Can You Use Interior Paint for Your Exterior Walls

Did you recently paint your interior walls and have some leftover paints which you are wondering if you can use for your exterior walls? Do you know what’s the major difference between exterior and interior paints?

Fret not, we have brought to you the ultimate guide that will help you know everything you need to know about interior paints.

Interior Wall Paint

Interior wall paints are formulated for indoor use only. They are stain resistant and designed to withstand the wear of daily contact and cleaning. Unlike exterior wall paints that contract and expand, interior wall paints are much more rigid.

Interior paints consist of four parts – the base, additives, pigments and binders. The additives, pigments and binders used in interior paints are different from those used in exterior wall paints.

One of the major differences between interior and exterior wall paints is that interior paints have lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which makes them safer for indoor usage.

Can you use interior paint outside? 

Technically, you can use interior paints for your exterior walls, but it wouldn’t be a practical option for several reasons. Here are some of the major reasons why you should avoid using interior paint outside.

Resistance to harsh weather 

Interior paints don’t consist of heavy-duty mildewcide and chemicals, which means that they are not designed to withstand harsh weather conditions like snow, rain, heat and cold. This means that they will crack and break down when exposed to extreme weather conditions. This reduces their shelf life, and they will chip off and fade in a short period.


To begin with, interior paints have less pigment and binders and are more porous as compared to exterior paints. This means that you will have to apply several heavy coats of interior paints for the same coverage, which you can achieve with just one or two coats of exterior paints. Interior paints are thinner and don’t stick well with the exterior walls.


Interior wall paints don’t have the same adhesion properties as exterior paints and hence they are less durable. This means that you would have to constantly touch up your walls and repaint every two to five years if you use interior walls to paint the exterior of your home. Whereas, if you use exterior paints for your exterior walls then they will last you for ten to fifteen years.

Can you use exterior paint inside? 

Just like how you shouldn’t use interior paint outside, you must never use exterior paints indoors. This is because exterior wall paints have a higher level of VOC, which is hazardous for your health. Exterior wall paints have harsh chemicals which are unsafe for indoor usage. They are known to release toxic fumes, which can cause a severe threat to your health.

What if you accidentally use interior paint exterior? 

Will your exterior walls get ruined if you accidentally picked up a can of interior paint and painted them? No, they won’t get damaged. In such cases, you can consider applying two coats of exterior grade, clear-coat sealer on top of your interior paint. By using a sealer, you can create a protective layer above your interior paint, which will to some extent increase its shelf life. However, keep in mind that this additional step will cost you money, time and effort.

Looking to buy high-quality interior paints? Head over to the Asian Paints website to get your hands on a modern interior wall paint which is designed with contemporary technology and techniques. People who are sceptical about going the DIY route for painting their interiors can consider hiring Asian Paints Safe Painting Service. The professionals at Asian Paints will help you create your dream home within your budget.