Soundproof paint is an excellent complement for other soundproofing solutions and products, such as sound-deadening foam panels.
They work well for sound dampening, especially for faint noises. However, they won’t be enough on their own.
If you’re looking to coat your walls and ceilings with this kind of wall paint, check out our guide to find out everything you need to know about soundproofing paint!
The Truth About Soundproof Paint
Before we dive deeper, we need to dispel any myths you may have heard from others. Soundproof paint is not a magical solution or substitute for other soundproofing methods.
Soundproof paint is a soundproofing solution you can use to complement other soundproofing methods.
You cannot expect it to give you effective sound protection on its own, so you will need to use other things, such as foam, to reduce noise at multiple frequencies.
Acoustic paint will work for you if you fall under any of:
- You are a light sleeper and can easily be woken up by faint background noise from your neighbor’s TV or speakers
- Your baby is a light sleeper who frequently gets woken up by low-level noise
- Your neighbor is easily disturbed by your conversations
Do not expect soundproofing acoustic paint to work against:
- Noisy pets, such as a barking dog
- Nearby traffic
- Crying baby or child
- Loud music or TV
- Drums and other instruments
- Impact vibrations, such as running or jumping
What Acoustic Paint Looks Like
When you first see what’s in a container of sound deadening paint, it may look odd.
Sound dampening paint is extremely thick and can even appear chunky. Don’t worry, that’s normal with acoustic paint.
Expect that when you apply sound dampening paint on your walls, it will leave streaks or texture.
This is excellent if your walls have cracks and other imperfections, as each layer can plug up those empty spaces and conceal the flaws of your walls.
To make soundproof paint work, keep in mind that it’s best at mid-level frequencies, but not for loud, low or high-level noise frequencies, like a neighbor playing the bass guitar.
You can apply soundproofing paint on any surface that you can use regular paint on, such as furniture, walls, and ceilings. This means they can work to complement your regular paint products.
For example, you can choose to use normal paint on 3 walls, while using soundproofing paint on one wall beside the source of background noise, such as the one beside your neighbor’s apartment.
Each gallon can cover 1 layer of about 100 square feet, which makes soundproofing paint a great value purchase.
What Is in Soundproof Paint?
Compared to regular paint, soundproof paint is much thicker and more effective in dampening noise.
These sound-absorbing fillers are made of thermals, which are basically vacuum-sealed cells that are filled with soft pigment.
Its key ingredient includes latex, which acts as a non-toxic and fast-drying component while also providing acoustic paint its sound-absorbing qualities.
How Does Soundproof Paint Work?
Soundproof paint only works to reduce or deaden mid-frequency noises that are faint, such as regular talking coming from an adjacent room.
It will not work to reduce loud noises, such as barking dogs. Make sure to keep that in mind if you’re a pet owner.
As with other soundproofing methods, the effectiveness of soundproofing paint will depend on the thickness and number of layers you will apply to your home.
The minimum amount of product you should apply is 3 layers of this water-based paint.
If you recall, we mentioned that sound deadening paint has latex in it.
It works similarly to rubber materials that are used in any other soundproofing project by absorbing noise and also acting as thermal insulation for your walls.
The soft pigment that is inside the acoustic paint’s theremacells acts as your car suspension.
Every time a sound wave hits these cells, they wobble and absorb the energy so that less will go through it and transfer into your walls.
Can I Substitute Sound Dampening Paint With Normal Wall Paints?
Unfortunately, you can’t.
Some myths that some people believe are that using regular or dark paint could help with sound deadening, but that is just false.
Remember that what makes soundproofing paint work is how thick the acoustic coat is.
While regular dark paint could give you the illusion of a smaller and quieter space, it doesn’t actually work as acoustic paint.
You simply cannot soundproof a room with regular paint.
It can never be thick enough to give you the sound-absorbing qualities you need that will actually work to help with your noise problems.
Advantages of Soundproof Paint
Aside from the apparent advantage of sound deadening paint, there are a few advantages it has over regular paint.
Worthy Long-Term Investment
While standard paint is cheaper and has a thinner consistency that makes it easier to manage, there are downsides to it you may not realize.
Its consistency will make it crack faster and earlier. It changes colors after a while, so your white walls may seem yellow soon.
So while you think you may save money by buying paint that costs $15 per gallon, you’re actually better off investing in soundproofing paint that costs $30 per gallon instead.
This is even more apparent when you consider that some regular paint brands can cost up to $100 per gallon.
Darker and more saturated colors cost extra because of all the pigment that goes into them. The type of finish you are going for will also affect its price.
Because rubber is used as one material in acoustic paint, it can help improve thermal insulation in your home.
While you shouldn’t expect soundproof paint to the only solution to your insulation problems, this is a welcome bonus.
So when considering whether spring for soundproofing paint, don’t just consider the extra cost.
Remember this comes with a lot of benefits that will actually end up costing you less in the long-run.
Disadvantages of Soundproof Paint
While we have discussed how soundproofing paint works, we would do you a disservice if we didn’t mention their disadvantages.
Willing to Spend That Money?
First, you already know by now that they cost more than average types of paint. So if you are on a tight budget, this thing may not be a good fit for you.
