Can You Mix Interior and Exterior Paint?

So, when you carry out a lot of painting projects, you are sure to have a good amount of paint left over. This scenario is pretty common because it is always wise to get more paint than you would actually need.

By doing so, you will eliminate the hassle of getting out just to get another container of paint while you are in the middle of the painting process. But if you carry a lot of indoor and outdoor projects, you will have two different colors that might or might not see any issue.

Can you mix interior and exterior paint together is a common question in that regard. Theoretically, paint is paint. So, you should be capable of combining both without facing any issues. But there is more to the topic. And you can get to know about it all by going through this in-depth discussion regarding the topic.

Can You Mix Interior and Exterior Paint

What Are the Difference Between Exterior and Interior Paint?

The thing that made exterior paint become highly popular is its ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. These paints are highly resistant to mildew as well. But, over time, interior paints saw a lot of innovation. They are also capable of resisting mildew and resisting harsh conditions.

For example, the paint in your bathroom. It is not exterior paint, is it? But it is still capable of holding the water off and resisting the growth of mildew, right? So, does the fact that interior paints have similar resistance traits as exterior paint make them the same thing? Not really!

VOC Count

The prime difference between the exterior and interior paints is the VOC count. Otherwise known as Volatile Organic Compounds, VOC components are responsible for keeping the paint in its liquid form up until the point you decide to work with it.

Even though VOCs sound like a good thing, they are actually harmful to your health. Too much exposure to VOC compounds can make you face serious complications to your health for both the long term and the short term. For that reason, there are regulations regarding the VOC compounds present in the paints.

The regulations limit the manufacturers from using too much VOC in their paint. Also, for having a high VOC count in the exterior paints, you will notice professionals using protective clothing and respiratory system while working with these paints.

In fact, if you are exposed to VOC gas for a short amount of time, you have a severe headache. And a more prolonged exposure will potentially damage your internal organs and, most importantly, your lungs. This will not be the case for the interior paints as they will have little to no VOC.

Curing Time

Another significant difference between exterior and interior paints is that the exterior paint will require a long time to cure. Some of them might even need a whole month to fully settle on the surface. On the other hand, interior paints will mostly take one day to dry and cure.

On that note, when the exterior paint cures, it does off-gas the harmful fumes during the entire period. For that reason, you should not use exterior paints for interior projects.

Is It Possible to Mix Exterior and Interior Paint?

Yes, it is possible to mix exterior and interior paint. However, you need to remember that you will increase the entire mixture’s VOC count by mixing the exterior paint. Why? As we have mentioned, interior colors have little to no VOC. There are tons of options that look great and have no VOC in them!

However, for the exterior paint, there will be at least some amount of VOC in them. So, when you are mixing the exterior and interior paint, make sure that you are working on a well-ventilated area. VOC exposure in a closed-off area can cause severe complications to your health.

Additionally, the fact that the mixture will have a high VOC also means that you should not use the mix for interior projects. Instead, we would highly recommend using the combination for exterior projects only. And while you are working with the mixture, make sure to wear all of the protective gear.

Related: Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Oil Paint?

Can You Use Exterior Paint to Paint Over Polyurethane?

When it comes to painting over polyurethane coating, using exterior paint can be a suitable choice. The key is proper surface preparation, including thorough cleaning and sanding to ensure adhesion. Applying a primer designed to adhere to glossy surfaces is crucial before applying the exterior paint, ensuring a long-lasting and nicely finished result.

How to Safely Use Acetone for Paint Mixing and Car Clear coat Protection?

When using acetone for paint mixing and car clear coat protection, it’s important to understand acetone’s effect on the car’s clear coat. Ensure that the acetone is used in a well-ventilated area and applied sparingly to avoid damaging the clear coat. Always test a small area before full application.

Can You Mix Paints That Have Different Finishes?

So, now that you know that it is possible to mix exterior and interior paints, you might be wondering what finishes can you work with. Well, let us first give you an idea about the type of finishes that are most popular at the moment.

  • Matte Paints

As the name suggests, these will offer a matte-like finish. They have almost no shine at all. This trait makes the finish well capable of hiding the imperfections and dimples present on the ceilings and walls. But you would want to avoid using these paints for the kitchen or bathroom because high humidity ruins the finish.

  • Eggshell Paints

These are pretty similar to matte paints. However, eggshell paints have a little to them.

  • Satin Paints

The sating paints are well-known for offering luxurious shine, just like satin sheets. And these paints are a perfect fit for areas with high traffic.

These are shiny but durable paints. And they are mostly suitable for the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and similar areas.

  • High-Gloss paints

High-gloss paints should be your go-to pick if you want to get a mirror-like finish on the surface. However, its use case is mostly for furniture and accents.

The list we have above contains paints that are from least glossy to highly glossy. Now, when you mix two of these paints, you can either increase the reflectiveness or dull the shine. So, keep that factor in mind when you are mixing paints of different finishes.

Final Words

Still wondering can you mix interior and exterior paint? Yes, you can mix the paints. But as we have mentioned, you need to understand that the mixture will have a high VOC count, which will make it less ideal for interior use.

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