Can You Use Exterior Paint on The Inside?

Imagine how many times you had to repaint the walls of your home because they kept peeling or fading. If you are considering a long-term solution, remember that you were only concerned about the interior; the exterior paint never showed the need to be repainted. It has served you well for more than a decade and still looks fresh. Therefore, you wonder if you can’t paint the interior with exterior paint and forgo the traditional paint. As logical as it sounds, you should apply interior paint, and here’s why.

Understand the difference between interior and exterior cladding

Primetime explains the difference between exterior and interior painting. According to the article, both paints contain solvents, resins, additives and pigments. Pigments are paints that are bonded to the surface by a resin; the resin can be a solvent based on silicone, acrylic or latex. On the other hand, solvents, which are either water for latex paints or turpentine for oil paints, cause the paint to become wet. The solvent evaporates as the paint dries. Additives usually give the paint additional properties, such as mildew resistance, ease of handling and cleaning.

Since the stable components of any paint are resin, pigment and additives, the resin determines how the paint binds to the surface. Exterior paint must withstand harsh conditions, such as extreme temperature changes. Because the exterior surface expands and contracts with temperature changes, exterior paint must always look good. Therefore, the resin used must be resistant and the additives it contains must prevent mold from rain and discoloration from the sun. However, since the indoor surface is not exposed to such weather conditions, the resin used for indoor paints is durable. This makes them easier to clean.

Why you should not use exterior paint for the interior.

Even if you want to save money by thinking that exterior paint is more durable than interior paint, there are some risks to consider, such as

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – According to Medium magazine, VOCs are commonly referred to as “paint fumes” and can linger indoors for at least six months, causing Sick Building Syndrome. It’s not for nothing that homeowners are told to find another place to live because their house is being repainted. Smoke can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness, especially if the room is poorly ventilated. The symptoms can progress to more serious problems, such as vision and memory problems, depending on the duration and frequency of exposure. Studies have shown that after painting, the level of organic compounds can be up to 1,000 times higher indoors than outdoors, especially after several hours of work. Although large amounts of fumes are generally released within 48 hours, small amounts linger for years, making exterior paints hazardous to health when used indoors. Indoor paints also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs); although they do not release fumes in the same way as outdoor paints, ventilation is still important to be safe.
  • Flammability – The flammability of paint depends on the solvent used. Water-based solvents are not flammable, while oil-based solvents and spray paints are flammable. According to Canvas, spray paints are flammable because there are pressurized fuels in the canister that are useful for operating the canister and ensuring that the spray paint is applied evenly. Spray paints, on the other hand, are flammable. Therefore, latex and acrylic paints, which are not flammable, are the best options.
  • Antifungal Agents – Exterior paints are designed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew from exposure to moisture because they contain additives such as antifungal and fungicidal agents. You may consider applying paint to prevent mold growth in your bathroom, but chemicals can do your health more harm than good. They have a strong odor that makes it difficult to breathe and causes allergic reactions.

Should the exterior color be used for the interior?

According to, you can use exterior paint for the interior of your home as long as you take care of it. One of the things you need to take care of is ventilation. VOCs can cause respiratory problems. So make sure you have adequate ventilation, i.e. open doors and windows and running fans. Leave doors and windows open even after painting as the degassing process continues. To reduce the risk of exposure to volatile organic compounds, prefer water-based paints to oil-based paints, as the former contain fewer traces of volatile compounds.

Since the decontamination process takes at least six months, you should seek shelter for the next six months or more. If you have to go back inside, make sure you wear a face mask when you are inside and keep the paint tightly sealed. The best way to be sure is to choose the right paint, which means reading the ingredients. It may not just be about inhaling volatile organic compounds; you may be allergic to some volatiles, and you can’t be sure what the paint is made of until you read the ingredients. However, it is rare to find a paint that reveals all the ingredients. Therefore, you should stick to paints intended for indoor use and not endanger your health with outdoor paints.

If your main reason for choosing an exterior paint is that your bathroom is moldy, you have other options. You can prevent mold by turning on a fan while showering and leaving it on for at least 20 minutes after showering. An open window also plays an important role.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use exterior paint in the bathroom?

Yes, we have. Outdoor paints contain certain fungicides and UV-protective additives that are not approved for indoor use … They can be added to any paint, including flat ceiling paints and textured paints, to make them “bathroom friendly” and resistant to mold and mildew.

What is the difference between interior and exterior paint?

The main differences between interior and exterior paints are resins and additives. The binder resins for interior paints are hard… For exterior paints, softer resins are used to achieve properties that help resist discoloration, mildew, temperature fluctuations and humidity.

Can you paint the interior door with exterior paint?

Exterior paints usually have a satin finish, while interior paints are usually painted with a satin varnish. Satin and semi-gloss paints are very similar, but not quite identical. So if you paint an interior door with an exterior paint of the correct color, the finish may not match exactly, for your information.

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