Difference Between Distemper and Primer

The need for paint is in high demand due to the increasing development of the buildings and infrastructure. Paints are the fundamental part of the building, they either add grace or change the game.

Distemper and a primer are the two things that are applied before the actual color paint. But some, differences in them that make them function differently.

Distemper vs Primer

The main difference between Distemper and a Primer is that distemper is a white-colored paint made of chalk and lime substances. On the other hand, a Primer is a non-pigment paint made of resins. Distemper is known as cement paint for walls, whereas primer is known for its smooth finish. Distemper may contain toxic substances like white lead, while the primer is a safer option.

Distemper vs Primer

Distemper is a type of paint used for decoration purposes and artistic work. It comes in two types: Soft Distemper and Hard Distemper.

Particles of chalk and lime are used to make soft temper. It was a form of whitewash in ancient times. It is used in interior decors and surfaces where the paint lasts longer.

Primer is similar to paint, except it lacks pigments and is made of resins. Primers are designed to generate a strong bond with the substratum surface, primer, and paint, resulting in a uniform surface ready to receive.

Primers provide excellent coverage while also allowing you to treat specific issues like rot and mold. Primer boosts the paint’s covering capacity.

Comparison Table Between Distemper and Primer

Parameters of ComparisonDistemperPrimer
DefinitionDistemper is an ancient type of paint, which is used as a primer before the paint for the walls. A Primer is a modern paint, which is also used as a primer for the walls.
Made ofChalk powder, lime particles, white leadResins
AffordabilityComparatively cheaperComparatively costly
Coats applied Generally two or as requiredOne or as required
QualityLower as compared to primerHigher as compared to distemper

What is Distemper?

Distemper paint is a sort of old paint that dated back to the dawn of human existence.

It’s an early type of whitewash made of water, chalk, and color, and it’s sometimes bound with an animal-based glue, such as egg, or the adhesive characteristics of casein, a resin derived from solidified milk.

The main issue with distemper paint is that it is not long-lasting. As a result, these are utilized for transitory or low-cost undertakings rather than high art.

The paint does not easily get moist. Nowadays, these are not available as water-proof paint. It also dries rapidly and may be wiped clean with a moist rag if any mistakes occur.

Distemper has always been a popular choice for house interiors. It has been used to paint walls and decorate homes since antiquity. It’s easy to mark, but it can’t be wet.

It is utilized for interior surfaces due to its lack of waterproofing. It’s an excellent inside home paint, aside from the durability issue.

Distemper is a great finish for buildings that have a lot of moisture. It’s also the only paint that will go on freshly plastered walls without flaking.

The adhesive is made by adding water then slowly heating it until it forms a liquid. The glue’s job is to retain the whiting together and aid in its adhesion. The whiting and glue ingredients are combined into a creamy fluid.

What is Primer?

While priming walls may appear to be an unnecessary step in the painting process, the advantages greatly exceed the inconvenience.

Consider paint primer to be a foundation coat that lays the groundwork for a perfect paint job. Primer helps to cover flaws in your wall, such as spots that have been fixed or mended.

Priming makes your task easier in the long term because it reduces the number of coats you’ll need and protects your paint from wear over time.

Due to primer, the stains are blocked and hidden, so they don’t leak through your freshly painted surface. Priming is necessary for the color to look elegant and more spectacular. Professionals suggest primer for the smooth finish of the wall.

It creates a consistent surface for your paint to adhere to (Better adherence means a more durable paint job). The amount of primer you’ll need is determined by the type of material and the state of your walls.

One coat of paint primer on a good-condition wall should suffice if you’re not altering finishes or making a color shift.

If you’re painting over a darker hue, a glossier paint finish, or a porous surface, use two coats for great results. It creates a consistent foundation for a clean, seamless paint application, allowing you to finish the job in fewer applications.

The color of your surface is neutralized, allowing the trust, most brilliant color to shine through when new paint is applied.

Main Differences Between Distemper and Primer

  1. Distemper is a whitewash type of paint that was discovered in early times. A primer is just like paint but does not contain pigments. 
  2. Distemper is generally cheaper as compared to the primer. 
  3. Distemper is made of chalk powder, lime particles, and white lead. A primer is made of resins and other synthetic chemicals. 
  4. Distemper contains toxic substances like white lead, whereas primer does not have any harmful substances. 
  5. Distemper is majorly used in coating walls, décor pieces, and similar stuff. A primer is used to provide a smooth finish for the paint. 
Difference Between Distemper and Primer


Paints play a significant role in providing the finish and structure to the walls. Here, a distemper or a primer is used for a drastic change.

Distemper can shrink on drying, so there are more chances of cracks and flakes. Primer provides a smooth finish to the wall and does not contain pigment.

Mostly, a primer is preferred by the professionals due to its more advantages over the distemper. Primer not only tends to give a nice finish to the paint but also helps increase the shelf life of the paint.

Distemper can be of washable and non-washable type. Both the paints are odorless, easy to apply, and dried quickly.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00393630.2021.1925487
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300944018301966
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