Can You Use Exterior Paint On Interior Walls? – Apply 8 Most Feasible Tips To Avoid Risk Factors

Well, can you use exterior paint on interior walls?

What do you think?

It is possible or not?

Okay, let me explain the topic a little more for you.

When it comes to painting walls, there are two ways to go about it. One way is to choose the right paint that would not only look good but also help insulate your house from intense heat and cold. Another method is to use exterior paint on interior walls, which will work as a barrier between the interior and exterior elements.

Can You Use Exterior Paint On Interior Walls?

Well, it is a good question. In general, interior paint with an exterior type of adhesive can be used on the walls to make your house easier to access. Also, save money from using more costly wall coverings for example travertine or ceramic tiles that are not friendly towards most paints.

However here comes the problem when you will test these types of paint on any kind of interior parts such as ceilings, soffits, and light switches. Moreover, once they prove themselves fragile in this condition then why would you spend extra cash again by going for double glazing?

So Is It Okay?

Well, before using any paint on your interior walls you need to check the codes that may cause problems with the structure of your house like stairwells, etc. But don’t worry if it’s not an issue for you. Using exterior paints safely is nothing difficult; keep in mind these things:

  1. Use thick enough coats because they might bunch up or even peel off quite easily.
  2. Choose non-mechanically cured oil-based enameled coatings over waterborne ones as they are less prone to cracking and peeling than latex type coating which contains vinyl type resins.
  3. Most oil-based paints promise a longer shelf life than other types and terms like ‘latex’, ‘fresh’ or ‘like new’ can also be misleading since they merely describe the chemical content of these coatings which might already serve their useful life by performing far beyond what you expected from them.

So it should suffice to keep in mind that raw materials such as wood, metal, and plastic should not come into direct contact with any water or moisture-containing surface later on down the line.

Why Does My Exterior Paint Look The Same As Before It Was

Leaving exterior paint to dry overnight will cause it to develop a gloss. Its color depth changes along the direction of light. This “shifting” effect is just an example of how different layers can absorb and reflect sunlight differently. All paints do this differently depending on their material composition, thickness, drying process, etc.

However, in most cases, they reach identical levels of intensity/depth at any location over a long time. So if your building is old enough then you should be concerned by these effects rather than not. And if you decide to sand down your rough sheen painting before applying the next extra coat again then you would lose a semi-finishing layer of paint on top which will not afford the same color depth and gloss as it did before.

For some older buildings or wooden structures then this change in sheen might be desirable as they can adapt themselves to shifting harsh climatic changes such as cracks exposing their rotten exterior material underneath, but in most cases, with flat roofs, any humidity is detrimental. It may damage your undercoat if nobody caulks these holes properly.

Caulking these small holes is not enough to stop all moisture penetration. You should also ground any unprotected metal or wood exterior parts properly on the earth underneath, only then will your undercoat remain protected. Therefore, enjoy semi-waterproof protection against water invasion.

What are the Advantages and Drawbacks of Using Exterior Paint On Interior Walls?

Exterior paint is used to cover the exterior surfaces of buildings. However, these paints can also be used for interior walls. The core advantage of using exterior paint on interior walls is that it reduces the need for painting during the entire construction process. Also, it makes it easier to repaint walls if there are any cracks or other issues with them.

The need to paint your interior walls is one of the most common home maintenance tasks. Whether you have a simple modern look or you prefer a more classical style, there is always something that can help you match the overall design of your home. But before you go out and buy a can of paint, you need to ask yourself a few questions first. Here are some pros and cons of using exterior paint on interior walls that you should consider.

Some Amenities

1) Exterior paint is a popular choice for many people. It can be used on interior walls as well as exterior walls, and it provides some excellent benefits to the owner of the home or business.

2) One of the best things about exterior paint is that it will give your home or business a fresh new look. Exterior paint also has UV protection which prevents fading from sun exposure and also protects against mold growth.

3) Another advantage of using exterior paint is that it provides water resistance which helps keep moisture away from your home or business’s surfaces, protecting them from rot and mildew damage.

4) Besides, you can keep up with exterior paint without having to break the bank. It is less expensive than other types of paints, and it does not require special tools or equipment to apply them correctly onto your home’s surfaces.

