Viw Magazine

The Property Pack

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Are you wondering whether you can use exterior paint inside? Well, you are not alone as several people think that it is better to use exterior paint for their walls than interior paint.

So, before you select the finish you would like to go for, you’ll have to figure out what type of paint is best suited for the interior surfaces as interior and exterior paint are formulated differently and hence, they perform differently.

Therefore, it is essential for you to understand the basic differences between the two types of paint and why you must not use exterior paint inside in order to achieve the desired outcome from your house painting services.

Difference between interior and exterior paint:

Eventhough, interior and exterior paint might appear similar on the surface, they are created differently and generate different results. They might contain different binding resins, pigments and additives, adding to their uniqueness.

  • Exterior paint:

  • * These paints are formulated without rigid binding resins to enable them to expand and contract with respect to the fluctuations in the outdoor temperature.

  • Exterior paints are designed in such a way that they can easily withstand extreme weather conditions, from scorching heat and sunlight to the moisture accompanied by rain, snow and sleet.

  • They are highly water-resistant and might even contain certain additives that tend to block the ultraviolet rays to help them resist fading, some may even have additives that prevent the formation of mold and mildew.

  • The additives present in the exterior paints tend to be quite useful for generating rich and high-quality exterior paint colours that protect your siding and other exterior services.

  • Interior paint:

  • While outdoor paints are known for their ability to withstand everything nature throws at them, interior paints are formulated to withstand whatever your family throws.

  • These paints contain rigid resins, which can make the paint survive against bumps, scratches and scuffs that appear due to normal wear and tear.

  • The interior paints make it easy for you to clean the surfaces.

Drawbacks of using exterior paint inside:

Technically, exterior paints can be used inside as the colour application of the interior and exterior paints remain to be same however, there are a few reasons listed below that restricts you from using these paints inside:

  1. Toxic paint fumes are a risk factor:

Exterior paints generally have more added pigments than interior paints as they have to withstand extreme weather conditions. While these pigments are known for creating a paint that offers excellent saturation and durability, they also accompany highly volatile organic components (VOCs) that can be extremely hazardous to your health.

VOCs are a group of chemicals usually found in the products we use for the building and maintenance of our homes such as paints, paint strippers, cleaning appliances and pesticides.

So, the exterior paint releases the VOCs into the air as soon as it dries and cures. These components are hazardous to your health and generate a pungent smell.

Exposure to VOCs can lead to:

  • Irritation of mucous membranes like eyes, nose and throat.

  • Severe headache and nausea.

  • Lack of coordination.

  • Causing damage to the kidneys, central nervous system and liver.

The situation can worsen if you are using acrylic latex exterior paint as they continue to release VOCs even after the paint dries. Hence, VOCs are so harmful that oil-based paints have been banned in quite a few states.

So, exterior paints are best suited for outdoor purposes as the VOCs would be released into the air, causing no harm. Hence, various commercial painters use organic pigments for interior paints that contain little to no VOCs, making them safe for indoor use.

  1. You may not get the desired results:

Exterior paint requires sunlight to cure, so using it indoors can make it quite challenging for you to let it dry. The more time it takes to dry, the chances for it to get scuffed and smudged would increase and might need regular touch-ups.

Moreover, exterior paints are known for their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions and not the vacuum, kids and pets. Hence, it will make it difficult for you to clean the scratches and stains without disturbing the finish.

  1. Cleanups would be harder than you thought:

While most interior paints are acrylic latex, washable and water-soluble exterior paints, they are generally waterproof, making them difficult to clean up if there are any spills and water splashes.

All in all, exterior paints can be used indoors, still, they must be kept as a second option. The interior paints are best suited for the indoor environment and have certain practical benefits for home décor.


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