DIY screen - not vinyl or canvas, what else? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-19-2001, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I took an hour or so at Home Depot and I found a few options:

• The afforementioned screens. They come in White, kind of yellowish off-white, red, and blue. Widths are 55" or 73" and you can't cut them because of the metal rod type thing that holds the vinyl. Looks like a cheap solution for someone who can use those widths.

• White tile board. Costs $10-15, comes in 8x6, very thin, pretty light, but certainly needs SOME sort of solid frame because it's a bit wobbly. Very clean, smooth finish in a sort of kinda glossy bright white. I bet it'd make a good screen! I'd like to try this with some sort of black trim around the edges.

• Melamine board. Basically 'mica' painted on. Very heavy, as it is painted on 3/4" particle board or pressboard.

• Mica sheets (for countertops). Very nice - bright white with a matte surface. No blemishes, pretty durable, but sheets are $40. Like the tileboard, it's flimsy and needs a frame. Better finish than the tileboard which can have some small blemishes.

I suppose, you could also get a sheet of plywood and adhere a plain white vinyl linoleum to it. No need for stretching, just glue and cut. Then trim it out and you're done. My only concern here would be that vinyl generally has a pretty deep pattern (even if its "random" stone look or something) it's never just a smooth finish when its designed for flooring, is it?

Looks like making a frame and then adding either tileboard or mica would be a great, prefinished option that you could always paint if you decided to change what god (or Home Depot) made it with. That leads me to making the frame! I thought of just cutting 4 pieces of 'cap' trim at 45º and setting the material in it... but those trim pieces are pretty flimsy themselves and really don't have much strength. I guess some 1x2's with a routered edge would look pretty good, with a rabbit or groove for the material, and painted black for a nice clean blacked-out edge.

I'm no woodworker, and I have no idea who I am going to bribe in my family to do this http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif I just want a very cheap but useable screen 68x38 that is light enough to hang or nail onto the wall without needing to add roman columns to the house http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-19-2001, 06:56 PM
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RandyL712:

I think many people have been very successul using plain old sheetrock painted with Sherwin-Williams Luminous white paint. It don't get much easier or cheaper than that.

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-20-2001, 05:58 AM
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after messing around thats what I did

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post #4 of 23 Old 02-21-2001, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, that must be pretty heavy! I want it to be FAIRLY light, hopefully I won't have to nail into a stud.

At this point, I'm seriously considering making a 2x4 simple frame and just adhering the mica/laminate countertop material to it. then cutting and adding some sort of black trim.

Are there any other ideas you all can think of? Light, cheap, and white! Again, the size I'm shooting for it around 68x38.

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post #5 of 23 Old 02-24-2001, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deane Johnson:
RandyL712:

I think many people have been very successul using plain old sheetrock painted with Sherwin-Williams Luminous white paint. It don't get much easier or cheaper than that.

Deane
Does anyone know what gain you get from the Luminous White paint?

I wonder if you could paint the Home Depot pull-down shade??
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-24-2001, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's my thoughts:

After playing with an LCD projector against my WOOD PANELING (still wood color) at around 65" width, I'm realizing that the quality of the screen at such a small image isn't as important. It's a very bright and useable image even against the wood (though I wouldn't LEAVE it like that of course) which makes me think that against any smooth white surface of this size I'll be pretty happy. Right now I'm leaning towards a very simple 2x4 wood frame with white tileboard or white laminate glued or nailed atop. I'll trim it with black moulding and hang it on the wall (it won't be very heavy, so two screws into studs should hold it just fine).

Has anyone does something similar, or different?

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-25-2001, 11:03 PM
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RandyL712:

Nobody's mentioned blackout fabric yet. There has been a lot of discussion in this forum about it's use as an inexpensive and quality DIY screen material (search "blackout"). To my eye, it is as good as any commercially produced 1.0 gain screen material. I got my fabric at a local Jo-Ann (about $3 per yd), 54 inch width. I built a wood frame 54" x 94" from 1x2 stock, stretched and stapled the fabric to it, masking the outside 3-4 inches with black fabric to get a 48 x 85.3 inch screen. The fabric stretches a bit, so you can make the frame 55 inches high if you want. The result is a perfectly flat screen that is very light.
The only screen upgrade I would consider is to go to a 1.3 gain Stewart screen (if I can only get a sample of the material). BTW: my projector is a Sony D50.


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post #8 of 23 Old 02-26-2001, 09:32 PM
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It depends a lot on what your projector is.

With a CRT, use white material. With an LCD, DLP or DILA, use matte gray with gray level adjusted to provide sufficient screen brightness. Consider 20 ft-lamberts to be a good target.