They also only work when used with other soundproofing products in your house, like wall panels or carpets. So if you’re really looking to sound proof your room or house, equip it with some of those others as well.
This can quickly add up to the cost of your renovation or soundproofing, so make allowances in your budget for other noise reduction solutions.
Looks and Ease of Application
Second, its thickness and density, while being the source of its soundproofing properties, makes it more difficult to apply. It will not spread as much, nor as easily as normal room paint.
Using a hopper spray gun to add on multiple coats of soundproof paint will make this process easier.
For those who are concerned about aesthetics, we have some bad news. Sound-absorbing paint comes in very limited colors, so you won’t get a lot of options if you want your room or ceiling to look a certain way.
It leaves streaks and texture on your walls that may not be suitable for everyone.
Last, if you are living somewhere temporarily, such as a rented apartment or someone else’s house, soundproof paint may be too permanent a solution for you.
A temporary soundproofing product, such as wall panels, room dividers, and more, is more economical for your needs.
Helpful Tips for Applying Soundproofing Paint
Because of the density and thickness of paint, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when doing your walls’ paint work.
- Buy enough. As we’ve mentioned, sound-dampening paint does not spread very well. Each gallon can only cover about 100 square feet of your walls with one layer. Since you need at least 3 layers for the paint to make any difference with the noise in your room, buy enough.
- Full coverage is key. When you apply the paint, do not leave some gaps or areas bare. This will render the paint ineffective. So cover every inch of your wall to effectively reduce noise.
- Use a pressure sprayer. While you can use rollers and other standard equipment to apply this paint, we recommend using a pressure sprayer to evenly coat your wall with this noise reducing paint. It will be faster, less tiring, and more consistent this way.
- Be patient. Its thickness and composition mean that it will take longer for this kind of paint to dry and set. It will take over 16 hours for it to be dry enough to touch. Wait at least 32 hours before you can apply another coat.
- Room temperature helps. Apply the paint when it’s warm, as this will help speed up the drying process.
- Add multiple layers. We’ve mentioned this again and again. The thickness of the paint on your walls will directly impact how well it will reduce some unwanted noise, so apply at least 3 layers, though in this case, more is better.
- Expect the texture. As we’ve said, this paint dries with streaks and a textured or even abrasive feel. So don’t expect it to look smooth and shiny afterward. A solution to this will be to cover it up with a curtain or other layer of material on your wall. This will not only cover up the imperfections but also add to the overall noise reduction.
How to Maximize Your Soundproof Paint
This paint really only works if you complement it with other soundproofing techniques and materials. Here are some tips to get you started.
Sound waves will travel all around your room if there’s nothing to disrupt their path or break them up. Mass will block sound.
So, be strategic about where you put your furniture around the room as this will affect your acoustics.
For example, a full bookshelf or sofa against the wall that you share with your neighbor will help create a mass barrier to block out sounds that can go through the wall.
If you don’t have furniture that you can move around or want a more concentrated soundproofing solution, you can go out and get some panels or foam that will add mass to your wall and help absorb noise.
You can then cover them with your acousti coat to make them even more effective.
Much of the sound that you will hear and transmit will pass through your doors and windows.
I’ve woken up many times because of sounds being carried in through the small gap in the window or door frame.
This is even more likely if you live in a building where there are multiple units on the same floor or your unit is near the elevator.
Weather stripping can help seal up the gaps in your windows and door frames to prevent this from happening.
Combined with a thick pair of soundproofing curtains, you will immediately see a big difference in the noise level in your space.
Alternatives to Soundproof Paint
If you’re not convinced that soundproof paint is the most suitable material for you, that’s perfectly fine!
There are many materials and techniques you can use for sound reduction, and they all do their job to reduce unwanted noise from going in and out of your room.
Just remember that you cannot achieve true soundproofing without spending a lot of money and doing a lot of construction.
Even if you use many foam layers, curtains, blankets, and dividers, and spray multiple coats of soundproof paint, it will all just reduce the sound waves that bounce around in your room.
The absolute best way to completely soundproof your walls is to do everything to separate your drywall from the house frame.
You can replace the material in your insulation behind the drywall with soundproof insulation.
These materials and techniques separate true sound proofing from mere sound reduction.
Regardless of the thickness of your other items, there simply is no way you can cut corners if you want true soundproofing to do its job in your room, studio, or house.
Use similar methods for your ceilings, as well. Just note that soundproofing paint will not work against impact noise on your ceilings, so changing the insulation is really the best solution for that.
Final Thoughts on Soundproofing Paint
In this guide, we have given you everything you need to know about soundproof paint and some other solutions you can opt to use for your home studio or workplace.
The right combination of solutions will largely depend on your budget, time, and needs. Take the time to research and figure out what’s best for you.
Whether you are a professional musician who needs a fully decked-out soundproof studio for recording and rehearsing, or you are someone who works from home and just needs a quiet workspace for meetings and productive sessions, soundproof paint is something you should consider.
We hope this article has helped clear some things up and made it easier for you to find the best sound proofing solutions for you.
If you’re looking for the best materials to help you start soundproofing, make sure to check out our Complete Guide to Sound Absorbing Materials.