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Can You Use Exterior Paint Inside

Every product, in this case, “paint,” has been engineered for a particular use. But still, some products have the benefit of serving several purposes. We have been asking the following question: Can you use exterior paint inside?

A deeper understanding of interior and exterior paint is essential to answer this question. Today, you will learn about their differences and how to use them correctly. 

Can You Use Exterior Paint Indoors? Is It Recommended?

It can be tempting to use exterior paint indoors because it’s durable, fade-resistant & shiny. And yes, you can paint your house interior with exterior paint. However,  you shouldn’t.

But why?

There are many reasons, and one of them is that exterior paints release harmful chemicals into the air, leading to health issues. 

Additives make them resistant to mildew, mold & fading. But, when used indoors, these chemicals can be toxic and could cause health issues for people living in the house.

Additionally, it is more expensive than interior ones because of the protective ingredients. So, spending more money on a product not intended for painting indoors will be worthless.

What Is the Difference between Exterior and Interior Paint?

Characteristics of Interior Paint

The main difference is that interior paints were created to suit the aesthetical needs of your house indoors, especially in areas like bathrooms, offices, and rooms. 

Basically, interior paint was designed for decoration and aesthetic purposes. And they do not contain harmful substances to human health like exterior paints.

Interior paint is formulated to prevent dampness and can be washed if kids and pets leave marks or spots while playing. Since interior paint was designed to be used indoors and will not be exposed to the sun, it doesn’t have fade-resisting properties.

Characteristics of Exterior Paint

Exterior House Painter in San Diego, CA

Exterior paint was designed to withstand harsh & varying weather conditions and UV radiation. Exterior coats will protect your house from the sun, rain, wind, dust, and more. So, in other words, a fresh coat of exterior paint on a house is like healthy skin for us humans.

UV radiation from the sun is the most damaging factor for paint. So, the first and most notable difference between exterior and interior paint is its fade-resisting properties.

According to our article satin vs. semi-gloss paint, satin is the ideal paint sheen for outdoors. You can hire a licensed painter like AMK Painting to add subtle elegance to your house exterior.

Also, exterior paint prevents mildew, mold, and general fungal growth. And to achieve that, paint manufacturers include additives like pesticides and fungicides. It’s for these toxic additives and the release of more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as it cures that make exterior paint unsafe for indoor use.

As we said, products are designed and manufactured for a specific use. And guess what? The differences that we addressed above make it difficult to use interior paint outdoors and vice versa.

What Happens If You Accidentally Used Exterior Paint Inside?

Well, as we said, exterior paint was formulated with chemicals that are harmful to humans. However, if you already used it indoors accidentally, the best you can do is let it air out for at least 2 days, being 3 days a better decision. 

Exterior paint is smelly at best and potentially hazardous at worst. Even after it cures, exterior paint continues to emit VOCs. 

In fact, studies have shown that they can continue emitting them for several months, but the higher level of VOCs is generally released within the first 48 hours. 

So, if someone in your family suffers from allergies or breathing problems, the pungent smell of exterior paint inside can trigger allergic reactions. So, you better fix the issue as soon as possible.

But you may wonder, “How can I fix this issue?” Well, you can prime your walls and add a new coat of interior paint, and then you’ll be at no risk since the harmful chemicals will be covered up by interior paint. And it will last long without any issues.

What Is the Perfect Paint for Indoors?

Interior House Painting in North Park, CA
Previously, we created an article about the paint sheen chart, explaining the different types of paint sheen and their intended use.
According to our meticulously written article, eggshell and satin are the best indoor paints.
Eggshell has little sheen, so it works fine, hiding blemishes, flaws on walls, and even woodwork. It’s recommended for moderate-traffic areas like living rooms, dining rooms, home offices, and interior woodwork.
Satin paint has a soft sheen finish and high durability. And in our experience, satin paint is one of the most versatile and best paint for indoor walls. Also, it is easier to clean than an eggshell finish.
The recommended use of satin paint is in high-traffic areas like kid’s bedrooms, hallways, entryways, family rooms, interior doors, interior trim/baseboards, living rooms, playrooms, and woodwork.

You Shouldn’t Use Exterior Paint Indoors

You shouldn’t use exterior paint indoors because it’s harmful to humans.

While curing, exterior paint’s liquid ingredients start to evaporate. Here is where you can notice the smelly characteristic of it, and also, this is when it releases fumes containing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.

Thus, it’s a bad idea, especially if some of your loved ones suffer from allergic reactions.

Instead, you should stick to the intended use of each paint type. Using interior paint for indoors and exterior paint for outdoors.
If you need professional interior painting services in San DiegoLa JollaCarmel ValleyCoronado, Del Mar, Encinitas, Miramar, Pacific Beach, and North Park, you should call AMK Painting to help you.

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