This should not be interpreted as saying a white screen and low output is equal to a gray screen and high output. Higher output is always better when ambient is present if contrast can be maintained.

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-27-2001, 04:22 PM
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I'm about to paint my DIY screen made of 1x2's and stretched blackout material. While experimenting with different shades of gray, how do I know if I've reached the 20 ft-lamberts mark? Do I need special measuring equipment?
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-27-2001, 05:18 PM
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I bought 3 yards of curtain blackout fabric from Joann's also.
$2.99 per yard and (6) pieces of 1x4 pine at Home Depot.
My frame will be 56x96 with a 52x92 screen.
The pine was less than $10 at Home Depot.
This 1x4 pine came 6 in a bundle.
The pine is painted flat black.

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post #11 of 23 Old 02-27-2001, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Did you buy it painted black? Or you painted it?

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post #12 of 23 Old 02-28-2001, 02:16 AM
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I painted the pine using flat black paint.

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post #13 of 23 Old 03-02-2001, 06:06 PM
 
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I am going to use the formica material for my screen.

I have a SONY CRT and I understand white will be best, I dont know or trust grey.

I have a DWIN hanging in a local A/V showroom and they have fixed fram perferated screen and up close it looks much like canvas. I though of using white canvas but, some artests cant even get what they need and paint over old pictures. Thats not gonna work real good for us AV NUTS.

I decided to use formica because of my experiance with it and its lightness.
I am problably going to use contact cement (like a counter top guy would) an laminate it to 1/2" MDF (medium density fiberboard) most high quality speakers are built of 3/4" MDF.
The screen will be a bit heavy but 1 person should be able to hang it, it will be 100% flat and it should look great!

MELAMEAN should work ok if you can get mate white. The slight grain or bumps should not really bother the image too much. A good projector w/ slight scan lines should be able to blend it all in nicely.

With the formica material you can clean it very easily and it will never YELLOW on you. This might be a slightly more expensive way to go but guess what, it still beats buying a DRAPER or STEWART or DAYLITE.

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post #14 of 23 Old 03-02-2001, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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It's not expensive at all - a sheet of MDF is dirt cheap and the formica laminate sheet isn't more than $40.

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post #15 of 23 Old 03-05-2001, 04:58 PM
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i did the fabric route. i built a 45 x 80 1 x 2 poplar frame and stretched white fabric over it. i put a center channel as a set of inwalls behind it that are the same as the inwalls for r and l. when the screen is stored the theatre is gone. i built a larger 4:3 frame and stretched black material over it and affixed the screen to the front of it. it basically blacks out the whole overfill from my dlp. problem is that the wood frame is slightly visible under the white. i should have painted it. i am thinking about buying a real screen to replace it but it works well for $40. if i could figure out how to post a picture i would put one up.

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post #16 of 23 Old 08-29-2001, 04:20 AM
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A friend of mine just built a 58"x104" sheetrock screen for me. My el cheapo Agfa camera won't take any decent pictures anymore so I'm waiting for a decent digital camera to take pictures with.
I'll post pictures of the screen once the new digital camera arrives.
I will be using Behr "ultra pure white" flat.

Thanks to <FONT COLOR="Red">Mark Torre</FONT c> for the idea!
http://www.armorform.com/page25.html

I think this is better and much more cost effective than any pull down or permanent mount screen.

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post #17 of 23 Old 08-29-2001, 07:40 AM
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I'm interested in your tile board idea. I saw it but worried about its glossiness causing hotspotting. The upside is it probably has a gain of 3-4 which will help dimmer projector. I read that besides above ideas one guy bought white insulation sheet of styrofoam in 4'X8'X1". This would be very white but not as durable due to its nature (you'd probably not move your screen much anyway). Let us know how the tileboard works out.

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post #18 of 23 Old 08-31-2001, 05:33 AM
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I got the Sony VPL-VW10HT about 2 months ago. I plan on getting a screen someday, but in the mean time made my own. There are a lot of threads on this forum with all kinds of great ideas. What I ended up with is a 4' X 7.1' (16:9) screen image with a 2" black boarder all around. I used the back side of some cheap ($6) Home Depot wood panneling, 4' X 8' in size. It is very smooth, lighter weight then drywall and not as 'flimsy' as formica. I painted it with Glidden interior flat white mixed with a little Glidden ultra flat black. The color I ended up with is darker the 'Snowfield' and lighter then 'Veil', it is close to 'Universal Gray'. I used a 'smooth surface' roller and applied 3 coats of paint. First coat was just the staight white, then a light gray, lastly a little darker gray. The image looks great, with better blacks and the whites are still clean and bright. I then made a frame of 1" X 2" pine (also from Home Depot). I wraped the pine tightly with black felt from JoAnn Fabrics. I stapled felt on back side of boards, then attached to wood pannel with screws from behind. I hung the screen to the wall using drop ceiling wire. It looks and works really good.

