Why Interior & Exterior Paint Are Not Universal

House Painter performing exterior touchups

Did you know there was a difference between interior and exterior paint? It’s actually pretty common to get them confused when you’re researching them. It’s important to learn the difference before you buy the paint. If you accidentally use the wrong paint, it could be more harmful than good. Here’s how to tell the difference.

What’s the difference between interior and exterior paint?

  • Interior paint is just as tough as exterior paint but for different reasons. No, it doesn’t have to worry about the elements beating down on it, but it does have to stand up to an active household. Every day, something is bumping up against the walls or scraping up against them to say the very least. The formula is made to handle the everyday life of a busy family and more.
  • Exterior paint has its own personality. It’s designed specifically for the outdoors in mind, and the elements that will be hitting the exterior of the house. It’s natural with the temperature changes, the house will contract and expand naturally. The paint needs to be flexible enough to move with it.

Why can’t they be interchangeable though?

  • Exterior paint needs to be out in the open with natural airflow. They have solvent gasses that can be unhealthy for the family when it’s in a confined space.
  • Interior paint is rigid to help protect it from scrapes. It’s not flexible enough for being outside and you will notice it cracking and peeling on the surface. In addition to that, it will have no protection from the UV rays of the sun as well as be susceptible to mildew and fading.

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