Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside?

How Long Should Paint Dry Before Putting Furniture Back?


Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Many homeowners are often tempted to use exterior paint inside their homes in order to save money or simply because they have leftover paint from a previous project. However, there are some important things to consider before doing so.

Firstly, exterior paint is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain, wind, and sunlight. This means that the formula is much stronger and more durable than interior paint. It also contains additional chemicals such as fungicides and UV-resistant additives that are not present in interior paint.

Secondly, exterior paint may contain a higher level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are harmful chemicals that can cause health problems when inhaled. Interior paint, on the other hand, has lower levels of VOCs and is designed for use in enclosed spaces with ventilation.

  • If you use exterior paint indoors, it can lead to a range of problems including:
    1. Strong odors that can be harmful to your health
    2. Peeling and cracking due to the paint’s inflexibility and different temperature and moisture conditions indoors
    3. Fading and discoloration due to the lack of UV protection that is only needed on exterior walls.

It is not recommended to use exterior paint inside your home. It is always important to read the paint labels and purchase the appropriate type of paint for your specific project. If you accidentally use exterior paint indoors, remove the paint as soon as possible and repaint with a suitable interior paint. Do not compromise your health and the safety of your home for the sake of saving money or convenience.

What Happens if You Use Exterior Paint Indoors?

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Paint is an essential element of a renovation or construction project. It not only beautifies spaces but also protects surfaces from wear and tear. When it comes to paint, there is a significant difference between exterior and interior paint. Exterior paint is designed to withstand the harsh weather conditions like rain, humidity, and UV radiation, whereas interior paint is meant to withstand the normal wear and tear that comes from living in a home.

Many homeowners may wonder if exterior paint can be used indoors. The answer is no, and here’s why! Exterior paints have a higher amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than interior paints. VOCs are toxic gases that can cause serious health hazards like dizziness, headaches, respiratory problems, and even cancer. When exterior paint is used indoors, the VOCs get trapped inside, leading to poor indoor air quality. It can be particularly dangerous for children, elderly people, and pets.

Exterior paint can also affect the overall aesthetics of the space. Since it’s designed for outdoor use, it may not give the same appearance indoors. The composition of interior and exterior paints is not the same; exterior paint has additives like fungicides, mildewcides, and UV protection that are unnecessary for indoor surfaces. The result of using exterior paint indoors can be unimpressive, less smooth, or rough texture, and poor coverage.

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Interior Paint Exterior Paint
Lower VOCs Higher VOCs
Does not withstand harsh weather conditions Designed to withstand harsh weather conditions
Not resistant to UV rays and moisture Resistant to UV rays and moisture

For those who accidentally use exterior paint indoors, there are some steps to take to mitigate the potential damage. The first step is to stop using it immediately and open up all the windows and ventilation systems to allow fresh air to circulate. It is also advisable to wear a mask or respirator while removing the paint. If the affected area is small, sanding it down to remove as much paint as possible is all that’s needed. However, a larger area may require professional help to remove the paint safely.

While it may seem like exterior paint is cheaper or more readily available compared to interior paint, it is important to resist the temptation of using it indoors. The risks and hazards involved are not worth it, from a health and safety standpoint. In the end, investing in the right type of paint for the right surface and environment is always the better choice.

Why Can’t You Use Exterior Paint Inside?

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Have you ever wondered if you can use exterior paint indoors? Do you think it would be okay to use the paint for your front door on your living room walls? Well, the answer is simple, no, you cannot use exterior paint inside your house.

The main reason why exterior paint cannot be used indoors is because of the presence of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These are chemicals that are found in paint that can cause harm to human health if inhaled over a long period of time. Since exterior paint is formulated to handle the outdoors, it contains a higher level of these compounds compared to interior paint.

Inhaling high levels of VOCs can lead to headaches, dizziness, and even respiratory illness. This is why it is important to use paint that is specifically formulated for indoors when painting your home. Interior paint has lower levels of VOCs, making it safe to use inside.

  • So what happens if you use exterior paint inside your home?
  • Firstly, the fumes from the VOCs can cause discomfort to anyone inside the house.
  • The paint may not adhere well to the surface, leading to peeling and the need to repaint again in the near future.
  • Additionally, some exterior paints have additives that can resist mold and mildew. While these can be great for outdoor use, they may not be suited for indoor surfaces as they can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew that is difficult to eliminate.

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

If you have already used exterior paint inside your home, it is important to take immediate action. One option is to ventilate the room for several days, or until the paint fumes have dissipated. Another option is to repaint the area with the appropriate interior paint as soon as possible.

Using exterior paint inside your home can be harmful to your health and lead to issues with the paint and the surfaces it is applied to. Stick to using interior paint inside your home and let exterior paint do what it was formulated to do, protect your home from the elements outside.

What Is the Difference Between Exterior Paint and Interior Paint?

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Painting your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh your space. However, before you start painting, you should know that there is a noticeable difference between interior and exterior paint. Choosing the right paint type can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home, whether inside or outside.

