After an exhausting day at work, you have come home wishing only for sound sleep and some quiet time to yourself.
However, once you are home, you find that you have to bear the arguments unfolding in your neighbor’s apartment through their rather loud voices.
Oh, and your baby is a light sleeper and keeps waking up in the middle of the night because of constant murmurs or conversations?
If this has indeed happened often enough, then soundproof paint for your walls might just be the thing for you!
but be aware – while painting your drywall and ceilings with sound-deadening paint is one good way that can absorb some noise, it’s not the best option out there to completely soundproof your room.
Plus, the available varieties of soundproof paints are not very cheap, and if you don’t apply them right or choose a low-quality product, it can damage the overall look of your walls permanently.
So, before you decide to put them on your walls or ceilings, why not consider getting some more information to know how it works and whether it can really work for you? Or if it is just another marketing gimmick?
Let’s find out…
What is a Soundproofing Paint?
Soundproof paint (also known as acoustic paint, sound-dampening paint, or sound-deadening paint) is a thick water-based paint that comes with the ability to absorb sound.
Usually, the paint can block the sound waves of a lower to medium frequency (like conversational noise in your next room).
The good thing which I like about soundproof paint is its easy application.
This means it is easily interchangeable with ordinary paint and can be used on surfaces you can paint with ordinary paint.
This also means you do not have to worry about cleaning and stripping the walls. As long as the surface is in good condition, it is perfectly okay to paint it over, even if it’s painted with regular paint.
The only drawback is that with noise-dampening paints, you might not be able to get a huge range of colors like that of ordinary paints.
It’s mostly available in lighter shades and tones, so you do not have the choice of a darker color.
What is acoustic paint made of?
Soundproof paint has a much thicker density than other ordinary wall paints.
The reason for its thickness is the presence of “Sound-absorbing fillers,” which are the main component for blocking the sound from outside.
In addition to that, it contains ceramic microspheres, which add to the density of the paint.
Inside the Sound-absorbing fillers are the “Thermacels” which are packed with vacuum, and soft pigments of paint and Latex are its main component.
Because of its composition, it adds a little mass to the walls, so you should expect to see your walls painted with a thick material/paint.
How does the sound-absorbing paint work?
As mentioned before, soundproof paint gets the ability to block sound from outside because of its “thermacels” the operation is similar to that of a car’s suspension system.
In general, sound-reducing paint can reduce noise at two different levels.
- Firstly, it will reduce the noise from outside sources.
- Secondly, it will reduce the sound level within the room, for example, echo.
The thermacels inside the soundproof paint are the real agents that help to avoid the bouncing of sound waves, which create the echo.
It helps by stopping the sound energy from being transferred outside, as when the sound waves hit it, it absorbs them and prevents them from spreading out.
In this way, it helps to eliminate the echo inside your room.
What are The Benefits of Using Soundproof Paint?
Although not always, but soundproof paint can be very useful in some situations and for blocking certain kinds of noises.
It might not be able to convert your room or house into a completely silent area (Duh!), still it can help lower the issues to some extent.
What follows are the few benefits of using soundproof paints on your existing ceilings and walls.
Check them out to decide whether they can actually work for you or not!
1. Reduces the Echo by Absorbing Sound
This is the main purpose why most people try this kind of paint on their walls and ceilings.
This property can significantly help if your sleep is easily disturbed by the murmuring voices at night, maybe because of late-night conversations by the people next door which can also disturb if your baby is a light sleeper and gets woken up easily by the noise.
Not just that, but in situations where you have to focus on your projects in the office and your colleagues, are a bit talkative, a room with sound-absorbing paint will help you focus on your work without getting distracted.
2. Creates a Thick Thermal Insulation Sheet
Soundproofing paint can also work in creating a thermal insulation thicker sheet to prevent heat energy transfer.
It’s been quoted by several users that there was a major change in temperature between a room painted with thick soundproof paint and the other painted with ordinary paint.
The good thing is if there are some specific spots that need soundproofing in addition to heat insulation, you can identify those spots and use the paint for those spots, using the proper shades and colors.
This also means you can use this paint only on the walls you want to repaint, and you do not have to use it all over your house if you currently cannot afford it or do not have the time to paint them.
3. Environment-friendly, Easy Cleanup and Affordable
As previously discussed, soundproof paint is mostly water based and the cells are filled with vacuum and soft pigments.
This means it is environment-friendly and will cause no harm, as it contains no toxic materials.
Being water-based most soundproof paints available on the market can easily be cleaned and would not create a lot of mess – you can clean it up by simply using water and soap.
Coming to the price range, if you are someone who is looking to save some money, sound-deadening paints are cheaper compared to other soundproofing methods like panels or insulation sheets. Most of them do not cost more than 30$ a gallon.
Saving time is also prioritized by many, and for soundproof paint, you can literally apply and complete the project on a weekend.
Get the paint, paint the wall, and ta-da!! There you have the soundproofing complete!!
How to Apply Soundproof Deadening Paint Correctly?
Drywall creates an airtight, insulated extra layer sealed to form a solid barrier for incoming sound.
However, for better performance and enhanced efficacy, you can apply a coat of noise-absorbing paint either through a roller, a paintbrush, or via a spray paint technique (that speeds up the process).
No matter what way you apply the sound barrier paint, just take care of the few things below:
1. Coats and layers
To achieve the best results, one of the most important things is to apply at least 2-3 layers of soundproof paint on all the walls in a house to create a silencing environment.