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post #19 of 23 Old 08-31-2001, 09:47 PM
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I have a tile board screen set up in my "test" area (really the guest bedroom). Its smooth even surface will produce a very sharp well defined image with good color reproduction. However it is way too reflective with a Sony W400Q projector with over 1250 hours on the lamp (not very bright), the picture looks good but you have to set off to the side of the screen or you get a very bad hot spot reflection. With my DLP projector (new bulb, bright image), whites are reflected so brightly that you have to squint. So I'm not recommending tile board for a HT screen. I plan to experiment with painted surfaces. I'm going to try jeepers idea of using the back of some paneling. I think I have some flat wall paint stored here somewhere that should be a good shade of gray.
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-01-2001, 12:22 PM
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i was thinking about using a flat sheet of white acrylic plastic, the kind used to business signs, or maybe a white piece of aluminum
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post #21 of 23 Old 09-01-2001, 08:21 PM
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I too tried the 4'X8' white, glossy tile board from Lowes for $9.95. I screwed a 1"X2"X8' pine board ($2) at the top edge of the tile board to keep it straight and prevent it from wobbling. I then screw in 2 hooks into ceiling and 2 into the pine board. This screen hangs from my 9 foot ceiling. My projector is a Sony VPL-CX1 (550 lumens) sitting on a shelf attached to the rear wall about 54" from the floor. I sit beneath this projector with my eyes about 40" from the floor on a couch. My room is too short (only 14 feet long) for coffee table mounting. My projector won't do ceiling or inverted mounting. This tile board gave a picture better than my white blackout screen, Bretford 1.1 gain retail screen, and my white duck cloth screen. Plus this surface is very easy to keep clean (if my kids soil it up I just wipe it with a wet rag) and much easier to mask (tape or velcro sticks a lot better) with black cloth. It also is smooooooth and doesn't wrinkle (or have waves for that matter) like the other screen. There is no hot spotting with this setup. If I stand up I can see the hotspotting but since my projector projects upward and I sit below the projector there was no hotspotting. I do have to unzoom for 4:3 sources but 16:9 or 2.35:1 sources look great. Thus, I would not discount this screen material provided you have similar set up as mine. If you ceiling mount or coffee table mount, too much light would reflect due to glossy surface and hotspotting is unavoidable. Think of this like a mirror and stay away from direct reflecting positions and you can avoid hot spotting. I rolled up my other screens, and they're in storage :-) For $12 this is very good for dim projectors.

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post #22 of 23 Old 09-03-2001, 01:09 AM
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Here's a picture of my sheetrock screen:

http://wsphotofews.excite.com/035/GU/ZL/pt/8Y51984.jpg

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[This message has been edited by pcdoctor (edited 09-03-2001).]
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post #23 of 23 Old 09-03-2001, 08:36 AM
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Update to my tileboard screen: I draped my blockout material over my tileboard screen to cover half of it stretching it tight over the board and made sure the seam is flat against the board (to minimize image distortion from one surface over the other). There was no question that the gain of the tileboard is higher than the blackout material regardless of cloth or vinyl side (vinyl side appeared to have slightly higher gain than the cloth side). The colors and whites were noticeably brighter and more saturated (whites were whiter, reds were more red, etc.)when compared next to each other. Blacks were same (I have LCD so it's kinda dark gray anyway :-)) I did the same test for my retail 1.1 gain Bretford screen and again the tileboard won for brightness and color saturation. Clarity and cripsness is same for all material. I tested the durability of the tileboard by writing permanent marker on it. It wiped right off with rubbing alcohol without any visible damage to the laminate (no haziness or scratches when viewed from an angle). I used some dry erase marker and it of course wiped right off. This could double as a dry erase board for my kids (heck for $12 I could always replace it if damaged). Some water color kids marker did leave a blue residue on the board but Softscrub (non-abrasive liquid cleaner with bleach) rubbed it right off without any visible damage. I'm tickled with this tile board. For masking I used black weed-control fabric (bought a 48" spool from Walmart) which can be used for my flower bed too :-). This will be cheaper than felt or velvet and still nonreflective flat black. I stuck it on the sides with double-sided carpet tape (my projector has fixed width). For vertical masking I stretch 2 pieces on top and bottom and clip it to the edge of the tile board with black paper clip (not the flat wire kind but the rectangular ones that look like clothes pin). This way it can be adjusted or removed for 2.35:1, 1.85:1, 1.78:1, or 4:3 material. It works great. Just be careful of hotspotting as mentioned above. Have fun, I have to go watch a movie now :-)

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