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  1. #1
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    New Paint designed to absorb sound.

    Has anybody heard of this? Well, I haven't either. I believe that there is money to be made by inventing this type of paint. Hell, I'll buy gallons of this if some of you guys can gather up some investors to come up with this type of product. I'm a bachelor, so I don't have to worry about the room decor. Think about this guys, this product will definitely be wife-friendly. But....................


    depending on how this product will/would be made, it could deaden the room too much. Some people may tell you to only paint on specific areas. It may be very messy to apply since I imagine that it has to be thicker than the ordinary paint. Will it have to be semi-elastic? And, I will guarantee that it will cost $100 a gallon.

    What do you guys think? If you do end up inventing this product, I will aceept 1% of the profit every quarter. Thanx

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Nice idea, if it's even feasible in the first place. Pretty much any sound deadening material can address specific acoustical issues, but any material that you use will have different absorptive/reflective properties at different frequencies, and in most cases will be ineffective with the low frequencies.

    But, fixing the room acoustics can involve more than just sound deadening. Those acoustic "popcorn" ceilings that were popular in the 60s and 70s are actually very effective at breaking up reflected sound waves and keeping sound from traveling and interacting with one another at full amplitude. As with absorbing surfaces, their effectiveness wanes with low frequencies.

    Who knows, maybe someone's already at work on this idea of sound absorbing paint. Materials science is one of the most interesting areas in technology right now, so it's conceivable.

  3. #3
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    The problem is that the only two things that deaden sound are mass and distance. There are three acoustic things one might try to do with paint, you can try to block the sound from entering the next room, you can try to absorb high-frequencies or you can try to diffuse high-frequencies. I think you'll find that paint is poorly-suited to all three of these activites.

    Consider sound-deadening material like sheetblok from auralex.com It's basically a super-dense 1/8" thick sheet of rubberized foam that weighs 1 pound per square foot and reduces sound transmission by about 27dB on average (more in the high-frequencies, less in the low). In other words, to cover an 8' tall 15' wide wall requires 120 pounds of sheetblok. I personally can't imagine slathering 120 pounds of paint on a wall.

    Similarly, acoustic foam for high frequency absorption needs to be very thick to actually absorb significant amounts of sound. 1" thick foam can only make a noticable difference in sounds over 2Khz or so, which is totally tweeter territory in many speakers. To signifactly absorb midrange frequencies, you need foam 3" or 4" thick. The same goes for attempts to diffuse high-frequencies: you need diffusers 3" or 4" thick. That's a lot of paint!

    Pretty much the only thing I can imagine paint doing is diffusing very high frequencies when it's laid very unevenly as in the case of the popcorn ceilings Woochifer mentions.

    But this much I know for sure: You go buy yerself some home depot paint and repackage it as a "sound absorbing" paint, and some fool audiophile who has no regard for the laws of physics will buy it at a 500% mark-up. That much I GUARANTEE.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    queit-kote...it sprays like tar


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    enjoy the music!

  5. #5
    None sam9's Avatar
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    How thick will it be? There is a relationship between sound spectra that can be absorbed and thickness of the absorbtion material.
    http://www.drachen-audio.com

  6. #6
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    The type of paint that you use on the walls of your listening room CAN make a difference (albeit a small one) in the sound. The higher the gloss level, the more tightly packed the molecules are, and the more reflective the surface. Ideally. you would want the most porous paint that you can find and this would be flat, non-acrylic, clay based crap. Most paints that are marketed as "maintenance grade" (Conco, Old Quaker, anything around $10.00 a gallon) would fit the bill. Also, most products that are sold as ceiling paint would fit into this catagory.
    The down side is that these paints are not at all washable, so if you have small children, large animals or frequent food fights, you might want to consider biting the bullet and purchasing some room treatments instead. If not, porous flat paint will definitely improve your sound reflection problem.

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy

  7. #7
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyY51
    The type of paint that you use on the walls of your listening room CAN make a difference (albeit a small one) in the sound. The higher the gloss level, the more tightly packed the molecules are, and the more reflective the surface. Ideally. you would want the most porous paint that you can find and this would be flat, non-acrylic, clay based crap. Most paints that are marketed as "maintenance grade" (Conco, Old Quaker, anything around $10.00 a gallon) would fit the bill. Also, most products that are sold as ceiling paint would fit into this catagory.
    The down side is that these paints are not at all washable, so if you have small children, large animals or frequent food fights, you might want to consider biting the bullet and purchasing some room treatments instead. If not, porous flat paint will definitely improve your sound reflection problem.

