Projector screens are magical surfaces that come to life when a projector shines light. They are like unique canvases that show movies, presentations, and pictures to a big group. Have you ever wondered what these screens are made of?

Tension projector screens, fiberglass, textiles, various paints, and other materials can all be used to make projector screens. Even some type-to-type crossover is possible. So let’s examine some of the most popular ones as well as the most effective ones.

What Are Projector Screens Made Of?

But what exactly is this screen made of? How does it capture and reflect light perfectly, giving us a larger-than-life experience? This article will unravel the materials and technology that bring your favorite movies and presentations to life.  

Common Projector Screens Materials

Common Projector Screens Materials

Different types and materials are used to make projector screens, each with unique qualities and advantages. Let’s examine some of the typical components utilized to make these appealing screens in detail:

Tensioned Projector Screens

These screens have a specially made framework that maintains a taut and flat screen surface. This gets rid of creases and guarantees a flawless and smooth projection. High-definition and 3D materials look their best on tensioned displays, which provide a clear and colorful viewing experience.

Fiberglass Screens

Fiberglass Screens

Screens made of fiberglass are renowned for their longevity and resistance to creases and wrinkling. They offer a shiny, reflective surface that improves the brightness and clarity of the image. These screens are frequently used outdoors and in locations with challenging environmental conditions.

Textile Screens

The fabric-like texture of textile screens offers a pleasant, authentic appearance. They work well for portable setups since they are adaptable and simple to fold and transport. For events and presentations, textile screens are frequently used.

Paint Variants

Some projector screens are made by painting specific surfaces or walls with appropriate paint. These paints have a smooth projection surface and are made to reflect light equally. They offer an affordable way to convert unused spaces into locations for projection.

High-Gain Screens

A brighter image is produced by high-gain screens because they are designed to reflect more light to the viewer. They work well in settings with controlled lighting and call for a high brightness level. They may have a smaller viewing angle.

The video below will help you understand the differences between the options and make an informed decision.

Selecting the Ideal Screen Material

The choice of screen material is crucial to a projector screen’s performance. Different scenarios demand different properties, and manufacturers carefully consider these factors during material selection.

1. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC screens are widely used due to their cost-effectiveness and versatility. They offer a smooth surface that works well for general applications, making them suitable for various settings, from home theaters to conference rooms.

2. Woven Screens

Woven screens are designed to deliver exceptional image quality. The intricate weaving pattern of these screens minimizes light diffusion, resulting in sharp and vibrant images that captivate the audience.

3. Acoustic Materials

Acoustic Materials

Acoustic screens are carefully designed for places that value top-notch sound quality and impressive visuals. These screens are a favorite, where having speakers behind the screen is essential.

The unique thing about them is that they allow sound to pass through without affecting the picture on the screen. This makes them a fantastic choice when creating an audibly and visually excellent setup.

4. Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) Screens

ALR screens are like problem solvers for bright rooms. When light from different angles tries to mess with your projection, ALR screens come to the rescue.

They have a unique surface that cleverly reflects only the light coming straight from the projector while pushing away unwanted light from the sides.

This superpower ensures your images stay sharp and colorful even when using the projector in a well-lit space.

Advancements in Screen Technology

The evolution of projector screen technology has led to innovative features that enhance the viewing experience.

1. White vs. Gray Screens

Although white screens are still a common choice, gray displays have become increasingly prominent because of their enhanced contrast and black levels, which produce more detailed and dynamic visuals.

I’ve included a comparison Youtube video of gray and white screens here to make it easier for you to benefit.

2. Micro-Perforation

Micro-perforated screens offer superior visual and aural performance. These screens are perfect for installations with speakers behind the screen to give a completely immersive experience since tiny holes in the screen allow sound to travel through.

3. 3D and HD Projection

Projector screens have evolved to meet the needs for modern content, such as 3D and high-definition projections. These displays enhance the watching experience with depth and realism and enthrall viewers with realistic images.

Choosing the Right Color Screen: Exploring Your Options

Choosing the Right Color Screen

Making the right choice for your projector screen’s color is important since it can significantly impact how you view it. The screen’s color greatly influences the projected image’s appearance, affecting other elements, including contrast, brightness, and overall visual quality.

