Best Surfaces for Projectors (Walls, Curtains & More)

A projector is incomparable for a cinematic experience if you care about viewing your video content in the greatest quality possible, which you probably already know. A fantastic projector, however, is only one component of a multi-element projection system, since the screen you display makes a huge difference.

Some people choose to forgo a suitable projection screen entirely after purchasing a top-of-the-line projector. Image quality suffers noticeably when projected onto a wall or a plain white surface. The use of a surface not meant for projection, in particular, has a negative impact on image contrast, resolution, and color reproduction.

A projector gives you a lot of freedom in how you arrange your space, which is one of its big advantages. Not even a dedicated screen needs to be projected upon. I have got you covered if you’re wondering what you can use for a projection screen. Which would be most effective?

Family watching sports on a white wall projection

Do projectors work on black walls?

Yes, you may project an image or video onto a black wall using a projector as long as there is no ambient light and the projection is done in complete darkness.

When using a projector, a black wall works best if the room is completely darkened. This causes the projector’s image to appear considerably brighter than usual on the black wall, which serves as your projector’s “canvas.”

See Also: Best Projector Screens for Dark Rooms

Do projectors work on grey walls?

Yes, projectors do function on grey walls and can enhance the viewing experience. Grey walls, unlike white ones, do not fully reflect the projector’s light. They won’t reflect light, but will instead absorb some of it.

As a result, spaces with ambient light sources will require less concern. Grey walls typically provide better viewing angles because the gain is not quite as high. More light is absorbed by grey surfaces, increasing the contrast between lighter and darker parts. White regions will also be impacted, but black areas will appear more prominent.

Do projectors work on mirrors?

Yes, mirrors do work well with projectors. Some projectors can flip the image such that it seems accurate when reflected off a mirror. Therefore, you might experience image reversal. The closer you are to the screen, the larger a mirror you will require due to the beam’s divergence.

A projector can use concave mirrors of the appropriate shape. The size of the produced picture increases with decreasing the distance between the mirror and the object.

Do projectors work on textured walls?

Yes, projectors can be used on textured walls; however, any unevenness will distort the image. The perceived contrast of the lower-powered projectors is improved by textured walls. Thus, there is no valid reason not to project onto a smooth, textured wall. A 4 to a 6-inch black border will significantly help, and grey paint will likely help much more.

See Also: Types of Projector Screens

Do projectors work on glass?

Yes, a projector can operate through the glass. While this is not the ideal way for projection, projecting via glass decreases noise interference when projecting from one room into another.

Glass can be both thick and thin, although thicker glass performs better. If you prefer thin glasses to thick ones, you can use sheet glass instead of float glass. The projected image may appear close with sheet glass. So, float glass is preferable in this situation.

Different types of glasses can be used for this purpose, but optical glass is suggested. In reality, it makes the image appear brighter and better while providing a clear image. Although this glass is more expensive than float glass, it is still worth it, given how well it affects image quality and the ability to produce crystal clear images.

You will need a film for a transparent glass, since the glass has a high transmittance and allows light from the projector to easily pass through it.

Do projectors work on curtains?

Yes, projectors can operate on curtains, particularly, when using painted projection screens or when not focusing on the specifics of fixed or moveable screens. It is a curtain that will act as a backdrop for your projector and is made of a white sheet, white canvas, curtain backing, or, ideally, blackout fabric.

Your curtain screen can be suspended in several ways, but a clothesline is the simplest and most practical. Considering how simple it is to put up, it works well for both indoor and outdoor viewing. The measurement of your throw distance needs to be accurate to the very last inch.

You only need a premium blackout fabric to construct a curtain screen. These panels can then be laid flat to a clothesline and secured in place with a clothespin. Simply check to make sure it won’t have any folds or creases when put, as this will impede your seeing.

See Also: Best Projector Screens for Daylight Viewing

Do projectors work on black screens?

A projector can project pictures or videos onto black screens if it is used in complete darkness or an environment with no artificial light. Considering that black is noted to reflect little to no illumination, using black screens can be the best option because they offer better clarity and color, don’t illuminate the room, and can be used in the daytime.

Additionally, due to the contrast between a black and white screen, you are much more likely to enjoy vibrant colors on a black screen.


Since glass surfaces are so challenging, a projected picture won’t be reflected on them. Internal reflections and scattering should be avoided when projecting through the glass because they will reduce the image’s contrast, sharpness, and brightness. Remember that using the proper glass will ensure the greatest outcome.

As you can see, you can use a projection surface on grey or black walls.

However, you need to take into account:

• The ambient lighting in the space where you watch

• The lumen output of your projector

• The dimensions of the screen and the projector’s distance

• The gain for your wall

To acquire the best image quality for your needs, experiment with different combinations of these elements. You will undoubtedly find a combination that works for you using the tools and resources now available.

As a result, give the aspects that have already been covered in this article some thought before selecting any projection surfaces. It will aid you in making a wise decision.