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. When people decorate their house in a DIY project, they want to use exterior paint.  Can you use exterior paint inside? This is a common question. Many house owners 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 you use exterior paint inside? 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 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 regular paint. However, it can hurt 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:

Differences Between Exterior Paint and Interior Paint

Understanding some of the differences between the 2 types of paint is essential. After you know them well, you can consider which situations to use them.

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

First, 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 plastic types, creating a smooth layer. This layer can resist dust and water and 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 instruction, interior paint outside or exterior paint. However, there are a few cases in which they consider 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 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 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 the 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 face a smell-related problem. This type of paint gives off an unpleasant odor for several months. If your house doesn’t have a quality ventilation system, you will suffer the awful smell for a long time.

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

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

Flammability of Exterior Paint

There is another point you should notice before using exterior paint inside. It’s often oil-based. Therefore, it’s much more explosive than interior paint. Paint isn’t a popular reason for a house fire. Nevertheless, it would be best to consider 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 is higher because it can protect your house from devastating factors like severe weather. Using exterior paint inside your house is unnecessary 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 it effectively following its usage and instruction.

See this video to get more tips:


Can you use exterior paint inside? Yes, but 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 it properly, exterior paint outside and interior paint inside the house.


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