Using Projector Without Screen – Projector Screen vs Wall

People may wonder, can they use a projector without a screen? Is the projector screen necessary? Does the projector screen make a difference from another screen? I spent some time researching this topic, and  I believe I have some understandable answers for you to understand the fact. Can you use a projector without a screen? Yes! But using a projector with no screen will reduce the quality of the viewable picture.

Projection Choices: Screen vs. Wall

Projection Choices Screen vs. Wall

Projector screens have a special coating on them that is different than the other walls. The coating helps us see the screen better. Therefore, an image projected onto a wall will not be as bright as it would appear on a screen. The wall should be completely white.

The normal white wall will provide a good surface for an image to be projected, but there are some downsides. A wall does not mirror a light near beside a projector screen. The exterior of a wall is also not as smooth as you would think. Get close to the wall, and you will see what I mean.

This article will go comprehensively on why you shouldn’t use a projector with no screen. I will also spell out what we need to be done to a wall if you decide to use it over a typical projector screen from the market. Let not be depressed by what I say to you!

If you don’t want to purchase or use a projector screen, you don’t have to do it. You are mature enough, and you can make your own decisions by yourself; I want you to be enlightened of some issues that you make a new experience for watching. Now let’s get it from this!

Projector Screen vs Wall – Can You Use a Projector Without a Screen? 

What is a Projector Screen

Here so many reasons that using a projector with no screen isn’t ideal for this part.

  1. The color of the wall and how it reflects it is.
  2. The uneven texture of walls.

The color of the wall reflects the properties of the screen

Projector screens have an unusual coating that improves theirs reflect the properties of the screen. A regular wall will not have this unusual coating. Therefore, a picture projected onto the wall will not be close to less shine as it would happen on a screen. In general, the color of a wall would also need to be entirely white.

A white object will be more reflective than any other color. It’s a scientific theory that a darker wall will not mirror the projector’s light enough to provide a clear picture.

If the screen drowns out the light, you won’t see the details in the image. So if the wall isn’t plain white, you would need to renew it to gain the best results of the screen.

The Appearance of the Wall:

The rough exterior of a wall will probably cause problems with the projected picture. A wall may seem flat and smooth, but most walls are not as smooth as they seem at the initial glimpse.

Being run your hand covering the area. You will suitable feel defects such as small lumps and crannies. These small defects will cause tiny shadows to appear on the projected image. This situation will cause the picture to be less bright and crumbly overall.

If you have a low-budget projector with a low-quality picture, these defects won’t impact the picture. But if you have a charge in a high-quality projector, then the small imperfections profoundly impact the picture quality. A projector screen produces an ultra-smooth and highly contemplative exterior that a regular wall cannot compete with this screen.

How to Use a Wall as a Screen Projector:

Blank Wall

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not ideal to use a projector with no screen. So if you want to select a wall to use slightly of a projector screen, then this can do few things to increase the quality of the image projected.

1. Smoothen The Wall as Much as Possible:

You want the wall to be as flat and with the as little exterior as viable.  As I mentioned, small lumps and clefts on the wall will induce miniature darknesses to seem.

First, you will need to turn off the lights and use a torch or project a picture onto the wall if you have a projector already. This screen will help distinguish any problem zones. Use a pencil or something else to identify these areas correctly.

Once these areas are marked, scour or a power sander to flatten the wall. You will need to stand and draw the wall multiple times to get the wall smoother as early as possible. A smooth wall is the symbol of a happy wall!

2. Draw the wall: 

The finest solution for using a projector on a wall is to draw the wall with a projector screen paint. It is not 100% necessary, but it admits the wall to showcase the light more effectively. This type of design is that it’s not low-budget.

quart of screen paint (on Amazon) values about half the projector screen in the market. This type of screen paint is one of the more economical options out where.

