The Ultimate Poster Paint Vs Tempera Paint Comparison!

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With arts and crafts being such a great way to entertain your children, we constantly see people reaching out for advice on the best paints for kid and with the two main options being poster paint and tempera paint, we often see questions about these too. We decided that it is probably a good idea to public an ultimate poster paint vs tempera paint comparison article to try and help our readers understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Our goal is that we will be able to help our readers find the best option for their needs while also helping to keep their costs as low as possible. Due to seeing so many people reaching out for advice on poster paint, tempera paint, and paint for children, we feel that this article will be able to help a large number of people.

Now, before we go any further we just want to say that a decent poster paint or a decent tempera paint can both be a great addition to your collection. They can both perform well with slight differences between the two but should help to keep your children entertained. The majority of the issues come when people go with the cheap, sub-twenty dollar paint sets so provided you have a budget of $20-$30 or higher, you should be able to get yourself some great paints.

Poster Paint Vs Tempera Paint Comparison!

The main difference between poster paint and tempera paint is the binding agents used. Poster paint uses cheap, low-quality binding agents where as tempera paint uses egg or a high-quality synthetic replacement for it delivering better performance.

The majority of our readers will have used poster paint as children during the majority of arts and crafts sessions at school. Most schools use it due to how cheap poster paint is and the fact that artwork done with poster paint is usually for children with short attention spans knowing that the artwork will not last very long.

Although tempera paint has been around for centuries, it has only become a popular option for children over the last decade or two. It still tends to be cheap although it is usually a little more expensive than poster paint but offers much better performance. Tempera paint tends to last much longer than poster paint too without it having problems with cracking or flaking.

What Is Poster Paint Used For?

The vast majority of brands that make poster paint use the cheapest possible ingredients in their poster paint formula to keep their costs as low as possible. Although the product that the produce is totally safe to use, they don’t use anything to help your paint last as it is predominantly sold for use with children to help keep them entertained.

Due to this, the majority of the decent poster paint formulas are washable as children can end up getting the paint all over. This makes it easy to let your child paint using poster paint and not have to worry about what they get up to.

Poster paint is usually used for children who are aged between three and five years old as they are likely to forget about their painting and not care when it starts to crack and flake. The low prices of poster paint make it easy to stock up on a whole range of colors to ensure that your child is able to paint anything they want too.

What Is Tempera Paint Best Used For?

There are a number of different tempera paint formulas on the market these days but the most common use for tempera paint is for use with children. It tends to be a little more expensive than poster paint due to it using better ingredients that help ensure that the painting will last for as long as possible.

Due to this, a decent tempera paint can be a great option to use if you have children over five who are more likely to care about seeing their artwork around the house for longer. Tempera paint is able to last you centuries due to it being crack and flak resistent too.

Although the vast majority of tempera paint formulas are easy to clean, they are not all classes as “washable” so always make sure you are getting a tempera paint designed for use with children rather than professional artists. This will help make sure that you are able to easily wash any paint spills up without running into any problems.

Is Poster Paint And Tempera Paint Good For Beginners?

Both poster paint and tempera paint are good for beginners in the sense that they are usually designed for use by children for none serious artwork. We have noticed some adults wanting to get involved in arts and crafts asking about using poster paint or tempera paint and although it can be used, there are usually better options.

We would never recommend that an adult who is beginning their painting journey uses poster paint as it just has too many problems for any serious artwork. Professional level tempera paint tends to be expensive too so something like a nice beginner water color paint set will usually be a much better option for beginners.

Although you could go with a beginner oil paint set, we usually recommend against going with oil paints if you are a total beginner due to having to use mediums with your paints for optimal performance. Simply stick to a nice water color set and build up your skills and experience and then progress from there.

Should You Choose Poster Paint Or Tempera Paint?

When it comes to choosing poster paint or tempera paint, we usually recommend that our readers go by their budget or the age of their children. A decent poster paint set tends to be the cheapest option while being ideal for a child between three and five making it the obvious option for that age range.

Older children tend to care about their artwork more and don’t want to see it cracking and flaking so a tempera paint set is usually the better option for an older child. That said though, tempera paint sets can be a little more expensive than poster paint so you will have to factor in your budget too.

Depending on how seriously your child takes their artwork, you may be able to get away with sticking with poster paint through all ages. Just keep in mind that it will start to crack, flake, and peel quickly making it a paint to hang around your home, especially if you have young children or pets who may try to eat the paint flakes that fall off.


That brings our poster paint vs tempera paint comparison article to an end. In reality, both options are solid choices for use with children and can help to keep your child entertained for houses with minimal effort being required on your part too. As we mentioned above, the main things to consider are the age of your children and your budget but most of our readers will be able to go with either option without having any problems.