What is the Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paint

Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paint

So what is the difference between interior and exterior paint?

In short, interior paint is more about appearance and looks, while exterior paint is designed to withstand rough weather. They both serve different purposes.

And they are built differently.

Exterior paint contains more protective components than interior paints, which are required to withstand immense heat, rain, UV rays, and dust.

On the other hand, interior paint contains more latex, which makes it more flexible, smooth, and less likely to crack or peel over time.

What is the Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paint

Interior vs Exterior Paint Formula

The amount of resin used in exterior paint is higher than the interior. That is why it releases a gas called VOC when it dries.

It is not good for human health. That is the primary reason not to use exterior paint inside your house.

Obviously, there are other differences between interior and exterior paint. Those are listed below.

1. Oil vs. Latex Wall Paints

Oil Vs Latex Paints

You can use either oil-based or latex-based (or water-based) paint for both the interior and exterior.

Oil-based paint is made with alkyd (a resin) and contains higher VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). 

When the paint dries, it goes into the air and combines with other air particles, creating a list of harmful components that may cause discomfort, headaches, and other problems.

You may know it as Paint Smell.

That smell is not good for human health. That is why some states have prohibited the use of exterior paint indoors.

So it means this kind of paint can only be used on the outside, not inside.

  • If you are wondering how to identify the oil and latex paint, then rub the paint surface. If the paint does not rub off from the wall, it is oil-based.

On the other hand, Latex paint is a combination of latex and acrylic plastic. It is a water-soluble combination.

It is both hard and flexible and has lower VOC levels. It is best suitable for indoor paint but can also be used outdoors for special purposes.

2. Interior vs Exterior Paint Finishes

Interior vs Exterior Paint Finishes

If we talk about color and finish, exterior paints come with many sheens, like flat and glossy.

You have many options to choose from according to your taste and the way you want the look of your house. 

On the other hand, interior paint also comes in different sheens but is limited to exterior paint. Exterior paints are typically more expensive than interior.

So ya! Both paint have good finishes but in a different way. It is the biggest difference between interior and exterior paint.

3. How to Choose the Right Wall Paint

How to Choose the Right Paint

Okay, choosing the right type of paint for your project is a bit tricky. But you can make the best decision for your home if you know the finish you want and the environment you are going to work in.

Here are the factors you should consider when choosing paint.

  • Where surface you are painting: Determine what finish you want and the surface you are painting.
  • Use a higher-sheen paint for rough exterior surfaces that can withstand rough weather better than flat or semi-gloss finishes.
  • Indoors, choose a finish that fits your room’s overall decor.
  • What material You are painting: The material you are about to paint is a big factor when choosing paint.
  • If you are painting it on wood, use Enamel paint and latex or oil paint for concrete walls. You can ask the paint manufacturers about your condition they will suggest the best paint for you.

Do not interchange. Choose the right paint, as those paints do not come cheap. Get help if required from an expert or a neighbor.

Can I use Interior Paint Outside and Vice Versa?

Can I use Interior Paint Outside and Vice Versa

Do not use interior paint outside and vice versa. Exterior paint is designed especially for rough outdoor surfaces, so interior paint may not last very long due to exposure to rain, heavy heat, and UV rays.

Exterior paint has lots of VOCs that can cause harm and are more expensive than inside paint. For those two reasons, you should not alternate these two. Use them as expected.

Last Words

So those are the few primary differences between interior and exterior paint.

But before you choose a paint, consider what finish you want, what type of material you are painting, and the current conditions, then select the paint from a good company.

Trust yourself and know you can create a beautiful finish in any home.

Interior vs Exterior Paint FAQs

Interior vs Exterior Paint FAQs

Is exterior paint stronger than interior?

Yes, exterior paints are stronger than interior in terms of protecting your wall from excessive heat, UV rays, heavy rain, and dust.

Can I use interior paint outside?

You can, but you should not. Exterior paint has an extra layer of resin that protects your wall from heat, rain, and dust, which interior paint does not have. You can use it, but it will not last very long.

Interior vs Exterior paint: what is the difference?

The main difference is the way you use it. Exterior paint is stronger and made to protect your wall from heat and rain, but interior paint is only for beauty and does not have that kind of protection.

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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.