What Is The Difference Between Exterior and Interior Paint In A Home?

Paint is the easiest way to make your home look appealing. But not all paints are created equal. What is the difference between exterior and interior paint?- It is a common question of many homeowners while buying paint for their new home.

In this article, we will take a look at the differences between exterior and interior paint in a home, as well as why you should choose one over the other.

Exterior and interior paint in a home can be vastly different depending on the type of paint being used. Exterior paint is often made for protection against harsh weather conditions, or to protect against tough stains or marks that are not present on the inside of the home. Interior paint is used mostly for aesthetics, so homeowners can choose any color they desire.

Exterior Paint: Overview

Exterior paint is a type of paint that is used on the exterior surfaces of buildings. It can be made from oil, water-based, or latex paints. Exterior paint can also be applied to metal, wood, masonry, and plastic materials.

There are many main traits of exterior paint like:

• Exterior paint is primarily used for protection against weathering and UV rays.

• Paint offers low maintenance because it does not require frequent repainting or sanding to maintain its original condition.

• Paint has a protective film that prevents dirt from getting into the building’s surface cracks and crevices, helping prevent mold growth and other damage that could result in expensive repairs or replacement.

Interior Paint: Main Traits

Interior paint is the coating that covers the interior surfaces of a building, including walls, ceilings, doors, and windows.

There are two main traits of this paint:

1. It is usually formulated with solvents to allow it to be applied by brush or roller without having to thin it out first.

2. The colors are more muted than exterior paints because they have less direct sunlight contact during application.

• It is not toxic for humans or animals. 

• It dries quickly so it does not require multiple coats to cover an area properly. 

• It is low-odor and requires little ventilation during application.

Interior Vs Exterior Paint: Know The Key Differences Before Painting

A big question many homeowners have is whether to go with interior or exterior paint. Understanding the key difference will help you decide. Interior paint is designed to work on a variety of surfaces, while exterior paint is manufactured to withstand the weather.


The main difference between interior and exterior paints is that exterior paints have more pigments in them which gives them a higher opacity level. Interior paints are much less expensive than exterior paints because they don’t need as many pigments.

Interior paint is used to paint the walls of a room or an entire building, whereas exterior paint is used to paint the outside of a building.



The appearance of interior paint is dependent on basecoat and topcoat.

Basecoat: The base coat is a water-based paint that is applied first, and then you can apply the top coat. It is usually white in color, but it can be any color.

Top Coat: This layer of paint provides protection from UV rays and other environmental factors such as rain or snow. It also prevents fading of colors and scratches on your car’s surface.

On the other hand, exterior paint appearance is driven by the quality of pigment used. The color must be compatible with a particular monochrome or micro-blend paint covering system. It also has to have similar tinting, flame, and sheen values as well as suitable resistance against weather conditions such as flaking, chipping, etc.


Interior paint is not as durable as exterior paint. It doesn’t last as long and requires regular cleaning and maintenance to maintain its shine.

Interior paint will typically need to be repainted or washed more often than exterior one because it’s exposed to dirt, dust, and other contaminants on a daily basis.

However, this is dependent on the quality of the paint you use and how well you take care of it.


The cost of paint also depends on the material. The paints you will buy for your exterior are more expensive than interior ones mainly because it is usually made with an oil base which has a higher volume. That means that it takes a higher amount of paint to coat the same area causing additional cost which depends on its thickness too. So having an outer coating thicker equates to increased painting costs naturally.

When it comes to housing markets with low demand and high supply you will see some dramatic reductions in exterior painting prices. An example is Phoenix, Arizona, or Detroit Michigan – these areas are not highly populated compared to places like Southern California or Chicago, Illinois.

Moisture & Temperature Resistance

Moisture and Temperature Resistance is major difference between interior and exterior paint.

Interior paint has a moisture resistance of 20 to 40 hours, while exterior paint can have a range of 4 to 10 days. Interior paint also tends to be water-based while exterior paint is oil-based.

Interior paints are often more expensive than exterior paints because they need to be mixed with water before use, but they offer a much longer life span.

Fade Resistance

Interior paint is meant to be used on the interior of a building. It is usually thicker and more durable than exterior paint. Moreover, Exterior paints are easily affected by the pollutants in the environment. The presence of these elements can cause fading or cracking within 6 to 12 months, depending on its condition before usage.

This phenomenon is called fungicide resistance and occurs due to various factors such as chemical reactions created when applied onto an outer surface, changes in temperature later on during different seasons/calendar days, etc.

Exterior paint has a different formulation because it needs to be resistant to weather, sun, wind, water, etc. This means that it may have more pigments or other additives to achieve this effect.

Levels of VOCs

Another key difference between interior and exterior paint is the amount of VOCs that are released. Interior paints have a higher level of VOCs than exterior paints. Because they are used in smaller spaces where there is more oxygen present.

Whereas the levels of VOCs in exterior paint are typically lower than those in interior paint.

Exterior paint is typically made from oil-based paints that have been modified with pigments and other materials to produce a water-resistant finish. Interior paints, on the other hand, are typically solvent-based paints that have been modified with flexible resins and binders to produce a water-repellent finish.

As the VOC content in exterior paint is lower than that of interior paint, it has fewer health risks associated with it because you breathe less air while painting and do not stay near the work area for prolonged periods.

Painters Tips: Decorate Outstanding Exterior And Interior Painting Projects

The new homeowner is still unpacking, decorating, and making their home their own. Unpacking and moving into a space can be daunting, especially when you need to make it your own. Painting the exterior and interior of your home not only adds color and style but can bring new energy and character to the property.

Tips For Interior Painting

Here are some prolific tips for you while painting interior projects successfully.

– Before you start painting your room, make sure that the walls are dry and clean.

