One question people are asking me more and more frequently is regarding soundproofing paint. Does soundproof paint actually work? Or at least help in soundproofing a wall or ceiling in your home?
Whether we live in a house or an apartment in the city, outside noise can be a really irritating situation that affects greatly the quality of our everyday life and night sleep. Soundproofing a house has been for years the number one solution in dealing with the problem of outside noise.
There are various techniques in the field of soundproofing, some of which are more effective and less costly than others. One such method, which has gained a lot of admirers throughout the last years includes the use of soundproof paint.
Does soundproof paint, however really work? Or is it a temporary solution that doesn’t deserve your money? Let’s have a closer look.
What is soundproof paint?
Soundproof paint, also known, as acoustic paint can be a good solution if you wish to control the amount of noise pollution that reaches the inside of your house.
This type of paint is actually a fast drying and water based viscoelastic compound with the ability to dampen vibrations and noises.
Soundproofing paint in 2019 is non-hazardous (MSDS Sheets) and suitable for both exterior and interior use. All you need to do is spray, roll or trowel it on surfaces, including the ceiling and the walls of your house.
Once dry, a protective film is created on the surfaces is both UV and water resistant; It also exhibits very low combustibility.
The paints used for soundproofing are eco-friendly, easy to use and capable of reducing sound considerably.
How is Sound Deadening Paint Different From Regular Paint?
Many of us wonder about the differences between regular paint and soundproof paint. Since we are afraid of any possible emissions of hazardous compounds to our house, it’s normal to question the quality of acoustic paint.
With that in mind, we should also, know that most of the soundproof paints, nowadays are made of vinyl acrylic, commonly known as Latex. These paints contain chains of polymers which act as binders to the water-based surface the paint creates.
Acoustic paint differs from regular paints in the sense of its insulation properties. The vinyl acrylic substance is specially made to provide both acoustic and thermal insulation on the surfaces it is applied.
Acoustic paint contains some specially made soundproofing fillers which increase a lot the paint’s noise absorbing properties. Those fillers are usually called ceramic microspheres.
Regular paint contains irregular fillers that most of the times do not flow exceptionally well together. Those fillers usually leave large gaps that deprive everyday paint of providing a solid surface, capable of absorbing noises.
On the other hand, ceramic spheres in sound dampening paint provide an increase in the uniformity. The absence of gaps also results, in better insulation and noise reduction effects; and also helps in reducing echo.
How does Soundproof Paint Work?
When you decide to soundproof your home with acoustic paint, you should have in mind that you don’t have to paint your whole house.
You can focus on critical rooms in your home that trap noise more easily than others.
For example, if your bedroom is beside a noisy roadway with heavy traffic, you should probably start with soundproofing that outside wall.
A common question most of us have in mind has to do with the way soundproof paint works. How does it protect our house against noise? The answer to this particular question is based on the thickness of the paint. We can all imagine that the thicker the material, the better the soundproofing result will be.
For this reason, we usually apply at least 3 layers of paint for optimum results. Soundproof paint is heavy bodied and the content in those spheres mentioned above, add to the sound absorbing result.
Acoustic paint actually works both ways. It will reduce the noise that comes into your house by absorbing parts of it and will also minimize the noise that wants to escape the room. Therefore, your neighbors will actually be rewarded by this painting situation, as well.
Most importantly, soundproof paint can protect your rooms from the irritating echo effect. The thick, soft surface it creates to your ceiling and walls, will prevent echo, by minimizing sound from bouncing and reflecting from wall to wall.
Does Soundproofing Paint Really Work?
Soundproof paint is capable of reducing sound of normal frequencies upwards of 30 percent. When we talk about normal frequencies or mid-range frequencies, we actually mean the noise made by people talking.
So, if you’re really bothered by your neighbor’s loud noise or shouting, soundproof paint can help you minimize that irritating noise. On the other hand, acoustic paint is not capable of helping you in effectively reducing the noise made from heavy traffic or loud barking dogs near your home.
A typical acoustic paint can reduce the transmission of sound through the walls and ceiling by 2-4 decibels per coat. Since the standard application is 3 coats of paint for each wall, the total amount of sound reduction can reach between 6-12 decibels.
