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Wall Paint - Distemper Or Emulsion? 5-Point Comparative Guide By Expert

Wall paint is the most important design element for home interiors. Be it a new project or a renovation, paints instantly add character to the room. The colour, texture and shine they offer are incomparable to any other surface finish. And, when it comes to painting selection, people usually go for the old-school distemper paint. But emulsion paints are gaining popularity because of their superiority in appearance and affordability. They offer a wide range of colour and texture finishes as well. This article will help you to make an informed decision about which wall paint is more suited for your home.

1. Composition and Durability

Distemper is composed of chalk, lime and water which can be directly applied to the wall without any coating of primer. It is popularly known as cement paint and is not good for wear and tear. This makes it suitable for rental homes or areas which undergo painting every two to three years. They peel off easily from the wall and get faded when exposed to sunlight. On the other hand, emulsion paint consists of resin as a binder that sticks the paint to the surface. Hence, emulsion paint provides more durability to the wall surface. The paint composition has higher quality plastic in it, which gives it longevity. It is cleanable with water and can stay on the wall for about five years.

2. Cost

The distemper finish is best if you are seeking budget options. You do not need any skilled labour for applying distemper on walls. The average cost of 1 litre distemper paint = Rs. 40/ litre onwards. A wall finished with emulsion is economical but costlier than a distemper. No skilled labour is required to apply the emulsion on walls. The average cost of 1-litre emulsion paint = Rs. 150/ litre onwards. The cost of every paint varies further based on and location and paint brands such as Asian Paints, Berger, Nippon and Dulux.

3. Colour and Texture

Distemper paint offers less colour variety. Also, since it's less durable, adding texture to the wall is not a good idea as it won't last long. It makes the wall surface look rustic and unfinished. Contrary to this, emulsion surface paint finishes have a wide range. It provides a silken smooth shiny and even looks to the wall. Adding texture to the wall also enhances its aesthetics. It is easier to hide wall imperfections such as undulations with the help of emulsion coating. For understanding the actual colour shade of the paint, first, apply it on a small portion of the wall as a sample and let it dry to understand the correctness of the colour tint.

4. Ease of Application

Distemper does not need a pre-application of primer on the wall. On the other hand, emulsion applications need the wall surface to be coated with primer and putty. A pro tip here is to begin painting from the ceiling and then move on to the walls. This will help in avoiding colour splashes over appliances and lights. Cover the glass partitions with newspaper to protect them from getting smeared with paint spilling.

5. Odour

Application of distemper emits a distinctly unpleasant smell. It lingers around the room and instils discomfort for the users. Emulsion paint on walls also has an unlikeable odour. But its intensity is less than that of distemper. However, both emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) fumes in varying quantities which is harmful for human inhalation.

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