Permanent Outdoor Screen (Plywood/Paint/Sealant) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Permanent Outdoor Screen (Plywood/Paint/Sealant)

I have been working on a permanent outdoor theater solution and need some knowledge/tips to do it right. I have been using a framed blackout cloth on eye bolts to bring out when we are watching movies. I am doing away with this and building a permanent screen made of plywood. This screen will be 200 inches. I have a couple questions I need help on understanding.

1. 1.) What type of plywood can I use outside all the time? I looked at birch plywood for the smooth finish, I don’t want knots (was going to seal)
2 .2.) What is the best way to hide the seams in butting up the pieces of plywood? I have seen videos of people using bondo or do I just use wood filler?
3. 3.) What type of paint? I had planned on priming it with an oil based Kilz, then using a flat white. I read on the forums of people using pearl or metallic paints, but are any of these rated for outdoor use?


Vision of what I am aiming for:




Currently I have a computer in my garage. I punched through the back and buried 2” PVC out 30ft. This enters into a 4” container buried at ground level. I have power and video ran though the PVC and can now just store my cables in this container. My goal is to just be able to bring the projector out and plug it in, minimal setup and take down for the location of this viewing area.



Picture of current screen, that will be replaced with 200" that utilizes most of garage wall:





PVC run:



4" Container to store cables:



PVC cap placed in 10" Valve Box (hidden under rock):



Polk Atrium 6 Speakers mounted under awning:




So right now the last piece of the puzzle is creating the screen. I am open to suggestions as I am trying to do this right. Thanks in advance for any input.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 06:40 PM
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Nice to see someone putting some effort into an outdoor setup. I have seen a handful do it right.
Personally I would go with standard plywood 3/4 sheeting screwed to a 2X4 frame work to give it rigidity and to keep the seems from opening up. Like a wall, but with lots of cross bracing. I would then fill the holes and seems with bondo and apply a layer of vinyl projector screen material over top. Not sure if you could just pull it tight and close staple the edges or if you would need to glue it to the plywood with say water based contact cement.
Carl's Place has some reasonably priced sheet vinyl that should work.
http://www.carlofet.com/projector-sc...l#.WAbMdtQrJiw
I don't know if this area receives a lot of direct sunlight and how that would affect the vinyl (yellowing, etc)
I have a 120" manual roller screen bolted to the dark side of my house. Always ready to go and works great, but certainly not the monster screen you are envisioning.
Will be curious to see what you come up with and how it turns out.
I'll book mark. Please update.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-19-2016, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you! Yes, this will also be in full sun from noon-5pm. I had thought about stretching vinyl over the plywood and will do this if I am unable to hide these seams. My concern with that was water getting in between plywood and vinyl. I also have two kids, so imagine they will throw things at it, birds with fly into it, grass clippings with inevitability find there way up on it, etc.

Ideally I would like a solid surface that I can just hit with a fresh coat every once in awhile. I had planned on putting a black trim around the plywood to give it that theater feel. So if I do go the vinyl route, I could just pull it tight and staple it, then place frame around it. I was going to mount this with 6x6 post and paint them black as well. Then place landscaping to the sides of it. Thanks for the input and I will keep updating this with pictures of progression. It is a work in progress and supper happy with the container unit so far.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-12-2017, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Now that the weather is getting a little better, I am getting ready to buy my lumber. Still needing some advice on the paint to use on this. I have seen there are special screen paints, but not seeing how this is rated for outdoor use. Also should I paint the screen black first, then white. Trying to understand how to get the best coating for the image. Will it reflect better if I paint it black first or should I go with a screen paint? And I am guessing flat paint.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-12-2017, 09:07 PM
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-13-2017, 03:50 PM
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I used (and still do) the projectorcentral.com "under a hundred method" three years ago with good results. I just wish that everyone who sees it for the first time would stop feeling/touching it. (1)

But I also think for outside any outdoor flat paint will do. I took these (2,3) tonight of my flat off white family room wall and the image is 16:9 186".
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http://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-gen...eap-build.html
Epson HC3700/HC2000; Screen - 151.5" 16:9/TV or 143.5" 2.35:1/HT at a seating distance of 13/14 feet; Yamaha RXV675 for 7.4; Speakers - Infinity Primus; Subs - 3 Polk PSW10s, 1 BIC F12; Headphones - 4 JVC wireless; Sony 3D Blu-ray player/six pairs 3D glasses.

Last edited by steve1106; 02-13-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-13-2017, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizdum1 View Post
Thank you! Yes, this will also be in full sun from noon-5pm. I had thought about stretching vinyl over the plywood and will do this if I am unable to hide these seams. My concern with that was water getting in between plywood and vinyl. I also have two kids, so imagine they will throw things at it, birds with fly into it, grass clippings with inevitability find there way up on it, etc.

Ideally I would like a solid surface that I can just hit with a fresh coat every once in awhile. I had planned on putting a black trim around the plywood to give it that theater feel. So if I do go the vinyl route, I could just pull it tight and staple it, then place frame around it. I was going to mount this with 6x6 post and paint them black as well. Then place landscaping to the sides of it. Thanks for the input and I will keep updating this with pictures of progression. It is a work in progress and supper happy with the container unit so far.
While I understand where you're going... For the initial cost and consideration of the ongoing maintenance, I would buy a Finished Edge Blackout Cloth Screen from Carl's or maybe one of the Flexi Finished Edge Screens. You could mount some eye hooks under the garage soffit to hang the top edge of the screen and some tent stakes with bungees in the ground for the bottom edge. If need be you could mount a 1" floor flange under the soffit to attach 1" EMT conduit to tension the sides with bungees.

A 200" Finished Edge Blackout Cloth screen from Carl's is less than $200. When you're done with the movie, the whole thing can be rolled up and stored in the garage; no bird poop, grass clippings, water damage, paint touch-up, or a target for kids to throw at. I doubt it would take more than twenty minuets to set up or tear down with the eye hooks and tent stakes left in place and you get a nice clean surface for viewing each time you use it. I think you'll easily spend more than $200 for for the wood, especially if you buy pressure treated or marine grade plywood.

Nice idea using the PVC to run the wires! Good luck with your project.

EDIT: I see Carl's has a 200" diagonal 16:9 FlexiGray Finished Edge Screen for $137.99 in the clearance section. http://www.carlofet.com/clearance-pr...l#.WKKGG28rLIU
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Last edited by b curry; 02-14-2017 at 07:30 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-16-2017, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizdum1 View Post
Now that the weather is getting a little better, I am getting ready to buy my lumber. Still needing some advice on the paint to use on this. I have seen there are special screen paints, but not seeing how this is rated for outdoor use. Also should I paint the screen black first, then white. Trying to understand how to get the best coating for the image. Will it reflect better if I paint it black first or should I go with a screen paint? And I am guessing flat paint.
Here's a link from the backyardtheater.com site where the poster shares the pro's/con's of a plywood screen and his experience over a 12 year time period.

http://backyardtheater.com/forums/in...ic,9080.0.html

Seems like some useful information...
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