What Are The Main Differences Between Floor & Wall Paint?

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Despite their close similarities in composition, floor and wall paint aren't simply interchangeable. They're made to specific standards and for certain reasons. Trying to use one type to coat the wrong surface may result in unexpected problems further on in time. They also have strengths and limitations linked to the uses that they're designed for. Here's a guide to tell the two types apart and why you should always use each for its intended purpose.

Colour Variety & Durability

Floor paint comes in fewer, darker colours than decorative wall paint and is meant to be unobtrusive outside of factory and commercial settings. While some floor paint might successfully be applied to walls, it's not going to look as colourful or as attractive. Likewise, wall paint mistakenly applied to the floor will quickly flake and scuff without the addition of a strong protective layer. Wall paint is mixed to custom specifications with blended pigments. This aesthetic boost comes at the expense of lowering the durability of wall paint. This isn't an issue because interior walls typically take less stress through use than high-traffic walkways. However, colourful wall paint applied on the floor will wear through very quickly with regular foot traffic.


Wall paint is usually designed and mixed to be applied exclusively to plasterwork. While special varieties of wall paint for metal and wood can be purchased, floor paint is typically more flexible as a 'sticky' paint. It can usually be applied in one go to any kind of flooring save concrete.

Preparation Time

Floor paint based on an epoxy resin will sometimes take a second mix and settling period to prepare. Wall paint is usually usable straight out of the tin. However, these relative advantages can be cancelled out by the fact that wall paint sometimes requires two, three, or even four coats to seal properly. Floor paint also comes in one coat protective varieties, cutting the amount of time it takes to paint large surfaces.


Wall paint is designed for traditional brush or roller application only. It should never be mixed with paint thinner and never used with a paint spraying machine. Floor paint, however, can usually be combined with a thinner. You won’t need a concrete primer as when applying your first coat if you thin this it will act as your primer / sealer. Always check manufactures recommended thinning ratios.


As with colour, a much greater range of effect and textured finishes can be applied to wall paint. While certain post-effects can also be applied to floor paint, the range of applications is much narrower. It's also more difficult to tint floor paint to produce a faded effect.

TA Industrial Paints

At TA Paints, we have the floor and wall paint selection you'll need for any job, in any volume. Call or email us today for a quote. Image source: Pixabay