I have a Panasonic PT-AE8000U and the standard recommendation for that projector is a layer of Silver Matte Milliskin under a layer of White Matte Milliskin. I ordered both from Spandex World.
Now, the conventional wisdom is that if you order 4 yards or less of spandex from Spandex World and do it online, then they'll ship it to you in a box. A box that will wrinkle the fabric. I didn't want to deal with wrinkles, but I couldn't seem to find a time to call them. They have standard business hours on the East Coast and I'm in AZ so that three hour difference was killing me.
I eventually just ordered online but I did two things in an attempt to convince them to ship it on a roll. First, I ordered 4.5 yards of each rather than the needed 4 yards. I figured that the extra $9 would be money well spent if I got it on a roll. Second, I added a note to the order roughly like so:
"Please ship the spandex on a roll. If the shipping cost is extra for a roll, then please call me and I'll authorize the extra shipping charge! This is very important to me!!"
I can imagine the puzzled looks on the packagers there wondering just what could be so important about a few yards of spandex, but maybe something in all that worked, because they did ship it on a roll!
Here's what the two colors look like together:
Yeah, it's pretty startling. The white almost looks luminescent even in person, compared to the muted silver. And yes, that's matte white.
The spandex is 13'-6" long, which is plenty to cover my 10' wide screen, but only 60" high. That meant that in order to stretch it over my 68" high screen plus 2-1/2" on each side would require the spandex to stretch a full 12", or 20% of its height.
I decided to staple the spandex to the frame rather than use something like screen tight, if for no other reason than no local HD or Lowes carries it. Plus staples are cheaper and I have an upholstery stapler.
For the stapling pattern, I went off of a few YouTube videos I found on building a canvas frame. The idea is to alternate staples in a top-bottom / side-side pattern.
It starts with the top and bottom center staples:
I'll admit that I was very worried at this point at those very defined creases due to the stretching. I hoped that they would erase themselves when I stretched in the other direction.
Sure enough, after the initial side staples, the first set of creases went away:
I then kept following that pattern, where I'd put a couple staples on the bottom; then a couple on top; then on each side. The staples were spaced roughly 3" to 4" apart, but I didn't measure.
I also followed the advice to pull the fabric slightly to the right (or left) in order to take out any slack as I went. This is as opposed to just pulling straight down. I found that I needed to stretch the fabric more and more as I got to the ends.
I was worried about the corners so prior to making the screen, I made a few acoustical panels to practice my corners on. I used the same canvas frame tutorials on how to do that.
It turns out that I needed have bothered. The extreme stretchy nature of spandex makes doing corners completely and utterly different than using fabric that doesn't really stretch. For spandex, you sort of just stretch it around the corner and staple it in place fairly roughly.
In practice, I found that I had stretched the spandex too much as I went and ended up with lots of bunching in each corner:
Only one of the corners worked like expected. The other three all had minor to massive amounts of bunching that couldn't be easily smoothed out:
I didn't want to have to take out most of the staples to fix it, so I took a nuclear option -- I just started pulling the spandex in tiny little increments just to smooth out a very small part of a wrinkle and then stapled it in place. And then did it again. And again. And again. I spit staples at it as fast as I could pull the trigger.
It worked. The corners were nice and smooth.
But the sides were an unholy mess as a result:
That's actually the better side. Anyway, you can see how massively some of the spandex is stretched in my zeal to get everything smooth. I didn't want to leave it like that, especially as a first layer.
So what I did was put a layer of staples up higher, maybe 3/4" from the top of the frame, and froze the spandex in place that way. That meant that all of the lower staples were no longer load bearing. That "allowed" me to laboriously track down each of those staples and pop them out. I say "laboriously" because those staples didn't want to come out. I ended up using a combination of a pair of dikes plus a knife and mostly cut them out of there.
In the end, the massively stretched out parts were eased, so it looked fine and wasn't taking up so much bunched up space. I don't have a picture of that, though.
I learned some lessons from that first layer and one of the main ones is that I didn't want to follow a pattern designed for non-stretchable fabric if I'm using very stretchy fabric!
So for the white (visible) layer, I tried to put it on with a little foresight:
I started by just tacking the spandex in place on the two sides with one staple each and then leaving the sides until the end! Instead, I concentrated on a stapling pattern along the length of the frame, on the top and bottom.
I also made a conscious effort to not pull the spandex more than absolutely needed.
It worked! The corners were trivial and there was plenty of slack on the ends to leisurely staple the very very lightly stretched spandex into place.
And here's what it looks like hanging up:
I did have one big concern when looking from behind...
Yeah, that's a distinct moire pattern from the extreme stretching I had to do for the silver layer. I was really hoping that the lessened stretching I did with the white layer, plus the combination of the two layers, would mitigate that problem.
Thankfully yes, it did end up not being a problem at all. Whew! I cannot see any pattern at all in the spandex from the front, even if I examine the screen up close while an image is projected.