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy
    Even if the paint is porus, the object the paint is being put on isn't. If it is solid, it will reflect sound. The paint is essentially insignificant in this instance.
    Sir Terrence

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  8. #8
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    Why is it, then, that there such a radical difference between singing in the shower (or bathroom) and singing in your living room? Your shower/bathroom has hard reflective surfaces that cause the sound of your voice to echo rapidly (creating a "reverb" effect) while your living room has softer, more absorptive surfaces that help absorb reflection. Both rooms have identical 4" thick walls sheathed with drywall or plaster, so it is the nature of the topcoat that makes the difference, not the solid surface underneath.

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy

  9. #9
    None sam9's Avatar
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    At least in my case the shower is a much smaller space. Anywhere I stand, Im closetr to a wall. Additionally, a larger part of the room surfaces are taken up by mirrors, tile, and porcellen fixtures. By the same token the living room has rugs, carpets, and soft furniture.

    In sum, there are a lot more variable at work than just paint.
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  10. #10
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    Agreed. However, if it were practical to paint two identical rooms, one with flat paint and one with semi-gloss, you would find that there would still be a discernible difference in the acoustic properties between the two. And since you are eventually going to have to paint your listening area anyway, why not do it with a more absorbtive and CHEAPER paint? Win-win!

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyY51
    Why is it, then, that there such a radical difference between singing in the shower (or bathroom) and singing in your living room? Your shower/bathroom has hard reflective surfaces that cause the sound of your voice to echo rapidly (creating a "reverb" effect) while your living room has softer, more absorptive surfaces that help absorb reflection. Both rooms have identical 4" thick walls sheathed with drywall or plaster, so it is the nature of the topcoat that makes the difference, not the solid surface underneath.

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy
    Rediculous. Most living rooms have drapes, cloth couches, carpet on the floors, cloth love seats etc lots of soft surfaces, it has nothing to do with the paint. Living rooms are larger, and therefore we are farther from the hard surfaces. Reflections in the shower are caused by 4 close hard surfaces which reflect sound in all directions, there is no cloth or carpet in the shower. It has nothing to do with the paint whatsoever.
    Sir Terrence

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  12. #12
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyY51
    Agreed. However, if it were practical to paint two identical rooms, one with flat paint and one with semi-gloss, you would find that there would still be a discernible difference in the acoustic properties between the two. And since you are eventually going to have to paint your listening area anyway, why not do it with a more absorbtive and CHEAPER paint? Win-win!

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy
    There is absolutely no evidence that paint has any audible effect on sound waves. The paint would have to be at least 1/2" thick before any audible change on the high frequencies would be heard. Who puts a 1/2" thick coat of paint on any wall? In order to have a broadband frequency shift, the paint would have to be about 3-4" thick on the walls. Who paints 3-4" thick paint on walls? Nobody, and what is fact is that nobody has conducted any tests on the effects of paint on sound, so everything you are saying here is just hypothetical thought.
    Sir Terrence

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  13. #13
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    interesting

    Recently my father "painted" the floor of his garage. It's not really paint though, as he keeps pointing out to me. It's some sort of epoxy. It's very thick and feels spongy to walk on. Most of the echo that you would normally hear in a garage seems to have disappeared. Maybe worth some more research?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    There is absolutely no evidence that paint has any audible effect on sound waves. The paint would have to be at least 1/2" thick before any audible change on the high frequencies would be heard. Who puts a 1/2" thick coat of paint on any wall? In order to have a broadband frequency shift, the paint would have to be about 3-4" thick on the walls. Who paints 3-4" thick paint on walls? Nobody, and what is fact is that nobody has conducted any tests on the effects of paint on sound, so everything you are saying here is just hypothetical thought.
    Terrence:

    Although the "facts" and figures (1/2" thick before any audible change, 3"-4" thick for broadband frequency change) that you have presented here are very impressive,they fall a bit short in the old "real world experience" catagory. I was a professional house painter for 5 years and a professional musician for 16 years prior to that. I have painted thousands of walls in a wide variety of products and sheen levels and have spent a lifetime engaged in critical listening. I have heard first-hand the differences that varying sheen levels make in the reflection of sound upon many, many occasions. This is more than "hypothetical thought". It is based on many years of observation and analysis. Ask any professional painter and he will tell you the same thing: flat paint = quieter room, gloss paint = noiser room.

    So, before you again declare that there is "absolutely no evidence that paint has any audible effect on sound waves", I would suggest that you get up from your computer and go out and do a little critical listening of your own. I think that you will find that not everything worth knowing is listed on the internet.

