How do I know if I have an old distemper paint on my walls, and if I do how do I paint over this surface?

Tŷ-Mawr ‌‌ posted this on 11 Apr 2016

Distemper paints were made up of a variety of ingredients often bound with animal size/glue. If you wet the wall down and the surface goes into a soapy lather then you can be pretty sure the paint is a distemper of some kind.


Painting over distempers is notoriously difficult and often new paints will peel away. You can try repainting with distemper such as our casein paint. For best results try and remove the distemper. This can be a laborious process of scrubbing with warm water repeatedly.


If you have a concern over old lead-based paints if in doubt leave them in-situ and paint over but do not sand down. We can organise tests for lead and arsenic content in paints.