Can I Use Interior Paint Outside

Can I Use Interior Paints on Exterior Surfaces?  Or Can I Use Interior Paint Outside?

You may have two cans of paint in your home, one labeled for outdoor use and the other labeled for indoor use. You may think that if both have the same pigment and the same brightness, and it is that both are also used to paint surfaces. But if you use an exterior interior or interior, exterior paint, the results may not be what you expected.

The chemistry found in paint components today has changed from a few years back now. Manufacturers and professionals recommend using paint cans as they are labeled interior paints for interior areas and exterior paint for exterior areas.

When you choose the paint

When you choose the paint, there are two basic aspects that you have to know: there is water-based paint and oil-based paint. Latex paints, acrylic paints are water-based, while alkyd paints are oil-based. Both paints are for interiors. There are different types of outdoor paints.

When it comes to exterior paint, oil-based paints are best because they resist dirt. However, water-based latex paint is commonly used for exterior areas because it lasts longer than oil. When used in outdoor areas, this type of paint better with stands humidity, external factors, temperature changes and takes much less time to dry.

The paints used for the exterior contain additives that give them great longevity in the exterior areas, better resist cracking, and society. Also, outdoor paints are designed so that they can better withstand the damage that UVA rays can cause.

Water-based paints are suitable for interiors. Instead of having additives to withstand dirt better, interior paints’ chemistry is intended to be tough and sticky. They are also designed to withstand any indoor area (splashes, rubbing, etc.).

The lack of some additives provides some disadvantages to interior paints when used on external surfaces. The difference between paints formulated inside and outside doesn’t end here. The differences also appear when some paint components are observed: pigments, binders, and liquids.


Paints are created with additives known as binders, which are used to bind the pigment and at the same time provide adhesion to the surface to be painted. Exterior paints have to be more resistant to withstand the adverse effects of the environment. In this way, the paint becomes resistant to cracks and better controls humidity.


Interior paints, specifically water-based interior paints, including latex, are designed to contain the lowest levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They can also be associated with certain cancers. You need to find paints that have very low or no VOCs.

So can I use the interior paint for exterior areas?

Once you have reached this point, you will have been able to verify that it is better that if you are going to paint an interior area, you use a paint that is intended for it. The same happens if you will paint an exterior area, which then it is better that you buy and use a paint that is intended exclusively for painting exterior areas.

If you have doubts about which paint may be best for a specific area of ​​your home, then you will only have to ask a painting professional so they can guide you. Suppose you are going to paint your house both outside and inside. In that case, you should have two different types of paint cans, one intended for interior painting and another intended for exterior painting. Once you know this, you just have to choose the color you like best and buy the right tools!


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