Can you use exterior paint inside: useful tips and paint comparison

Can you use exterior paint inside: 5 Best Helpful Tips Paint Advice

Often you have to simultaneously deal with internal and external repair work. At such moments, people wonder, can you use exterior paint inside? After all, they differ in composition. More about this you can find in this article.

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Can you use exterior paint indoors: important features

Before deciding whether can you use exterior paint inside, you need to study the features of the interior and exterior paint. Exterior paints are resistant to the sun, windy weather, rain, and low temperatures.

After application, the composition does not lose its shade and is not covered with peeling. This prevents the development of the fungus. There is a high-quality flexible resin in such compositions, which can shrink and expand with the surface.

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There may be additives that level the surface and prevent mold.

Due to the high resin content, exterior paints are more plastic and softer. It is thanks to this that they adapt to negative environmental factors.

You can use oil-based exterior paints. There are also water-based exterior paints. The basis is an evaporating solvent. Due to the binders, all pigments and additives are held together and create a film.

You can apply the exterior paint inside with a brush, spray gun, or roller. Some builders use a sponge. Given that water evaporates faster than oil, oil paints take longer to dry.

It is recommended to pay attention to expensive and high-quality interior paints. After all, if they are applied correctly, they maintain excellent quality coating for decades. More details about the exterior paints you can read later.

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If earlier all exterior paints were created on an oil basis, today you can find no less high-quality compositions based on water. If you focus on oil-based interior paint, then it is made from flax or soybean oil. As an alternative, synthetic alkyds are used.

Water is mainly added to the exterior acrylic latex paint or water-based exterior paints. It is important to note that the active release of organic compounds occurs in oil paint. However, both compositions have strong chemicals. Paints, regardless of the base, can be satin, semi-gloss, matte, glossy, or enamel.

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The shade of the interior and exterior paint acquires due to organic or inorganic pigments. The first group is obtained from plants or animals. Inorganic pigments are made from minerals.

Organic options give the exterior paint a translucent tint. Inorganic are added to make the shade denser. The more pigment in the exterior paint, the richer and denser the tone turns out. When developing, such a concentration of pigments is used so that the surface does not fade.

Colorful latex and enamel paint cans with brush

The additives

Oil exterior paints contain a white spirit, while water paints contain water. Regardless of the additive, it evaporates, leaving only the pigment and a dry film.

Due to the content of additives, the exterior paint is thicker.

At the same time, it fills all the irregularities and can firmly fix various surfaces. The composition may contain additives for texture or reflection of light. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to add flavorings to mask the chemical aroma.

The additives

Connecting components

The main purpose of such components is to hold pigments and additives together. This forms a nice cover, regardless of the treated surface. The compositions are developed in such a way that they can endure adverse environmental factors.

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Can exterior paint be used inside: what difference between interior and exterior paint?

Many house owners are interested in the question, can exterior paint be used on interior walls? Often this happens if after work on the street you have leftover exterior paint, and there is no desire to throw it away. Such thoughts are quite logical; however, it is important to note that interior and exterior paint are developed differently.

can i use exterior paint inside the house

If you look at the packaging, it may seem that the compositions are identical. However, outdoor formulations are designed to endure harsh adverse conditions. The composition contains such components that can cause harm if they are handled indoors.

Exterior paints have an unpleasant odor, as well as volatile organic compounds. Due to the excellent composition, such materials are quite expensive.

Exterior paint indoors can only be used in well-ventilated rooms. This is because the release of organic compounds is carried out until the composition is completely hardened. This can take weeks or months, especially if the weather is cold.

It is possible to use exterior paint indoors; however, this is not recommended. It is better to pay attention to special interior paints, which are characterized by fast drying rates and create a fairly durable coating. A properly selected composition is resistant to mechanical damage.

Exterior Paint Used Indoors

Read also: How long does primer take to dry on surfaces before painting?

The dangers of using exterior paints indoors

It is not recommended to use such compositions for internal repairs. There are several reasons for this, including the high cost. However, the main reason for the ban is that the compounds can harm a person.

The exterior paint contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as chemical fragrances. This can cause problems with the respiratory and nervous systems.

dangers of using

Even if the composition is completely dry, it still emits an unpleasant chemical smell. When working on the street, this does not cause discomfort.

If work is carried out indoors, it poses a danger to humans.

Even when painters paint surfaces outside the house, they still use respirators. This is because the compounds emit fumes that are extremely dangerous for humans. After a few minutes, you can feel headaches or dizziness. If you stand at this time on the stairs – this promises injury.

Frequent inhalation of VOCs is fraught with such unpleasant symptoms as:

  • irritation of the eyes and throat;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • pain in the lungs;
  • weakening of the immune system.

If you constantly come into contact with such harmful substances, the development of other serious diseases, including oncology, is not excluded.

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Is it possible to mix two colors?

Many are interested in whether it is possible to mix interior and exterior paints. This is not allowed. Even if you purchase exterior paint and interior paint with similar compositions from the same manufacturer, some components differ. It is important to note the difference in the list of binders, pigments, and additives.

mix two colors

The exterior paint is built to withstand inclement weather as well as UV light. At the same time, it adheres better to surfaces and is elastic. Due to the chemicals, you should not add such formulations to the interior paint that you plan to work with indoors.

Some house owners are thinking about combining oil-based interior paints and water-based interior paints. It turns out to be a very suitable composition; however, it is quite difficult to find a place to use it.

Thanks to these actions, you get to paint for outdoor use. However, it can not withstand adverse environmental factors. Although it is quite easy to mix interior and exterior paints in one container, there is no guarantee that you get the desired result.


If you apply the mixture over the interior walls, the coating differs in texture and durability from the desired result. At the same time, the composition dries longer and may bond worse with the surface. Finished layers may blister or peel off. The formation of cracks and detachments is not excluded.

Because of this, the coating has been repainted after a few days or weeks, which requires additional physical and material costs. Even if the shades of two colors of the interior paints are identical, they can change when mixed. Therefore, there is no guarantee that in the end, you get the desired shade.

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When working with exterior paints inside, many people ask several questions. Detailed answers to them, we present below.

What happens if you use outdoor paint indoors?

If you accidentally confuse interior paint with outdoor one, don’t panic right away. To get started, carefully read the label on the jar to determine the basis of the product.

If there are oil-based paints, you can add some mineral spirits or thinner to them. If the paint is water-based, add rubbing alcohol to it. Such solvents help to remove a layer of paint, even if it has already frozen. Then apply interior paint for safety.

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Can I use exterior paint inside my bathroom?

Given the high levels of humidity in the bathroom, the choice of interior paint should be taken very seriously.

Many people think that an outdoor compound is the best option because it can withstand snow and rain.

However, it is better to abandon such an idea. Indeed, the composition of a lot of VOCs, makes the paint unsafe. Do not use it like interior paint if you are concerned about your health.

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As you can see, it is impossible to use paint for outdoor work indoors. Ignoring advice can cause unpleasant symptoms, as well as illness. At the same time, it is impossible to stay in the room even a few weeks after the repair. After all, the chemical smell and toxic fumes remain for a long time.

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My blog was created specifically to bring you the latest design trends. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York 10 years ago. I started drawing as a child. I was very fond of design and could even choose a style for my friends and relatives during the renovation.

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