If you are the type of person that really takes their driving seriously, every component of the motor vehicle must be spick-and-span. Even the minutest change in the performance of your vehicle can have a deeply profound impact. I’m sure you already recognize the significance of driving in comfort while maximizing the performance of your car, truck, or van. You would not want anything distracting you while you’re putting the pedal to the metal — including loud noises from either your engine or your tires, or even both, on the road outside.
Noise is a problem that bothers all kinds of drivers — from casual joyriders who want to bop to the music from their stereos while driving cross country or take part in conversations with their passengers, or hardcore motorsports enthusiasts who need to keep their head clear and their driver’s seat at a manageable volume.
For this reason, lessening the sound in your vehicle is a mighty fine idea for practically anyone. There are a few ways to go about reducing noise, but one of the most effective and convenient ways is to purchase a sound deadening spray. Spray on soundproofing can really help you get your car purring like a cat who just ate the canary, even if you’re driving a 20-year-old Mustang.
There are numerous different liquid sound deadening products on the market today. For that reason, it might prove tricky to find the right one that would properly address your vehicle’s noise issues. And so, that is why I have written this handy guide that will provide you with sound deadening spray reviews to help you select which product is best.
But before we get to those, let’s first talk about how sound deadening sprays fare against mats.
Table of Contents
- What are the Pros and Cons of Sound Deadening Sprays?
- How to Apply Sound Deadening Spray
- Recommended Sound Deadening Sprays
- The Bottom Line
What are the Pros and Cons of Sound Deadening Sprays?
To start off, let me point out that even the most effective sound deadeners, like Dynamat or Noico, are pretty tricky to set up. Dynamat, for all its benefits, is particularly difficult to cut and position. In general, the thing that makes sound deadening mats so effective is their density.
However, that same thickness can make them cumbersome, to the point that some people even actually end up getting injured just trying to cut them. With a sound deadening spray, you avoid all these troubles.
Aside from the cutting process, sound deadening mats also come with an adhesive layer that can be challenging to navigate. And although I’d recommend that you wear gloves when working on any automotive soundproofing project, most liquid deadeners are so much easier to remove from the skin than glue is. Even removing sound deadening mats from a car is just as difficult, since their adhesive layer is tough and made to last. Also, many mats oxidize if they get wet, which can cause damage to the sheet metal of the car.
In addition, unlike with sound deadening mats, a spray lets you completely, evenly, and easily cover the whole of your car. While the process of setting up mats can often take days to complete, a spray can be applied at a much faster rate, saving you precious time.
Two gallons of liquid deadener will cover about 45 ft2 at 40 mils or 1mm thickness. That amount of product usually goes for just under $150, so you can already figure out just how much product you’d need. Not only that, that price-to-quantity ratio actually makes liquid sound deadening products way cheaper than Dynamat. However, since sprays are pretty new and untested, mats may still be more effective.
How to Apply Sound Deadening Spray
1) Prep the Car
Just like how you want to set up sound deadening mats, you’re going to need to get to the sheet metal of the car. The doors can be especially tricky to take apart, so I advise you to do your due research before you embark on this project. You’ll also have to take off the headliner and get rid of the seats and carpeting if you really want to go all in.
Once you’re down to the bare metal, you have to make sure that it’s pristine and rust-free. All of these sprays are going to waterproof your car to some degree, which can actually be damaging if the metal is already rusted.
If you’ve got some surface rust, you can just sand it off. As a matter of fact, you should sand down the whole surface that you are working on. But if you’ve got more rust damage, you may need to treat it with a rust encapsulator. Once you are done sanding the surface, clean it off with a clean, dry rag. If there’s some oil or grease, you can even make use of alcohol or a degreasing agent.
2) Gather the Materials
These instructions are no-brainers but it still bears repeating: wear clothes that you don’t mind messing up, lay down some protection, and cover the steering wheel if you’re going to be spraying the roof. If you’re working with one of the products that come in a can, you should also think about wearing a face mask, and even a hat.
However, if you’re putting on something like the Lizard Skin Sound Control, you should secure a spray gun and a mixer. If you don’t own any of these, the company sells its own kit which includes a spray nozzle, a canister, a mixing drill tip, and a wet mil gauge.
Once everything is ready to go, you need to mix the Lizard Skin before applying. Place the bucket on cardboard or plastic and open it. Plug in your mixing drill bit and put the drill in reverse, then carefully mix the contents of the bucket for a few minutes. When you are pouring the Sound Control into the spray gun canister, be very careful to pour it towards the label if you don’t want it to drip on the instructions on the back of the bucket.
