Can I Paint Emulsion Paint Over Distemper?

No, you can’t apply Emulsion paint over Distemper because Emulsion paint does not stick on Distemper. Why? Read the following article to find out why you cannot use Emulsion paint over Distemper.

I committed the same mistake of applying the Emulsion paint over Distemper. Seeing my Emulsion paint not sticking over the Distemper was painful. I felt like I had wasted money and distorted the color of the wall.

After I failed in the endeavor, I tried to find out, “can I paint emulsion paint over distemper?” I asked the experts and spent a whole day researching the topic. The following is my finding. 

Why can’t I use Emulsion paint over Distemper?

To understand why you can’t use emulsion over distemper, you have to look into the ingredients of these two types of paints. If you have a better understanding of the ingredients, you will easily get the idea why Emulsion paint doesn’t stick on the Distemper. 

Distemper comes in both water-based and oil-based paint. It is the most ancient form of paint still in action, and people are using it even today to paint their houses. The main ingredients that distemper paint contains are chalk, pigment, lime, water, and animal glue. The animal glue has resins and caseins, which enhances the durability of the paint.

You can apply distemper paint directly on the cement. It does not need any primer or putty. That’s why it is also known as cement paint. So distemper paint is always cheaper and a good choice for rental houses that demand repainting once a year.

Emulsion paint is water-based and instilled with vinyl and acrylic resins. The resins of Emulsion paint make it durable. Emulsion paint can last wear and tear. Emulsion paint demands primer or putty on the surface. You don’t want to put Emulsion directly on the plaster.  

 With Emulsion, you will get amazing finishes such as Matt, Eggshell, Satin, and Glossy. 

So now you see, Emulsion demands primer or putty on the surface before you can apply them. Distemper doesn’t work as a primer. As a result, the paint doesn’t stick to the surface when you use Emulsion over Distemper.

 As Distemper doesn’t require any primer, you may assume it can work as a primer for Emulsion. Actually, this is not the case. There are specific differences between Distemper and primer. 


What Will Happen If You Use Emulsion on Distemper? 

It isn’t easy to paint over Distemper paint. You will experience new paint peeling away and not sticking to the wall. And all your efforts to paint your expensive Emulsion will end in smoke. In addition, distemper paint is not suitable for high-condensation areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, or shower rooms, as water helps peel off the Distemper from the surface. On the other hand, Emulsion is perfect for such humid conditions.

To try repainting Emulsion over Distemper, you must first remove the Distemper from the wall. Unfortunately, removing the Distemper from the wall is strenuous as it requires repeated scrubbing with warm water.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Painting Project

Now, you know that you cannot use Emulsion over Distemper. So let’s have a look at which paint you should choose between these two.

While choosing the right paint for you is difficult, considering the following will help you.

Distemper paint is perfect for rental properties and shops, as the finish this paint provides is not perfect. Moreover, rental properties need to be repainted once a year. Distemper paint is not washable. So, washing it may chip and peel the paint.

Distemper paint is cheaper than Emulsion paint but also less durable. As a result, you will need to repaint your surface very often.

Emulsion paint is perfect for the interior and ceiling of your home. You can use it in your rental properties and shop as well. There is no restriction to that if your pocket supports you. And also, if your shop needs to attract customers with vivid colors, Emulsion is the right option for you.

There are different categories of Emulsion paints. Some are washable, and some are not. Premium Emulsion paints are usually stain-guard and can last up to three to four washes.

Distemper paint doesn’t have any sheen to it.

 But Emulsion paint comes in four different sheens: Matt, Eggshell, Satin, and Gloss. So if you want a premium look in your interior, you should choose Emulsion over Distemper. But if you want to listen to your pocket and, depending on where you are planning to paint, you can also go for Distemper.

The Bottom Line

Putting Emulsion over Distemper is not possible. Because of these two paints’ different characteristics and ingredients, Emulsion paint will not stick on the Distemper. If you put Emulsion over Distemper, your paint will chip and peel away.

Considering these stated discussions, choose your paint wisely, saving you some pennies and hard labor.