A Beginner’s Guide to the Differences Between Emulsion Paint and Primers

Written by Team Indigopaints  | Published:
October 26, 2021

Learning about different wall paint products is essential for beginning DIY-ers, new homeowners and home improvement experts alike. Before you grab your roller and start your first coat, it is necessary to know what different wall paint products do and their differences. However, it is challenging when there is a plethora of products to choose from. However, it is essential to choose the right kind of wall paint. A lot of times, people are confused about whether to choose between emulsion paints or wall primers. To help you better understand the various roles of emulsion paint and primer, here are the key differences.


An emulsion paint has acrylic resin in an emulsion form. It usually consists of pigment, resin, solvent, and additives. It is water-based. Many homeowners find it efficient and more suitable for their home than oil-based paint because it avoids the potent odours of oil-based paints. Wall paint contains pigments and acrylics that give it beauty and durability, and it can be had in many levels of sheen.

However, if the paint is applied to an unprimed surface, it may crack or peel off within a few months. For paint to last long, priming the surface with a suitable primer is imperative. A wall primer primarily consists of resins. They create a uniform surface that is suitable to receive the paint. Primers also address specific problems, such as rot and mould.

Types of emulsion paints and wall primers

There are three types of Emulsion Paints available in the market.

Soft sheen paints help in offering longer durability.

Matte paints, which help in hiding the imperfection on the walls, ideal for use in domestic and light commercial environments

Silk paints are low-odour but have a slower drying time.

There are three types of wall primers,

1. Oil-based primers:

An industry standard for long, these primers are incredibly versatile as they work with both oil and latex paints. They are also applicable to a wide variety of surfaces.

2. Latex primers:

They are water-based and perfect for preparing unfinished walls for painting. They are more flexible, fast-drying, and less fragile than oil-based primers, thus less susceptible to peeling and cracking.

3. Pigmented shellac primers are good

for interior paint jobs, possibly the best stain-blocking primers, working well on severe water and smoke damage to walls and surfaces.


Emulsion wall paints don’t dry or crack in sunlight and have a better finishing than distemper paints. They don’t peel off when wet, and their colour doesn’t fade over time. They are also less toxic and easy to apply, and can be used on any surface – wooden, concrete or metallic. Here is Indigo Paints’ fantastic Acrylic Laminate emulsion paint that you can choose for both of your interior and exterior surfaces.

On the other hand, wall primers even out porosity and provide a chemical and physical bond between the base surface and topcoat. They increase the covering capacity of paint and thereby reduce the “cost of painting”. You can paint over dark colours after using a primer, ensuring better paint adhesion and durability. Indigo Paints’ platinum series is indeed an excellent wall primer that you need to check out right now!

So here are the three primary differences between Emulsion Paints and Primers. What are you waiting for now? Pick up your paintbrush, make the wall your canvas and get to work! Home painting requires time, patience and finesse. Choose the wall paints and primers that work best for you from our assortment at Indigo Paints.

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What is the Difference Between Emulsion and Distemper

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