Are Interior and Exterior Paints Really So Different?

At Homm CPS, we’re often quizzed on the extent to which interior and exterior paints differ from one another. That is, assuming there is any real difference whatsoever.

Logically, you’d expect exterior paint that’s exposed to the elements to have very different properties to those of interior paint. And you’d also be correct in your assumption, but this wasn’t necessarily always the case.

20 or 30 years ago, there really wasn’t a huge difference between interior paint and exterior paint. They were more similar than dissimilar in nature, though this is something that has changed radically over time.

Specifically, there are now two major things that separate exterior paints from interior paints – tolerance to weather conditions and VOCs.

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A Question of Durability

When you think about it, exterior paint is well and truly put through its paces on a daily basis.  Throughout all four seasons, it’s subject to the kind of punishment that would otherwise do a number on the material beneath.

Exterior paint therefore needs to be exponentially more durable and robust in its protective properties than interior paint. The average home interior is a far more forgiving and controllable space, where paint doesn’t need to be nearly as hardwearing.

This is precisely why interior paint you should never be used for any exterior painting project whatsoever. It’s also why most paints that claim to be suitable for both interior and exterior use should be approached with caution…they rarely get the job done right.

Avoiding VOCs

VOCs – aka volatile organic compounds – have been used in the production of paint for generations. In decades gone by, most interior paints contained relatively high levels of VOCs, making it necessary to prioritize ventilation, air circulation and the use of appropriate PPE. Having subsequently been associated with a wide variety of health risks – everything from cancer to damage to the central nervous system – VOCs have gradually been filtered out of the interior paints market.

At least, to such an extent as to make them significantly safer to use than they once were – paints with high level of VOCs should be avoided at all costs indoors.

For exterior painting projects, paints with higher levels of VOCs don’t pose nearly as big of a risk to the person using them. They’re still hazardous and need to be handled with care, but the fact that you’re outdoors and surrounded by fresh air makes it a much safer process.

This is therefore another important difference between interior and exterior paints. Not to mention, another reason why it is important to avoid using interior and exterior paints interchangeably. The wrong kind of exterior paint used indoors could represent a serious health hazard.

Quality Counts

In all instances, the very best paints on the market are those that adhere perfectly to the surface and contribute to a flawless finish. Likewise, paints manufactured with as few harmful compounds as possible are also preferable.

Quality therefore makes a difference, as the manufacturer processes adopted by different producers vary wildly from one to the next. Some throw all manner of questionable ingredients into the mix to keep things cheaper, while others invest heavily in the development of ultra-safe paints that are also easy to use.

Paints in the latter bracket may cost more, but you really cannot put a price on your own health and safety.

Flexible and Affordable Exterior Painting

At Homm CPS, we take pride in offering a comprehensive range of flexible and affordable exterior painting services to suit all requirements and budgets. We create bespoke solutions from scratch, in accordance with the preferences of each client we work with.

From start to finish, we always prioritize health and safety with every project we take on. Our team exclusively uses the highest quality paints and provisions on the market, enabling us to combine flawless results with cost-effective pricing and an industry-leading warranty.

Whether ready to get started or simply considering a future home improvement project, our exterior painting team is standing by to take your call. Book your obligation-free home design visit with Homm CPS today, or drop us an email detailing your requirements and we will get back to you as soon as possible.