wall. Because in the projector. 

There is a special setting for the different wall colours. On the projector. Call wall shot.

If this setting is available on your projector then you can easily do the projection on a coloured wall. 

To enable this setting. The button will be available on your projector remote. Named wall shot button. 

Or You can go to the projector control panel or menu. When you enable this setting. 

You will see the short status on the screen. That means you have successfully enabled the wall shot setting. In your projector.

Basically, this setting does the projection adjustment. According to the colour of the projection surface. 

When you turn off the projector. The wall shot setting will be safe. 

For the next time projection. If you are doing the next projection on the same wall.

Conclusion: Projector screen vs Wall.

So, if you are waiting for my end statement. I will say yes you can do the projection on the wall. 

But the wall should be well treated with screen paint. 

Other than this wall should be at least smooth and texture-free. 

With the white colour. If you have these things. Then you can do the projection on the white wall. 

But still, the projector screen is best. If you are doing the projection on the manufactured projector screen. 

You will get better image quality than the wall screen. But it should be a good quality projector screen. Not the cheap one.

And the projector screen is the only piece of equipment. In any home theatre. 

If you once invested in a good projector screen. It will give you lifelong company.

So there is everything explained in this article in detail. You should know about the projector screen. Choose the projection surface wisely. 

And when you are comparing the projector screen vs wall. In your head. 

Put in front of you what you expect from your screen. And you will get the answer. Because every aspect is explained in the article.

See you next time…


Image credit: Marc & Nina Gardner / Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay


Nitish Lakra is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. He has written for numerous publications on a variety of topics including home theatre and projector. Nitish is passionate about educating and informing readers through his writing and strives to provide accurate and engaging content. When he's not writing, Nitish is enjoying the pc games, movies or cooking. My YouTube: @nitishlakra My Instagram: @nitish__lakra


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