Smarter Surfaces is an innovative company whose sole mission is to transform your walls into functional areas of your home or office. They make a range of products, from functional adhesives to whiteboard and magnetic paints. The commonality of everything in their product line is that they give your walls a new life and purpose beyond just sitting in the background.
We were of course intrigued by their projector paint, and curious whether it would really live up to its promise. After all, you can project an image onto any surface—so what makes this paint different from any other white paint on the market, and does it really give you a picture quality on par with a stand-alone screen?
The paint came with everything you need to apply it, including a can of primer and a paint roller, which was a nice touch that made it easy to get started. Just pop open the lid, give the paint a little stir, and you’re ready to go. You won’t need the primer if you already have white walls in your home, but it comes in handy for covering over other paint colors, or if you’re planning to make a DIY screen out of found materials.
The roller felt a bit cheap when I took it out of the box, so I was pleasantly surprised by how well it functioned. The paint went on in a smooth, even layer that didn’t take long to apply, and dried as smooth as it went on.
Texture is important when it comes to a projector screen. Remember that every change in the surface will be incorporated into the image projected onto it. Smarter Surfaces recommends sanding the wall down before you paint it for the best results. This is a necessary step if your existing wall paint has a lot of texture, but it will still improve the image quality over a standard white paint even if you skip this step.
Applying the paint was a very quick process overall—about 5 hours start to finish for two coats, including drying time. As you can see below, there’s no visible difference between the smarter surfaces paint and a standard white paint until you project an image onto it. The paint above the line is regular wall paint, and below is the smarter surfaces projector screen, but you probably wouldn’t have known that unless you’re told:
This is great if you want your projector screen area to blend in with the rest of the wall when you’re not using it. It can make it a bit tricky to properly align the projector image on the screen, however. If you’re not concerned with the screen blending it, you may want to mark the corners, especially if you’ll be using a portable rather than an installed projector.
You aren’t limited to walls with this paint, either. You can apply the projector paint to any smooth surface. Untreated surfaces will need a layer of the primer first. The overall coverage is impressive, even on non-white surfaces. This piece of cardboard has one coat each of primer and paint on it, and it’s ready to go as a projector screen.
The big question, of course, is whether you really get a better image from this paint than you would from a plain white wall. In that sense, Smart Projector Paint Pro hits it out of the park. It reflects much more light than standard white paint, and give you a higher color accuracy and contrast. The image is on-par with high-end white projector screens, as you’ll see if you watch it in action:
- Lets you completely customize your screen size
- Easy and quick to apply
- Works as well on untreated surfaces as it does on walls
- Completely blends in with white walls once dry
- Ideal for businesses and organizations that need lots of screen space
- No hotspots
- Can be used with interactive projectors
- Can be difficult to find where you’ve painted your screen
- A bit pricey for a DIY product
Is it worth the money?
Smarter Surfaces touts their projector paint as a cheaper alternative to a traditional screen. This is true by area. A single 750ml can of Smart Projector Paint Pro can give you up to 65 square feet of screen area with two coats and costs $111 per can on Amazon.
If you’re only painting an area the size of a standard home projector screen, the paint will end up being about the same cost (if not more expensive) than buying a screen. Where it really gives great savings is for corporate or educational use, since you can cover a lot more area for less.
Even if it’s not more affordable for you, this paint is a fun and functional way to put a projector screen anywhere in your home. With a quick and easy application, it’s a definite win in our book, with a lot of potential for a variety of DIY projects.