If you’ve ever got sick of redecorating the same interior wall over and over again due to dirty hands, you may get to thinking… what if I use exterior paint, indoors?
Well, before you do, it is probably a good thing that you’ve decided to do a little research first.
Exterior paint is naturally tougher against the forces of nature.
Rain? Not a problem. Heat? Also not a problem. Wind… storm… snow… you name it. Nothing will beat through it.
Not too far back in time, regular coatings were used on the outsides of homes. But homeowners were getting fed up with the constant damage and renovations. The weather can create chaos on a home if the right pain isn’t used.
The sun can fade the color of regular coatings. Rain and snow can build up moisture leading to peeling, cracking, mildew, and mold.
So, outdoor paint was amplified with a weatherproofing, color-lasting combination to make it last. Today, an average outdoor coating contains a recipe that can withstand all weathering and discoloring issues for a minimum of 10 years to an entire lifetime.
Can you use exterior paint inside of your home?
Well, for many people, using exterior paint indoors would seem like the natural solution to these common issues, and whilst it can be done, there are some quite serious considerations you need to take into account.
Considering bathrooms are prone to the pressures of humidity and moisture every day, can you use exterior paint in a bathroom seems like a fair question. Built up moisture in the bathroom can lead to wall damage – and even worse…
Mold and mildew in the walls.
This can happen without proper ventilation (lack of a window in the bathroom, or not using a bathroom fan), using outdoor paint inside would prevent these issues…
However, you have to be aware of the possible risks in using exterior paint indoors.
Using it on the inside of your home is guaranteed to be more durable, and able to withstand the everyday wear and tear living at home will cause.
On the other hand, there are precautions that must be considered as it can be vert harmful if not used correctly.
The most serious risk factor in using outdoor paint is fumes.
Paint fumes, otherwise known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) is the main active chemical in outdoor coatings and can be extremely harmful if breathed in. This is far more likely when using an electric paint sprayer as it is released into the area as a mist, rather than applied directly to the wall.
Unfortunately, this can’t be helped, it’s just the way sprayers work.
The purpose of VOC is to hold the pigment in the paint and to bind it to the surface it is attached to. So the quality and purpose of using an outdoor coating depend on this potentially harmful component.
These fumes from VOC are not only bad for the environment, but they can be dangerous if inhaled by humans and animals. A few common symptoms of VOC inhalation can include lightheadedness, headaches, and nausea.
These pain fumes can invade an entire home (and even a whole neighborhood as you may have noticed before).
People with weaker immune systems are more at risk to VOC’s harmful effects and may suffer from harmful respiratory effects. So if you’re wondering, can I use exterior paint inside, proper precautions need to be in place when using it, illnesses can even worsen to cancers and other life-threatening illnesses.
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Two tips on how you can prevent the harmful side effects of paint fumes
1. Make sure your area is properly ventilated
The number one risk factor in using outdoor paints is lack of ventilation. If the area you are working in is enclosed or lacks proper ventilation, then do not proceed with the project. The same goes for painting interior walls with regular emulsions and should be part of your preparation process, not left until after the job is complete.
Only if you are able to properly ventilate the area using multiple fans, open windows and doors, and breathing apparatuses, should you consider proceeding with using exterior paints indoors.
So can exterior paint be used inside? Yes, but VERY carefully.
Also, it’s important to note that you should always keep the lid sealed as fumes can easily escape causing more harm.
Once it dries, more fumes are also released into the air, so make sure you allow for quite a bit of time to ventilate the area after the job is done.
2. Pick the right type paint
Latex with a water-based formula are made naturally with smaller amounts of VOC. On the other hand, oil-based coatings carry much higher levels of VOC.
Do research on the right type for your home and find out beforehand how strong the VOC level is by asking an expert at your local store, and checking the details online of what you are considering using.
So, is it okay to use exterior paint inside?
When it comes to picking the right coating for the interior of your home, it can be much less of a headache in the long run by using a tougher, weatherproof paint.
However, the fumes from doing so can cause you and your family serious harm if you don’t take the proper precautions beforehand.
Dangerous paint fumes can last for as long as six months in your home so it is crucial that you take the right steps in protecting yourself and your family before considering using exterior paint on the inside of your home.
People Also Ask…
Whilst not directly related, I found people were also asking Google for answers for these questions, so I thought I’d answer.
What’s the difference between interior and exterior paint?
The main difference between interior and exterior paint is the chemical compounds at its core. Indoor paints are designed to withstand scrubbing and cleaning, whereas exterior paint is designed to be waterproof, fight sun, mold and mildew.
Whilst visually they appear similar, the purpose of each one is very different.
Can I use exterior paint in my bathroom?
Can I use exterior paint in my bathroom? Physically, yes, but you shouldn’t!! Various fungicides and UV protective chemicals are added to exterior paints to make them more resistant to the elements. Unfortunately, most of these are not approved for indoor use, and for good reason. THEY’RE DANGEROUS!
We would never actively recommend using exterior paint in any way other than the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Should I use interior or exterior paint in my garage?
In the same way you shouldn’t use exterior paints in your home, you shouldn’t be using exterior paints in your garage either. Unless your garage is open plan, stick to interior paint for the walls and resin paint for the floors.
Can you use exterior paint on furniture?
Yes, you can use exterior paint on furniture but only if it’s going to be kept outside. Exterior paint often smells for much longer than interior paints and for that reason it’s best to stick to paints that are safe to be in your home.