Difference Wiki

Distemper vs. Emulsion: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 28, 2023
Distemper is a water-based paint with chalk and pigment, ideal for walls and ceilings, while emulsion is a water-based paint with synthetic polymers, offering more durability and a variety of finishes.

Key Differences

Distemper is an early form of paint, primarily water-based, containing chalk and pigments, and is mainly used for walls and ceilings. Emulsion, on the other hand, is also water-based but contains synthetic polymers like acrylic, offering a more durable and washable finish.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023
Distemper provides a matte finish and is often chosen for its historical authenticity in restoration work. In contrast, emulsion paints are available in a range of finishes from matte to glossy, making them versatile for different aesthetic needs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023
The application of distemper is relatively easy and it can be directly applied to plaster. Emulsion, however, sometimes requires a primer for better adhesion and can be used on a variety of surfaces.
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
Distemper is more eco-friendly due to its natural ingredients and is often preferred for its minimal environmental impact. Emulsion paints, though more resistant to moisture and wear, contain synthetic compounds and can have a higher environmental footprint.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023
In terms of cost, distemper is usually more affordable but less durable. Emulsion paints are more expensive but offer better longevity, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Base Composition

Water-based with chalk and pigments
Water-based with synthetic polymers
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Finish

Matte
Ranges from matte to glossy
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Durability

Less durable
More durable and washable
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Application Surface

Direct application to plaster
Often requires primer on various surfaces
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Environmental Impact

Eco-friendlier due to natural ingredients
Higher due to synthetic compounds
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Distemper and Emulsion Definitions

Distemper

A state of agitation or disorder.
The news of the storm put everyone in a state of distemper.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A water-based paint with synthetic polymers.
We chose a high-quality emulsion for the living room walls for its durability.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Distemper

A water-based paint with chalk and pigments.
The old mansion's walls were coated with distemper to maintain its historical look.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A mixture of two liquids that usually don't mix, like oil and water.
The chef prepared a delicate emulsion of oil and vinegar for the salad dressing.
Huma Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Distemper

A tuning of musical instruments in a non-standard way.
The pianist used distemper tuning to achieve a unique sound for the composition.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A light-sensitive coating on photographic film.
The emulsion on the film captures the image when exposed to light.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Distemper

A term used historically for certain diseases.
In medieval texts, distemper referred to a variety of illnesses without specific symptoms.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A creamy mixture used in skincare products.
Her skincare routine includes a moisturizing emulsion for hydration.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

Distemper

A viral disease in animals, especially dogs.
The stray puppy was diagnosed with distemper and required immediate treatment.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another.
In the lab, we created an emulsion of oil in water as part of the experiment.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Distemper

Canine distemper.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A suspension of small globules of one liquid in a second liquid with which the first will not mix
An emulsion of oil in vinegar.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Distemper

Feline panleukopenia.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A photosensitive coating, usually of silver halide grains in a thin gelatin layer, on photographic film, paper, or glass.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A stable suspension of small droplets of one liquid in another with which it is immiscible.
Mayonnaise is an emulsion where egg is used to keep oil and water mixed.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

(chemistry) A colloid in which both phases are liquid.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

(photography) The coating of photosensitive silver halide grains in a thin gelatine layer on a photographic film.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

Any liquid preparation of a color and consistency resembling milk; as: (a) In pharmacy, an extract of seeds, or a mixture of oil and water united by a mucilaginous substance. (b) In photography, a liquid preparation of collodion holding salt of silver, used in the photographic process.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

(chemistry) a colloid in which both phases are liquids;
An oil-in-water emulsion
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Emulsion

A light-sensitive coating on paper or film; consists of fine grains of silver bromide suspended in a gelatin
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

FAQs

How does distemper differ from other paints?

It's more breathable, less durable, and easier to apply than oil-based paints.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Can distemper be painted over?

Yes, but the surface may require preparation for best results.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

Is distemper toxic?

Modern distemper paints are generally non-toxic, but older formulations may contain harmful ingredients.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

What is distemper?

Distemper is a type of water-based paint used for walls and ceilings.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Where is distemper paint commonly used?

It's often used in older buildings due to its breathability.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

How long does distemper paint last?

It can last several years but is less durable than other types of paint.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

What is emulsion paint?

Emulsion paint is a water-based paint used for interior and exterior walls.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

What is the drying time for distemper?

It typically dries within a few hours.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

What are the ingredients of distemper?

It typically contains chalk, lime, water, and sometimes pigments for color.
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is distemper paint washable?

No, it's not as washable or durable as emulsion or oil-based paints.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Can distemper be used on wood?

It's not recommended for wood; it's best for plaster walls and ceilings.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

Why is emulsion paint popular?

It's easy to apply, dries quickly, and has low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Can emulsion paint be used in humid areas?

Yes, it's suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

How does emulsion paint affect indoor air quality?

Being water-based, it typically has lower VOCs, making it better for indoor air quality.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023

What surfaces can emulsion paint be used on?

It can be used on plaster, brick, and wood surfaces.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Can emulsion paint be mixed with other types?

It's not recommended to mix with oil-based or other types of paints.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

How do you clean up after using emulsion paint?

Clean brushes and tools with water, as it's water-based.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Does emulsion paint need a primer?

It depends on the surface; some may require priming for best results.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

What are the key components of emulsion paint?

It contains pigments, binders (like acrylic or vinyl), and water.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

Is emulsion paint durable?

Yes, it's more durable and washable than distemper.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons