I wanted to have a picture painted by my friend onto an acoustic panel in my room. I contacted some local companies working on such projects, but they work only with printing on this material.

Fortunately one of the manufacturers responded to my e-mail and explained the issues I will meet. He explained to me that material behind the picture needs to "breathe", so the canvas can't be covered with thick layer of oil paint, and even shouldn't be primed. Do you have any solution to allow such picture "breathing"?

The "breathing" is necessary, because the canvas needs to have pores allowing the sound wave to pass through and be absorbed by the material behind the canvas.

I thought about painting without priming, but I am not a painter and I don't know why priming is so important. My painter says it is impossible to paint without priming, but he isn't a professional painter, rather enthusiast, and he doesn't think he knows all tricks allowing such things, but he is willing to get to know them.

  • Do you mean for sound damping purposes? Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 19:28
  • Yup, that's it.
    – pt12lol
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 13:33
  • Next question: why do you want to do this, and specifically what do you expect to gain? Can you update your question to reflect this? I am not even sure that a flat surface is really going to accomplish what you hope to achieve. Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 2:48
  • I am responding mainly in comment because I don't think this information is relevant, but, of course, I can answer your questions. My plan at the beginning was having a picture painted by my friend. At the same time I realized that my room has not so good acoustics, mainly involving way much gained low freqs. I got to know that there are something like acoustic panels with pictures printed on them, so I thought about merging these ideas. Now I am doing research if there is any way it could makes sense. Flat surface reflects low freqs very well. Also, updated the question.
    – pt12lol
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


I think your best choice would be to have the image painted first (on primed canvas, or whatever it takes), scan it/take a high quiality photograph of it, and have it printed onto the panel.


  1. I have personally never worked with acoustic panels.

  2. Yes, there are breathable materials you can paint/draw with (like ink, watercolours).

  3. I couldn't find what material is used for acoustic panels.

  4. There is a possibility of the painting materials affecting the quality of the sound absorption of the panel regardless of them being breathable.

  5. Apparently professionals print onto the panels, so it is know that this won't affect the quality of the panel.

  6. Having the image painted first by all the necessary means will also, most likely, give you a better result imagewise.

  • Ad. 3. One of manufacturers told me about fiberglass, another one about linen canvas and gabardine.
    – pt12lol
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 9:16

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