Can I use exterior paint on interior walls?

A Painting Question

The Natural Handman

Related Articles

Tricks to Painting Interior Trim

Getting the Job Done Right when Painting Your Home


Dear Natural Handyman,
Is there any reason why I can't use exterior paint on the interior walls?

Yes, there is. Exterior paint contains certain fungicides and UV-protective additives that are not approved for interior use. Because of the extreme conditions exterior paints are designed to endure, the preservative chemicals may be unhealthy in closed inside areas.

This begs the question, "Why do you want to use exterior paint inside your home?" If you are looking to get some of the qualities of exterior paint, such as mildew or water resistance, there are interior paints and additives that can do the job just fine.

For example, there are special bathroom and kitchen paints that have very durable, eggshell finishes plus tremendous mildew resistance. There are also additives, known as mildewcides, that are designed for interior use. They can be added to any paint, even flat ceiling paints and texture paints, to make them more "bathroom friendly" and mildew resistant.
The Natural Handyman

Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page

The Natural Handyman Site Directory

Take the Next Step

  • Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to any newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
The Computer Lady

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt