Wall Putty vs. White Cement: Are They the Same?


When it comes down to your home renovation projects, you want to ensure that you invest your hard-earned cash in the right product for your needs. While certain products that are available on the market may have similar uses, they aren’t always the same! Such is the case with wall putty and white cement.

Wall putty and white cement are not the same products. White cement is a variant of cement created by using less Iron and Manganese Oxides than gray cement and by using oil instead of coal during production. White cement is one of the materials that is used to make traditional wall putty. In addition to this, there is also a type of wall putty that is acrylic-based.

To fully understand the similarities and differences between wall putty and white cement, you need to have a good understanding of each. In this article, we’ll break down each of these products, their uses, advantages, and disadvantages. That will allow you to make the best buying decision for your home renovation project!

A Brief Guide to Wall Putty

Wall putty has many uses and can be a great asset to your home improvement or renovation projects. Wall putty can be a fantastic asset to you, especially if you’re in the process of painting your walls. Using wall putty during the painting process ensures that your painted walls are smooth and have an even finish. 

When used correctly, wall putty will not only give your painted walls a sleek, even finish, but it can even extend the lifespan of the paint you use in your home projects. Not only this, but wall putty can be used to give your wall water, heat, and abrasion-resistant properties and can even prevent the flaking of painted walls.

By correctly using and applying wall putty, you will help establish a strong, smooth, and even foundation for your walls. The use of wall putty is an important foundational step to painting your house. It can even be used to fill cracks or even out dents on your walls. Through the use of wall putty, your walls will always be vibrant and pristine.  

It’s important to know what wall putty is, how to properly use it, and what those uses are. You never know when this knowledge will come in handy! Whether you’re renovating your current home in order to find a buyer for it or you’re moving into a new place you want to spruce up, wall putty can ensure that your walls make the right impression.

However, using wall putty is not a process on its own; it is just one of many steps towards painting your walls and ensuring the longevity of your chosen paint. Wall putty is a versatile mixture, as it can be used on both interior and exterior walls that need to be painted. It can even be used on both dry and wet walls, but what is it exactly?  

Wall putty is actually a cement product! This is why many users question the difference between wall putty and cement – which we will discuss throughout the course of this article. The wall putty you use will likely be a smooth, white-colored mixture that can be applied to your walls before you paint them.

Wall putty is made by turning cement into a powder, which is then transformed into a smooth mixture that can be applied to your walls as a preliminary step before painting. Wall putty is typically applied to a wall following the application of the first coat of primer. Primer may need to be applied again following the use of wall putty, though this ultimately depends on the combination of products you’re using for your renovation or improvement project at home.

There are different types of wall putty available on the market, including acrylic-based wall putties and traditional wall putties that incorporate white cement into the mixture. Due to the existence of white cement-based wall putties, many people might be wondering how this type of wall putty differs from white cement. While it is easy to mistake wall putty and white cement as the same product, that would be a misconception. So, what is white cement?

A Brief Guide to White Cement

When it comes down to understanding what exactly white cement is, there are many considerations to keep in mind. While there are certain types of wall putties that utilize white cement, they are not the same products. Likewise, white cement is not precisely the same as traditional gray cement.

Due to the whiteness of this cement variant, it has many uses in home renovation and improvement projects. While we will get into the true distinctions between these types of cement, gray cement is typically used for construction products. White cement, on the other hand, can be used in both exterior and interior spaces. There is an important emphasis placed on the aesthetic quality of this cement due to its white color.

White cement is often used in a decorative capacity due to its color. The whiteness of this cement allows the paint to remain vibrant and retain its color when applied on top of this cement. White cement is even used in the production of decorative concrete ornaments. However, like wall putty, white cement can also be used to seal hairline cracks due to the ability to successfully paint over it afterward.

Typically, white cement is used instead of gray cement in situations where the appearance of the cement plays an important role. That is why white cement is preferable to use in certain instances as opposed to its gray counterpart. However, when it comes to the differences between gray and white cement, there aren’t too many!

In terms of the way they set, the time it takes to set, and the strength of the cement, there are few differences between gray cement and white cement. Essentially, it all comes down to the increased possible uses of white cement due to its color. However, it is estimated that white cement uses 40% more energy to be produced than gray cement.

Gray cement uses high amounts of Iron Oxide and Manganese Oxide, which provides the gray color of this cement. White cement, however, uses very little of these materials in order to maintain the white color. Furthermore, coal is a primary fuel used in creating gray cement. White cement, on the other hand, utilizes oil in its manufacturing process to prevent the coal ash from contaminating the final color of the product.

Unlike wall putty, there is no need for you to spend time applying primer if you apply the white cement before painting. The white cement will provide a great base for whichever paint you decide to apply over the white cement.

Due to the color of the white cement, due to the processes discussed above, white cement is a fantastic product to consider for your home renovation needs. While it may be more costly than traditional gray cement, white cement will allow your paint colors to really pop!

