Perhaps the only thing worse than having a noisy neighbor is being one! Sadly, these days so many modern homes are built with what seem to be cardboard walls it’s pretty difficult to avoid either situation. Close neighbours’ barking dogs, musical instrument practice, late-night TV, and even regular phone conversations are just some of the noise nuisances people are forced to live with if they aren’t lucky enough to have a completely detached home.
One option is to install some form of full-on soundproofing installation, but this is not feasible or affordable for everyone. A certain level of soundproofing can also be achieved by the strategic use of furniture, wall hangings, blankets and even pillows, if this is appropriate. However, the cheapest and quickest alternative to these options is to invest in some soundproofing paint, [also known as acoustic, sound dampening and sound deadening paint].
The question is though, does soundproofing paint actually work? Let’s look at the evidence, which shows one major benefit.
Mid range frequencies are reduced
This means that certain noises, say wind instrument practice which emits noise at a high frequency may not be dampened very much. Of course, as soundproofing paint works partly due to the presence of latex leading to a courser, heavier, textured coating it leaves on the wall absorbing more sound– compared to the smoother finish expected from regular wall paint which has no effect on noise at all, adding multiple coats can help ramp up the soundproofing benefits.
It’s the extra ingredients in soundproof paints, such as fillers and ceramic microspheres that help absorb the sounds in the atmosphere, which in turn greatly reduces their effect on the room, whether they originate there or at a neighbor’s house.
How to apply soundproofing paint properly
Soundproofing paint may not be the complete solution to reducing noise, either from your own place or from the neighborhood, but it does have some effect so if you plan to use it then it is important to make sure you apply it properly, to get the best possible effect.
For the absolute best results possible:
- Leave at least 16-20 hours before even attempting to touch it, and at least 32 hours between coats.
- Avoid using soundproofing paint in low temperatures unless you can heat the room/space to help it dry.
- Plan to apply at least three coats of soundproofing paint.
- Make sure you have added all the coats you need to, (and that they are all totally dry), before finishing with a coat of regular paint- if you want the smoother look that can achieve.
- Use a roller or pressure powered spray gun for the best results as it is important all areas of the walls are completely covered.
Unexpected benefits of using soundproof paint include it being a good way to decorate walls which are uneven or flawed, due to the paint being textured and chunky, and the thermal insulating effect it has. Rooms painted with soundproof paint will be warmer the winter and cooler in the summer as a result.