Does insulating paint work?

There are a variety of claims made about Insulating Paint. When you read the labels there is ‘scientific’ proof that it can save you ‘up to 25%’ on your heating needs. Now this obviously has to have a grain of truth in it to get past advertising standards, but there are a range of conditions and assumptions built in to these types of calculations that have no meaningful place in the real world.

At the Eco Home Centre we have an unwritten policy of trying out as many products as we can on our own homes. This allows us to give good advice on how well things work and to tease out any important nuggets of information that might be relevant to customers. Using the Insulating Paint Additive has been a case in point.

What we have found is that there are certain instances with homes where one has little choice as to what to do. When you have no room to install either internal or external insulation on a wall that is cold and suffering from condensation issues, what to do? So we used the insulating paint additive. This was added to our natural paints and tried out. What we found was as follows:

It does not affect the breathability of the paint that you are using, so clay and natural paints still can breathe

It does not give the level of insulation claimed on the bottles, however it does keep the surface of the wall warmer. Just by placing your hand on the wall after application (and drying) you can tell that the surface is warmer.

By having a warmer surface the amount of condensation was reduced and hence the problems with the mould did diminish significantly.

The finish though was also affected. The paint was courser / rougher. This might be fine for some situations, but it can lead to a wall being more difficult to clean. However, by applying another coat of paint (without the insulating paint additive in) the finish was back to normal.

So we would recommend using the paint in a domestic situation where you cannot use real insulation, but where the surface needs some assistance in combating condensation issues.