– Next, buy paint in a color that complements the walls of your room. This will help ensure that you get the best possible result when it comes to blending with the wall colors.

– Then, decide on whether or not you want to use a primer before painting so that there is no need for extra work later on.

– Lastly, buy some professional painter tape so that it is easier to create straight lines while painting without getting paint all over yourself or having to worry about making a mess while trying to hold the brush in place while painting.

Tips For Exterior Painting

Go through the following tips as well. These handy tips might help you to complete any exterior painting project successfully.

1. Start with a fresh surface- Remove any paint, dirt, dust, and debris from the surface before starting the job.

2. Use brushes for small areas- For very small areas like window sills or door frames, use a brush instead of a roller because it will make your work more precise and easier to clean up afterward.

3. Clean up as you go- If there is excess paint or if something spills on the surface, then wipe it off immediately with a damp cloth so that you don’t have to worry about waiting until later when it dries out completely before cleaning up your mess.

4. Keep in mind that, it’s always better to work quickly and take more time in the later stages. This could be considered a good secret for painting because if you spend days or even weeks on any job you will end up having trouble doing it again correctly. Making a mistake can cause problems that cannot be easily fixed by painting over the problem.

5. Paint from the ides of the wall- Begin at one end and work your way up. This makes painting a more convenient process. Because it causes less paint to be wasted on some parts that you will not eventually use for completing the job successfully.


Here are some of the most common questions that people want to know about exterior and interior painting. Check them out too.

What happens if you use interior paint on the exterior of a house?

If you use interior paint on the exterior of a house, it will likely not be a good idea. This is because the finish used for interior paint may contain toxic substances such as lead and other heavy metals which can leach into your soil and water if applied to the exterior of your home.

So, when using any type of paint, always make sure that it is specifically designed for use on exteriors.

What type of paint should I use for my ceiling?

A ceiling paint should be chosen according to the color of the walls. If your walls are light, you can choose white or light gray paint. If your walls are dark, you may want to choose black or dark gray paint.

In addition, you should also consider the room’s lighting and the amount of natural light that comes in from windows. For example, if there is plenty of natural light coming into your room from windows, then a lighter color would be best suited for that type of environment because it will not absorb as much as darker colors do.

What are the different properties of oil paint?

Oil paint is made from a mixture of linseed oil, pigment, and solvent. It is opaque and has good covering power, and it dries quickly without cracking or flaking.

Some properties of oil paint are:

• Oil paints dry slowly over time and therefore don’t need to be completely dried before painting on top of them as acrylics do.

• Oil paints cover well when thinned with an appropriate medium like turpentine or thinner, which can make them easier to work with than acrylics.

• They are not affected by the weather like watercolors.

What should I do if the paintbrushes on the wall give me a splatter effect?

There are many reasons why paintbrushes may splatter on the wall.

• The water that is used to wash the brushes is too hot or too cold and can cause them to harden up or melt, which in turn causes them to splatter.

• Paint was applied on top of the brushes with a roller instead of being brushed on with a brush, causing them to splatter.

• There are tiny pieces of dirt stuck between the bristles of the brush, which prevents it from gliding smoothly over the surface.

How do I paint a textured wall?

There are a few different ways to paint a textured wall. One way is to use a roller and paint the wall with a textured roller while it is wet. This will give you an even surface that is more difficult to get smooth with any type of brush or roller. Another way would be to use medium-to-coarse sandpaper and sand the wall in sections, applying fresh coats of paint each time.

The last option would be to use an electric sander and start at one end of the room and work your way towards the other end, going over all surfaces of the walls in between each pass.

What can I do to remove paint from the fabric?

One of the best ways to remove paint from the fabric is by using a steam cleaner. This will help loosen up the paint and make it easier to get off of your clothing.

If you don’t have access to a steam cleaner, you can use vinegar and water solution. Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle and spray this mixture onto the stain. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before scrubbing with an old toothbrush or soft brush.

Where can I find the right paint color for my room?

It depends on what you are looking for. If you want something that will make your room look great, then the paint color has to be unique and eye-catching.

If you are trying to match an existing color in your room, then the best option would be to try out colors from brands like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams which offer paint swatches online for customers.

What type of paint should I use for an accent wall?

There are many types of paint that you can use for an accent wall. You should choose the color and type of paint that you want according to your preference and space.

Some popular choices are:

1. Latex paint: This is a water-based, non-toxic paint that is easy to clean and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is also known as “green” or “eco” paint because it has low VOC content.

2. Oil-based paints: These paints dry faster than latex paints but may be difficult to remove from walls due to their sticky nature when wet.

3. Acrylic paints: These paints contain pigments that do not fade or change colors over time like oil-based and latex paints do, making them suitable for areas where there will be high traffic in the future such as hallways or staircases.

What are the basic ingredients of acrylic resins?

Acrylic resins are the most common types of synthetic polymers used in various industries.

They are typically made from monomers that consist of acrylic acid, methyl methacrylate, and water. Acrylic resins are also known as polyacrylates.

The polymerization process is achieved by adding a catalyst to these three components which produce an unsaturated molecule called acrylonitrile that is then reacted with formaldehyde or another alcohol to create cross-links between molecules that creates a solid material known as acrylic glass.

How much does it cost to paint epoxy?

It depends on the size of the area you want to paint. It also depends on the material that is used for painting. The average cost of painting epoxy is $100-$300 per square foot.


Interior and exterior paint are some of the most important factors that you need to consider when choosing the right paint for your home. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right paint for your home. It’s important to know what the key differences are between interior and exterior paints so you can get an idea of which one is best for your needs. Before you choose a paint color, make sure you understand the difference between interior and exterior paints so you can make an informed decision. Which is better? Let us know in the comments below.

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