Hmm. Great ideas. The soffit drops down 7.25" and the distance between the end of the soffit (towards the seating area) and the screen is 4'4". I guess I could technically move the pj a bit further away from the soffit - somewhere near your 4'10" figure - and drop it down so the lens hits the top of the screen. BUT if I decide to upgrade this projector in the future, would I hamstring myself by setting up a short throw pj and pulling wires and power to this location? If I went with a dropdown mount over my coffee table at 8'8" for a 92" screen, would this give me more flexibility for a future swapout?
As for the paint I am going to pursue a neutral gray as you suggest. Perhaps a benjamin moore grey in the 8 range. Maybe 202 202 202?