Distemper is an early form of whitewash, also used as a medium for artistic painting, usually made from powdered chalk or lime and size (a gelatinous substance). Alternatives to chalk include the toxic substance white lead.
Distempered surfaces can be easily marked and discoloured, and cannot be washed down, so distemper is best suited to temporary and interior decoration. The technique of painting on distempered surfaces blends watercolors with whiting and glue.
Paint is a liquid, liquifiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film.
Paint is used to protect, decorate (such as adding color), or add functionality to an object or surface by covering it with a pigmented coating. An example of protection is to retard corrosion of metal. An example of decoration is to add festive trim to a room interior. An example of added functionality is to modify light reflection or heat radiation of a surface.
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