Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside?

May 17, 2024

Have you ever found yourself contemplating a half-empty can of exterior paint and wondered, “Can I use this for my living room makeover?” The question of whether you can use exterior paint inside is common among DIY enthusiasts and home improvers.

Unfortunately, the short answer is no—you shouldn’t use exterior paint inside. Here’s why exterior paint and interior spaces don’t mix, despite what that leftover can in your garage is whispering to you.

Exterior vs. Interior Paint

There is a fundamental difference between exterior and interior paint. Exterior paint is tough, mold-resistant, and designed to withstand everything from the blistering summer sun to winter’s bitter temperatures. The resin it contains is made to resist chipping, peeling, fading, and other effects from exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity levels.

On the other hand, interior paint is all about creating a comfortable, clean, and safe environment. It makes walls stain-resistant and scrubbable while promoting clean indoor air.

Why Exterior Paint is a No-Go for Indoor Use

Some homeowners assume that using exterior paint inside improves durability, but it’s not that simple. Here’s why exterior paint belongs outside:

  • Health hazards: Exterior paint is formulated with higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and additives meant to help them last in an unforgiving outdoor setting. These chemicals dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere when applied outside, but inside, they degrade air quality and may negatively affect your health.
  • Faster deterioration: Ironically, the additives that make exterior paint so resilient outside cause it to deteriorate more quickly when used indoors. It’s like wearing a raincoat in a sauna; it just doesn’t work.
  • Allergic reactions: The ingredients that keep exterior paint mildew-free are great outdoors but can cause odors and allergic reactions when used in the more confined spaces of your home.

What If You’ve Already Used Exterior Paint Indoors?

If you’ve accidentally painted interior walls with exterior paint, it’s not the end of the world. You can prime the walls and repaint them with proper interior paint. Consider it a lesson learned and a story for your next dinner party.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Home

Now that we’ve established the “don’ts,” consider some important “do’s.” When selecting paint for your interior, consider factors like color, finish, and VOC levels. Remember, the goal is to create a beautiful, healthy, and safe space for your family.

Trust the Pros at Two Day Painting

Whether you have an exterior or interior painting project in mind, choose Two Day Painting for a job well done. Our interior painting contractors use top-quality products with the appropriate application in mind. Expect unmatched customer service, outstanding project management, and open communication from start to finish. We also offer complimentary color consultations when choosing us to paint your home. With a great reputation in Southeast Wisconsin and an A+ rating from the BBB, you can trust us to provide quick turnaround times and long-lasting results. When you’re ready to transform your home, please call us at 262-312-2182 or fill out our online contact form for a free estimate on house painting services in the Waukesha area.

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