Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside? Everything You Need to Know

Is it really necessary to buy a separate paint just for the inside of your house? What about using the same paint you used on the exterior? Is that safe? The answer may surprise you.

While some paints are specifically made for indoor use, others can be used indoors and outdoors. The key is to choose the right type of paint for the job.

No, you cannot use exterior paint inside. However, certain points can be used both indoors and outdoors so long as they are not applied to a surface that is constantly getting wet. Some paints are created for indoor use, while others are made for outdoor use. You should always be sure that the paint you are using is labeled as being suitable for your intended application. Using the wrong type of paint can have some potentially serious consequences.

By the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on what’s best for your home.

What Is Exterior Paint?

Exterior paints are specially formulated for the harsh elements of weather. They are usually oil or latex-based, which makes them water-resistant. Latex exterior paints are easier to apply and dry faster than oil-based ones.

However, they require regular maintenance because they are not as durable as oil-based paints.

On the other hand, oil-based paint produces a hardened surface that is more scratch-resistant but takes longer to dry. It also emits toxic fumes when exposed to heat.

What Is Interior Paint?

Interior paint is designed specifically for interior use only. The reason behind this distinction lies in the chemical makeup of each type of paint, i.e., traditional or organic solvents vs. water or acrylic polymer. Interior paints always use water or acrylic polymer as a binder.

Water-based (latex) and Acrylic paint (alkyd) dry quickly and emit low toxicity.

Both types of paint come in flat, eggshell, matte, or semi-gloss finishes. Each has its property: Matte finishes are more difficult to clean than glossy ones, but the latter is harder to touch up than the former because it stands out on textured surfaces.

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Flat paints do not reflect light as much as other finishes do, creating an illusion of depth on walls. Eggshell paint falls somewhere between its matte and glossy counterpart with the sheen characteristic of a satin finish.

Is it Dangerous to Use Exterior Paint Inside

The biggest concern with using exterior paint inside is toxicity. 

Exterior paints are made with organic pigments that emit toxic fumes when dried. This is because of the solvents used in oil or latex-based paints. Exposure to these harsh chemicals can cause serious health problems, especially if you’re painting indoors without proper ventilation.

There is also the possibility of your cat or dog licking off the paint and becoming sick.

On the other hand, interior paints are water- or acrylic polymer-based. These emit low toxicity but take time to dry. This creates a scenario where you may inhale paint fumes as you wait for it to dry — something that can trigger allergies and respiratory problems.

Another consideration when using exterior paint indoors is that you will eventually have to remove it as it’s not meant for such use. The results can be disastrous if the surface you painted cannot withstand further stripping or irritating. It might lead to damage and staining of surfaces, requiring professional help to fix.

Are There Non-Toxic Exterior Paints?

When it comes to painting the exterior of your home, all-natural, non-toxic paints are the best choice. They are made with organic pigments that are safe for your family and pets.

There are three types of exterior paints :

1) Exterior water-based paint

2) Exterior oil-based paint

3) Latex exterior paint (for wooden surfaces only)

Water-based paint is easy to apply and can be cleaned up easily. It does not contain any toxins and doesn’t emit hazardous fumes. The downside is that it may require multiple coats for total coverage (about three coats)

Oil-based paint has good durability and is usually glossy when dried. However, oil paints emit strong odors and require special equipment to clean up.

Latex exterior paints are safe for use on wood but not good for painting other surfaces like metal or masonry. It is a non-toxic, low odor paint that cleans up easily with soap and water. Although it does not have the glossy finish of oil-based paint, latex paint looks good on wood.

It is the cheapest option among all exterior paints.

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Can You Mix Exterior Paint With Interior Paint?

It is not advisable to mix exterior and interior paints. The former has strong odors and emits hazardous fumes, while the latter does not. Also, it will be difficult to achieve a uniform color if you mix the two. If you must use your old exterior paint, make sure that you cover all furniture before painting and vent the area properly (windows open).

Also, remember that even though your home uses less toxic paints, you should not take any chances. Always wear protective equipment like gloves and a mask to avoid contact with harmful chemicals. If you feel nauseated or suffer from shortness of breath, head outside for fresh air!

Can I Paint Interior Paint Over Exterior Paint?

When it comes to exterior paint, avoid applying non-exterior paints on top of it. This will result in peeling off the top layer since exterior paint requires special treatment after it is applied. Also, if you have used oil or acrylic paint on your wood siding, the chances are that latex paint won’t adhere properly.

It’s not wise to apply interior paints over exterior finishes because they are made with different kinds of binders. Interior paints contain water while exterior ones do not, which means that there is a risk that indoor coats may peel when exposed to humidity or rain.

If you insist on painting your home with interior paint, make sure that you don’t need the old coat anymore before you start stripping it.

What Happens If I Accidentally Used Exterior Paint Inside?

If you accidentally used exterior paint inside your home, it’s important to understand that this can create problems such as peeling and staining. The only solution is to strip the paint using a chemical stripper or sanding.

Then, use an all-purpose cleaner to remove any residue that may have remained on the surface. Ensure that it is thoroughly dry before repainting the surface with interior paint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use exterior paint inside my bathroom?

No, you mustn’t. Exterior paint emits hazardous fumes, which can damage your bathroom’s damp-proofing and lead to serious problems like mold growth.

Is exterior paint the same as the interior?

No, exterior paint is designed specifically to withstand exposure to rain and sunshine. Interior paints, on the other hand, contain water.

Can you use Sherwin Williams exterior paint inside?

You must not use exterior paint indoors. Sherwin Williams is a respected brand, but interior and exterior paints have different formulations.

Can you paint your house with exterior latex paint?

Yes, but it will take three coats for total coverage. Before painting the whole wall, you would need to do a test patch on your wood siding.

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Can you use exterior paint inside a garage?

No, you mustn’t. Exterior paints emit hazardous fumes, which can damage your garage’s damp-proofing and lead to serious problems like mold growth.

Can I use Valspar exterior paint inside?

Yes, Valspar is exterior paint. However, remember that it only takes one coat to cover, so you must be very careful with the application.

Can I use Weathershield paint inside?

Yes, Weathershield is exterior paint, and it can be used inside as long as you do a test coat beforehand to avoid peeling.

Can I use Rustoleum paint on my indoor wall?

No, you mustn’t. Exterior paints emit hazardous fumes, which can damage your indoor wall’s damp-proofing and lead to serious problems like mold growth.

Can I paint my bedroom with exterior paint?

No, you mustn’t. Exterior paints emit hazardous fumes, which can damage your bedroom’s damp-proofing and lead to serious problems like mold growth.

Conclusion

When it comes to exterior paint, avoid applying non-exterior paints on top of it. This will result in peeling off the top layer since exterior paint requires special treatment after it is applied.

Also, if you have used oil or acrylic paint on your wood siding, the chances are that latex paint won’t adhere properly.

It’s not wise to apply interior paints over exterior finishes because they are made with different kinds of binders. Interior paints contain water while exterior ones do not, which means that there is a risk that indoor coats may peel when exposed to humidity or rain.

If you insist on painting your home with interior paint, make sure that you don’t need the old coat anymore before you start stripping it.

Otherwise, if you have already painted using exterior paint indoors, the only solution is to strip the paint using a chemical stripper or sanding.

Lastly, remember that interior paints also contain chemicals that emit hazardous fumes, which can damage the damp-proofing of your wall and lead to serious problems like mold growth.

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