Why one should avoid the White Cement Putty?

Birla putty Cement based putty J K putty White cement putty

Published by Hemant Chauhan in Painting and coating systems.

birla white cement putty application











Commonly known as Birla Putty, as Birla White Cement introduced this product in the market. The White Cement putty is now manufactured even by some paint companies and there are many local players now in the market selling this type of product.

Market price range of local varieties start from Rs 325/- to Rs 500/- for 20 Kg pack to branded products like Birla or J.K. Putty or others
So some common brands are
  1. Birla Putty
  2. J.K. White Putty
  3. Jensolin Putty by Jenson & Nicholson
  4. Asian Paints White Cement Putty
  5. British Paints and other players like SIKA,  Roofit etc.
Common Packaging Available: 20 Kg packs (with Rs 40 to Rs 50 token inside), 40 Kg Packs (Without Token) 
About the Product
Basic Ingredients: White Cement + Polymers + Fillers to make it smooth and reduce the need of curing.
The product has now become very common and almost every new construction be it private home or commercial construction, the market has adopted the product blindly.
The Perception is that it provides a very smooth surface and reduces the consumption of Paint.
Some of the Companies are also promoting and giving huge advertisement that the putty application protects your paint!
In Reality...
  1. The extra smoothness of cement putty surface reduces the consumption of the paint. This means that it also reduces the Dry Film Thickness of the Paint when applied on the Putty. What it effectively does is that the minimum recommended quantity required for the paint to perform specially on the exterior surface per square feet is reduced to half therefor it also reduces the life and performance of the paint. As the minimum material required to form a protective layer to withstand UV Rays, Rain and the Air Pollutants effectively is not there. Due to the over smoothness of the white putty surface, the consumption of paint required for the expected performance is only 40% of the required quantity. This reduces the life of the final coating drastically.  
  1. Cement Putty does not protect your paint from of moisture ingress in the Surface ! 
    1. Some of the trade Magazines carry full page ads claiming that the White Cement Putty protects your paint from moisture and prevent it from peeling off ! 
    2. The fact is, paint peels off whenever when there is moisture in the surface of the wall, which may be due to waterproofing issues or absorption of water in the wall due to proximity of water.
    3. The white cement putty itself will not come or "De-Bond" due to moisture, but the paint, which forms a non-breathable layer will always peel off.  No matter what the surface is i.e. White Cement Putty or regular putty or POP, it wont matter.
    4. If there is moisture in the surface the paint cannot survive, be it of any quality.   So the false perception is created that use of white cement putty inside the structure will keep the paint safe. 


No doubt the putty application does make walls look smooth, but this is not very relevant in case of exterior walls, where one sees the whole structure & not from close up. 
On the interior walls, no white cement putty application can ever match the POP finish. 
Even if one has to apply putty following care should be taken.
  1. Properly curing the surface before application is a must. Specially in hot regions. The surface should always be moist before application of putty but Sadly in 95% cases the curing is not done.
  2. It is always good to do one curing after the application of white cement putty coat.
  3. One coat application is enough for the surface to be sealed as the second and third coat of putty makes a super smooth surface which is detrimental to grip of the exterior paint and thus reduces its performance.
Suggestions for getting long life of paint on exterior walls
  1. Spend 50 paisa extra on plaster to get a levelled and smooth plaster in two layers.
  2. Add waterproofing additive to plaster to make it watertight and to also improve the finish of the plaster.
  3. If you have applied putty already, then do not go for the high end expensive paint like Asian Paints Brand :  Apex Ultima or , Weathershield Max by ICI Dulux (Akzo Noble) etc. , as you will not get the expected performance in terms of life of paint or properties like crack bridging etc.   Go for normal variety like Simple Apex , Weathershield of normal quality.  As there is quite a difference in the price of the qualities of paint.
  4. If white cement putty is applied, then it should be painted within one week, as after 15 days the white cement putty self-seals due to chemicals present in it to make it smooth.
  5. There are also lot of cracks generated when coating is delayed on white cement putty surface.
  6. If the white cement putty has been applied for more than 20 days and left unpainted then its surface should be thoroughly sanded down with 80 No Emery Paper.
  1. White cement putty does not increase paint life. Rather reduces it, specially in Exterior use.
  2. Saving in terms of reduced consumption of paint is offset or cancelled by the increased cost of putty application.
  3. White cement putty application will nullify the best qualities of premium exterior paints like Apex Ultima by Asian Paints or Weathershield Max or any other premium paints of existing brands.
  4. It is more practical to invest in higher quality of paint rather than the application of white cement putty on exterior walls.
  5. Interior wall finishing will come much better if you go for a POP finish as it would cost almost he same as white cement putty while giving much better result in terms of smoothness & levelness.
  6. If you use white cement putty for interiors then you won’t be get the desired finishing from premium "Plastic / Acrylic " paints like Dulux Velvet Touch or Asian Paint Royale as all the waves or undulations in the wall surface will be amplified and the walls will look shabby specially after the lights are switched on. 
  7. These high finish paints give the desired look only on a properly levelled POP surface which a white cement putty surface can never ever achieve because
    1. White cement putty layer thickness is hardly 1.5 mm while POP layer can be up-to an inch thick covering all undulations of the plastered wall.The above points are well observed from many projects observed over the years. The marketing power of big brands clouds the true performance of this finishing system.

Premium Plastic or Acrylic paints having problems on putty surface due to moisture in the interiors.

Wall paint having problem even though its on a white cement putty surface.


For any long lasting structures, its coating & finishing system should be able to support the coating system to make it last long. The white cement putty doesn't help in this at all. 

  • vinod Rajkumar gupta on

    for parapet in balcony, which has cracks and pits, I intend to use cement or putty with paint.
    Please suggest whether I should use white cement or putty, any additives and type and make of paint.

  • Jyoti Dsouza on

    Sir I am repairing the spirit of the cracked rcc slab and to register the cracked surface after application of Repair chemicals on the steel can I apply white cement putty instead of cement plaster so as to avoid curing?

  • Vasatheya Construction on

    I am having experience more than 10 years in this area and I cannot agree to the points mentioned above.
    Even if you apply White cement putty or any other material, you need to apply minimum 2 coats of paint which will ensure the minimum thickness of top coat.
    2. Yeah, Unbreathable paint will peel off with moisture. but if you apply POP, POP itself will peel off damaging the expensive top coat.
    3. Smooth putty can be applied upto 1,5mm only. If undulation is more, You can use coarse putty as initial coat.

  • Jolly Hossain on

    Dear sir,
    I have read your article that very well to
    me.i want to know which kind of putty should use for iner wall, ceiling etc for smooth surface and long lasting paint in bugdet freindly cost.give me some advice.
    Thanking you.

  • Jayanta Chaudhury on

    Sir, my room presently have distemper. I want to repaint with low budget. What can I do?
    1. After wash distemper thoroughly. Use wall primer. Then paint Asian paints emultion.


    2. Wash distemper. Use wall putty as a primer (Make thin with water and paint with brush). Then use wall primer and then paint.

    Can I use wall putty thin with water use brush? Or I have to use this product as thik through putty knife?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published