You’ve probably heard about soundproofing paint and all the hype attached to it.
As a beginner, you’re probably wondering whether acoustic paint really works, how it does, and how effective the soundproof paint is.
Well, soundproofing paint (also known as sound deadening paint, acousti paint, acousti coat soundproofing paint, and sound dampening paint) does exist.
However, this product works in doesn’t soundproof but instead works similarly as soundproofing wallpapers or acoustic foam panels.
Through this guide, read on how this acoustic paint works, what it’s made of, and some great alternatives.
What is Soundproofing Paint Made of?
Unlike your regular paint, sound deadening paint is a water-based paint.
It’s quite thick thanks to the combination of sound-absorbing fillers and ceramic microspheres contributing to its noise reduction capabilities.
The fillers comprise of thermacels- microscopic vacuum-sealed cells.
Does Soundproofing Paint Work?
Soundproofing paint doesn’t soundproof.
Instead, it’s a good sound absorber, just like acoustic foam and wallpapers, among other sound-absorbing materials.
If it does absorb sound, why does it not qualify as a soundproofing material?
The concept is simple- soundproofing involves eliminating unwanted soundwaves from source to the listener. (Source)
But here is what this acoustic paint does.
It absorbs echoes, reverbs, and some range of medium-high frequency sound waves.
Echoes result from sound waves bouncing off the surface of the walls or ceilings.
Painting two layers of acoustic paint will help absorb the echoes and reverbs but will not block low-frequency noise, bass, and some high-frequency sounds from leaking to other rooms in the house.
By absorbing echoes and reverbs, you end up with an acoustically treated home theater, office, dorm room, gaming rooms, or recording studio.
The main power of the sound dampening paint comes from the thermacels.
They act like a sponge dipped in water.
Sound waves are absorbed when they hit the painted walls.
I would like to mention that while this paint does help deal with some medium frequency noise, it won’t be effective in blocking bass sounds, or other sounds such as:
- Traffic noise.
- Loud stereo/ television
- Barking dog- read my guide on how to soundproof a dog crate.
- It won’t soundproof a drum room but will improve the acoustic audio quality.
What Is the Best Soundproofing Paint?
A perfect example of sound-absorbing paint is the Acousti Sound Deadening Paint.
According to the manufacturer, this paint can deal with medium frequency sounds by up to 30%.
Applying this sound deadening paint is quite different than your regular wall paint.
While you will need a brush, roller brush, there are several factors that you should be aware of in this case.
Because it’s quite thick, it doesn’t spread well like ordinary paint.
A single gallon covers approximately 100sqft of a single coat.
With this in mind, you can calculate the amount you need, given that it takes two to three coats for the paint to work effectively.
Because it’s thick, the paint will take much longer to dry- typically 16 hours or more before it’s dry to touch.
It’s recommended to wait for a minimum of 32 hours before you can apply the second coat.
Painting acoustic paint should be done in the summer. At this time the temperatures are high to facilitate quick drying.
If done in the winter, it could take much longer to dry between coats.
It’s important to note that because of the thermacels, the paint won’t have smooth final touch- but instead will have an abrasive feel.
Materials that Complement Soundproofing Paint
There are several sound-deadening materials that can significantly help boost noise reduction with soundproofing paint.
As the name suggests, acoustic sealants create a seal hence preventing noise transfers.
A perfect example is green glue acoustic sealant used to seal cracks and gaps on walls or seal to help block impact noise.
Green glue noise proofing product is easy to apply using regular caulking material.
The sealant fits into any quartsized caulking gun.
It’s applied to the joints and edges between walls, ceilings, and floor for maximum performance.
The best part is that green glue can be painted once dry, allowing you to add several coats of acoustic paint.
Green glue stays viscoelastic, facilitating its effectiveness in impact noise soundproofing by converting sound waves into negligible amounts of heat.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass-loaded vinyl is an easy-to-use acoustic sound barrier that offers effective soundproofing for various soundproofing applications.
It can be used for basement ceiling soundproofing, soundproofing air vents, walls, and pipes.
You can use this soundproofing material to soundproof your apartment door by simply hanging it directly on the wall.
While mass-loaded vinyl can be hung directly over the walls, it gives the best performance when sandwiched between layers of drywall.
Sandwiching also gives you an aesthetic option; since the product is usually black, it isn’t the most aesthetically appealing.
If traffic or noise from your neighbor’s yard is giving your sleepless nights, then soundproofing windows can help you ease the situation.
Using a combination of weatherstrip tape and soundproofing curtains can significantly help reduce the amount of noise leaking through the windows.
Unlike regular curtains, sound dampening curtains are made of thick and dense material.
This helps reduce noise and help block harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.
While the effectiveness of household items in reducing noise can’t be compared to the effectiveness you get with materials like drywall or MLV.
But they still help reduce some considerable amounts.
For example, if you’re sharing a wall with a neighbor who’s constantly playing bass music, moving stacked heavy furniture like bookshelves or portable closets against the shared wall can, to some extent, ease the wall vibrations.
Check out my previous article on how you can use household items to soundproof a door.
Soundproof drywall is rather what I would refer to as soundproof paint on steroids.
This product is 100 times better than soundproof paint.
For best sound reduction results, simply sandwich green glue or mass-loaded vinyl between the layers of the drywall boards.
One of my most recommended drywall brands is the Quietrock drywall sheets.
Final thoughts on Acoustic Paint
As I’ve already indicated, soundproofing paint is an effective product in eliminating echoes and reverbs.
For something that genuinely soundproofs, then you’re better with drywall, mass-loaded vinyl, and acoustic sealants such as green glue.
For improving the audio quality in a room, acoustic paint, or acoustic foam panels will get the job done cheaply.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.