Does Soundproof Paint Work? Facts you should know
When you moved into your home you probably imagined it to be an impenetrable fortress. But then you started to notice little things.
Can you hear your neighbors through the walls? Do you have a family member who stays up late talking or playing video games? Is your baby a light sleeper?
All of these can be distractions from enjoying your home to the fullest.
Luckily there are some strategies that will help. Below I am going to focus on a specific strategy: soundproofing with paint. Does it really work? Or is it more of a myth?
Dive in to find out.
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Who can benefit from using soundproof paint?
The good news is that you don’t need to be handy, or have a lot of special tools or equipment to do this project. If you can paint your wall, you can use this strategy to quiet your room.
If the noises disturbing you aren’t too loud, or sharp, then this strategy will help with your noise levels.
So now on to the big question.
Question, does soundproof paint work?
The answer is simple: Yes and no.
Stick with me here.
Yes, soundproof paint will work.
Soundproof paint has its limits, but it actually cuts down on noise levels.
Soundproof paint works best when dealing with average level noises. These types of sounds include people talking in the other room (such as your neighbor, or a family member who talks all night, keeping you awake), light traffic, distant, murmuring noises, or if your room is somewhat empty and echoes more than you want. If you are light sleeper, or your baby, or family member are easily woken even by light noises – this paint will probably help.
It will help deaden sound coming through a wall. It will help absorb and deaden echoes within the room.
It will help in these cases. In fact, it can cut normal noise up to 30%. That can make quite the difference.
As an added bonus, because of its design, it will also help insulate your room. It actually could make a difference of several degrees. Again, a noticeable difference.
No, it will not work – in these specific cases.
If your neighbor plays the drums, listens to the TV at a high level, or owns a barking dog. If you live near a loud intersection or highway.
High-level or sharp noises will not be greatly impacted by soundproof paint. So, you need to decide if this will work. What types of sounds are bothering you?
Maybe your neighbor plays the music now and then, but seems to talk constantly. You won’t cut out the loud occasional music, but you will cut down on the conversation noise.
That might be worth it.
What gear will you need?
For sure you will need specialized soundproofing paint.
This paint is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. Some people fear that this paint is dangerous, or potentially contains dangerous ingredients. It does not. (Obviously, don’t ingest it, wash it off, and do not get it in your eye.)
It does include specific materials to block sound – which we’ll discuss a little below. It goes on with a roller or even a hopper spray gun. The odor is not stronger than regular paint and it can be easily washed with soap and water.
You want paint that is considered “sound deadening” or “sound proofing.” Be aware – some paints have strange names, such as “Acoustic Brown.” Just because it has the word acoustic in the name, does not mean it is soundproof. So double check to ensure you know what you’re purchasing.
One of the most popular sound deadening paints on Amazon is Acoustic Coat – Sound Deadening Paint. It comes in a 5-gallon container. That might sound like a lot but there are two things to consider: you will need to do multiple layers and a gallon of this type of paint does not go as far as a gallon of regular paint. More about that below.
Again, you don’t need a spray gun, you can use rollers and brushes. But if you choose to get a spray gun, it is recommended that you use a hopper spray gun.
This hopper gun has a four-star rating, with over 400 ratings. It is also deemed Amazon’s choice for hoppers. Reviewers said it worked great, is easy to clean, and creates good pressure for the top of walls and ceilings. One thing to note is that the paint will come out somewhat textured on your walls. This is true of most hopper guns. In this case it does not really matter because soundproof paint is thick and will have a texture regardless of how it is applied. More on that below.
You can use brushes, but if you want a roller, you should get something sturdy and fairly heavy so it can handle the weight and density of the paint. A popular option on Amazon is the following:
This has over 480 ratings on Amazon, has a 4.5-star rating, and is considered “Amazon’s Choice” for paint rollers. This package is comprehensive: it includes a tray, roller frame, covers, paint brush, and foam brush. This product is specifically designed to handle heavier paint.
While we’re discussing materials you might need, consider a noise proofing sealant. If you have holes, cracks, or gaps anywhere – seal it with this first. Otherwise the paint may work fine, but sound will come in through these openings.
The most common sealant is Green Glue.
Green Glue is the most popular and cost-effective soundproofing material on the market. The compound’s unique properties act as a damping material to dissipate the vibrations caused by sound waves as they travel through ceilings, walls and floors. It is non-hazardous, environmentally-responsible, and has practically no odor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What will soundproof paint work on?
You can apply it to walls, wood, metal, and primed drywall.
You can use it on the ceiling. If you can hear conversations upstairs, it will help. However, if the person above you is dropping things, or walks around a lot – soundproof paint will not work. These are impact noises and impact noises travel directly through the house frame and won’t be affected by paint.
Do I really need special paint? What’s the difference between this paint and the regular paint I usually buy? Can I just add several layers of regular paint to get the same effect?
Yes, you need special paint.
Soundproof paint is specifically designed for its role. It’s thick and contains special ingredients to absorb sound.
Soundproofing paint is very dense and is made of materials specially designed for this purpose: ceramic microspheres and sound-absorbing fillers.
These materials “catch” the vibration of the sound and help prevent it from being transmitted into your room. It’s the paint equivalent of putting a pillow to your ear.
Even if you were to add ten layers of regular paint, it would do nothing compared to the soundproofing paint because it does not include those specific materials inside it.
It can be a bit pricey. A gallon is likely to run about $30 dollars, so it is better to buy in bulk (like the container described above that has 5 gallons).
Is this paint difficult to use?
Not at all.
It goes on just like regular paint and washes off with soap and water. However, this paint is thick and heavy. It will probably take longer to apply a single coat than regular paint would.
Even after stirring, this paint is still chunky. Just know and expect that.
The other thing to keep in mind is it you should do more than one coat.
Regular paint often requires more than one coat to get the full effect of its color. To get the full effect of soundproof paint you will likely need 3-4 coats. So, plan ahead for this. It also takes longer to dry due to its density.
What will it look like when is done?
You do have several lighter color tones to choose from. However, something to expect is that this paint does not dry as super smooth as regular paint. It usually dries a little rough or abrasive.
If you think of textured ceiling tiles or sound-absorbent paint, you’ll remember that those items are not completely flat either.
However, you can paint over your soundproof paint with regular paint to give it a more natural look.
Be sure the layers of soundproof paint are 100% dry before you do this. You do not want this additional layer seeping into the soundproof paint and affecting its performance.
Can I add other strategies besides just paint?
Absolutely remember that putting up bookshelves or a couch will help filter and absorb sound. On top of the pain you can add soundproof wall tiles.
As an example, consider the Art3d Decorative 3D Wall Panels Wave Board Design
You can hang these on your walls, over the painted surface to help cut down on sound even further.
Related: How to make your PS4 quieter
Does soundproof paint work: Conclusion
Let’s come back to the original reasons you’re probably reading this.
Are you or someone in your house a light sleeper? Can you hear your neighbor’s conversations? Does your room sound emptier or more echoey than you would like?
If the answer is yes to any of these, then soundproof paint will help. You just need to plan for the cost and the time of this specialized paint.
If you’re still thinking yes, do check out the products above and read more about them on Amazon!
Good luck to your project, and hope it answers your question whether does soundproof paint work!