And the easiest method to get this job done is by using a roller. It would help in painting your room faster than using a brush or spray.
2. Surfaces to apply the paint
This paint is usually meant for interior walls, and it will have minimal effects when put on exterior walls.
But you can also apply it to the acoustic ceilings of your room if you think it’s more vulnerable to up-floor noise (or low to middle-frequency sounds).
Sound insulation paint can also be applied to wood panels and metal surfaces like doors and window frames.
An important step, however, would be to cover up any large holes which are vulnerable to producing more noise.
Then apply the soundproof paint in the right quantity. Since you need to apply thick layers, make sure you buy enough paint to spread it out on all the desired areas and the walls.
3. Proper temperature and pressure sprays
It is also to be noted that water-based soundproof paint will take around 16-24 hours to dry, before which you can apply subsequent coats. This is a bit longer than ordinary paint.
Remember that soundproof paint, when dried, creates a surface that is not too even and smooth like ordinary paint because of the presence of thermacels in it. Thus it has an abrasive effect.
Therefore, you should avoid touching the paint until it is totally dried up.
Another important instruction is to keep the temperature of the room higher to help the paint dry quickly – low temperatures will make the drying process a lot slower.
Using a pressure sprayer (for larger surfaces) is also one of the best techniques, along with using a roller. But you have to be careful with using a sprayer, as it can spread the paint to the ceiling while covering the walls, and you might not want that.
So, Does a Paint Really Work to Soundproof Your Walls and Room?
If you have problems finding a peaceful environment inside your room because of conversational noises outside, soundproofing paint like Sherwin William’s sound-absorbing paint might be able to solve your problems.
People for whom I have used it before claimed that it helped them in reducing conversational noise to a huge extent.
Also, it has been easy to use, as it can be used like regular paints, though it is a bit thicker than that.
That said, expecting a miraculously soundless and silent room from just the use of soundproof paint, I guess, is a little unreasonable.
I hate to say it, but paints like noise-reducing Sherwin William’s and Acousti Coat might not work for high-frequency sounds.
For example, noise blocker paint will prove to be a failure if you are using it to get rid of the sound of a barking dog or a crying kid. It will also not successfully reduce the sound of a TV, loud music, railways, or heavy roadside traffic from outside.
Soundproof paint will also not solve your problem if you are disturbed by someone playing the drums or electric guitar next door, or if you are disturbed by the sound of heavy steps or by someone using a hammer on the walls next door.
If you plan to purchase, sound-deadening paints can be bought at online stores like Amazon, eBay, and many others. However, since not all of them are effective, compare the brands and pick the right one that is reliable and can help get the job done.
Other Soundproofing Methods You Can Combine for Getting Better Results
Good acoustic insulators (such as soft cloths, pliable wood, porous materials, etc.) can absorb the sound best.
However, hard and dense materials like (metal, marble, etc.) can reflect the sound most.
So, if you have different surfaces like these in your room installed, there are different techniques you can combine with a soundproof painted wall to stop the sound from echoing and traveling…
1- Use of proper furniture
Completely blocking the sound from entering your room might be impossible. But by using enough furniture and soundproofing materials (that can absorb the sound), you can reduce the traveling of sound to some extent.
For example, use a huge sofa on one of your walls and some extra furniture items (like tables, chairs, and wall cabinets) in your room to stop the bouncing of sound waves.
You can even use a bookshelf on one wall (along with room dividers and blankets) to create a stronger sheet that prevents the noise from entering very easily.
2- Carpets and rugs
If the sound is coming from upstairs through the footsteps of people, you can use thick carpets and rugs.
A huge variety of soundproof rug pads, mats, and washable carpets are now available online at stores like Amazon, eBay, and many others – buy and place them in your room to get extra soundproofing.
One of the most influential and cheapest ways I tried was by hanging the decorative rug, quilt, blanket, or tapestry on one of the room’s walls – it’s also pleasing to the eyes.
3- Covering windows and doors
Your regular glass windows and doors in the room are also responsible for noise disturbance.
A thick noise-controlling curtain would be helpful in covering and creating a shield against incoming disturbing sounds from outside.
These can be a bit more expensive than ordinary curtains but are worth trying for insulating sound.
4- Covering up holes and gaps in the wall
Green glue is a soundproofing substance that can be used to cover up any holes in the walls or ceiling before applying soundproof paint.
Many people suggest that dark paint can help reduce noise, but it’s just a myth.
As the dark paint creates an environment of a quieter place by making it look small and intimate, in reality, it is as prone to noise and sound waves as a room painted with any other color.
5- Using acoustic sheets, panels, and tiles for the walls
Another idea to achieve the desired soundproofing results is to use soundproof panels for the walls and then use paint over them.
Acoustic ceiling tiles, installed on ceilings, also serve great for soundproofing and improve the acoustics of a space.
Remember, if you plan to use acoustic foams and not the panels, leave them unpainted. Painting these soundproofing foams can clog up their pores, making them less effective or nearly worthless.
Expecting the soundproof paint to solve your problems permanently might be a little preposterous, but it can certainly solve some of your noise problems.
This means if your neighbors complain about the noise coming from your house, you don’t have to waste a lot of money buying and installing expensive equipment (like foam panels).
You can simply apply 2-3 coats of noise-reducing paint to your walls and get the job done.
However, if you have more money to invest and noise is a huge problem for you, you might want to invest in something more practical. It can either be soundproof panels, acoustic tiles, or other insulating materials.
No matter what you use, I wish you good luck with soundproofing your home!
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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