Insulating paint - does it work?


Old 02-06-07, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NE Pennsylvania
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Insulating paint - does it work?

I'd like to hear from people who have actually used this tpe of product (not sales people please).

I have an old (freezing) home with asbestos siding and few walls with any type of insulation. The plaster walls are in good shape and I'd hate to have to pull them to insulate.

If someone who has real experience with this product could share their experience, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 02-06-07, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,140
Your insulation problem will not be solved by insulating paint. This is just for sealing up cracks. Insulation value is measured by "R" value. The R value is computed by the type of insulation and the thickness of it. This paint is not going to warm you house. Sorry about that.
Old 02-07-07, 06:47 AM
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I'm not overly familiar with it but you can have insulation blown into the wall cavities. Basically they drill a hole big enough to insert the nozzle/tube and then pump the wall full of cellulose. I assume they have ready made patches to repair the holes.
Old 02-07-07, 07:06 AM
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Thermal insulation works by trapping air; air is apparently the best insulation against, uh, air. So like with a down coat or comforter all you are doing is trapping this big bubble of air between you and the air on the other side of the down coat.

Therefore I can't see how a thin layer of "paint" would make much difference in a whole house since it can't trap much air. Go with the real insulation.
Old 06-10-08, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7
there are three means of heat loss in a house - conductive, convective, and radiant. if you don't have good insulation, you will loose massive amounts of heat through conduction (and probably a fair bit through convection, since air will move through cracks in the walls as well.)

insulating paints help almost exclusively with radiant losses, which in your case (without good insulation) are a relatively small percentage of your heat loss. so they won't help much.

however, for me, i have decent insulation and convective barriers in my walls, so my radiant losses might now be a significant portion of the heat i'm losing in my house. so a paint might help. i'm trying to decide, but it's very difficult to find any objective tests/reviews...

any body have further advice?
Old 07-21-08, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Insualting paint does not work for interiors

Was intrigued by the insulating ability of paints.. I would have done some testing myself ... but I found a decent test report here:
Look for the report : InsuladdŽ : a ceramic-based additive for paint that helps reflect radiant heat. 2007

Bottom line: It barely may be worth painting on a poorly insulated sunbathed roof for some benefit.
Other than that its not worth the trouble.

Oh well.. it was a good thought
Old 07-22-08, 05:06 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 5
insulating paint

I have a small laundry room in southwest corner of house that was so hot in summer (texas) that I got in and out as fast as I could. I put insulad in one gallon of paint and painted walls and ceiling of the room with two or three coats. it made a great difference! The room is no hotter now than any other room.
Old 07-22-08, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8
It all depends on your heat loss/heat gain.

If you're gaining or loosing alot of heat via radiant sources then this type of thing will help a great deal. If you are loosing via convection or conduction it's not as likely to help at all.

I plan to use it on my exterior walls this year so I'll be able to let you know sometime in the future.
Old 07-29-08, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
Insuladd additive insight please ?

2 story den wall faces west. No trees, ugh... bottom line, would it be wise to use Insuladd for the exterior wood siding AND on the interior wall - to prevent this summer heat from coming in, and possibly help hold in the desired air temp. ? Appreciate any insight...
Old 08-03-08, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 71
Depends on the application and the product used

From what I have read none of the replys has answered the question as posted.

Those who replied negatively did not indicate they had actually used any of these (insulating paint) products which means they don't have a clue what they are talking about because they either have only heard or read bad things about some of these products or they simply refuse to believe alternative technologies exist beyond thick heat absorbing materials.

Those who replied with a positive response ignored that the post referred to her house in winter conditions not hot blazing summer.

You will note that the topic has become focussed on the one product that was apparently tested (Insulad). Keep in mind that this is merely one single product of many. Be careful you don't lump all products together. Just because the results of this test fall short of the stated claims does not mean all thin film insulation coatings will produce the same results. This is an irrisponsible approach. Do not assume a reflective coating and an insulation coating are one in the same.

If one looks deeper they will see that the testing methods have not caught up with new technologies. If you Google "R Value Fairy Tale" you will find numerous postings of an article which shows how the insulation industry has embraced a faulty system. Why we say? One reason is because it was deemed to be a more simple way to refer to. The problem is not many of the engineers and architects can tell you how or why a product was assigned a given number.

There is a reason that the people in responsible positions making the decisions on insulation are completely confused on true insulation values and the truths about fiberglass. Since the middle to late 70's, the fiberglass manufacturers (Owens Corning) made a point to establish formulas and work the numbers to convince engineering, architect groups including the public that this new product was the answer to insulation by using their own newly derived numbers to prove the worth Dr. Inn Choi, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, advanced heat transfer and fluid mechanics, Research team in Owens Corning Fiberglass, Du Pont, Westinghouse and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Old 08-04-08, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 550
It also depends on the information given out on the sellers or manufacturers website.
I am one of those who heard of these ceramic coatings two years ago and went to one site to check out their claims. The science of how heat is reflected back into the room instead of being conducted into the walls seem to make sense. But in the FAQ section, there were only about three questions asked.
The manufacturer or seller of the product says they cannot answer all questions on the site nor can they respond to emails.
If I was promoting a product, I would certainly answer more then three questions and have an email program set up. So I ignored the claims and took down a wall and insulated it.

Then there's the cost of the paint and additive bringing it close to $30.00 or more per gallon. I don't believe you will find contractors who will take a chance and tell the homeowner that these products will solve their insulation problem. I believe that these products are meant to supplement the proper insulation of walls and ceilings. The question arises: How much more R-value does one gain using these products vs ordinary wall and ceiling paint and is it worth it? And will it be enough to satisfy the homeowner.

Heck, I can manufacture a product and PROVE it works but the key in promoting a product and sales is how well it improves the R value. A few percentage points is not enough for me.
Old 08-04-08, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 550
I just did a search and found the company of which I spoke of.
It is called Hy-tech and they are based in Central Florida.
It seems they got the message and now have about 25 FAQ's on their site. In addition, they now have email responces. Much differant now then what it was before. But I still would not buy their paints. Now the radiant barrier paints are another story. I see many flat roofs in my area and there are quite a few that have this reflective coating on them. Now I do see the value in that. You can buy this reflective coating locally at most home centers.
Old 08-04-08, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7
Some industry tests

You said no salespeople - how about a marketing guy?

I have designed marketing programs for several fairly large radiant barrier installers, and have had to study the industry pretty carefully in order to understand how to best present it. One of the things that was very useful in helping me understand the space was the website of the Reflective Insulation Manufacturer's Association at In their technical library, they have links to a significant number of third-party tests on various radiant barrier and insulation technologies. It's better to read them yourself, but if I had to put it in a nutshell it would be:

Insulating Paints: all marketing hype

Spray-on radiant barrer: Effective, but not as much as is often claimed.

Foil barrier: the most effective. Can be mounted to the roof deck or laid on top of your insulation. Mounted to the roof deck may be best for very hot climates, as it reduces attic heat and helps lower attic temps for conductive transfer. However, laid on top of insulation provides more effect at keeping warmth in during the winter.

Your mileage may vary, and I've sat through too many arguments about the various technologies to want to participate in another. But I hope this may be helpful to some.
Old 06-04-09, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Insulating Paint

I'll give some feedback here on my old post. I've sold the house now but in the two yrs or so after using the Insulad I will use it again. I could not stand to stay in that laundry room any longer than I had too as it was so hot being on the SW corner of the house in Texas! After painting the room I felt a big difference and was not in a hurry to get out of there. It was well worth the trouble and money.

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