    Roy, the H.D. paint guy

  15. #15
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    nextel paint

    is said to have an audible effect on the soound of a speaker painted with it.
    ...regards...tr

  16. #16
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    A number of manufacturer's make sound absobing paint. It's used in conjuction w/ special plasters, gyp systems etc.

  17. #17
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    Rhino Coat makes quite a difference on speaker cabinets. It not only improves the seal, it also helps damp many resonances.

  18. #18
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    Wow, a thread over 2 years old. Brought back from the dead.

    I have some expertise in the area of paint. Typical paint thickness on a retail application is 4 mils wet (1 mil dry). That is slightly thicker than a plastic wrapper on a cigarette pack.

    You would be better served to purchase window treatments (drapes), carpeting, and furniture than waste your money on "sound absorbing paint". About the only thing that would possibly do it would be to popcorn the heck out of the walls, and paint that. But again, the paint isn't doing the work. The popcorn is.

    As far as the bathroom/living room example, its just that. Chances are, your bathroom isn't as open as your living room. And it doens't have a couch in it, or carpet (gross if you do), or drapes.

    Paint is paint. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want to affect the acoustics of a room, it doesn't come in a can.
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  19. #19
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundbeef
    Paint is paint. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want to affect the acoustics of a room, it doesn't come in a can.
    What if you mounted the paint cans on the wall?
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  20. #20
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    What if you mounted the paint cans on the wall?
    There's always one in the crowd isn't there? You really ought to be more serious on this board. Like me.

    BTW, mounting the cans on the wall is just stupid. Anyone "in the know" realizes that its best to simply put the can over your head. That "captures" the acustics of the room perfectly.
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  21. #21
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    Or you can place them round the room for bass traps if they're big enough.

    That Rhino coat goes on thick, for speakers we have it put on up to 1/4 thick. I suppose it could be put on walls, but it would be very heavy and expensive.

  22. #22
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixadude
    Or you can place them round the room for bass traps if they're big enough.

    That Rhino coat goes on thick, for speakers we have it put on up to 1/4 thick. I suppose it could be put on walls, but it would be very heavy and expensive.
    The difference between Rhino and regular wall paint, is that it is designed for specific usage. Paint for walls is simply not either feasible (using wall paint) or cost effective (using paint designed for small areas in 1/4 coatings). It is much easier to apply a 1/4" coat on an area 1'x2' and have evan coverage versus an entire room.

    Without getting too techincal, there ARE coatings that can be applied up to 1/4". Typically these would be exterior such as an elastomeric coating (impervious to wind driven rain, used on exterior block or tilt up), or some sort of expoy. Most likely either a coal-tar (for containment tanks usually steel, but sometimes concrete). Neither of these coatings can be used by amatures, or applied by brush/roller.

    Plus, as an added bonus, the coal tar would kill you outright if applied indoors. Nasty stuff. Think sewage treatment plants. Thats where its used most often, followed by dams, etc.

    Again, paint isn't a viable solution for controlling sound. There are many other options that are cheaper, easier to use, and cost efficient. Not to mention effective.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundbeef
    There's always one in the crowd isn't there? You really ought to be more serious on this board. Like me.

    BTW, mounting the cans on the wall is just stupid. Anyone "in the know" realizes that its best to simply put the can over your head. That "captures" the acustics of the room perfectly.
    I don't think a paint "can" would fit over my head. A 5 gallon paint bucket, OTOH...

  24. #24
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Has anybody heard of this? Well, I haven't either. I believe that there is money to be made by inventing this type of paint. Hell, I'll buy gallons of this if some of you guys can gather up some investors to come up with this type of product. I'm a bachelor, so I don't have to worry about the room decor. Think about this guys, this product will definitely be wife-friendly. But....................


    depending on how this product will/would be made, it could deaden the room too much. Some people may tell you to only paint on specific areas. It may be very messy to apply since I imagine that it has to be thicker than the ordinary paint. Will it have to be semi-elastic? And, I will guarantee that it will cost $100 a gallon.

    What do you guys think? If you do end up inventing this product, I will aceept 1% of the profit every quarter. Thanx
    Let's get down to the real deal here Jaybo. You gettin' yelled at again by the neighbor-units for playing that Crunk-Alot!! disc you got at the truckstop?

  25. #25
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Let's get down to the real deal here Jaybo. You gettin' yelled at again by the neighbor-units for playing that Crunk-Alot!! disc you got at the truckstop?
    Seeing as this thread was started in 2005, and only revived today for god-knows what reason, I would assume its already been resolved.
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