can you use exterior paint inside

How to Use Exterior Paint Inside of the House

Can you use exterior paint inside the house? Most people think they can as they are similar in the human eyes. But no, you can not use them. If you do there are some consequences that you will face. And those may not be good for you or your family.

Exterior paints are designed to tolerate all weather conditions like rain, intense heat, UV sun rays, and freezing temperatures. Good exterior paint can handle all those for years.

These exterior paints contain an element called Resin that protects the wall and help the paint connect with the wall smoothly. Plus, they contain many other chemicals. You have noticed them as Paint Smell which is not good for you. I will explain why.

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside the House?

So can you use exterior paint inside your house? Professional says you can use them on the inside, but you must not. Here are the six reasons why you should not use any exterior paint inside.

painting exterior
Ron Cogswell on Flickr

Table of Contents

1. The Heavy VOC Omission Can Cause Health Problems

Paint VOC can Cause Health Problems

When you finish your exterior painting and let it dry, the paint releases VOC (volatile organic compounds) into the air. These VOCs react with other elements available in the air, creating additional toxic fumes that many people call The Paint Smell.

VOCs can create toxic fumes that can cause many health problems, including headaches, discomfort, and many others. All the paints emit VOCs, but exterior paint releases more in quantity than interior paint. That is why you get more smell from exterior paint than interior paint. 

Using exterior paint outdoors is not a problem as the ventilation is good. The outside paint will dry faster in less than 24 hours and be fully dry in a few days. But insufficient ventilation in the house can stop those harmful chemicals to go away, causing problems for the human body.

2. Exterior Paint Needs Sunlight and Airflow

Exterior Paint needs Sunlight

Plus, inside the house, ventilation and sunlight are not similar to the outside, and it will take more time to dry. Low sunlight exposure and restricted airflow can also slow down the drying speed of the paint which can become cause more VOCs in the air. That is why sunlight is required to dry it up faster.

3. Do not Expect the Same Finish as Interior Paint

Do not Expect the Same Finish as Interior Paint

Do not compare your interior and exterior paint. There will be some noticeable differences between the texture and finish. Although they offer finish and texture options, it simply does not happen. The interior more smooth and is built for that.

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4. Exterior Paints are Prone to Scrapes and Scuffs

Yes, outdoor paints are more prone to scraping and scuffing than indoor paints. It is because the resin used in the paint helps bond the paint to the surface. Without the resin, it can not protect the wall from rain, heat, and dust.

5. Exterior Paint Cost More than Interior Paint

Plus, exterior paint cost more than interior paint. Not double the cost but at least 50 percent more. That is also a reason why people do not use them inside their houses.

Can You Use Interior Paint Outdoors?

Can You Use Interior Paint Outdoors

Well using interior paint outside may not harm you in any way but can harm your wall as those protection chemicals like resin and other adjectives are not available in the same amount to protect the wall from extreme heat, dust, UV rays, and rain. 

Plus, interior paint may change with temperature changes, and you can not control the outside temperature. It may cause the wall get cracks faster. So yes, you can use them, but you should not.

Is Using Exterior Paint Dangerous?

Using Exterior Paint inside is Dangerous

No, if you use it outside and use protective gear when doing the painting. After VOC evaporates, then it’s pretty safe, but that does not mean you lick it, okay? 

Here is a list of health problems that may arise with exterior paint and VOC.

  • You may feel headache, nausea, and dizziness.
  • Discomfort in the eye, nose, and throat.
  • Small liver and kidney problems.
  • Nervous system problem.

The most common is headache and discomfort. You can solve them in a few days. 

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Last Words

Now I ask you can you use exterior paint inside? The answer is NO. You can not. It may cause some serious to your health and the wall you are painting. Use protective gear while painting and use exterior paint for the outside and interior inside. Do not interchange them. 

Exterior Paint Uses FAQs

exterior paint FAQs

Can I paint the interior paint outside?

Using interior paint outside can damage your wall as the paint is not as strong as exteriors paint to protect the wall from extreme heat, dust, UV rays, and rain. In exterior paint, they add resin and other adjectives to make it stronger.

What happens if you use exterior paint inside?

You will have lots of harmful VOC in the house, the paint finish will not be the same as the interior, and the exterior paint is more prone to scraping and scuffing.

Are exterior and interior paints the same?

No, they are not the same and are built differently for different purposes. You should use the exterior paint outside and interior insides and never mix it up, as it can damage your wall and health.

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About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.