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Exterior Latex Paint Indoors

I have been using Behr acrylic/latex interior paint for years in three houses.  My current paint was applied nine years ago and is in very good shape.  We are going to repaint.  On a recent visit to Home Depot the person in the paint department informed me the five gallon container of interior paint is no longer available.  Why? I will be using the satin sheen.


For the quality of paint I need I prefer to use a five gallon bucket vs individual one gallon cans.  I was informed five gallon containers of exterior Behr acrylic are available and the main difference is the durability.  The rooms to be painted are the living room, family room and bedrooms. This is not an issue with me as long as there are no safety issues during and after the paint application.  I am aware of using proper ventilation, etc.  Thanks for any feedback.

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Posted 2010-11-02T20:29:09+0000  by AceDog AceDog

Welcome AceDog!


You have some great questions here. Let’s tackle the first part of your question first. Unfortunately not every base is available in a 5 gallon drum. When you look at a can of Behr paint, it says one of 3 things: Ultra Pure White, Medium Base, or Deep Base. The color and the base go hand in hand. In order for the color to be achieved, the tint needs to go into the proper base. Usually the 5 gallon Behr only comes in the Ultra Pure White base. If the color that you wanted called for anything but the white base, the color could not be achieved by just putting it in the white base.


I did some research on, and I found an article that clearly explained the difference between interior and exterior paint. There are a few problems with using exterior paint inside your home. First off, there are some additives that are in exterior paint that are not approved for inside use.  Water based paint takes about a month to completely cure, and in that month VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) are released. This could cause health problems for people with breathing problems, children and pregnant women. There is also a scrub-ability issue. Exterior paint is not as scrub-able as interior paint. So, while you can use it, I would not recommend it.


It may be possible for you to special order this color in a 5 gallon. Check with your local store to see if this is an option for you.  


Let me know if I can help with anything else,


Posted 2010-11-03T16:48:17+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Aside from the safety issues, there's another thing to consider...


Interior paints are typically used in a climate controlled environment. Therefore, an interior paint can be harder. Take semi-gloss for example. This is typically the most durable interior paint, because of its hardness. That's why it is the traditional finish for doors, woodwork, trim, furniture, cabinets and more. Add Behr's Nanoguard technology and you add a few more attributes, such as mildew resistance and water resistance (both due to the denseness of the paint film).


Moving outside, we have the environment to contend with. Here in Ohio, it's not uncommon to have low 40's during the evening/early morning and high 80's during the day. When things get cold, they contract, getting hot makes them expand. An interior paint wouldn't handle that and end up cracking. Hence, we have flexibility of the exterior paints. While exterior paints do stand up to the environment, they typically do not see the wear and tear of a two year old putting her hand on every door and frame, or the abuse of a repainted kitchen chair, or, well you get the idea.



Posted 2010-11-03T20:06:58+0000  by Paul
Hello. I just painted my kitchen & feel like crap, nausea & headache... I look at can & the paint store gave me EXTERIOR even though I gave them lid of my last Interior can ! I am freaking out! I have children, pets.,,i left the house with windows open, fans turned on.. Is this a HUGE health risk to us??

Should I paint another coat with Interior paint, would that help ?? It was Semi Gloss Latex.
Hope you can answer this quickly !
Posted 2013-03-20T21:17:34+0000  by Ellejes8
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