Soundproofing is something that has become a lot more popular in recent years.
With the rise of technological equipment, and speakers now being common in most homes, people are growing more desperate to block out the noise made by their neighbors. There are lots of different methods which you can use to soundproof your home.
Many traditional methods have worked for a long time, and there are also lots of newer methods too. One of the most notable being soundproof paint.
Soundproof paint has gained a lot of fans throughout the years since it was first invented, but it is an option that a lot of people still have not used.
Some people have stayed away because they are unsure whether this method could actually work. If you are one of these people, then you are in the right place.
In this guide, we’re taking a deep dive into soundproof paint to identify if it does actually work, and look at all the facts surrounding it. So with no further ado, let’s jump in.
What is Soundproof Paint?
First things first, let’s establish exactly what soundproof paint is. Soundproof paint is a formula of paint that is designed to block out noise. For this reason, it is sometimes known as acoustic paint, and it is excellent at blocking out noise pollution.
Generally, soundproofing paint will be incredibly fast-drying, and it will come with a water-based viscoelastic compound as one of its main components. This component is what gives the paint the ability to block out noise and vibrations.
In 2019, soundproofing paint became non-hazardous, making it perfectly safe for use in your home.
Prior to this, it was only suitable for exterior use, but this change in the formula made it safe to use soundproof paint inside your home. So, all you have to do to apply this paint is use a brush, roller, or trowel to apply it to your walls, and ceiling if you wish.
After the paint dries, it will then be soundproof. This is because a protective film forms on the surface of the paint. This film protects the paint from both water and UV rays, ensuring that nothing will damage this paint’s ability to be soundproof.
You might worry that soundproof paint would be bad for the environment. After all, it contains ingredients that regular paint does not.
However, it actually isn’t. In fact, the majority of soundproofing paints are actually very eco-friendly.
On top of this, they are also very easy to use and effective. So, it is clear why they have become so popular. But what makes soundproofing paint so different from regular paint? Let’s take a look.
What is the Difference between Soundproof Paint and Regular Paint?
You might be reading this and wondering what makes soundproof paint so special.
After all, it can’t be that different from regular paint, surely? Well, it actually is. As we mentioned earlier, soundproof paint has an additional ingredient in it, which is why it can work as a soundproofing method.
One of the most notable things about soundproof paints is that they are made solely using vinyl acrylic as a base.
This material is more commonly known as latex. This material is used as latex paints containing chains of polymers that bind together. It is this binding that ensures the soundproof paint cannot be penetrated by water.
But this isn’t the sole reason for the usage of acrylic paint. Latex paints also help the acoustic properties of the paint.
This is because acrylic paint can provide both acoustic and thermal insulation once it has dried, and this is what will prevent noise from penetrating your walls.
Additionally, soundproofing paint generally also includes fillers to help improve its ability to block noise. These fillers are usually ceramic microspheres, and they also improve the soundproofing ability of the paint.
Now, you might expect regular paint to differ from soundproofing paint because it doesn’t include fillers.
This isn’t the case. Regular paint also includes fillers, but they are a different type of filler to the ones found in soundproofing paint. Generally, the fillers in regular paint do not form chains, like the fillers in soundproofing paint.
So, regular paint does not form one solid surface once dry, whereas soundproofing paint does. The fact that the paint forms one solid surface also contributes to its ability to block out noise.
So, there is not one single difference between regular paint and soundproofing paint.
Instead, there are lots of differences, and it is these differences that give soundproofing paint the ability to block noise, echoes, and vibrations. But, how does soundproofing paint work, exactly? Keep on reading to find out.
How Does it Work?
We’ve spoken about the different properties that make soundproofing paint able to soundproof, but we haven’t taken a look at exactly how they work. So, let’s do that.
When you hear soundproofing paint mentioned, you might take this to mean that you have to paint every surface of your house in order for it to work. But this isn’t the case.
There’s no need to worry as you do not have to do this, instead, you can simply focus on critical areas of your home that are leaving noise in.
This does mean that you will have to first identify the areas of your home that are leaking noise.
These rooms will generally be the ones that are in ‘noisy areas’, for example, if your living room is right off a busy main road. So, when you begin soundproofing, you should start by painting the outside walls closest to that busy road.
But this doesn’t explain how soundproofing paint works, so let’s take a look at that. Soundproofing paint works because of all the properties that we mentioned earlier.
But its effectiveness is determined by the thickness of the paint that you apply to your walls/ceilings. For this reason, it usually takes a couple of coats before your soundproofing paint is completely effective. We would recommend at least 3 coats.
Something that you might not have considered regarding soundproofing paint is the fact that it works both ways.
So, when you apply soundproofing paint, you won’t only be blocking noise from outside your home penetrating the walls, but you will also be limiting the amount of noise that escapes your home.
For this reason, soundproofing paint can really improve the acoustics of your home. This is why a lot of people use this paint without even needing to block noise from outside their homes.
From what we’ve said so far, it is clear that soundproofing paint has the potential to be very good, but does it actually work? Let’s investigate.
But does it really Work?
So far, this might have seemed like a love letter to soundproofing paint, and it pretty much has been. We’ve highlighted that it has the potential to be very good, but does this actually translate when you put the paint into practice?