5) Exterior paint lasts longer than interior paint. It is durable than interior paint, and it is resistant to moisture, making it a popular choice for walls that experience the effects of humidity.

Now that you know some advantages of exterior paint, let’s move on to things you need to consider before going out and buying one.

Risk Factors

In contrast to advantages, there are a few drawbacks of using exterior paint on interior walls such as:

  1. The paint can sometimes peel off after some time, especially if the living room is heated or has high humidity levels. 
  2. The paint can’t always cover dark or dirty surfaces.
  3. There may be residue leftover from other paints in the wall’s previous history, which could lead to staining and other problems.
  4. Exterior paint has high toxicity and causes skin irritation and burns when exposed to sunlight. 
  5. The chemical fumes from the spray can cause suffocation and lung damage, which can be fatal.

How to Overcome Risk Factors and Paint Effectively?

People who use exterior paint should wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves, and masks. So that they can avoid inhaling the toxic chemicals in the air that will cause inflammation of the lungs and other health problems. Besides, there are several precautions that you should take when you decorate your interior walls with exterior paint. Try to utilize the following tips:

1. Choose the Right Type of Paint

When painting your interior walls, you should first decide what type of paint you want to use. There are many types of exterior paint that are designed for use on exterior surfaces only. Avoid applying your interior walls as those may be very toxic and cause harm to your family members. Also, you should ensure that the paint has low toxicity.

2. Be Meticulous About Safety Regulations

Check on safety regulations of the substances used in interior paints by checking with your state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Learn the toxicity of the particles in your preferred paint before using it to avoid getting poisoned. Teach children not to touch any swallowed or inhaled paint particles so they don’t have access to harmful elements within the substance.

3. Paint on Dry Wall

Ensure the surface of your walls is completely dry before you begin painting. As a result, any toxic particles from coating layers will not be able to penetrate the wall once it dries up. Thus, avoiding damage to the essential structure beneath. Set an appropriate amount of paint brushing tools for each coat if possible. Consequently, you can spread out brushing strokes correctly. Spray water onto dried coats instead of putting excessive pressure onto finish coats which may lead to peeling.

4. Choose Water-Based Paints For Durability & Oil-Based For Elegance

The two most common types of exterior paints are water-based and oil-based. Water-based paints are more durable, have better coverage, and can be cleaned with soap and water whereas oil-based paints require specific cleaning methods. Because they contain solvents that cannot be removed by simple scrubbing or rinsing with water.

Oil-based paints also dry slower than water-based ones but will produce a richer color which is best suited for interiors where there is less light exposure such as bathrooms or kitchens. Oil-based paint will also allow the walls to breathe which helps prevent mold growth on painted surfaces.

5. Magic of Masking Tape

Always protect the existing surface down to the baseboard with masking tape or painter’s tape and then put a few quick coats on top of that. Because the new coat needs time getting dry and you need a couple of hours at least for prep plus some nails banging in walls while painting, so be patient.

6. Close the Windows

Make sure windows are closed before applying any paint. The reason is to keep the dust contained which prevents dry-blowing and spreading with fingertips. This may be a good reason to choose an exterior latex paint instead of petroleum base oil or acrylic paints that do not require any primer at all for superior coating capabilities compared to most interior painter-friendly high gloss finishes.

7. Easy-Off Painters Stripper

Always use Liqui-Cal or at least a similar product to dissolve paint that has been applied by the painter. This is especially true if oil-based paints are used; it usually produces more solvent vapors than water base exterior latex paints and may fade delicately painted walls if latex is removed in a process called “Dripping.”

8. Quick Coat Paint Mistakes

Don’t allow the painter to dust primer before starting with quick-drying paint when an interior room has been painted previously. This practice is meant for exterior fiberglass siding, not for interior wood or stucco surfaces. You should apply primer to paper by using a roller while mixing in about 2 parts. Then, simply add water and stir gently with enough elbow grease.

What is the Best Paint for Your Interior Walls?