Should I Use Wall Putty or White Cement?

When it’s time for you to decide whether to use wall putty or white cement, there are numerous factors you need to keep in mind. While these different products have some overlapping uses, each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

In this section, we will break down the factors that you need to keep in mind when deciding which of these products is the right one for your project. By keeping the various advantages and disadvantages of these products in mind, you can make an informed decision regarding which will be the best product for your specific needs in your home renovation project.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wall Putty

If you’re considering using wall putty in your home improvement project, these are the various factors you should keep in mind. These factors, however, differ depending on which type of wall putty you decide to use. As discussed earlier, there is acrylic wall putty available, as well as more traditional wall putty made using white cement.

The Advantages of Acrylic Wall Putty

  • Acrylic and water-based wall putties can ensure that the paint you use on your walls has a lasting vibrance to it.
  • For interior walls, this wall putty is suitable to fill cracks, cover dents, and provide an even, smooth surface to eventually paint over once the wall putty has dried.
  • Due to the smooth and even surface this putty can provide, your eventual painted wall or surface will have a smooth finish.
  • Acrylic wall putties are known to have faster drying times than traditional wall putties. Depending on the acrylic wall putty you end up buying, you’re looking at an estimated four to six hours until your wall putty has fully dried.

The Disadvantages of Acrylic Wall Putty

  • Acrylic-based wall putty, while useful, can only be used on interior walls, which limits the possible uses of this variant of wall putty. This must be kept in mind when deciding which product is right for your home improvement and renovation needs.
  • Despite the aforementioned drying times, acrylic wall putty may need to be applied by someone with the relevant skills who has worked with this substance previously. It can be difficult to remove or scrape off wall putty once applied, which starts drying rapidly once applied. Therefore, you want to ensure you know what you’re doing if you attempt this without the help of a professional. 
  • The mixture of acrylic wall putty may need to be prepared using a mechanical stirrer, which is another reason you may want to use a skilled professional!
  • This type of wall putty can be harder to use when covering cracks and dents than traditional wall putty made with white cement.
  • You will likely need to use primer on your walls before and after the application of the wall putty, depending on the product you get.

The Advantages of Traditional Wall Putty

  • Traditional wall putty, made using white cement, is great when you want to create a solid foundation for the application of paint. This will also prevent the paint from peeling or chipping in the future.
  • This type of wall putty is environmentally friendly.
  • Traditional wall putty has great water-resistance properties, which can benefit your walls.
  • This can be used on both interior and exterior walls. 

The Disadvantages of Traditional Wall Putty

  • You may need to apply two coatings of traditional wall putty to achieve the desired effect.
  • Like with acrylic wall putty, you may require the services of a professional familiar with this substance as it dries quickly and can be difficult to remove once applied. Therefore, speed and skill are important when working with this wall putty variant.
  • You will likely need to use primer on your walls before and after the application of the wall putty, depending on the product you get.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of White Cement

If you’re contemplating the use of white cement for your home renovation project, these are the various factors you should keep in mind.

The Advantages of White Cement

  • One of the benefits of white cement is that it sets in the same way as gray cement and does not lose any of its strength. The color of this cement just lends itself better to use in conjunction with aesthetic construction, such as home renovation projects, where paints may be applied afterward.
  • In terms of the fineness of white cement, it is more powdery than its gray alternative, which makes it easier to use for finishes before painting. 
  • White cement provides water-resistant properties, which is a benefit of using this product in your home improvement projects.
  • One of the great benefits of using white cement in your home improvement projects is that you won’t need to apply primer! Once you’ve applied the white cement and it has sufficiently dried, you’ll be able to paint those walls!
  • Last but not least: when you splurge a bit extra on white cement, you’re ensuring that the paint you’ve also spent money on will truly stand out vibrantly in your home.

The Disadvantages of White Cement

  • White cement can be more expensive than other similar materials, such as white cement-based wall putties and gray cement. This is due to the labor-intensive process that goes into collecting the lime needed for this type of cement.
  • Due to the higher cost of this material, you may want to hire a professional to help you properly use it so that you don’t waste any!
  • It can take a long for this type of cement to dry. Typically, white cement will have set within one day or twenty-four hours, though this can depend on factors such as humidity. Like gray cement, white cement only reaches its full strength after more than twenty days.

Final Thoughts

When you’re busy with home renovations, there’s a lot to think about! It’s easy to mistake one product for another and make the wrong purchase, which could put an unnecessary dent in your project’s budget. When it comes down to wall putty and white cement, you want to ensure you pick the right product for your needs!

Wall putty and white cement, when painted over, will both allow your paint to truly shine. However, these products are not the same. It’s important to keep the advantages and disadvantages of these two different products, as outlined within this article, in mind when making your decision!

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