can i use exterior paint inside the house

When it comes to a do-it-yourself project, you will want to try saving money as much as possible or using materials effectively. In fact, when people decorate their house in a DIY project, they want to make full use of exterior paint.  Can I use exterior paint inside the house? This is a common question. Many house owners decide to use exterior paint for interior decoration, although they don’t know if it’s a good or bad idea. In this article, we will give you some pieces of advice.

Can I use exterior paint inside the house? You can technically decorate inside your house with exterior paint, but you only should use it in certain situations. It’s because exterior paint contains dangerous chemicals that protect houses from outside elements like sunlight, snow, and rain. These chemicals are harmful to human health, especially accessing them regularly. It would help if you didn’t use exterior paint for the main rooms, especially the bedroom. If you really want to use exterior paint, you only paint it in well-ventilated rooms.

You will gain a few benefits when using exterior paint for indoor architecture. It prevents stains and abrasion. It’s hard to fade away compared to normal paint. However, it can have a bad effect on your health. Let’s investigate this type of paint before you decide to use it.

To shorten your read, we’ve made this infographic to summarize all the main points, check it out:

Can I use exterior paint inside the house inforgraphic
Infographic by WG Painting Company.

Differences Between Exterior Paint and Interior Paint

It’s essential to understand some of the differences between the 2 types of paint. After you know them well, you can consider which situations to use them.

In the first place, exterior paint is manufactured specially to resist outside elements. For example, latex exterior paint is formulated with flexible acrylic resins that help the paint adapt to the temperature. It can expand or contract in different weather conditions.

Unlike exterior paint, interior paint is created to cope with heavy indoor traffic that often causes frequent bumps and scrapes against woodwork and walls.

Interior paint is combined with some types of plastic, which allows it to create a smooth layer. This layer can resist dust and water, and you can clean stains by wiping or rubbing even.

Moreover, interior paint is designed to decrease any spray or splatter. It contains additives that help interior paint to be used easily with a roller or brush.

Related Post: Ladder For Painting A 2-story House

Formulation of Interior Paint

People often use a type of paint following its own instruction, interior paint outside, and exterior paint. However, there are a few cases in which they think about using exterior paint inside the house.

Accidentally, you may make a mistake when buying paint for your house. It would be best if you bought interior paint, but you take away exterior paint. In some situations, you really like a color; however, interior paint doesn’t offer that color. So, you choose exterior paint with that color instead.

It would be best if you rethought before using exterior paint inside. Manufacturers create two types of paint for several reasons. They have their own formulation with different chemicals and fit different environments.

Interior paint is suitable for indoor activities. Children and family members walk and run in the house. People come in and leave. Walls can be full of dirty stains of hands. Marks of food will stick to walls in the kitchen. Trust us. Interior paint is made to solve these issues.

Read more: How Dark Colored Paint Is Made.

The problem of Ventilation and Odor

If you use exterior paint for indoor projects, you will have to face a smell-related problem. This type of paint gives off an unpleasant odor for several months. In case your house doesn’t have a good ventilation system, you will have to suffer the awful smell for a long time.

Although you offer a ventilation system, you still can catch the smell. If you use interior paint, the odor only affects your life a little.

Exterior paint contains many volatile organic compounds, which are called VOCs. VOC’s cause smell and smoke. Lacking a good ventilation system, exterior paint will be a dangerous factor inside your house.

VOC compounds may result in lightheadedness and nausea. They are harmful to children, pets, and pregnant women. Because exterior paint is hazardous to human health, you must consider it seriously before using it for any purpose.

Flammability of Exterior Paint

There is another point you should notice before using exterior paint inside. It’s oil-based often. Therefore, it’s much more flammable than interior paint. Paint isn’t a popular reason for a house fire. Nevertheless, it would be best to consider places where you use exterior paint to avoid potential dangers and build a safe living environment.

Cost of Using Exterior Paint

Exterior paint is more expensive than interior paint. So, please don’t waste money buying too much exterior paint, then use it inside your accommodation. Exterior paint has a higher price because it can protect your house from devastating factors like fierce weather. It’s unnecessary to use exterior paint inside your house because the house walls don’t deal with outside factors.

Since you won’t get any benefits when using exterior paint for inside walls, it’s a good idea to use the paint effectively following its usage and instruction.

See this video to get more tips:


Can I use exterior paint inside the house? Though you can use exterior paint indoors, it’s only the second choice. Exterior paint is designed to withstand challenging outdoor conditions, while interior paint is suitable for indoor environments. Interior paints also have some practical benefits to home decoration.

You can also apply exterior paint inside the house, but you should use them with proper usage, exterior paint outside, and interior paint inside the house.


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