When to Use Interior Emulsion Paint

Posted on Categories:Interior Paint, Painting guide, wall paint
Interior Emulsion Paint

When to use interior emulsion paint and how to get the best finish? This is the perfect time of year for some interior painting. Soon the weather will be too unpredictable for painting outside, so it’s time to look inside for your next project. Brighten up your property or workplace with Paintmaster’s guide to using interior emulsion paint.

What is Emulsion Paint?

Interior Emulsion paint is a water-based paint that can be used on walls and ceilings that have been previously painted or plastered. All types of emulsion are durable but have different finishes, so you can choose which is the best look for your project. This may depend on the colour you want for your walls, for example white emulsion paint is perfect for bright office areas but you may want a more muted grey for a garage or workshop. Or you might want a paint without a high sheen, or one that is shinier.

Whatever you need, Paintmaster has a wide range of emulsion paints to suit any wall or ceiling.

What types of Emulsion Paint are there?

Unlike other water-based paints, emulsion contains vinyl or acrylic resins to create a hardwearing

finish. Here are the three types of emulsion paint:

  • Matt Emulsion– Creates a non-shiny finish. Some matt emulsion can be very tough and long-lasting but glossier types may suit high-wear surfaces.
  • Satin Emulsion – Satin Creates a softer sheen and is more hardwearing than vinyl matt emulsion.
  • Silk Emulsion – Creates a shiny finish that looks great and lasts for longer than other types of emulsion. Its tough compound makes it long-lasting and hardwearing. The best choice for humid rooms and buildings.

Where to use Interior Emulsion Paint?

Interior emulsion paint is the ideal paint for any interior walls as it is inexpensive but always looks great.

They are most often used for domestic painting, but it can also be used for:

  • Garages
  • Workshops
  • Factories
  • Offices
  • Other commercial properties

As it only needs two coats, emulsion paint is perfect for larger projects and won’t break the bank when you place your order.

How to use Interior Emulsion Paint – Step by Step Guide

Painting interior walls may seem like a simple job, but there are a few steps you should follow to get the best results.

STEP 1 – Prep the room

Firstly, clear the room of all furniture and anything else that may get in your way. This will give you plenty of space to work in.

STEP 2 – Clean your walls

Lay down a drop sheet and clean your walls. Many people skip the cleaning and get straight to painting, but this can lead to a worse finish or even ruin the paint job entirely.

STEP 3 – Mask your trim, Cut in

Next, mask all trim around the walls. During the job you will likely need to use a ‘cutting in’ technique, where you use a paint brush to fill in areas you can’t reach with a paint roller.

Start cutting in a few centimetres from the corners and edges. Use a half-loaded brush so the paint isn’t too thick. A roller will spread it out thinner than a brush so try to match the layer it will leave. Take your time with this step.

STEP 4 – Start Rollering

Test the roller on your tray to make sure it’s rolling evenly. If you have used it a few times, or even if it is brand new, it may take a few rolls to work properly. Once loaded with paint, roll it on the tray again to remove excess paint and balance the roller.

Now for the fun part. Start from where you cut in and roll across the wall. Start in the brushed area as much as possible to even out the finish. Paint 3 or 4 metres and then move on to the next step.

STEP 5 – Lay off

After you have covered a section of the wall, you need to lay off to get the best finish. Place your unloaded paint roller in the top left of the painted section with the roller handle to the right. Then with very light pressure roll straight down the wall to the bottom.

This will even out the paint and prevent it being too thick. Do it again from the top, slightly overlapping where you already did to prevent streaks. Laying off creates the professional finish you need. It’s always worth the effort even for dull walls.

Once you’ve laid off the section, go back to step 4 and repeat.

STEP 6 – Finish Up

Apply 2-3 coats of paint within a period of 6 hours. Take your time with Rolling, rushing one section more than another will ruin the finish. Soon your walls will be freshly painted and looking great!

Can you use Emulsion Paint outside?

Interior emulsion paint should NOT be used on exterior surfaces. Despite its durability, emulsion cannot withstand rain, snow, strong winds and extreme temperature changes. Emulsion paint lacks the binding agent that is present in exterior and masonry paints so will flake or fade easily if exposed to the elements. If you have excess paint, it should be saved for inside walls and ceilings only.

Ready to start painting?


Interior Emulsion paint is the best solution to reinvigorate dull or tired walls. It is simple to apply and creates a great finish that you can adjust to fit your preferences. If you have any questions about any of our products, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.


How long does it take for emulsion paint to dry?

Emulsion paint that is water based dries the fastest and you can expect them to be touch dry in around 1-2 hours, however don’t add another layer for approximately 4 hours for the best finish, because your roller or brush could still pick up the first coat and create streaks.

How To Dispose Of Emulsion Paint?

To make sure you avoid causing environmental contamination and damage, the best way to dispose of emulsion paint, is to add sand or sawdust to the bucket. Then leave it for a few weeks till it is fully dried and put it in your normal rubbish bin.

How To Remove Emulsion Paint From Walls?

Wet emulsion paint is easy, all you need is hot soapy water and a cloth/sponge to remove it. However to remove dry emulsion paint you will need a specific type of paint stripper, that is designed for emulsion paint. Just remember that you can always paint over dry emulsion paint.

How to seal emulsion paint on wood?

After you’ve added your 2-3 layers of emulsion paint, to seal emulsion paint onto wood you can use varnish. However it is important that you use a water based varnish, as emulsion paint is a water based paint.

Is emulsion paint waterproof?

Emulsion paints can resist some moisture, meaning they work in kitchens and bathrooms, but aren’t fully waterproof. Emulsion paint can be cleaned with soap and water, just make sure to dry it quickly before the water can soak in.  

What is interior emulsion paint?

Interior emulsion paint is water-based, making it a great choice for beginners. It is available in a wide range of colours, and comes in matte, satin, and silk finishes.  

What is the difference between emulsion paint and normal paint?

Emulsion paints don’t crack or dry in sunlight and are less likely to peel when wet. This natural durability isn’t at the cost of looking great either; emulsion paints have the boldest colours and sheens.  

What type of emulsion is best for walls?

Matte emulsion paint is the best for interior walls, but silk and satin options look great too. Many people refer matte as it reflects virtually no light, so there is no glare even in direct sunlight. It also looks great in a wide range of colours.  

Which emulsion paint is best for interior walls?

Interior emulsion paint is great for interior walls. It’s inexpensive compared to other types of paint, is beginner friendly, and comes in a wide range of colours and sheens.