What Is Casein Distemper?

Farrow & Ball Casein Distemper 235 Borrowed Light


If you are looking for an affordable and eco-friendly paint option, then you might want to consider using casein distemper. This traditional paint has been used for centuries and is still popular today. Despite its long history, many people are not familiar with what casein distemper is and how it is used. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of casein distemper in simple terms.

What is Casein Distemper?

Casein distemper is a type of paint that is made by mixing milk protein (casein) with lime and pigments. The result is a water-based paint that is non-toxic, durable, and easy to apply. Casein distemper is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings, but it can also be used for woodwork and metal surfaces.

How is Casein Distemper Made?

To make casein distemper, milk protein is first extracted from skimmed milk. This protein is then mixed with lime and pigments to create the paint. The lime acts as a binder, while the pigments provide the color. The final product is a thick paste that is diluted with water to the desired consistency.

Advantages of Casein Distemper

There are several advantages to using casein distemper. Firstly, it is an eco-friendly paint option as it is made from natural materials. Secondly, it is a breathable paint, which means that it allows air to circulate through the walls. This is particularly beneficial for older buildings that may have damp problems. Thirdly, it is a durable paint that can last for many years without fading or cracking. Finally, it is easy to apply and dries quickly.

Disadvantages of Casein Distemper

While there are many advantages to using casein distemper, there are also some disadvantages. Firstly, it is not suitable for exterior use as it is not weather-resistant. Secondly, it cannot be washed with water or chemicals, which means that it is less suitable for high-traffic areas. Finally, it can be difficult to find casein distemper in some areas as it is not as widely available as other types of paint.

How to Apply Casein Distemper

Before applying casein distemper, it is important to prepare the surface by cleaning it thoroughly and filling any cracks or holes. The paint can be applied using a brush or roller, and it should be applied in thin coats. It is important to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat. If necessary, a second coat can be applied once the first coat is completely dry.

Care and Maintenance

To care for casein distemper, it is important to avoid washing it with water or chemicals. Instead, it can be cleaned using a dry cloth or soft brush. If there are any stains or marks, they can be gently rubbed with a damp cloth. It is important to avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing too hard as this can damage the paint.


In conclusion, casein distemper is a traditional paint that is still popular today. It is made from natural materials, easy to apply, and durable. While it does have some disadvantages, it is an eco-friendly and breathable paint option that is worth considering for interior walls and ceilings. If you are interested in using casein distemper, it is important to find a supplier in your area and to follow the correct application and care instructions.