In our experience, yes, soundproofing paint really does work! No soundproofing method is ever going to be completely effective, but soundproofing paint gives it a really good go.
This paint alone can reduce normal sound frequencies by up to 30%. In normal percentage terms, this does not seem like a very high level, but in soundproofing terms, this is very good.
A 30% reduction means that the amount of noise that is removed will cover the noise produced by people speaking. So, if you are looking to soundproof because of noisy neighbors who enjoy shouting and screaming, then this will definitely dampen that noise.
But, if you want to soundproof a room that backs onto a busy road, then soundproofing paint alone will not be enough.
If you were to use this paint along with other soundproofing methods, such as soundproofing panels and blinds, then it probably would be effective. But alone, the soundproofing paint will not be able to remove enough noise made by the road.
However, in most cases, people look to soundproof because the insulation between their home and their neighbor is insufficient, or because of noisy animals in the area.
If you are looking to soundproof for either of these reasons, then soundproofing paint alone will be more than enough to do the job.
Where to Buy Soundproof Paint
If you were looking for a soundproofing solution for your home, then there is a chance that this guide will have sold you on giving soundproofing paint a go.
If that is the case, you might now be wondering where on Earth you can find soundproofing paint that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. So, here’s some information to help you.
Soundproofing paint is actually pretty widely available. For this reason, you can do it in lots of different places, from hardware stores to online retailers like Amazon, there are lots of places where you can buy this type of paint.
As soundproofing paint has developed, it has started to be produced in lots of different colors.
This is perfect as it means you can choose a paint to match your interior, rather than having to buy soundproofing paint, and then a regular paint to go on top.
You can find lots of these different options on online retailers, like Amazon, so if you want to buy soundproofing paint, this is a good place to begin.
When you begin looking to buy soundproofing paint, you might be taken aback by the cost of it.
Soundproofing paint is more expensive than regular paint, and you can expect to spend upwards of $50 for a gallon of a good-quality brand. But the effectiveness of this paint ensures that it is definitely worth the cost to buy it.
Before you buy, it is best to decide which walls that you are going to use it on, and measure them up. This will allow you to work out the exact amount of paint that you need so that none will go to waste, and your purchase will be cost-effective.
Do Frequencies affect Soundproof Paint?
If you are reading about soundproofing paint, then there is a good chance that you already have a knowledge of sound frequencies and how they affect soundproofing. But, just in case, let’s take a quick look at how frequencies affect soundproofing paint.
As we mentioned earlier, the specific frequency of sounds will impact how effective your soundproofing paint will be. Like we mentioned earlier, soundproofing paint can effectively muffle the noise of shouting and barking, but it will not be effective on-road noise.
This is because bass and treble frequencies are easily affected by the surfaces that they come into contact with.
Harder surfaces in your home will bounce noise around. This is why conveniently placing furniture is one way to soundproof your home (as it will disrupt the bounce points for these vibrations).
Softer surfaces will absorb noises, but harder surfaces will not. This is why soundproofing paint was created, as it can be directly applied to problem areas like your ceilings and the walls.
So yes, frequencies do affect soundproofing paint, but not in the way that you might expect. You might have expected frequencies to impact the effectiveness of soundproofing paint, but this isn’t the case.
Instead, soundproofing paint was designed with frequencies in mind. As we have said, hard surfaces need more effective soundproofing methods, and someone saw the opportunity to create a paint that can do this and went for it.
But, we’ve mentioned multiple times throughout this that soundproofing paint isn’t always effective on its own. So, to wrap this up, let’s take a look at some other soundproofing methods that you might choose to use alongside this paint.
Other Ways of Soundproofing
While soundproofing paint is highly effective at dampening low noises, it isn’t that effective with larger noises. In particular, this paint is almost ineffective when used as a method for soundproofing against road noise.
If you want to truly soundproof your home, then the most effective way to do this is to combine multiple different soundproofing methods. No single soundproofing method is completely effective at soundproofing, but when you combine them all, you will get pretty close.
There are two very easy ways that you can help improve the soundproofing ability of your paint, let’s take a look at what they are.
The first method is to also use a soundproofing method that targets the windows of your home.
Soundproofing paint can’t be used on windows, so even if it was 100% effective on your walls, you would still get noise leaking in through your windows. By targeting your windows and your walls at the same time, the amount of noise should reduce significantly.
The best way to soundproof your windows is to reseal them. Window seals deteriorate really quickly and begin leaking noise. So resealing will reduce this noise.
Once this is done, you should then invest in soundproofing curtains. These will further reduce the amount of noise that enters your home.
Alternatively, you might choose to further soundproof your home by breaking up your walls. Like we said earlier, strategically placed furniture can really reduce noise pollution in your home as it breaks up large surfaces and prevents sound waves from bouncing.
So, if you still aren’t satisfied after targeting your windows, we would recommend putting up some shelving in your home. When you add things onto these shelves, then this will further help soundproof your home, and it will also reduce the amount of echoing that you experience inside your house.
In short, yes, soundproofing paint does actually work. While it is not effective with large road-noise, it is brilliant for reducing noise pollution made by dogs barking or neighbors shouting. So, if you want to find out more about soundproofing paint, read above for a complete guide.