3) Put on the Sound Deadener
If you’re making use of the pressurized canned sprays, there will be less work and less hassle during this step. Put your mask on and keep the can at least eight inches away from the surface you’re spraying. The spray should be dry after roughly 20 minutes, so you’ll be able to reapply it afterward. After around six hours, you’ll even be able to paint over it, or set it with a polish. However, that’s not needed.
If you’re using Lizard Skin or a product that is identical to it, plug in your spray gun and get cracking. Expect to see a splatter texture since the gray liquid is much more extensive than the stuff that comes out of a can.
Once you are done, you can check how deep your layer is with the wet mil gauge or just a piece of wire. You want to get your first layer about 20 mils thick. After 30 minutes to an hour, or when the layer is dry to the touch, you can reapply another 20 mils. And once you are done with that, you can even put Lizard Skin’s thermal insulation on top.
Both products are gray when wet but really is closer to black when dry, and they both have some texture. If that does not suit your taste, you could probably top them with a primer, paint, or a polish.
Recommended Sound Deadening Sprays
1) Lizardskin 50115 Sound Control Ceramic Insulation
In doing research for the best sound deadening sprays, Lizard Skin products were one of the first ones that came up. The company actually makes three different spray products wherein you are supposed to apply their thermal insulation spray and then the sound control — and seal everything with a top coat.
However, the Sound Control spray should be sufficient on its own. Basically, the only thing the manufacturer says about the way that this spray’s function is in the product name: it’s liquid ceramic insulation. And because of that, the spray should perform very well in hot conditions and the thin overlay it will leave on top of sheet metal in your car would be pretty scratch-resistant and waterproof as well.
Lizard Skin also asserts that the spray is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and fire-resistant. Sound Control is lightweight but effective, but if you ever need to remove it, it easily comes off with soap and water. The spray is black, so you’ll actually be able to see it as you apply it, and if you decide to take it off.
This spray is as effective as some mats. The thin veil it leaves over the sheet metal keeps vibrations in a way that a mat would. In addition, it’s also good at lessening outside noise as well.
2) Design Engineering Boom Mat Spray-On
The Boom Mat Spray-On is another heat-resistant sound deadener. The product packaging indicates that it eliminates road noise, bolsters audio performance, and stifles vibrations. Still, if the product is anything like the previous one, it should work just fine. A single 18-ounce can is enough to cover about 20 ft2, which is definitely a bolder claim than the gallon per 20 ft2 we’ve previously seen.
This pray should decrease noise and vibrations. Besides, you can also layer the product on top of itself to really maximize it. Still, I don’t believe that it could be as effective as a mat, or even Lizard Skin.
Several people who bought this had complained of a strong rubbery odor, which is to be expected since it’s a rubber-based product. Also, asphalt-based mats emit a similar scent as well.
The cost of this product is under $150. However, this product can be purchased in cans of 18 ounces, so it may seem cheaper than the liquid sound deadeners you can find in buckets.
3) 3m 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating
Identical to the previous spray-on sound deadener, 3M Undercoating comes in a can. However, it’s much more modest about the surface area the 16 ounces of the product can cover — only about 6 ft2 at most.
Still, just because the manufacturer precisely predicted the area their product can cover doesn’t mean that it’s without its shortcomings. First of all, just like the previous spray, it will definitely be less effective than most mats. Also, like the previous product, it may discharge a certain odor since it is asphalt-based.
It bears mentioning that the primary purpose of this spray isn’t sound deadening at all. Rather, it promises to safeguard your vehicle from rust, corrosion, and even salt during winter. However, you’ll need to be careful how you apply these waterproof sprays if you’re really looking to keep rusting from happening.
Also, unlike sprays like Lizard Skin, this 3M product seems pretty tough to get rid of. So protective gear might be in order when you get around to applying it.
4) GT Sound Control Liqui-Damp
This product looks like a pretty good sound deadener, and it was particularly made for automotive soundproofing. However, don’t count it as a spray because you’re supposed to apply it with a brush. The brush, along with a degreaser, latex gloves, and some extras, comes with the gallon bucket of product that can cover 75 ft2. The product resembles drywall mud, so you should thin out the product before applying it.
The Bottom Line
Sound deadening sprays can be a great and hassle-free solution. They definitely take less effort to apply compared to those of sound deadening mats. However, there are a few concerns that you should know of.
Firstly, manufacturers are going to have to step it up in a big way. There can’t be only three legitimate products on the market. Then, spray deadeners have a reputation for chipping, which is simply deplorable from a product that is supposed to fend off rust.
Also, the rubbery scent on some of these must be fixed. As of right now, Lizard Skin is the only one of the three products that were discussed that doesn’t have a smell. However, it’s the hardest one to apply, though still comparatively easier than installing a mat.
Once there are more products on the market, I’m sure companies will find a way to solve these issues. And then and only then will we have ourselves a great way to soundproof our vehicles without burning a hold in our resources.