As standard, traditional insulation is found between the walls of a home or within the loft/roofing area. This comes in either the traditional roll-out form or a type that is sprayed within cavities with the help of an air pump. However, there is a new technological innovation known as ‘paint-on insulation’ that aims to take insulation into the future.

How does this material work and why might it be making its way into the painting industry in a few years?


A great deal of science has gone into the development of a product known as Nansulate. As the name may suggest, technicians were able to suspend particles as small as a nanometre (one billionth of a metre) within a latex solution. These tiny particles are intended to trap heat. In other words, this substance has an extremely low thermal conductivity. As strange as it may initially sound, the manufacturer claims that only two coats of this insulating paint are able to mirror the traditional effects of traditional insulation. 

Additional Benefits

Although the thermal properties of this new type of paint are indeed impressive, there are other advantages that should be mentioned. It is a water-based mixture, so clean-up is easy while the product itself will not create the harmful fumes associated with oil-based paints. It is currently available in clear and white colours. So, it will appear much like the standard base coat found in many rooms. The paint is water repellent and resistant to mildew, so it is an ideal solution within basements and other damp areas of the home. A final benefit is that as it is resistant to water, use within bathrooms is possible.

In Combination with Other Paints?

In most cases, Nansulate is not applied as a standalone finish. The manufacturer recommends that the product be allowed to cure for 30 days. After this period, it can be painted over much like any normal finish. This is therefore an excellent option for those who are planning on painting a room and also wish to enjoy better thermal insulation. Additionally, a clear top coat can be applied over an existing paint scheme. As the finish appears somewhere between matte and eggshell, excess sheen is not a major concern. Application is easy with a quality paintbrush, roller or even an airless sprayer.

This product first appeared as far back as 2008 although it has only recently made headlines. This may be due to the fact that it was widely used for industrial applications before finding its way into the residential market. As the prices are comparable to a normal gallon of high-quality paint, it may not be long before painting companies add this product to the list of services that they can provide. Nanotechnology has made its way into the home and it will be very interesting to see if this concept takes off.