Here, we examine the qualities of matt white, gray, and black, three typical screen colors.

1. Matt White

Due to their adaptability and capacity for precise color reproduction, matte white screens are a popular option. These screens uniformly reflect light in all directions, producing an even, well-balanced image. Matt white panels offer consistent brightness and clarity, making them ideal for controlled ambient lighting settings.


  • Accurate color representation
  • Even light diffusion
  • Suitable for controlled lighting conditions


  • It may not perform optimally in rooms with high ambient light

2. Grey

Gray screens

Gray screens are designed to enhance contrast and black levels, resulting in improved image depth and detail. The slight color shift towards gray helps reduce the perception of black levels, creating a more immersive visual experience. Gray screens are ideal for setups where ambient light is a consideration, as they help maintain image quality in moderately lit rooms.


  • Enhanced contrast and black levels
  • Reduced perception of black crush
  • Suitable for moderate ambient lighting


  • A slight color shift may affect color accuracy

3. Black

Black screens are a specialized choice that is less common due to their unique characteristics. These screens are designed to absorb ambient light and enhance contrast even further. Black screens are often used in professional settings with paramount image quality, such as high-end home theaters and dedicated screening rooms.


  • Exceptional contrast and black levels
  • Minimal light reflection
  • Ideal for dedicated, controlled environments


  • Limited availability and higher cost
  • This can result in reduced overall brightness

Selecting the Optimal Projector Screen Material for DIY Screens

Selecting the Optimal Projector Screen Material for DIY Screens

When crafting a do-it-yourself (DIY) projector screen, the choice of screen material is a pivotal consideration that directly impacts the final display quality. Certain materials are particularly well-suited for DIY projector screens among the various options available due to their attributes and affordability.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

As mentioned above, PVC is a widely regarded material for DIY projector screens due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of acquisition. This thermoplastic polymer possesses inherent properties that make it an appealing choice.

Offers a smooth, uniform surface that readily accepts projected images, allowing for adequate light reflection and diffusion. The material’s malleability facilitates construction and affords flexibility regarding screen size.

You can leverage various discussions on this AVS Forum I provided to extract valuable insights and benefits from different perspectives.

Blackout Cloth

Blackout Cloth

Blackout cloth is another favored choice for DIY projector screens. Composed of a polyester weave with a vinyl layer, blackout cloth excels in light absorption, ensuring minimal light reflection and, consequently, enhanced image contrast.

Its matte surface diffuses light uniformly, contributing to a satisfying viewing experience. The material’s texture aids in reducing potential hotspots, promoting consistent image quality across the screen.


Spandex has become an unconventional yet practical option for DIY projector screens. The stretchable nature of spandex allows for easy tensioning, resulting in a wrinkle-free surface ideal for image projection.

Its inherent elasticity ensures a smooth canvas without creases, while its light-diffusing properties contribute to an even display. Spandex screens are particularly suitable for setups where portability and flexibility are vital considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use any wall as a projector screen?

Remember that the surface’s color and texture can affect image quality. A dedicated screen is designed for optimal projection.

2. Are projector screens only for home theaters?

Not at all! Projector screens are used in various settings, including classrooms, boardrooms, events, and outdoor gatherings.

3. Can I use a projector screen with natural light in the room?

Yes, but for the best results, consider screens with higher gain or ambient light rejecting (ALR) capabilities.

4. Are motorized screens challenging to install?

Not really. Most motorized screens come with user-friendly installation instructions, and many can be mounted on the ceiling or wall.

5. How do curved screens enhance the viewing experience?

Curved screens mimic the curvature of the human eye, providing a more immersive and lifelike visual experience.


Projector screens are crafted from various materials to suit different needs, from traditional white screens to advanced options like micro-perforated screens for immersive sound and screens optimized for 3D and HD projections. I’ve explained each material in detail in this article, clarifying all the options; the choice ultimately depends on you.



Fernando Shrader

Hey, It’s me, Fernando Shrader. I’m the creator of this website. You might wonder why I’ve created this blog and what’s the difference between Visual Finds and other online blogs. As a professional technician working for the last 8 years with projectors, I though this is the right time to share what I’ve learned in this journey with an online audience so they can see what I’m doing and how they can solve their problems! Happy Learning!