One of the main differences between the two is that exterior paint is designed to tolerate harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and hail. This paint can withstand moisture, extreme temperature fluctuations, and UV rays, which can cause discoloration and peeling. In contrast, interior paint is formulated to provide durability and a smooth finish in environments with less exposure to harsh weather conditions.

  • Another significant difference is the chemical composition of the two paint types. Exterior paint includes additives and pigments that make it more resistant to bacterial growth and fading from sunlight. In contrast, interior paint may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can adversely affect indoor air quality and even harm human health.
Exterior Paint Interior Paint
Resistant to harsh weather conditions Provide a smooth finish
Contain additives that resist bacterial growth and fading May contain VOCs that can adversely affect indoor air quality
Thicker consistency Lighter consistency


Can You Use Exterior Paint InsideAnother thing to note is that exterior paint is generally thicker in consistency than interior paint because it needs to provide extra protection against harsh weather conditions. It also dries more slowly due to the thickness of the paint formula. Interior paint dries more quickly and tends to be lighter in consistency, making it easier to apply and achieve a smooth finish.

Choosing the right type of paint for your project is paramount. Using interior paint on exterior walls, or vice versa, can lead to a plethora of issues such as peeling, fading, and cracking. The difference in price between the two types of paints is minimal, but choosing the right paint for the right space can make a considerable difference in the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your project.

The main differences between interior and exterior paint include their chemical composition, resistance to harsh weather, and formula consistency. Understanding these differences is crucial to achieving the best possible results for your painting project.

What Should You Do if You Accidentally Used Exterior Paint Inside?

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Painting a room is an exciting and refreshing experience. However, things can quickly take a wrong turn if you mistakenly use an exterior paint indoors. By doing so, you could end up with peeling, cracking, and even bubbling paint. Additionally, exterior paint is not environmentally friendly and can release toxic fumes into your home’s air. So what should you do if you accidentally used exterior paint inside?

1. Identify the extent of the damage: The first thing to do is assess how much of the interior surfaces you have painted with the exterior paint. If you only painted a small area, then you may be able to fix it with minimal damage control. However, if you painted the entire room with exterior paint, then you may need to consider repainting the entire room with interior paint.

2. Scrape off as much paint as possible: After identifying the extent of the damage, you need to scrape off as much of the exterior paint as possible before it begins to dry and cure. Be careful not to damage your walls or ceiling while scraping off the paint.

3. Clean the surface: Once you have scraped off as much paint as possible, use a clean cloth or sponge and warm soapy water to clean the surface. Allow it to dry before you begin painting again.

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

4. Repaint the area with interior paint:
The final step to fix the problem is to repaint the affected surfaces with interior paint. Choose a paint with the same sheen level as the original paint to ensure consistency. Before painting, make sure the surfaces are dry.

It is important to always use the right paint for the right space. In case of accidental use of exterior paint inside, follow the steps above to fix the problem. Always make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before painting a room, and double-check that you have the correct type of paint before you start.

Is Exterior Paint Better Than Interior?

Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

When it comes to painting your home, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the type of paint to use. There are two main types of paint: exterior and interior. While many people believe that exterior paint is always better than interior paint, the truth is that it really depends on your specific needs. Below, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of using exterior paint on your interior walls.


  • Durability: Exterior paint is designed to be durable and long-lasting, which makes it a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways.
  • Protection: Exterior paint is formulated to protect your walls from the elements, such as rain, wind, and sunlight. This means that it can also provide additional protection from moisture and humidity inside your home.
  • Color retention: Exterior paint is made with special pigments and binders that help it retain its color for much longer than interior paint. This means that it won’t fade or discolor as quickly, even when exposed to direct sunlight.


  • Odor: Exterior paint contains more VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than interior paint, which means that it can have a stronger odor. This can be problematic if you or someone in your home has respiratory issues or is sensitive to strong smells.
  • Texture: Some types of exterior paint have a rougher texture, which may not be ideal for interior walls. It can be harder to clean and may trap dust and debris more easily, which can be a problem for those with allergies.
  • Cost: Exterior paint is usually more expensive than interior paint, so using it inside your home may not be the most cost-effective option.

While exterior paint does offer some benefits when used indoors, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. Before making a decision, think about your specific needs, the room you’ll be painting, and your budget. If you do decide to use exterior paint inside, be sure to choose a high-quality product and take the necessary precautions to protect your health.


  • Bayram Sarıkaya

    Hello, my name is Bayram and I’m 26 years old. You may know me from my writings here on Hardware Culture. I'm trying to convey what I've learned over more than four years of blog-searching and forum journeys. I'm a technical employee at a radio station, the almost polar opposite of the natural habitat where I think I belong. I love my job as I used to toy with technological gadgets when I was a kid, too. My hobbies are writing papers on cinema, playing basketball, and playing guitar. Now, let's get back to the plants, the topic of this biography. Why I share my opinions and reviews here is to share the knowledge with others who might be up and coming and having trouble finding the fundamental info on the net. I see myself in those and feel a kind of fraternity. Let's walk this road together for we’ll enjoy the experience of each other. Sarıkaya Bayram

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