There are many paint brands in the market but none of them can be called the best. The best paint for your interior walls is the one that suits your budget and does not irritate you or others in your house. Besides, A number of factors are involved in choosing the best paint for your interior walls. For instance,

  • How much time do you have to spend painting?
  • What color would you like your walls to be?
  • Are there any particular colors that are important to you?
  • What is the condition of your walls and what type of finish do they need?

However, you can go through several real user reviews of some popular paints. You can do it easily on Amazon, Google, or any other online paint store.

Can You Use Latex Paint on a Hardwood Floor?

The answer to the question is no. Latex paints are not meant for use on hardwood floors.

A hardwood floor can be damaged by latex paint because of its high solids content which contains a lot of pressure.

If you are looking for paint that can be used on hardwood floors, then you should go with oil-based paint.

DIY Guide: How To Paint On Interior Wall By Using Exterior Paint?

If you want to paint on an interior wall by using exterior paint, then you can follow these 5 simple steps. Through the ‘Do It Yourself (DIY) guide, you can do it easily within a short time.

Step 1: Cover the surface of your wall with primer.

Step 2: Use a roller to apply 3-5 thin layers of exterior paint over the primer.

Step 3: Wait for 30 minutes between each layer, then wash off all the leftover paint using water and let it dry completely before applying the next layer. You should wait for at least 4 hours between the layers of paint to allow them to embed in each other as you go along.

Step 4: For added protection, apply two coats of topcoats after drying all your work areas complete with a solution that is formulated specifically for exterior use on wood.

Step 5: Follow this same process for all the walls in your house that need painting.


Here is the frequently asked questions part including answers. Perhaps, you have some more queries in your head apart from the above elaboration. Hence, you can look for those answers from this part.

What is the purpose of additives in paint?

The purpose of additives in paint is to provide the required properties for the product.

Some of the most common additives are:

  • Solvents that dissolve pigments and binders, like methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) or toluene.
  • Emulsifiers that help blend two substances together without separating them, like polysorbate 80 or stearic acid.
  • Plasticizers that make plastics more flexible and resilient, like dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

Is voc in paint harmful?

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are gases that can be found in paints, coatings, and other products. They may cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory problems.

The most common VOCs in paint are:

1. Formaldehyde

2. Acetone

3. Benzene

4. Toluene

Can paint fumes cause dizziness?

Paint fumes can cause dizziness because the paint contains many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can easily evaporate into the air. These VOCs are highly toxic and can cause health problems.

Which one has a higher price? Water-based exterior paint or oil-based?

Water-based exterior paint has a lower cost because it doesn’t need an expensive mixing machine and paint rollers. If you are looking for a cheaper option, then go for water-based exterior paint but if you want a longer-lasting product then go for oil-based exterior paint.

Does oil-based exterior paint have a bad odor?

No, oil-based exterior paint does not have a bad odor. However, it is recommended that you use to paint with low VOC content because it has less harmful emissions and toxins.

What is satin paint used for?

Satin paint is a type of paint that dries to a satin finish. It can be used on any surface including wood, metal, glass, and plastic.

It is commonly used for creating surfaces with an extremely smooth finish. For example, when creating leather furniture, you would use this type of paint to create the smooth finish desired.

What is mildew-resistant paint?

Mildew-resistant paint is a type of paint that is able to eliminate mold and ensure mildew resistance.

It can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces, including wood, concrete, brick, plaster, stucco, and vinyl siding.

Mildew-resistant paint also has special anti-mold additives that make it more effective than regular paints in resisting mold growth.

Do I need a professional painter while using exterior paint on interior walls?

If you are using exterior paint on interior walls, it is not necessary to use a professional painter. However, you can follow the instructions on the can of paint. For a further clear understanding, watch the DIY guide on Youtube.

Final Words

Interior wall paint is an important consideration when it comes to making your home look great. But you should also be aware of the risks involved with using exterior paint on interior walls. If you want to use exterior paint on the interior use, it is a good idea. Nevertheless, do not forget the undeniable facts that you need to know before this practice.

However, if you still face some confusion regarding any kind of painting project, do not hesitate to share with us in the comment box. To get more updates about painting tips, be sure to check our site for upcoming posts.

Happy reading.

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