Soundproof paint does work to some degree, this depends a lot on the types of noise you wish to block. It doesn’t help you fight sound of very high or low frequencies, but it can be a good and cheap solution for the mid-range frequencies you’re trying to block.
In case you are in need of better sound dampening, you could combine this method with another type of soundproofing. For example, if you live near an airport or near a high traffic road, you can spray your walls and ceiling with some soundproof paint and replace your existing windows and doors with double-glazed windows.
How Different Frequencies Affect Soundproofing?
The specific frequency of each sound will determine the effectiveness of these types of sound reducing paint. Bass and treble frequencies are affected a lot differently by the materials they come into contact with.
Harder surfaces have the tendency to bounce and then reflect sounds of mid-range frequencies, while softer surfaces tend to absorb them. Bass frequencies are not easily absorbed by soft materials and for this reason, they are more difficult to control.
Flat surfaces, like ceilings and walls, are also capable of resonating more with bass sounds. For this reason, they need more effective soundproofing compared to other surfaces, like furniture.
Where to Find Soundproof Paint
There are many available brands nowadays in the marketplace, especially in 2019, that provide high-quality soundproof paints for every taste and budget.
Acousti Coat (Amazon), SoundGuard (Company Website), and many other companies have a lot of sounds reducing paints of different colors and prices. You can find the soundproofing paint you wish to buy via the official sites of the companies or via online retailers, like Amazon.
Pricing for a gallon of soundproof paint ranges between $30-50, but the total amount depends a lot on the dimensions of the ceiling and the walls, as well as on the quality of the product.
Combining Sound Deadening Paint With Other Methods for Best Results
For you to reach the best results while soundproofing a room, you can easily combine sound deadening paint with other soundproofing methods. Heck, you can even use household items to sound proof a room inside your home.
If you’re not fully satisfied with the soundproofing results of simply painting the walls of a room, there are other options that can help. One option that I often use in soundproofing a bathroom wall is by adding a built-in shelf.
The built-in shelves do not only help block outside noise but it also does a great job of reducing the amount of echo inside a room. Usually, I would add towels inside an open shelf in a bathroom to absorb echo. A living room, however, loading the shelves with thick heavy books will do wonders in blocking noise coming from the other side of the wall.
Now that the walls are covered it’s now time to work on soundproofing the windows. There are different ways to go about soundproofing a window but the two most popular and effective ways to get it done is by installing soundproof curtains and sealing around the window.
Soundproof curtains are an effective soundproofing solution and one that will not break the bank. You can buy a good quality set of curtains for under $50 from Amazon. Here is a list of the top soundproof curtains on the market today!
The second method to soundproof a window is by caulking around the window seal with Green Glue Noise Proofing Sealant. This type of sealant is made specifically for noise reduction and is only going to set you back by $20.
These soundproofing methods will surely help you soundproof a room once you’re done applying the third layer of soundproof paint.
Naturally, there are multiple approaches which you can combine with soundproof paint. Some methods are certainly easier than others and won’t require as much time and money.
Soundproofing your house can be vital if you wish to live a more quiet and peaceful life. Unfortunately, there are so many different types of noises that can affect our everyday life, nowadays. From ordinary sounds, like shouting or barking, to more intensive ones, like outside traffic or even aircraft noise, there are so many different sources of noise we need to block.
Blocking each category of noise, based on its frequency and wavelength can be a complicated matter. Each frequency requires its own soundproof method. That doesn’t mean that the use of another method will be disappointing, but it signifies that it will be certainly less effective.
Soundproof paint is the best choice for mid-ranged sounds and can reduce noise up to 30 percent. However, you will most definitely need to apply at least 3 layers of acoustic paint to your walls and ceiling to achieve the best results.
If you wish to soundproof your house against other noises, of higher frequencies, for example, the noise made by a plane that flies nearby, you will have to invest more money to other more powerful solutions, like the use of double-glazed windows and doors.
Renovating your house to make it quieter can be a tiresome experience, particularly if you wish to take an active part in this effort. However, it’s an effort that will definitely be worth it. After all, silence is gold!