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Projection on Wall (Paint) vs. Screen: What Are the Differences?

No matter how high-end your projector is, you won’t get to see its potential image quality without an ideal surface. This only shows the importance of the surface you project on.

What’s the best surface option for projected images? It’s either projector screens or projector wall paints.

If you’re deciding between the two, a question will arise. Which one is better?

Here, we’ll help you answer that question by comparing the screens with the paints. But at the end of the day, the best one depends on your needs and preferences. Still, it’s good to know what can offer what to determine if it’s the one you need or prefer.

So let the comparison battle of projector screen vs. projector wall begin.


setup a wall for projection

Of course, if you want to use a projector screen or paint, you first have to set it up.

Projector wall paint needs a lot more time and effort to set up. This is because it’s important to have a flat and smooth wall to avoid shadows in the images.

Even though walls seem flat and smooth, a closer look will show you a lot of tiny bumps and crevices. To get it to the required flatness and smoothness, you’ll have to sand it before applying the paint. The sanding process is what makes it long to set up.

Not only that, adding layers of projector wall paint also prolongs the process. If you’re familiar with painting, you know that you have to wait for the first layer to dry before adding a new one.

One more thing. If you want borders, you’ll have to put your own. It’s not a long process, but it’s an added task.

But painting can be a fun DIY project. If you’re up for that, then go ahead with projector walls.

Setting up a projector screen is easier. Just make sure you get the measurements right before anything else.

It’s easier and quicker because projector screens come with ready-to-mount manual and tools. If you follow the manual step-by-step, your screen will be up and ready in no time.

Another great thing about the projector screen setup is that it’s not permanent. You can transfer it to a different location if you want, unlike wall paints.

Go for projector screens if you don’t want to spend too much time during setup… Or if you plan on moving your screen from room to room.


office space

You should also consider room space. Do you have enough space for a projector screen or paint?

Since projector walls are just paint, it won’t take up any space. But you’ll have to move aside furniture and decor from that wall. You don’t want anything getting in the way of the images.

This can be a problem if your office or room is small. You might need to crowd furniture and other decors in a corner to get a bare wall for projecting images.

So though projector walls don’t take up any space, it might overcrowd one area of your room… which will then take up much space.

If you have a big office or room, it won’t matter if you have to rearrange furniture and items.

There are 3 space options for projector screens.

There are tripod projector screens. These screens take up a lot of space. It’s like adding another piece of furniture to the room.

Then, there are wall-mounted projector screens. These are similar to wall paint. You need to make a clearing for it.

The great thing about screens, though, is that you can roll it back up to its casing. If you seldom use it, you can place furniture or other items in the meantime. But that’s too much work because you’ll have to move it away again once you use your screen.

Finally, there are ceiling-mounted projector screens. When it comes to space, this is the best one.

It won’t take up any space as it’s mounted on the ceiling. You won’t have to move around furniture and all that because it doesn’t need to be against a wall.

You can hang your ceiling-mounted projector screen in the middle of the room! It won’t bother you in any way since you can roll it back up after using it.

Remember to always consider space when choosing between a projector screen or paint.


The quality of your projected image will depend on how much you invest in it. But, of course, you’ll need to stick to your budget.

It’s confusing to determine what’s cheaper if you look at the price alone. You’ll find very affordable projector screens and very expensive ones. The same is true for projector wall paints.

Instead of just looking at the price, you should consider its price value also. Let’s give an example.

You find a projector screen and projector wall paint that cost the same. Both are at the mid-range price. You’re getting better price value if you go with the paint instead of the screen.

The reason why is that the value of projector wall paint is much lower. So a projector wall priced at mid-range is already very high-quality. While a projector screen priced at mid-range is not the best.

Do you see what we mean? You’ll have to go for the expensive ones if you want to get the best quality projector screen.

So, in a way, projector walls are cheaper.


Whether you decide on projector screens or paints, you’re going to have a lot of features to choose from.

Some projector wall paints allow you to paint on any flat surface, including windows! This gives you unlimited options on where you want to project high-quality images.

Some other projector wall paints have processes that produce high black and white contrast. Still, other paints can provide an HD or 4K viewing experience.

There are even projector wall paints with their own primers. If your walls aren’t white, you don’t need to worry about adding a layer of primer first. These wall paints do the priming for you.

These are a few of the best features you can find with projector walls.

Projector screens also have many features. We’ll discuss the 3 main ones here.

There are high-reflective screens that reflect light at all angles. This means that no matter what angle you view the screen, or no matter how far you are, you can see clear images. The downside is that the colors will wash out if there’s a lot of ambient light.

Then there are the rigid screens. These are the black, gray, or matte screens. Instead of reflecting light, rigid screens absorb it. This makes it perfect for rooms that can’t control ambient light since it works great even with light.

Finally, the perforated screens have teeny-tiny holes in it. These holes allow sound to pass-through. If you want to mount your speakers behind the screen, then these are the ones you need.

Since there are so many features to both screens and paints, you can get overwhelmed with it all. A good rule of thumb is to decide already what features you need or want. It’ll then be easier to make a decision.


a couple watching movie with projector and projector screen in a room at night

It’s important to have a surface that can accommodate the max display of your projector. This is why size is yet another thing to consider.

A can of projector wall paint can usually cover one whole wall. Because of this, you can decide on the size. You can also go for any wall paint you want.

It’s not like that for projector screens, though. You have to get the right dimensions that’ll fit your projector’s display perfectly.

This is a big downside as you might not get the screen you want. For example, you want a perforated screen so you can mount your speakers behind.

However, you can’t find a perforated screen that fits the size or dimensions you need. You’ll have to choose another screen, which can be a bummer.

For projector screens, size is a big factor in determining what you get.


To summarize, projector screens:

  • Are easier to set up
  • Can be moved around
  • Takes up more space but there’s an option to wall or ceiling mount it
  • Has a higher value, meaning it costs more
  • Comes with 3 great screen features
  • Has fixed sizes

While projector walls:

  • Needs more time and effort to set up
  • Takes up zero space but rearranging might be necessary
  • Costs less in value
  • Comes with many great features
  • No size limit

Which is better? The answer to that all depends on your needs and what you’re looking for.

It’s good to know the difference between projector screens and projector walls. When you weigh in all the differences, you’ll know which one suits you the most… which one you’ll get for your projector.

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