302 Reviews
Ultra HD Premium Screen Paint (Quart)
  • Up to 50% bright than a painted white wall
  • Anti-glare sheen for maximum brightness with no reflection or hot spot
  • Works great with 4K & HD Projectors
  • Acrylic latex paint water based paint for safe and quick application and clean up.
  • Can be rolled or sprayed on any smooth surface, covers 40 SQ FT screen with 2 coats. (Use white latex primer prior to application if needed)

My preference is to design the area with typical white dye or manual first. After grinding, readdressing, etc., you can put in a thinner coat of the screen paint than the same zone. If you only have a gallon of color, then 1 or 2 thinner tunics over a regular white paint or manual is a great option if you are in a low-cost situation.

full gallon of high-quality screen paint (on Amazon) will value about the same as one of my favorite projector screens in the market, the Silver Ticket 100″ Fixed Frame Projector Screen (on Amazon).

6,381 Reviews
Silver Ticket Products STR Series 6 Piece Home Theater Fixed Frame 4K / 8K Ultra HD, HDTV, HDR &...
  • Wall Mounted Fixed Frame Projection Screen (Overall Size 53.75" Tall x 91.875" Wide) (Viewing Area 100" Diagonal x 49" Tall x 87.125" Wide) No option for Legs or Stands with this product. Recommended for projectors with Native 16:9 Resolution
  • 1.1 Gain White screen surface with an exceptionally wide viewing angle at 160 degrees with no resolution loss at any viewing angle. Works great with Long, Short and Ultra Short Throw projectors.
  • 2 3/8" heavy duty beveled aluminum frame wrapped in light-absorbing black velvet material for a beautifully crisp viewing image; Enjoy beautiful movies, pictures, and games in FULL HD, 4K / 8K and Active 3D
  • Quick and easy assembly with tensioning rod system ensures that you can bring cinema-quality entertainment to your home in just a few minutes. Secure top and bottom mounting brackets that allow horizontal adjustment
  • Before purchasing, project an image on wall to determine the size works for the projector and watch the step by step instructional video listed.

The finest solution is to use multiple shells of screen paint, but you will probably need more than a quart to do so. Most of the time, you will use white screen paint; however, if your projector has a very high lumen count (around 3,500), consider using gray.

Securing 3,500 lumens onto a white screen will feel a bit blinding. The screen would reflect an immense amount of light directly at your eyeballs. But most of the time, plain white screen paint is the best option. You don’t have to paint the wall with specific screen paint, but it is a great addition.

3. Create a Frame Around the Projected Image:

A frame is an important addition to any screen! After having a prominently border around the screen helps the spectator focus on the higher quality Picture. This screen is essential than you think, I promise! Almost all market screens have a black outline around the projection area because it boosts the picture grade.

It gives a clear starting and finishes it to where the picture is estimated. The frame typically helps the eye maintain center on what is being exhibited and not where the screen’s border is fixed.

Some people, including myself, fight with concentrating on super minor details of the screen. Small things like the border of a projector’s picture will be pretty diverting. The frame also intensifies the difference between the wall and the picture.

To easily build a frame, firstly, set up your projector in the perfect location. Then display a full picture onto the wall and use a pencil to trace around the entire projected picture.

After marking the area, use black velvet tape to outline the place. If you want the frame, look even greater, build a wooden frame to size. I would recommend wrapping each piece of the wooden frame in a thin black carpet. So this is what we did, and it looks magnificent!


You don’t have to do these specific things to use a projector with no screen. You can mark any projector onto any wall. Nobody will stop you, but if you are compact OCD, these shortages may get disturbing as time passes.

With that said, if you still select to use a projector with no screen, then I highly recommend doing the three things described above. Smoothen that wall, draw it, smoothen it some more, draw it again, etc. Then place a nice jet black frame around the estimated area. These things will make a detectable difference, I promise!

But in reality, the projector screens aren’t that costly. After buying the screen draw and materials for the border, you spend the time prepping everything. Is it worth it to do all this work when you could purchase a prebuilt projector screen? In my opinion, no, not really!

There are many fair-priced projector screens on the market, although you don’t need a special one if you were wondering. Check out our website and read the details so that you can find your favorite choices. If you want the cheapest option possible, I suggest buying the projector screen material and building a customized frame.

This screen is the finest solution for cost reduction, but that is just my judgment. But if you have the extra budget or cash, then definitely purchase a fixed frame projector screen and save yourself a certain time and effort for this.

If you’re focused on using a projector screen in a living room, then check out my article. It has honestly been a wonderful experience, and I encourage you to try it if possible!

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

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Last update on 2023-12-07

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